Tag: bar (page 2 of 3)

What’s cooking in Kokkari?

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 Buildings along the harbourfront at Kokkari village on Samos

Mountains provide an impressive backdrop to the scenic town of Kokkari on Samos …

 

 

Harbour view of Kokkari village on Samos

… situated about 11 kilometers from Vathi on the north side of the island  …

 

 

Harbour view of Kokkari village on Samos

 … next to a sheltered harbour where dozens of bars & restaurants along the water’s edge …

 

 

Signs along a row of restaurants in Kokkari

… all engage in eye-catching competition to attract the attention — and business — of the throngs of thirsty and hungry tourists who visit the village each day

 

 

Sunbathe, swim, eat & repeat:  Two impressions have stuck in my mind since we visited colourful Kokkari village on Samos three years ago.

The first is the picturesque beaches that bookend the village: Long Beach on one side, and two back-to-back beaches called Small Lemonakia on the other.

The second is the rows of restaurants lining the town’s sheltered harbour as well as much of the length of Long Beach. It’s almost impossible to walk more than a few steps without passing a waterfront café, bar or taverna, or signs pointing the way to dozens of different places to eat and drink. There are myriad restaurant ads and menus attached to posts and walls, and dozens of sandwich board-style signs scattered along the narrow lanes and footpaths.

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Top 6 memories of my Mykonos holiday in 2012 #2: Exploring the streets of Mykonos Town

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Mykonos Town

A hillside view overlooking Mykonos Town and its harbour area

 

Lots to see: Unlike a lot of visitors, I never get bored of Mykonos Town. Many people think they’ve seen all that’s worth seeing after they walk along the harbourside, visit Little Venice, and stroll some of the narrow, twisting streets.

But those people see only the highly commercial, touristy side of Mykonos Town — the lanes lined with jewellery stores, T-shirt shops and tavernas. They don’t wander far enough away from the main tourist zone to walk the quiet residential streets or climb to hillside lookout points that offer amazing views over the town, harbour and beyond.

Even after 7 separate visits to Mykonos, each of which has included a lot of walking around town, I still keep discovering streets and vantage points I’ve never seen in my favourite Greek Island town.

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Utopia Cafe: The best spot to have a drink and watch the sunset on Milos island

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sunset view from Utopia Cafe Milos

Sunset viewing from the Utopia Café patio in Plaka village on Milos

 

Superb sunset views: We’ve seen dozens of spectacular sunsets in Greece, but there are a few that we still remember as though we had seen them only yesterday. Watching the sunset from at Utopia Café on Milos in 2007 is one of them.

 

I had read about Utopia Café in the Greece travel forum on TripAdvisor.com long before we decided to visit Milos; someone had recommended it as a great spot to enjoy a cocktail or a glass of wine while watching the sun set.

During our first trip to Milos in September 2007, we stayed in the port town, Adamas, but spent a day exploring the area around the mountaintop villages of Plaka and Tripiti. We happened to be wandering through the narrow streets of Plaka just as the sun started to go down and, when I saw a sign pointing the way to Utopia Café, I recalled the comments I had read online. We decided to go for a drink and watch the sunset before finding a taverna for dinner.

 

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Mykonos dining & drinking: Your table is ready

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Camares restaurant Mykonos

Setting a group table on the harbour-view terrace at Camares restaurant next to Taxi Square (Manto Square) in Mykonos Town

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Your table is ready: Where shall we eat today? Where should we go for a drink? Those are daily vacation dilemmas no matter where you travel. But those questions are even more vexing on Mykonos, which boasts a mind-boggling and appetite-whetting vast selection of restaurants and bars just in its main port town alone. There are dozens more dining and drinking establishments elsewhere on the island, including the inland village of Ano Mera and most of the island’s 20+ beaches. Even if you spent an entire month on Mykonos and dined and drank at a different place every day, you still wouldn’t make it to every place on the island. Which of course means that you’ll have plenty of restaurants and bars to sample on your next visit. So how the heck are you supposed to decide where to eat and drink if you’ve got only a few days or maybe just a week to stay on Mykonos?

