The most splashy but, to be fair, tasteful beach club on Mykonos is the go-to for pretty people on mover-shaker budgets. Still, if you’re in spending mode, the cool, boho-chic restaurant (think, Soho House-on-Sea) is a destination in its own right. Advanced booking is, for now, the only way to get a table, but sea views, serious people-watching and chef Alexis Zopas's stunning, neo-Greek seafood dishes makes the blow-out feel well worth it.
With no electricity, no telephone and definitely no wifi, this tiny, back-in-time taverna overlooks the small, turquoise bay of Agios Sostis Beach and has that special in-on-the-secret feel. Well, it might if it wasn’t so mobbed: expect queues in peak season (even before it opens at 12.30pm). Oh well, the cooking, thankfully, rewards the wait. Portions are rustic (read: large) – expect bright, colourful beetroot salads and bargain plates of tangy htapodi ksydato (octopus in vinegar).
Agios Sostis Beach
Established in 1976, this old-school, nothing-fancy taverna in Mykonos Town looks like the kind of main-drag tourist trap best avoided. But don’t be deceived – the kitchen here excels in classic Greek comfort food done really well with ingredients sourced from a local farm. Start with tarama (fish roe) salad and saganaki (fried cheese), then move on to chopped octopus in wine or the brilliant Mykonian cheese-onion pie. It's mad popular, so expect to hustle for a table most evenings.
Designed by Italian architect-interior grandee Paola Navone, this soft-lit, white-on-white bar-restaurant in Mykonos Town is popular with the island’s spendy style set. Still, the food usually lives up to the frippery: expect beautifully presented but still substantial fish dishes that follow the international, Nobu-style blueprint. Think beef tataki, yellowtail tartare, poké bowls, 'superfood' salads, ribeye – you get the idea.
A tiny, heart-on-sleeve escape from Mykonos’s often flashy dining scene, this cute taverna on Goumenio Square in Chora opened in 1982 and specialises in happily unadorned, old-school Greek cooking. Your meal might start with dolmades avgolemono (beef-stuffed vine leaves) and move on to mama's soutzoukakia (meatballs in spicy tomato sauce) and take a truly divine detour to majorly yummy saganaki (fried feta fritters covered with sesame and honey).
Long lunches tend to go on even longer than planned at this shack-chic seaside taverna set within a cave next to Kalafatis Beach. The sea breeze helps, as does the chill, barefoot-luxe vibes, the steady flow of rosé and the consistently excellent seafood dishes. Think sweet, catch-fresh uni with a squeeze of lemon as well as the ace house special: cracked-lobster linguine. Book ahead for the tables right on the water.
Santa Annas Bay
For a break from the Greek kitchen (just a quick one, mind), Chora – the island's capital – does surprisingly good Italian food. There's fresh handmade pasta at Pasta Fresca Barkia on Georgouli in Little Venice and incredible gelato at I Scream. But for excellent Neapolitan-style sourdough pizza and fresh seafood pasta, Catari is the hands-down winner. Grab one of the bright, canary-yellow tables on the buzzy courtyard and dig into smoked-salmon and ricotta pies or crab-stuffed mezzelune (South Tyrolean dumplings).
This upscale-chic beach club pulls a yachty, style-conscious set (and Leonardo diCaprio when he’s in town). Still, with such a spendy crowd, the restaurant can’t afford to slouch, so it doesn’t. The kitchen here turns out reliable seafood (caught from its own boat, of course), and there’s a dedicated beef bar that does hard-to-source cuts like kobe or wagyu grilled perfectly for anyone on an A-list budget.
With outdoor tables right on the seafront of Chora’s Old Port, this unfussy seafood specialist is a rare corner of tranquility come sunset, with a no-hurry vibe and a menu that spans a broad spectrum of well-done seafood dishes. Go for everything from big, messy piles of deep-fried, lemon-squeezed sardines to more the elegant lobster ravioli with red shrimp and yuzu sauce.
Saki's Grill House
The best fast food on the island? It’s definitely up there: opened in the mid-80s, this is one of the best-loved cheap eats in Mykonos. Outside, a couple of small tables make a pleasing perch on which to put down the stomach-lining carbs before a Big One. Expect delicious, weighty pitta-wrapped souvlaki or comfortingly calorific pork or chicken gyros (kebabs). And chips, obviously. Open until 1am daily.