Lovely Skyros, with its full-time population of just 3,000, is home to rare miniature Skyrian horses, long, sunny beaches and a handful of great restaurants, tavernas and cafes where you can experience a taste of the island. Whether you dine waterside or surrounded by the whitewashed houses and cobbled streets of Skyros Town, here are the best restaurants to choose from.
Formerly a traditional coffee shop run by owner Nikos’s family, Gia Plaka has been transformed into a friendly taverna in the heart of Skyros Town, turning out home-cooked, simple Greek flavours with a dash of nostalgia. If you’re in the mood for something hearty, go for one of the soups or stews, otherwise ask Nikos about the catch of the day from the local fisherman and enjoy it fresh from the grill.
If you have a sweet tooth, head directly to Loukoumageia Skyros, where freshly fried loukoumades dough balls are served with a variety of different – and highly Instagrammable – toppings. Opt for the simple touch with honey and tahini, or go all out with chocolate sauce, caramel, sprinkles and chopped fruit. Non-sweet-eaters aren’t left out either – cheddar and bacon or cherry tomato, feta and oregano make unusual yet equally tasty options.
A lovely little spot in Skyros Town, Manna serves healthy, wholesome dishes and good, strong coffee. Come in the morning for an organic omelette breakfast with ingredients from the owners’ farm, or a traditional ladopita pastry with nuts, honey and cinnamon. Later in the day, the menu offers comfort foods, local pies, and beef or vegan burgers. Outdoor seating is limited to a handful of tables, but the indoor space with its prettily tiled walls and rustic feel is equally lovely.
If you want to eat freshly caught local seafood on Skyros, it’s to O Stelios you must come. Sitting above Gyrismata Beach, the terrace is always buzzing with content customers and friendly staff who will be happy to recommend the freshest items of the day. Try owner Manolis’s mother’s fish soup, or do yourself a favour and pre-order the restaurant’s star dish, the lobster spaghetti. You’ll be glad you did.
This place has everything you need for a Greek fast food fix, with souvlaki grilled meat, gyros and pita sandwiches all freshly made while you wait. Sides such as salads and dips, including tzatziki and spicy cheese, make for the perfect accompaniments. Grab one of the outdoor tables and a cold Alpha beer, and you’ll have all you need for a filling and affordable lunch. Fast food at its best.
Connected to Mouries Farm, a conservation centre for the local miniature Skyrian horses, this taverna is a delight, with its tables set out in the shade of lush mulberry trees and a menu of hearty Greek country food. Come in a group so you can load your table with food – you’re going to want to try as many flavours as possible here. Goat in lemon is a local favourite, but don’t miss the fresh-from-the-field salads, saganaki cheese fried in butter, and traditional Skyrian cuttlefish with fennel.
Located right on Molos Beach, with views of the sea, hills and whitewashed houses, Istories Tou Barba has long been a favourite for its fresh seafood and convivial blue-and-white terrace where conversation and wine flow with ease. Grilled fish, stuffed squid, and mussels with rice are just some of the staples here, best enjoyed washed down with ouzo on ice. Add a portion or two of zucchini fries and you have all the ingredients for a perfect Greek summer lunch.
Set beside Linaria harbour, where fishing boats bob on the surface of the clear waters, Marigo’s menu rightly centres around seafood – but don’t overlook the Skyrian specials. Skyrian stuffed vine leaves, split peas with onion and anise, and local cheese pies all offer a real taste of the island. If you like anchovies, you’re in for a treat – Marigo offers them marinated, fried or saganaki-style, cooked with olive oil, lemon and parsley. Be sure to ask for extra bread as you’ll want to soak up the leftover sauce.
In the north of the island, slightly inland from Agios Petros Beach, this taverna is a carnivore’s dream. A wide stone-tiled terrace surrounded by lush pine forest sets the stage for plates piled high with grilled lamb, goat, local sausage and meatballs. Tasty sides include salads made from locally grown products, Skyrian cheeses and crispy Greek fries with oregano. Come hungry – portions here are generous, to say the least.