Just a short boat ride away from party-central Mykonos, it’s a mystery that more travellers haven’t discovered Tinos and its exceptional restaurants. Despite the quiet, laid-back vibe, Tinos still packs a punch in summer, with exceptional flavours of the island served at friendly restaurants with a price tag that’s considerably lower than its ritzy neighbour across the water. Here’s our pick of the best.
With its views of the Aegean and the surrounding islands, Zoga’s hilltop location amid the olive groves and vineyards of the Aeolios Estate is almost worth a visit in itself – but the food is the real star up here. Renowned Greek chef Tasos Mantis supervises the menus and brings experience gleaned in multiple Michelin-starred kitchens. His dishes are infused with his farm-to-fork philosophy. From simple meze – such as wild pickled Tinian artichokes – to local seafood fresh from the grill, you can’t go wrong.
Chef Antonia adds an extra layer of creativity to traditional Cycladic cuisine here, making for dishes that are as photogenic as they are tasty. Microgreens and flowers top salads made with farm-fresh vegetables, and every dish from meze to seafood to pasta is bursting with colour and summer flavours. Right on the water at Ormos Isternia, plan for a long, lazy lunch spread across an entire afternoon – and you can still be here as the sun starts to set over the Aegean.
If you like your breakfasts sweet, look no further. Set yourself up for a sugar rush with red velvet, Snickers, Bavarian cream or Oreo pancakes. If you’re brave, there’s even a savoury chicken pancake option, complete with a fried egg. Top it all off with one of Mikro Cafe’s expertly made coffees, and you should be feeling suitably fuelled for the day.
When you’re in the mood for an Italian food fix, Dough and Shaker, in the village of Pyrgos, ticks all the boxes. The stylishly minimalist design of the restaurant lets the ingredients sing, with both pizza and pasta dough being made by hand daily. Local cheese, tomato and fruit are all in the mix – and don’t skip the creative cocktails by mixologist Mirsini Spaneli. The appropriately dough-themed Zeemie, made with vodka, tsipouro, bread, sage, passion fruit and ginger beer is as unusual as it is delicious.