Tag: Greek food (page 1 of 3)

From Azul to Zuma: new places to drink, dine, party, play, relax & shop on Mykonos in 2021

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Food and drink items from businesses new to Mykonos in 2021

Clockwise from top left: Chicken flower pocket pies from Toro D’Oro Karelas Finest Meat; a Jason Atherton signature dish at Mykonos Social restaurant; cookies from Cookie Smart Bakery; the signature house tequila at Frankie Oh Mexican restaurant; a dish from Lio Mykonos; a cocktail from Nōema

 

Updated on July 23 2021

 

Island unlocked:  After a long winter of Covid-19-related lockdowns ended and Greece reopened its borders to international tourists in the spring, Mykonos quickly bounced back to life.

Visitors arrived on Mykonos to find many familiar faces — their favourite bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels and shops — open and anxiously waiting to welcome them back.

Also eager to greet them were dozens of newly-established businesses opening their doors for the very first time — bakeries, cafes, coffee shops, bars, cocktail lounges, street food and casual eateries, fine dining restaurants, live entertainment venues, retail stores, hotels, rental accommodations, and more.

These new travel-based enterprises further expand the already vast variety of drinking, dining, leisure and lodging choices on Mykonos, further cementing the island’s solid position and reputation as one of the top summer holiday destinations in the world.

In this post, we will introduce you to many of this year’s newcomers, along with some of the noteworthy newbies from last year. (We’re including them since this is essentially their first full summer of operation — the 2020 season started late and ended early due to disruptions caused by the Covid pandemic, while few people were able to visit Mykonos because of international travel restrictions.)

 

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Azul Condesa

Azul Condesa modern Mexican restaurant in Mykonos

With its “modern Mexican cuisine” and sweeping patio views of the sea and sunset, Azul Condesa has been drawing crowds since it opened on May 28.  The menu includes nachos, soups, salads, starters, ceviche, tacos, tostadas, quesadillas, fajitos, burritos and main courses, along with beverage list ranging from classic and frozen margaritas to sangria, tequila, shots and a  selection of popular cocktails.  The restaurant takes pride in its homemade corn tortilla flours for tacos and burritos, and in its picanhas, beef tagliata and other meats seasoned in “unique and exceptional marinades of our Mexican chefs.”  You’ll find Azul Condesa in the Argyraina area, along the peripheral highway above Mykonos Town.

Facebook: @azulcondesamykonos

Instagram: @azulcondesamykonos

Web:  Azul Condesa Modern Mexican Cuisine 

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Mykonos Social by Jason Atherton

Mykonos Social restaurant on Mykonos

Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton has chosen Mykonos as the location for his first restaurant in the Mediterranean. Designed as “a bespoke, all-day dining destination,” Mykonos Social opened June 16, and boasts impressive sea views from its open-air patio perched above the private beach of the luxurious  Santa Marina Resort at Ornos. When they’re not mesmerized by the views, guests will be gobsmacked by the food — the menu features Atherton’s creative interpretations of  Mediterranean and Greek cuisine. The restaurant bar serves Tiki-style cocktails and fine wines, while an in-house DJ plays the perfect tunes to match the clientele’s mood and the sublime resort atmosphere.

Facebook: @MykonosSocial

Instagram: @mykonossocial

Web: Santa Marina Restaurants & Bars

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Platis Souvlaki Grillbar

Platis Souvlaki shop on Mykonos

People staying in the Platis Gialos beach area won’t have to travel into Mykonos Town anymore to get a taste of Greece’s favourite fast food treats — gyros and souvlaki. With the June 11 opening of Platis Souvlaki Grillbar, at the Argo Hotel, visitors can now grab a budget-friendly gyros on their way to or from the beach. The grillbar menu includes gyros and souvlaki served in either pita sandwiches or meal portions, vegetarian pita, sausage and kebab pita, chicken skewers, salads, appetizers and more, all at reasonable prices.

