Ios, in the Cyclades, is the perfect Greek island for all kinds of traveller. It’s great for couples, for party people and for those wanting to kick back and relax in the sunshine. Whatever kind of traveller you are you’ll be wanting to indulge in some wonderful Greek cuisine during your trip. With that in mind I wanted to share some of my favourite restaurants in Ios.
From traditional Greek dishes by the port and modern Mediterranean cuisine in stylish settings to fresh seafood by the water and dinner with iconic views you’re sure to eat well in Ios. Very well. Take a look at my favourite restaurants in Ios and be prepared to gorge your way around this little Greek Island.
Enigma Restaurant, Ios
When on Ios Island you must head down to the port and have dinner at Enigma restuarant. On our first evening on the island we sat outside under the trees with the lights dancing on the sea. Boats bobbed on the water their masts chinking in the warm evening air. It was the perfect introduction to the island’s food.
Owner and chef Stelios Nicolaou welcomed us in typical Greek style with a wide smile. When he brought out the menu there was so much to choose from we couldn’t decide what to order. So, we said ‘Stelios feed us!’ and boy did he feed us. He produced a delicious feast.
The Food at Enigma
We started with a selection of Greek meze dishes. Greek salad drizzled with olive oil, freshly chopped herbs and generous chunks of salty Feta arrived. We dipped into fava (split pea) puree and tzatziki with freshly prepared flatbreads. There were various Greek cheeses, olives and tapenade too.
The food kept on coming; stuffed vine leaves, sardines, squid and baby baked potatoes which soaked up the golden olive oil. A whole fish cooked to perfection and tender lamb souvlaki. I should add at this point that there were four of us – I wasn’t digging into this all on my own!
A good choice of local wine and other selected wines from all over Greece is available along with refreshing Alpha draught beer. We had no room for dessert but finished with Greek coffee. Enigma is perfect if you’re looking for traditional Greek food which is good value for money.
Travelbunny tip: There’s a nice boutique shop nearby which sells some lovely jewellery, shoes and womens clothing.
Grandma’s Restaurant at Liostasi Hotel, Ios
For upscale, creative Greek cuisine head to Grandma’s Restaurant, one of Greece’s top dining experiences. Grandma’s is located in the gorgeously stylish Liostasi Hotel and the menu created by Chef Alexandros Lepesis. The restaurant won the Toques d’ Or award in the “Modern Cuisine” category in 2019 and for good reason. We had two meals there – breakfast and dinner. You don’t have to be staying at Liostasi to dine there but you should book a table as it’s a popular restaurant.
The pool at Liostasi Hotel, Ios
Breakfast at Grandma’s
There’s a range of authentic Greek food on the breakfast buffet. Think Greek yoghurt with local thyme honey, a range of nuts and dried fruit. You’ll find freshly baked breads, cheeses, meats and pastries aplenty. If you’re up for a hot breakfast then the à la carte breakfast menu offers a selection of freshly cooked omelettes, eggs prepared in various ways and pancakes.
The breakfast buffet at Liostasi Hotel, Ios
Dinner at Grandma’s
The restaurant is on a semi-covered terrace overlooking the pool and out to Ios Port. Watch the sun go down as you dine. Start with cocktails by the pool before sitting down to a fabulous meal.
Liostasi hotel, Ios
We had a fabulous meal from the 6-course degustation (tasting) menu with beautifully paired wines.
Everything was excellent. We started with a silky chilled avocado soup followed by a light sea bream carpaccio with smoked eggplant salad. The fish course consisted of meaty white grouper with zucchini flowers stuffed with vegetable stew and a rich sauce. The meat course was tender slow-braised Black Angus short ribs in a Greek mixed spice sauce.
Although we didn’t think we could manage any more we finished off with a delectable dessert of Tiramisu Brownies with Baileys ganache and Greek coffee parfait.
Wines were paired to the courses and complimented them beautifully. Prices are on the higher end at €75 for the six course tasting menu with paired wines at an additional €25. This one of the best restaurants in Ios.
