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Tinos Restaurants

artichokes in TinosI did not have enough time to eat in all the restaurants I wanted to but luckily for me my pal Ioulianos from the Hotel Porto Raphael is something of a kalofagos (epicurean-lover of good food) and a cook himself and he was able to give me a list and descriptions of his favorite restaurants on the island. Tinos is one of those islands that has excellent food, like Sifnos, Milos or Syros. Probably it has something to do with the fact that the island was able to prosper culturally while others were driven almost back to the stone age during the Middle Ages. Or maybe its because the touristy islands can get away with serving mediocre or bad food. Like on Mykonos, the trick in Tinos is finding the good restaurants and avoiding the ones that cater to the masses. In the port many of the restaurants are geared towards getting a lot of people in, feeding them and sending them on their way so someone else can take their table. The general rule is if the restaurant is large and crowded move on and find something small. Be sure to get the local artichokes in olive oil and lemon. You will never think of artichokes the same way again. Along with the other island specialties like mastelo cheese, fortalia and katoi you will find the same Greek foods you will on other islands, grilled and fried fish, grilled meat and oven baked meats and vegetables, only better.

Matt's Restaurant Choices

Tinos Omelet from Agios Raphael TavernaAs for my own personal choices I recommend the small traditional taverna of Nikos Darmis in far away Livada beach and try their artichoke, potato and sausage fortalia which is like a big omelets (omelets are popular in Tinos as are artichokes and sausage). Its a long way to go but its a terrific beach and the food is worth it. To Thalassaki at Ormos Ysternion which is mentioned on Ioulianos list is also worth the drive for the most cosmopolitan remote Greek seafood taverna you will find anywhere. The Nautilos Mezedopoleion on the far side of the port, away from the crowds was a place we just stumbled upon because it looked good and was. Nice variety if fresh fish and mezedes to go with your ouzo.

Hotel Porto Raphael Taverna, TinosCertainly my favorite restaurant on Tinos was the Taverna at the Hotel Porto Raphael, and not just because of convenience but for quiet atmosphere, great view of the bay, really good food and company. If you are staying here have at least one meal with Ioulianos and his family. In fact if you have your first meal here he can introduce you to the specialties of the island and then you will know what to ask for at the other restaurants he recommends on this page.  We would come here for our evening ouzo and mezedes at about 7pm and watch the ferries and cruise ships go in and out of Mykonos harbor (Yes, Mykonos harbor is in site of the hotel!) while we snacked on artichokes, loukaniko, home made meltisana salata and olives and local cheese and before we knew it, it was time for dinner!

Ioulianos Restaurant Choices

IoulianosMETAXY MAS: Located in the port of Tinos “METAXY MAS” offers a vast variety of appetizers and fresh fish. Don’t miss the stuffed calamari with cheese and lahanontolmades (stuffed cabbage). Service is excellent.

BOUROU: Located in Stavros, on the beach. Friendly service, I like stuffed potatoes with cheese and ham and chicken with sweet bitter sauce. Good, friendly service.

KOUTOUKI TIS ELENIS: In the center of the port. Eleni (Helen) suggests always the dish of the day. Not to miss is the Tinos cheese with garlic and pork with vegetables and feta cheese. Low prices.

MIKRO KARAVI: This used to be an outdoor cinema and has beautiful garden dining with excellent choices of meat and vegetables dishes using all local ingredients with a gourmet touch by Antonis, the owner and chef.

THALASSAKI – Ysternia beach: On the sea, not by the sea, this restaurant has the most interesting dishes and is very similar to some of the modern-Greek cuisine restaurants you will find in Athens or even in New York City. Cheese with tomato sauce, fresh fish, or pasta with seafood. Expensive… but it worth visiting, at least once. Also try their sister restaurant/beach bar San to Alati which is a different style of cooking and a very good chef.

DROSIA – Ktikados village: Typical Greek tavern, with one of the best views at the Aegean. Meatballs, cheese-pies, and fourtalia (omelet with Tinos sausage and potatoes). Good prices.

ROKOS – Volax village: Tavern with appetizers and variety of meat on the fire. The scenery is nice, in a village that you must visit!!!

KATOI TAVERN – Falatados village: Located in the second biggest village of the island, Falatados, Katoi used to be the basement of a building older than 300 years, restored upon the traditional architecture of the island. The best place to taste grilled meat. Not to miss is kokoretsi, katoi special (bacon with cheese and peppers). Two verandas for summer, great interior with fire place for the winter. Fair prices and good service.

MARATHIA RESTAURANT - Located in Agias Fokas Beach has probably the freshest fish you can get on Tinos along with local specialties.

PORTO RAPHAEL RESTAURANT: You know all about it…… Matt Barrett's favorite hotel in Tinos. Artichokes, home made Tinos cheese, eggplants with cheese and tomato sauce in the oven, fresh fish. Come see us!

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