Facebook: Platis Souvlaki Restaurant

Instagram: @platissouvlaki

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Woba Street Food

Woba Street Food Project on Mykonos

The Lakka area of Mykonos Town is always bustling with pedestrian traffic since it’s home to the Fabrica bus station and dozens of cheap ‘n cheerful cafes and bars.  Woba Street Food Project by Haris Papazoglu has been drawing even more people to the area since it opened on June 12.  Woba’s handmade, steamed bao buns have practically been flying out of the kitchen since opening day.  The buns come with a choice of main ingredients including chicken, port, tempura shrimp, creamy mushroom, Caesar, rib eye and duck. There’s even bao buns with hot dog or chicken nuggets, and sweet boa with Buenno or banofee.  The menu also offers buckets of chicken wings, nuggets and fried chicken; four varieties of fried potatoes; shrimp chips, crap popcorn and other finger foods; and Thai chicken or crispy duck salads.  

Facebook: Woba Streetfood Mykonos

Instagram: @woba_streetfood_mykonos

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La Barran

La Barran Bar on Mykonos

Owned and operated by a couple of young lads who were born and raised on the island, La Barran  cocktail bar quickly captures attention with its slick and curvaceous white bar and its distinctive illuminated ceiling. It’s situated on Enoplon Dinameon Street, which winds through one of the busiest bar and nightclub districts of Mykonos Town. (Regular visitors will know the location as the premises previously occupied by the Replay clothing store.) La Barran opened in late  April, and has been a popular hangout for locals and visitors alike ever since.

Facebook: labarranmykonos

Instagram: @labarranmykonos

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JackieO’ Cantina

JackieO Cantina on Mykonos

 Mykonos welcomed a new arrival to the JackieO’ family on June 21. The JackieO’ Cantina is a casual  eatery situated right next door to its eldest sibling, the highly popular JackieO’ Town Bar on the Mykonos Town seafront. (The middle child of the family is the JackieO’ Beach club at Super Paradise.) The cantina menu includes a selection of dosas, gyros, souvlaki, salads, sides and beverages. Customers can either dine indoors or sit at tables on the open-air patio overlooking the harbour — a great spot for people watching.

Facebook: JackieO’ Mykonos

Instagram: @jackieomykonos

Web: JackieO Mykonos

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Koozen

Koozen restaurant on Mykonos

For summer 2021, Aeolos Resort has opened a new in-house fine dining restaurant, Koozen, which offers a menu of Greek and Mediterranean “comfort cuisine” created by renowned Greek chef Athinagoras Kostakos, culinary director of the Meraki restaurants in London and Riyadh, as well as Scorpios and Noema on Mykonos. For Koozen’s a la carte menu, Kostakos has conceived dishes that will take diners “on a trip to the traditional flavours of Greece, with modern touches,” says the Aeolos Resort website.  Guests seem to be enjoying their culinary journeys; in reviews posted on TripAdvisor, they have praised the service, flavours and high quality of the food, and have commented that Koozen’s prices are very “reasonable” and “affordable” by Mykonos standards.  Koozen opened in May, and operates from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Instagram: @koozen_mykonos

Web: Aeolos Hotel Restaurant

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Drunk Monkey

Drunk Monkey bar on Mykonos

The Covid pandemic forced restaurants and bars around the world to add delivery and take-out service options to keep their businesses afloat during lockdowns. On Mykonos, two young entrepreneurs saw a promising opportunity and  established Drunk Monkey, a take-away cocktail bar that also offers delivery service. The bar opened in early July of 2020, inviting visitors to “explore the island with a cocktail” and reminding them: “Cocktail first — Because no great story ever started with a glass of water.” The bar’s distinctive take-out containers and logo were soon spotted all over the island. You’ll find Drunk Monkey next door to Niko’s Taverna, behind the Mykonos Town Hall.  This year the bar opened July 20 for its second season.

Facebook: @drunkmonkeymykonos

Instagram: @drunkmonkeymykonos

Web: Drunk Monkey Mykonos

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PERE UBU Mykonos

Pere Ubu Mykonos restaurant at Kalesma hotel on Mykonos

PERE UBU, the in-house restaurant at the new Kalesma luxury hotel, has been making its mark as one of the island’s top destinations for fine dining under the direction of Chef Costas Tsingas, whose gastronomic philosophy “blends fresh local produce with high-end culinary craft”  to take diners on a refined journey through flavour.” “From Athens to New York, he watches, listens & tastes, creating a culinary tapestry that touches on the best of global gastronomy. Connected to the world, rooted in Greece, PERE UBU Mykonos is a journey into contemporary dining,” the restaurant’s social media pages say. “We serve small ‘mezes’ plates, full meals or light lunches by day, and by night PERE UBU transforms into a vibrant social hub with innovative cocktails and gratifying menus,” the Kalesma website states. Indeed, the restaurant has regularly hosted sunset entertainment by DJs Yiannis Mitsokapas and Evridiki from Zucca Radio, and on July 22 held a special summer barbecue feast “guided by the culinary craftsmanship of Beastalis.”

