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Ios, it is said, has a church for every day of the year, and probably as many bars or restaurants, too. But if it’s Greek traditional dishes you’re after, here are our tips (just like the Cyclades islands, they were all great, each in their own way):



Offers Greek cusine done to a higher standard than in more traditional restaurants and with a lot of imagination. Even if you are rather fond of Greek culinary traditions and their seeming immutability (Greek dishes resemble Greek pop songs inasmuch as they have been putting together the same ingredients in the same way for as long as anybody can remember), you will like the ways in which Katogi manages to put a new spin on these traditions without questioning them. Generally considered to be best “Greek” restaurant on the island.

Location: Chora (Old Town)

The Nest


On the other hand, you may believe that traditions are best preserved in their purest form and that there is – when it comes to cooking – a certain grandeur in simplicity and restraint. If that is the case, you will love the Nest. This restaurant is managed by two brothers (Giorgios and Dimitri) while most of the dishes are prepared at home by their mother and subsequently transported to the premises. This was one of our personal favourites.

Location: Chora (Old Town)



Another personal favourite, not least because owner-manager-chef Stelios is such a great guy. He is a “man of the sea,” collecting (and displaying) all kinds of driftwood on his premises, some of which he has crafted into amazingly beautiful sculptures, and he shared some seafaring anecdotes with us when he joined us after lunch over a cup of Greek coffee and a self-rolled seemingly incombustible cigarette (which he had to relight at every puff.) The dishes are much like the man himself: generous, honest, likeable and deeply traditional.

Location: Limani (Harbour)

The Mills


Arriving at The Mills in a group of 5 for lunch, we were made aware that there had apparently been some confusion about the date of the reservation, and Kyriakos — who did not expect the group until the following day — suddenly saw himself obliged to knock something together within a mere 30 minutes or so. If this was a test, he passed it with flying colours. Despite the short notice, he managed to knock up good, traditional Greek dishes. The Mills also offer views of the “three windmills” which are one of the visually most arresting features of the Old Town.

Location: Chora (Old Town)

Peri Anemon


The place for lunch or dinner after a particularly taxing day doing the rounds of the sights of the town of Ios. Its grill plate should be enough to satisfy the hunger of the most voracious carnivore. Specializes on meat feasts and hearty dishes — with a Greek accent which is sufficiently unobtrusive that even children or people who are not overly crazy about Greek food will find something on the menu that they can enjoy (unless they are vegetarians, of course, although Peri Anemon also do fish). Always well attended.

Location: Limani (Harbour)

Lord Byron


As its name is apparently designed to imply, the Lord Byron — named after the English poet who died while fighting for Greek independence against the Ottoman Empire – serves dishes in a spirit of Anglo-Saxon Philhellenism. Its blend of international cuisine and Greek traditions has a level of sophistication that you would not necessarily expect on an island with a permanent population of less than 2000 people: the recipe for the chef’s shrimp sauce, for example, has made it into the pages of a US gourmet magazine. Upmarket, chic clientele and a little pricey by local standards, although nothing to scare you if you come from a large town in Western Europe or the US.

Location: Chora (Old Town)

For more tips on the island of Ios, visit Easy Hiker.

Original Source: The Huffington Post

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