Despite having a kitchen while living in Ios, I did eat out many times. Discovering that Ios had quite the food scene, I decided to try as many places as financially possible! When trying to find a place to eat on a Greek island, always look to see if Greeks are eating there. This is especially true if it is a Greek restaurant.
Ios is small and most of the restaurants are located either in the port area or up in the Chora. There are a few on Mylopotas beach as well.
I have returned many times to Ios after my initial month-long visit and this list has been updated to reflect that. I make a point to eat at these places each year and see what new restaurants in Ios are worth a mention.
The Octopus Tree
This tiny restaurant sits on the edge of the Ios harbor. It is so small, that there is no inside seating. The only unfortunate thing is that I didn’t discover it until late in September and I wish I hadn’t waited! They do tend to close by the end of September, so go to the Octopus Tree as soon as you arrive on Ios.
The first time I ate there, I was with friends and we shared several plates. One of those items was an amazing salad that was huge. We also shared some small fried fish and french fries. The star of the evening was the fried zucchini balls. I really wish I had been brave enough to ask for the recipe. These things are what me back the second time and would have a third time if they hadn’t closed for the season!
This was the second time I had eaten at Grandma’s as I had eaten here the year before on my sailing trip. Grandma’s is located in the Liostasi Hotel, of course inside is not accurate since all the seating is outdoors. This makes it possible to enjoy the amazing sunset with cocktails by the pool and then dinner under the stars.
Everything here is good. The menu had changed slightly from the year before as they had a new chef. This was the sea bass, which is always one of my favorites. For dessert, we had the Caraibe chocolate bar and it was chocolatey without being too much chocolate. I say this because I am not a huge chocolate fan. The nuts helped offset the richness as well as the vanilla ice cream. I only went here once on this trip because the prices are on the higher end at Grandma’s.
The bartender recommended this place to me as they have their own outdoor wood-burning pizza oven. Yes, even in Greece sometimes you want pizza. And this wasn’t just plain pizza. Each pizza can be ordered with different crust thicknesses and the sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and tart and they don’t skimp on the toppings. Not only that but they also have amazing salads. Amazing salads in Greece are definitely a thing I noticed last year on Kythnos.
Thai Me Up
Thai Me Up is where I spent most of my money on food, which is funny since I never took a single picture there. I love Thai food and discovered they have amazing Pad Thai. Plus it was one of the cheaper restaurants on the island. They were also one of the few places to get breakfast and no it isn’t Thai breakfast. They actually have a British woman who cooks breakfast and a Thai woman who makes Thai food. Many nights I would go down there for Pad Thai and beer and watch the boats come into the harbor. Better than any TV show especially as many of the locals would come down and hang out at the port at night.
Salt is located on Milopotas Beach. I had seen it several times when I had gone to the beach but was really there for the beach and not food. However, I had seen the food and knew I needed to try it. The service was terrible, but the food made up for it. It also could have been that it was late in the season and they might have had less staff.
Above is an eggplant dish that was so big, that it could have been my meal. I love eggplant and this did not disappoint. And yes, I think that is ketchup on top. My main was disappointing, but I think I ordered the wrong thing. As a thank you, they brought out this treat, which has to be a full dessert! I tried hard not to eat it all but I couldn’t resist. Salt also serves food and drinks on the beach in their loungers. You can see the sea from the sit-down restaurant as well. Go for the view and the dessert.
On the sailing trip we were told about Lord Byron but opted to eat at Grandma’s instead, so this year I was determined to go. It was one of the first places I went and for some reason only took pictures of my tzatziki! I ordered pasta with clams and it was perfect. It was light and the portion was a good size. Next time I would eat inside. There are many stray cats outside and it smelled a bit. During the high season, make a reservation as it gets busy early.
Want a little Mexican food while on your Greek vacation? Harmony might be the place for you! I was very hesitant to try this place being from Texas, but the call for tacos eventually made me go. I ordered a fish taco and a pork taco. The fish taco was way too hot even for this Texan, but the pork taco was great and I would have eaten it again.
Do not, however, order the guacamole. In order to keep it fresh, they had put lemon juice in it and that was all I could taste. During the day, the views from here are stunning and there is live music most nights. It does appeal to the younger set overall though. They also offer yoga on some mornings.
Allo is located in the port of Ios but not on the harbor side. It is located on the side facing west. The restaurant is a mix of Greek and French-style food. Much of the food and wine are found locally if possible. I highly recommend the Homer Salad, which is their take on the Ceasar Salad. The other thing I recommend is the marinated chicken dish. It doesn’t have a name but it is served with potatoes and this amazing sauce.
They also make some amazing cocktails. One favorite is a frozen Rakomelo, which is very refreshing on a hot Greek summer day.
Yialou Beach Bar
This casual beach bar offers some of the best beach bar food I have had on a Greek island. Yialou Beach Bar is located on Gialos Beach, which is about a five-minute walk from the port. They serve one of the best cheeseburgers on the island. Their salads are also a big hit. Best of all you can order the full menu to be delivered to your sunbed right in front of their restaurant.
This list is by no means exhaustive as my budget really didn’t allow me to eat out every day. I did have a hotel room with a kitchenette at the amazing Kritikakis Village Hotel. If you have been to Ios, what is your favorite place to eat there?