Facebook: @PereUbuMykonos

Instagram: @pere_ubu_mykonos

Web: Kalesma Mykonos Fine Dining

 

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Farma House

Farm House music club on Mykonos

A “new concept” venue spotlighting the “experimental sound of Mykonos,” Farma House is an open-air lounge where guest DJs play sets from sunset until late at night. It describes itself as “the other place” of the after-hours Sanctus club in Mykonos Town, and features some of the artists who perform there. Farma House opened on June 25, and  its DJ lineup so far this summer has included Brina Knauss, Patrice Baumel, Arodes, Ivory and Joy Rapotez. The club is situated at Ftelia beach on the site of the former Farma restaurant.

Facebook:  @farmamykonos

Instagram: @farmahouse_mykonos

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading on page 2, where we preview more of the exciting new places to drink, dine, party and relax on Mykonos.

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A look back at our fabulous Greek Easter feast on Lesvos

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Roasting lamb on the spit at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Lamb roasting on the spit at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Staff at Delfinia Hotel in Molyvos roast lamb on the spit — the main course for the hotel’s special Greek Easter holiday meal in 2019

 

Memorable meal: Today — Sunday, April 19, 2020 — is Easter in Greece, the country’s biggest and most important holiday event of the year. Last year, we got to celebrate Greek Easter for our first time ever while vacationing on Lesvos island. Although it was only 12 months ago, it feels much, much longer, since time seems to have slowed to a crawl during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

We were staying at Delfinia Hotel & Bungalows in Molyvos at the time, and jumped at the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Greek Easter meal that the hotel was hosting on its open-air, seaview breakfast patio. 

It cost us €25 each, an absolute bargain for the excellent quality and splendid variety of delicious food that was served. Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the afternoon feast, we managed to snap a few photos of some of the delightful dishes we enjoyed, and have posted them below. 

Delfinia Hotel Lesvos Greek Easter menu 2019

The menu for the Delfinia Hotel’s Greek Easter meal

 

Greek Easter dinner salad buffet at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Greek Easter salads and cheeses at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Two views of the wonderful salad and cheese selections on the buffet

 

Greek Easter dinner side dishes at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Rice and baked pasta side dishes on the buffet 

 

Greek Easter dinner side dishes at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Three of the side dishes:  mushrooms (top), zucchini fritters (center) and cheese pies

 

Greek salad at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

We started the meal with a Greek salad, olives and tzatziki

 

Greek Easter side dishes at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

Next up was a plate of yummy baked pasta, cheese, rice, cheese pie, zucchini fritter and mushrooms (all so delicious, we went back to the buffet for seconds)

 

Greek Easter kokoretsi dish at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

The first main course was a large serving of kokoretsi. If you love organ meats, you would love this spit-roasted traditional dish.

 

Greek Easter lamb and potatoes at Delfinia Hotel on Lesvos

The centerpiece of the meal: spit-roasted lamb with roasted potatoes

 

Red dyed eggs for Greek Easter

Baskets of red-dyed eggs for the Easter game of tsougrisma 

 

The buffet  included an array of mouth-watering Greek sweets and pastries, which we unfortunately forgot to photograph before devouring them.

The afternoon feast lasted a few hours, following which we took a long walk through Molyvos to get some exercise and work off some of the gazillion calories we had just consumed. [Click here for links to previous blog posts in which we have published photos from our walkabouts in the beautiful town of Molyvos.]  

Greek Easter won’t be the same this year because of social distancing rules and lockdown restrictions in Greece during the Covid-19 pandemic, so there won’t be any group festivities like the one we enjoyed at Delfinia Hotel. With luck, though, things will return to normal for next year and, with even more luck, we might get an opportunity to experience another wonderful Easter meal in Greece. 