Grandma’s is perfect for those looking for excellent cuisine and a little luxury. Be prepared to splash out.
Dinner at Grandma’s Liostasi Hotel
Read more: Ten Beautiful things to do in Ios, Greece
Drakos Taverna, Mylopotas Beach, Ios
We had longest, laziest lunch at Drakos Taverna, Ios and if the truth be known I could have stayed on for the evening too. This seafood restaurant is set at the far western end of Mylopotas Beach overlooking the Aegean. It’s also the perfect spot for a romantic dinner under the stars. This was my favourite restaurant in Ios.
The Food at Drakos, Ios
Everything is fresh, homemade and delicious. We spent a few hours at a table by the waterside feasting on freshly caught seafood matched with some traditional Greek dishes. The fish is brought straight from the fishing boats in the morning and served up the same day. We even saw an octopus caught in the water right next to the restaurant. Doesn’t get much fresher.
Octopus hanging in the Greek sunshine
We chose a selection of seafood, fish and authentic Greek dishes. First up was Greek Salad, one of my favourite summer dishes wherever I happen to be in the world. We also started with delicious deep-fried Zuccinni flowers stuffed with feta or rice (we tried both) and a dish of fava (split pea) puree with fresh bread.
Mains consisted of a selection of fabulous seafood. We tucked into small fried shrimps bursting with flavour, calamari in a light batter and, my favourite, beautifully tender octopus cooked in balsamic and honey thyme honey from the island. A carafe of good local wine washed everything down nicely.
Food at Drakos, Ios
The staff and owners were friendly, helpful with menu suggestions and service was timely but not rushed. If you go to Ios don’t miss a long lunch at Drakos Taverna.
Drakos is perfect for a long lazy lunch by the sea for lovers of fresh fish and seafood. Prices are very reasonable.
Ios Club – Sunset Dining Bar
You have to watch the sun dip below the horizon from Ios Club at least once during your stay on the island. But be warned, you’ll want to go back every evening afterwards. This was the best night of our time in Ios. The sunset was a beauty, the ambience was perfect and the food spot on.
Ios Club – the bar
Ios Club became the top Ios sunset viewing spot in the sixties with hippies and artists sitting on the hillside to watch the sun go down. The site was then turned into a disco and has now morphed into a contemporary lounge, dining space and cocktail bar with music and dancing after sundown.
Start with an aperitif. I had a Greek take on Aperol Spritz made with a thyme liqueur which suited the occasion perfectly. There’s a range of cocktails available including non-alcoholic, together with wines, beers and juices.
Ios Club at sunset
In a nod to tradition, classical soundtracks are played during sunset just like they were back in the day. After the glorious golds, oranges and rose pinks of the sunset have paled into the dusk the sounds change to ambient laid-back beats and later to dance music.
The food at Ios Club
The menu, devised by chef Dionisis Peteinatos, is small but perfectly formed and reasonably priced given the prime location.
Choose from sharing platters of Mediterranean favourites; salads, flatbreads, dips and cheese dishes. Shrimp is also on the menu with a range of pastas and burgers, both meat and vegetarian. Food is locally sourced, fresh and served with a Greek twist.
For dessert there’s just one option and it’s delectable. Chocolate pie with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce.
Food at Ios Club
Arrive an hour before sunset to get a table near the front and definitely book beforehand. Ios Club usually opens around 01 June and closes around 30 September depending on the weather but check first.
Ios Club is perfect for those who love sunsets, laid back ambience and simple but good Mediterranean food.
The People of Ios
We met and chatted to all the owners at each of the above restaurants. Without exception everyone was incredibly friendly, passionate about Ios, food and making sure we had the best time possible which, of course, we did.
So there you have some of my favourite restaurants in Ios, Greece. Have I missed any of your recommendations? Let me know in the comments below so other readers can see what else Ios brings to the table.
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Disclosure: I visited Ios on a trip hosted by Ios Tourism who paid for my ferry crossing, accommodation and food. I funded my own flights. As always, all views and opinions are entirely my own and I retain full editorial rights.
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