Vicky Varamili knows a thing or two about Greece's most desired island. As the business development manager at Nomas, a curated travel planning service exclusively for Mykonos, Varamili spends every summer on the island scouting out the best local spots—both in town and off the beaten path.
So when we were putting together a guide to the less-well-known side of Mykonos—one that steers clear of the bold nightlife in favor of family-friendly restaurants, beaches and experiences—we knew exactly who to turn to.
Snag breakfast, brunch or a light lunch at this health-forward café run by Australian husband-and-wife team Victoria and Robert Fisher. The menu features signature "brekkie" bowls and avocado toast inspired by the early morning meal Down Under, in addition to a diverse selection of internationally-inspired dishes that skew Mexican, Greek, Indian and Thai.
Although Liberty is an all-day café, breakfast is the most bustling meal at this cozy restaurant with sweeping, pinch-me-this-can't-be-real views of the Aegean sea. Whether you go savory (poached eggs on brown bread with Naxos Gruyère cheese) or sweet (Nutella pancakes, for the win!), your family will be in good hands. Plus, there's even an area with toys to entertain the kiddos.
"Both Bowl and Liberty are a great way to start the day for a family if they don't want to have breakfast at their hotel," Varamili tells us.
Part-farm, part-restaurant, Farma sources ingredients for its hyper-seasonal menu from the inner garden that surrounds it at Ftelia Bay—one that's speckled with olive groves. The menu of traditional Greek dishes changes daily, but you can rest assured knowing it's always curated with families in mind.
Tasos has been dishing out classic Greek fare on Paraga Beach since 1962. Seafood is where they shine (diners walk up to the tank to select which fish they'd like to enjoy that night), but there's also a selection of charcoal-grilled meats and other Zakynthos local foods.
Nikolas opened the doors of his taverna in 1967 by Paraga Beach, and it has been passed down from generation-to-generation since then. Today, you can find the same classic Greek seafood that it became known for over fifty years ago, with options to please even the pickiest of eaters.
There's almost always crowds of locals waiting for a table at this popular tavern tucked away on the north side of the island by Agios Sostis Beach. While they don't take reservations, Varamili promises the Greek/Mediterranean food is worth the wait—especially the steaks cooked outdoors in a traditional oven.
This funky beach restaurant and bar is the perfect family-friendly spot for a late lunch that'll lead you right into a dreamy sunset watch over Agios Ioannis Beach. "It's not hectic," Varamili tells us, "and it's a great place to relax for the whole day." The menu zeroes in on Greek food, with some international flair in the form of crab, salmon, shrimp, tuna and veggie maki rolls.
This eclectic seafood spot sits at the heart of Ano Mera Village—the second biggest town on Mykonos island that still manages to retain a charming, small-town feel. Lunch on fresh oysters, shrimp, scallops, pasta and more as you keep an eye on the kids playing around the village square.
Raya is an all-day restaurant sitting on the west coast of the island, right by the port bay near the shore of Mykonos Town. Expect elegant—but accessible—local dishes like Greek bruschetta, fried zucchini, shrimp risotto, a slew of salads and more. There's also a dedicated vegan and vegetarian menu.
Laid-back-bohemian is the atmosphere you'll find at Alemàgou, an all-day beach bar and restaurant in Ftelia. Take Varamili's advice and spend the whole day there, "swimming, eating and even enjoying an early aperitivo drink if the children aren't sleepy yet!"
Scorpios is more than just a restaurant. It's a self-proclaimed "gathering place" at the intersection of food, music, community, crafts and more. The open-air restaurant is furnished with large, communal tables where guests enjoy a predominantly vegetarian menu of organic, locally-sourced ingredients. Spend the day enjoying what Varamili says is "great food, a great vibe and great music" by eating, perusing the bazaar and lounging at the beach.
In addition to Hippie Fish and Alemàgou (above), spend the day with the whole gang swimming at these family-friendly spots...
This hotel on Branco beach, which Varamili describes as "very chill and relaxed" is a great place for families to snag some lounge chairs and lazy away the day.
Ornos has a reputation for being one of the most family-friendly beaches in Mykonos. Keep in mind, though, that it's located in the south of the island where many cruise boats and yachts stop, so it can get crowded. Varamili's favorite nearby restaurants? Kuzina and Pasaji.
As one of the largest and most popular sandy beaches in Mykonos, Solymar—which means "sun and sea"—offers unrivaled views of the Aegean archipelago and Naxos Island. It's laid back, welcoming and fun, but with an elegant twist.
This charming section of the old town sports a stunning vantage point out to sea, with buildings overhanging the water and the island's signature windmills not too far away. Spend the late afternoon into early evening exploring with the whole family as you sip on an afternoon drink and watch the sun go down.
180 Sunset Bar
On top of a hill just over Mykonos Town sits this sunset lounge and bar with panoramic views of the horizon, with a menu of small bites and drinks to hold everyone over until dinner.
Varamili swears by Kazarma's family-friendly variety of Italian, Greek and Mediterranean recipes (think pizza, crispy veggies drizzled with honey, eggplant baked with feta, burgers and pasta). "It has a great, chill atmosphere," she tells us.
Remezzo leans towards the gourmet side but is still worth checking out for a family dinner because of its enviable view. Just be sure to go on the early side since dancing begins around midnight.
Nestled in the inner garden of a boutique hotel that bears the same name, Kalita boasts "quality food, a chill atmosphere, an eclectic crowd and fantastic Greek recipes," says Varamili. Adults will swoon over the extensive wine list of local vintages and creative cocktails, and the kids? They'll be busy clearing their plate of goat cheese-stuffed angel hair rolls, deep-fried zucchini and sweet baklava mille-feuille.
Mexican and Mykonos may not sound like the most natural combination, but the crowds of locals swarming Appaloosa for a feast of burritos, tacos and guac say otherwise. There's nothing fancy about it, and yet—if you ask Varamili—that's part of its charm. "It's super cute and simple... many Greek families go there," she says.
For a family-curated mix of Greek and French cuisine, head to La Maison de Katrin. It is on the pricier side (with reservations required), but well worth it for its warm atmosphere and diverse selection of traditional Hellenic and fusion appetizers, fish, seafood, meat and more.
You can't go wrong with great pizza, pasta and risotto at Casa de Giorgio—a chill spot in town for a no-frills Italian dinner at an affordable price. Located in Mykonos town on Mitropoleos Street, it's an ideal location for a post-dinner stroll.
For what Varamili calls a "pure Greek experience" (think smashing plates and throwing flowers), bring the whole family to Sea Satin for a fun night out that you won't soon forget. The food skews classic Greek, and the dancing starts later at night—so it's best to arrive on the early side with the kids.
This well-known beach restaurant is a safe bet for a quality, seafood-forward family dinner. Choose from fresh, whole-grilled fish caught daily in the Aegean, sushi, sashimi and a dizzying array of mezze—from fried zucchini to eggplant mille-feuille with feta cheese mousse.
Located in the center of town, Nikkei specializes in fusion Peruvian fare prepared using Japanese techniques. With small tables under a charming flowered awning, it's the perfect spot for family dinners.
Looking for someone to find the best restaurants for you AND make reservations? Journy's got you covered—allergies and dietary preferences included.