Top Greece travel reads of 2019: Greek food and wine

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Screenshot of Aegean Blue Magazine Issue 80 article about Vegan food in Greece

“Long before it became a fashionable trend and part of a new philosophy, dishes without any meat or animal products were a fundamental part of Greek cuisine, and they remain so today,” says the introduction to an Aegean Airlines in-flight magazine article about vegan food.

 

Feta. Greek Yogurt. Plant-based cuisine. Local Greek Island specialties. Wine bars in Athens. Vineyards open to visitors. These are a few of my favourite things in Greece, and they’re also the subject of magazine and newspaper articles I found particularly informative and instructive to read in 2019.  If you love food and wine yourself, and have a trip to Greece in your sights for 2020 (or later), the publications I spotlight in this post will give you an advance taste of the culinary and oenophilic delights you can plan to experience.

The articles I have selected as best reads for 2019 cover some topics that interest me personally, and others that will be useful to people who have emailed me or asked questions on social media or online travel forums that I regularly follow, like the Greece forum on TripAdvisor.

For instance, there’s a question that has become increasingly common in the past couple of years: “Will I be able to find vegan food & restaurants in Greece?” The answer: “Absolutely!” Brand-new restaurants specializing in vegan cuisine have been popping up in Athens, Mykonos and other major tourist destinations in recent years, while many existing eateries have been adding a range of vegan dishes to their menus to meet rapidly rising customer demand. But even in off-the-tourist-path places, travellers won’t have any trouble finding delicious meals that haven’t been prepared with meat or animal products.

As writer Nana Daroti notes in the article Vegan: Made in Greece, which starts at page 110 in Issue 80 of Blue, the Aegean Airlines on-board magazine,  Greeks are devoted to vegetable dishes known generally as ladera, and which can be found everywhere from “summer seaside tavernas to mountain retreats.”

“Olive oil, vegetables, beans and grains play leading roles in Greek recipes, not because they’re fashionable, but because they’re encoded in the Greek DNA,” Daroti explains.

For me, a far more difficult challenge than finding vegan food is shopping for wine in Greece, and not just because the labels on many bottles are written only in Greek.  Since we’re not familiar with local varietals and vineyards, we can never be certain what might suit our palates, and often wind up choosing a bottle at random and hoping we like it. We’ve found some pleasurable hits that way, but also some sorry misses. Happily, buying wine should be considerably less confusing on future holidays thanks to Wine Plus Magazine, which devoted its 2019 summer edition (Issue 57, pictured below) to all things a visitor needs to know about Greek wine.

In a welcome message, Editor Maria Netsika says the issue takes readers on “a journey through the wines of Greece … a travelogue to pleasure.” The Wine Plus trip itinerary includes the regions of Thrace, Macedonia, Epirus, Thessaly, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Aegean islands, Ionian islands, and Crete, and visits not only the country’s leading vineyards, but also lesser-known wine makers. For each region, the magazine suggests “must try” and “must buy” local cuisine and food products, and provides directions to vineyards and wineries to help visitors plan their “oenotourism stops” in whatever area of Greece they may be travelling. Directories highlight specific regional wines, and conveniently include photos of the bottles.

Cover of issue 57 of The Wine Plus Magazine special issue on Greek wines

The Summer 2019 edition of The Wine Plus Magazine is a veritable encyclopedia of Greek wine, packed with everything you need to know about Greek grapes, vineyards, wine regions, production, and more.  

 

Please turn to page 2 to see more of my favourite articles about Greek food, wine and beverages from 2019.

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A guide to Kini, the laid-back beach village on Syros

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Greece, Greek Islands, Cyclades, Siros, Syros, Kini Bay, Kini beach, Kini village, landscape, coast, seaside, beach, Kini Beach, Kini Beach Syros, village,

Greece,Greek island, Siros, Syros, Syros Greece, Kini, Kini Bay, Kini Bay Syros,

Greece, Greek Islands, Cyclades, Siros, Syros, Kini Bay, Kini beach, Kini village, landscape, coast, seaside,

Greece, Greek Islands, Cyclades, Siros, Syros, Kini Bay, Kini beach, Kini village, landscape, coast, seaside, village

Greece, Greek Islands, Cyclades, Siros, Syros, Kini Bay, Kini beach, Kini village, landscape, coast, seaside, village, mountains

Above: Views of the Kini area from five different vantage points

 

What’s there:  My earlier post, Colourful Kini Bay on Syros island, was essentially a photo tour of the beautiful beach village area where we have stayed during two holidays on Syros. In this companion piece, I have compiled a mini-guide to Kini, highlighting accommodation and dining options as well as attractions and things to see and do in the immediate vicinity, based primarily upon personal experience.