Since it became popular with the jet set during the play days of Jackie O, Mykonos has catered to the world’s rich and famous with an impressive array of exclusive high-end restaurants. But even if you’ve got money to burn, you’ll still be spoiled with choices.

Serving French and international cuisine since 1971, Katrin has been a favourite with the “mature” in-crowd who don’t care how much anything costs. Three travellers from New York City who dined there in July 2009 told me the average price for a meat or fish entree was €100, while even small starter plates were priced from €20 to €30 and up. Was it worth it? One thought the prices seemed a bit steep; however, “they are what they are and they cater to their own clientele,” he acknowledged. Nevertheless, “the service was incredible and the food was really wonderful. Great quality and wonderful flavors.” Their bill for food and wine came to €340 plus tip, and they left Katrin’s feeling “very happy and extremely content.” (For that price, I should hope so!) The atmosphere was just as enjoyable as the meal, they added. “It is a very social scene with lots of mingling between tables.. relaxed and elegant.”

For the stylish younger crowd flush with cash, the Belvedere Hotel is the place to see and be seen, particularly over cocktails at either the über-hip Belvedere Bar or the Sunset Saki Bar & Lounge, or during dinner at world-renowned Matsuhisa Mykonos (often called “Nobu” after its namesake founder, celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa.) Also popular is Nammos Restaurant by the Sea at swanky Psarou beach, where music and movie stars, royalty and the merely fabulously wealthy sometimes sail into the scenic bay on private multimillion-dollar yachts.

There are dozens more fine dining establishments that are easier on the pocketbook (though still a tad on the expensive side) than the posh places mentioned above that are magnets for celebrities and socialites.  They include Avra and its “sister” restaurant NiSa, along with Lotus and Interni for international cuisine, Sea Satin Market for seafood, Uno Con Carne for steak, Pasta Fresca Pizza Barkia for Italian (including hand-made fresh pasta), and Gola and Aqua Taverna for Italian/Mediterranean — all in Mykonos Town. Spilia in the Hotel Anastasia Village at Agia Anna bay (near Kalafatis)is known for superb seafood and pasta served in a romantic cave-like restaurant setting above the sea.

For moderately-priced Greek cuisine in Town, Bakalo and To Ma’ ereio (also called Maerion, it’s one of my favourite restaurants in the Greek Islands) get consistent good reviews; I hear very favourable feedback about Matthew Taverna and El Greco near the new port at Tourlos, too. Friends who live in Greece keep telling me how much they enjoy watching the sunset while savouring tasty Thai and Chinese dishes at Blue Ginger on the main highway above Town.

Meanwhile, Antonini, Opa, Ta Kioupia, Paraportiani, Kostas, Marco Polo and the ever-popular Niko’s Taverna keep drawing customers back to Town with their reliable and reasonably-priced traditional Greek cuisine, as does Kounelas Fish Taverna for fresh seafood (of course) and Catari for pizza and pasta. Serving delicious (and reasonably-priced) Greek dishes outside of Town are Oregano along the main highway to Tourlos, Joanna’s Niko’s Place at Megali Ammos beach, Avli tou Thodori, Bonatsa and Atlantida (in the Acrogriali Hotel) at Platis Gialos beach, Nicolas taverna at Agia Anna (which I mentioned in my June 20 2011 post about Agia Anna beach), Tasos at Paraga beach, Ithaki at Ornos beach, Hippie Fish at Agios Ioannis (which I described in my July 7 2011 post about the “Shirley Valentine beach”), Elia taverna at Elia beach, Taverna Luna at Lia beach, Fokos Taverna at Fokos beach, and Kiki’s Taverna at Agios Sostis beach.

On a tight budget? There’s plenty of places to get cheap eats such as gyros, souvlaki, spinach pies and sandwiches. Jimmi’s Souvlaki (open 24/7 from May to October) and Sakis serve yummy and inexpensive Greek “fast food,” while Piccolo is the place to go for quality take-out sandwiches, home-made Mykonian onion and honey pies, and other light fare. There’s dozens more take-out and eat-in cafés throughout the Town.

