Whitewashed walls, Greek coffee poured from a copper briki, the sound of dice rolling across a tavli board, spontaneous live music, and handmade mezedes (at affordable prices). These are the traditional kafeneia of the Cyclades; picturesque gems where you will find friendly locals- offering a glimpse into their relaxed, everyday island life. 

O Megalos Kafenes – Tinos

“Megalos Kafenes” has been operating for over a century in the only square of Pyrgos (with the famous ancient plane tree) in Tinos. A hangout that combines the old with the new, thanks to the creative flair of architectural designer Dimitra Papadopoulou, who supervised its renovation. Enjoy the tranquility of the village and savor homemade sweets like galaktoboureko, orange pie with ice cream, and ekmek with a Greek coffee in the briki or salty mezedes with ouzo. 

A: Panormos/ tel. 2283 031647

Stou Stratou – Serifos 

In the heart of Serifos’ Chora, against the backdrop of the imposing City Hall and the church of Agios Athanasios, is the traditional café Stou Stratou, with its blue tables and chairs welcome visitors for a morning coffee on embers and a tasty omelette. In the afternoon you can taste homemade sweets (try their famous chocolate cake) and appetizers accompanied by ouzo or rakomelo from noon onwards. Spend a few minutes (or even hours) viewing the menu since that also features art and poetry (literally). 

A: Chora Serifos /tel. 2281 052566

To Kafeneio Tou Drakaki – Sifnos 

With more than 100 years of life, Drakakis’ kafeneio, in Apollonia, offers the ambiance of a Greece that is reminiscent of black and white movies. With tables spread across the paved central alley, you can enjoy a rakomelo with delicious traditional appetizers of Sifnos. Espresso coffee or filter coffee are unknown words here!

AApollonia/ tel. 6972123571

To Kafeneio Tis Charas – Schoinousa 

In the picturesque Chora, one of the oldest buildings hosts To Kafeneio Tis Charas. Famous for its rich breakfast made with local products from small producers- here you will taste fresh eggs and handmade sweets. In the evenings the rakomezes take centre stage, as you take part in the improvised celebrations featuring violins and lutes. 

A: Chora Schoinousa/ tel. 2285072026

Photodotis – Amorgos 

Away from the hustle and bustle of Chora, in an upper neighborhood, you can relax at Photodotis. This traditional kafeneio features white and shades of green, plus a courtyard with wooden and iron tables, where you can enjoy local products such as Amorgian xynomyzithra, pumpkin meatballs, and dolmades with fresh vine leaves; handmade sausage or hunkiar begeti with local veal- dishes that are all prepared with a lot of love! Often violin nights are also held here.

A: Chora Amorgos/ tel. 2285072059

Kali Kardia (Bohoris) – Kimolos 

Kali Kardia or the café of Bochoris -as the locals call it- is a traditional trademark found on the main road of Kimolos’ Chora. Operating as kafeneio, tavern, and convenience store- here you’ll find classic black and white tiles on the floor, wooden chairs around marble tables, and a jukebox. You can try the same traditional recipes that have been used since 1920, featuring pure, fresh, and local ingredients only. Ouzo and tsipouro appetizers, plus some signature mom-cooked dishes are also on the menu. Tip: if you are after something sweet, order the orange pie or kataifi. 

A: Chora Kimolos/ tel. 2287051495

Kafeneio Nios – Ios 

In the picturesque square of Chora of Ios, under some pretty bougainvillea, lays Kafeneio Nios. Enjoy your coffee in the morning, varieties of cheese and cold cuts during the day, and (every day) live music (bouzouki, tomberleki, and baglama) will accompany your rakomela at night. 

A: Chora Ios/ tel. 2286092164

 

Polina Paraskevopoulou

Polina is a journalism graduate & has a Masters degree in Cultural Management. Specialising in travel and fashion, she is also a Paris Fashion Week Correspondent & a lover of photography. She has collaborated with magazines & websites in Greece, France and Australia. Dividing her time between Athens and Paris, the two city stations of her life, Polina's travels around the world found shelter at lavienblog.com while her Parisian discoveries are at myparisiennewalkways.com.

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