I actually started preparing this article several years ago, following our second trip to Syros, but I never managed to finish the project. It languished in a folder of draft articles until this winter, when a Travel + Leisure magazine profile of Syros caught my attention and reminded me of the post I had never completed. Comments and inquiries about Syros from readers  of my blog gave me further impetus to have another go at writing the guide. Besides, it presented an opportunity to see what, if anything, may have changed and keep us up to date on what’s happening in Kini, since we do plan to go back.

Greece, Greek islands, Cyclades, Siros, Syros, Syros island, Kini, Kini Bay, Kini Syros, Kini village, monastery, Agia Varvara Monastery Syros,

Kini is best known for beaches, food and  scenery, but it’s also home to two attractions that tourists can visit: the Agia Varvara Monastery (above) and a small aquarium and boat museum

 

While checking to see if familiar tavernas and accommodations were still around, I was pleased to discover that two new restaurants and a hotel have opened during the past couple of years — Aphrodite Boutique Hotel, Thalassa Beach Bar, and Aeriko Mezedopoleio.  Aphrodite and Thalassa have opened in centrally-located buildings that had been vacant and somewhat shabby-looking during both of our Kini holidays, so their reincarnations have spruced up the area and greatly improved the look of the village landscape. Aeriko opened two years ago in the premises previously occupied by Ammos Beach and Kitchen Bar.  (There’s more information on all three new places later in this post.)

I also noticed several hotels and studio rental properties have undertaken significant upgrades in the past two years, while others have been renovating this winter in preparation for the 2019 season.  The good news for travellers is more (and improved) choices for lodging, along with additional places to drink and dine. Happily, the changes have been for the better, and haven’t had a negative impact on Kini’s comfortable atmosphere and charm.  

Greece, Greek islands, Cyclades, Siros, Syros, Syros island, Kini, Kini Bay, Kini village Syros, sunset, sunset view,

We have seen many remarkable sunsets from Kini (this one was from our holiday in 2015), with vivid sky colours that were more stunning than any we’ve seen on Santorini, the island that’s famous for sunset views.

 

The low-key, laid-back ambiance is what we personally enjoy about Kini, along with its scenic location, marvellous sunset views, sandy beaches, interesting walks and excellent restaurants. (Its close proximity to the island’s vibrant capital, Ermoupoli, is another appealing feature.) On both of our visits, Kini won our hearts as one of the most chill and relaxing places we’ve stayed anywhere in Greece.  In fact, we often muse about going there for an extended period — a couple of months in spring or fall, for instance — since we find it particularly inspiring for our creative pursuits of writing, painting and photography.

I know others share our appreciation for Kini just as strongly; online, I have chatted with a number of people who have made repeat visits and are planning to return this year because they love Kini for the same reasons. And when we have spoken to other tourists while we have been in Kini, everyone has commented about how much they were enjoying the place. We never heard anything negative.

Kini might not be your cup of tea if your ideal island getaway is a crowded and glitzy tourist magnet, like Mykonos, where you can spend all your time and money shopping in designer boutiques, dining at gourmet international restaurants, and partying at exclusive nightclubs and trendy beach clubs.  But if your goal is to rest and recharge in a peaceful, picturesque village with good Greek restaurants and nice sandy beaches, Kini could well be paradise. It’s my hope that the photographs, descriptions and personal anecdotes in this guide will give you a solid sense of what Kini has to offer, and will inspire you to consider including Kini in your future holiday plans if it does look like a place you would enjoy.

Greece, Greek island, Siros, Syros, Syros island, island, Google map,

Kini is situated on the west coast of Syros, approximately 9 km from the island’s port town and capital, Ermoupoli

 

Please click on the links below below to continue reading and see dozens of Kini photos.

Page 2 highlights Kini sights, attractions and things to do, with descriptions of local beaches, boat trips to remote beach areas, and scenic walks.

Page 3 spotlights places to eat and drink in the village.

Page 4 profiles hotels and many of the room and studio accommodations available at Kini.  

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