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.
Just 40m (131ft) from the sea, on Agios Fokas Beach, Marathia has stuck to its motto – “whatever Tinos produces is served upon our tables” – since 2002, offering a cuisine that embraces the flavours of the past while adding a modern touch. The restaurant has its own microclimate aging chamber to dry-age fish, and also makes its own cheeses. Don’t miss the home-aged tuna and bottarga, and save space for the restaurant’s kariki cheese matured in a butternut squash, served with spicy orange.
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.
Seaside San to Alati is a crowd-pleaser on Agios Fokas Beach, with fresh seafood featured heavily on the menu. Crispy calamari, red mullet, taramosalata fish roe paste and grilled octopus are all favourites, but don’t limit yourself to the bounty of the sea – the fried saganaki cheese and smoky eggplant are also guaranteed to hit the spot.
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.
Run by Tinos-born, brother-and-sister team Antonis and Stamatoula Psaltis, Mikro Karavi has been serving Tinian island flavours since 2008. Sit outdoors in the leafy courtyard with its pretty pink walls, or head for the wine cellar in the house’s former hammam. The restaurant organises regular wine and olive oil tastings, so keep an eye on their social channels for updates. Be sure to save space for dessert: the signature, complimentary home-made geranium liqueur that accompanies it is unmissable.
At this lovely little cafe in the hillside village of Triantaros, the colourful tables and chairs in the shade of bunting-strewn branches make you feel as if you belong right there. Friendly cats snooze on the rainbow-coloured steps, resident dog Jack greets you with a wag of his tail, and the living is truly easy – as the sign says next to the door. Açai bowls, fresh juices, smoothies, cocktails, meze and more all feature on the eclectic menu.
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.
To explore more of Greece, check out the best boutique hotels in Santorini, or these luxury options. The hotels are bookable with Culture Trip. During your stay, explore the amazing things to do and see in Mykonos, and relax on the most beautiful beaches in Corfu. Make sure you also visit one of the best rooftop bars in Athens to enjoy a drink with a view.
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