Feeling hungry yet?

I’ll talk about some of our specific Mykonos dining experiences in future posts. Until then, here are some photos of tables ready and waiting for you on Mykonos.

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Maerion taverna in Mykonos Town

Flowers brighten a streetside table outside the entrance of Maerion (To Ma’ ereio) taverna on Kalogera Street in Mykonos Town. It’s our favourite spot for people watching while we’re enjoying Maerion’s wonderful local Greek cuisine.

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Restaurants at Little Venice in Mykonos

Seaside tables at the scenic Little Venice area of Mykonos Town

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Philippi restaurant on Kalogera Street in Mykonos

Café tables outside Philippi restaurant and bar on Kalogera Street

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a cocktail bar in Little Venice

Tables and cushioned seats in a lane outside a Little Venice cocktail bar

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a cafe in Mykonos Town

A café on a corner in the shopping district of Mykonos Town

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Marco Polo taverna in Mykonos Town

Red checkered tablecloths at Marco Polo taverna coordinate with nearby bougainvillea, balcony railings, window shutters … and even laundry

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a cafe in Mykonos Town

Colourful dining terrace at a cafe in Mykonos Town

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Kikis taverna at Agios Sostis on Mykonos

The tree-shaded terrace at Kiki’s taverna at Agios Sostis beach

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a cafe in Mykonos Town

Umbrellas shade a café terrace in Mykonos Town

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a taverna at Goumenio Square in Mykonos Town

A taverna at Goumenio Square in Mykonos Town

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a cocktail bar at Little Venice in Mykonos

Seaview tables at a cocktail bar at Little Venice

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Bolero Bar in Mykonos Town

Bolero Bar and Internet café in Mykonos Town

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Pelican restaurant at Goumenio Square Mykonos

Bougainvillea blooms and vines provide a colourful canopy above the dining terrace at Pelican restaurant at Goumenio Square

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Alefkandra taverna in Little Venice

Alefkandra taverna at Little Venice

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Niko's Taverna in Mykonos Town

Tables in the square a few steps above perenially-popular Niko’s Taverna …

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Nikos Taverna in Mykonos Town

… and more tables on the lower terrace just outside the restaurant

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Piccolo sandwich shop in Mykonos

Green café table and chairs outside the Piccolo sandwich shop

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Mandarini cafe + dessert shop in Mykonos Town

Mandarini café + dessert shop in Mykonos Town

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a restaurant at Goumenio Square in Mykonos Town

Table settings in place at a restaurant at Goumenio Square

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Il Centrale cafe and gelateria in Mykonos Town

Il Centrale café and gelateria in Mykonos Town

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a Mykonos Town cafe

A green table and blue chairs outside a Mykonos Town café

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a vine covered restaurant terrace in Mykonos Town

A vine sheltered restaurant terrace in Mykonos Town

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a cocktail bar in Little Venice Mykonos

A cocktail bar next to the seaside in Little Venice 

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Sea Satin Market in Mykonos

Extra tables and chairs await the peak summer crowds at Sea Satin Market taverna. Action movie fans might recognize the restaurant as the film location for the final scene in The Bourne Identity.

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Katrin restaurant in Mykonos Town

Flower arrangements on tables in the narrow street outside the upscale Katrin restaurant in Mykonos Town

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cafe tables on a narrow Mykonos street

Café tables on a narrow Mykonos street

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a fast food cafe in Mykonos Town

One of dozens of “fast food” cafes scattered throughout Mykonos Town

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La Casa restaurant in Mykonos Town

Tables in the street outside La Casa restaurant in Mykonos Town

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taverna at Little Venice on Mykonos

These taverna tables at Little Venice offer outstanding views of the sea, the sunset, the famous Mykonos windmills, and nearby Tinos island

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snack bar in Mykonos Town

Seats outside many of the cafes and snack bars in Mykonos Town are a great spot for watching people from around the world pass by

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tables at a seaside taverna at Little Venice

Rows of tables and chairs at a seaside taverna at Little Venice

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