The word-of-mouth buzz about O Hamos, a family-run taverna on the Greek island of Milos, had been so loud that I’d heard it in Athens. So I made a decision to find it, over a late lunch, for myself.
Now, it could be a shock that there isn’t a seafood on the menu – given the restaurant’s improbable location close to the ocean – but when the Psatha household can’t develop it, breed it or produce it on their farm, it’s bought no enterprise being on their hand-thrown plates. Plus, in addition to supplying all of the taverna’s meat and greens, additionally they make their very own cheeses.
Milos map
Irrespective of, I used to be underneath orders from foodie associates in Athens to look no additional than the gourounopoulo (younger goat baked in parchment with molasses). We threw in a half-kilo of native white wine with a couple of conventional dishes, equivalent to bouyiourdi (tomatoes, feta cheese and spicy peppers baked in a clay pot) and mopped up each chunk with do-it-yourself bread that hung from our chairs in string baggage.

Adamas, Milos. {Photograph}: Alamy
Tables stuffed up quick throughout the courtyard, a Greek model of an English pub backyard with vivid geraniums, terracotta pots and kitchen herbs that spilled out of driftwood planters. “Neglect attempting to land a desk right here after 7pm,” mentioned Gina, my lunch date (who summered on Milos as a toddler earlier than transferring right here 5 years in the past).
When our invoice got here, it was barely greater than €10 every, and we additionally obtained a go to from Athina, the Psatha household matriarch, who introduced us a free spherical of tsipouro. She additionally arrived with a black marker and invited me to scrawl over her pale lemon partitions: a home ritual – the buzzy courtyard is filled with poetic inscriptions and odes to Athina’s cooking.
O Hamos is close to the port city of Adamas and has been open for 27 years. But, all throughout Milos, are characterful, family-run eating places similar to it, which aren’t merely “working the season” however proudly practising gradual cooking and ingenious locavore menus. Not as a result of it’s trending however as a result of it’s how they’ve at all times performed it.

Kitchen and counter at O Hamos, Adamas
Usually, the culinary highlight has been on Sifnos, Milos’s fashionable Cycladic neighbour, however now phrase has bought out that the delicacies right here is simply pretty much as good. And it’s additionally supplanting this modest volcanic island’s major declare to fame – because the birthplace of the Aphrodite of Milos (Venus de Milo). As native eating places purchase extra worldwide sprint, subtle Athenians make some extent of going every year to relish meals now on a par with the capital (and the island has a few of Greece’s most dramatic seashores, too).
“Twenty, even 10, years in the past Milos was a really ‘Greek’ island of fishermen and miners; it was by no means geared to tourism,” says Gina. “However over the previous 5 years eating places have change into extra gourmand, with out dropping their core charms.”
Within the three days I spent speed-dating the island’s culinary scene, I discovered inventive, assured and gimmick-free Mediterranean menus and, underpinning all of it, was the pleasing democracy that defines Greek delicacies. Even at Milos’s priciest eating places, you possibly can eat to a finances and there can be no judgment for forsaking bottled wine and fish priced by the kilo in desire for meze, pitta dipped into creamy taramasalata, and home plonk by the jug.

Snorkellers at Kleftiko caves. {Photograph}: Stuart Black/Alamy
Culinary kudos apart, horseshoe-shaped Milos can also be a show-stopper due to its spectacular geological and rock formations. You may even take time to marvel on the lunar-like fantastic thing about Sarakiniko seashore, discover a number of the 70-plus different sandy seashores, or swim amid the caves at Kleftiko in waters so blue you’d consider Photoshop has been used.•
Extra Milos: six meals experiences
Volcanic meals at Sirocco

This family-run seashore taverna in Paleochori does easy Greek meals, slow-cooked for hours in a volcanic sand pit. Meals is buried in clay pots 40cm beneath the floor, the place it’s heated by geothermal springs.
“My father began experimenting 20 years in the past,” says proprietor Stella Tseroni. “He started with an egg and a potato, then graduated to meat.”
Stella’s son invitations diners onto the sand to observe him dig up their lunch, which may embody lamb shank (€13 for a plate two can share), roast potatoes, and a complete aubergine (€5 every). Paleochori isn’t the prettiest seashore on Milos however the meals actually satisfies.•
Seafood to savour at Armira

The bijou port of Pollonia is nice for seafood, with terrific fish eating places dotted round it. Elegant Armira – with its standout dishes of stonefish soup and shrimp ragout inside a Cypriot pie with yoghurt sauce – stole the present final summer season by including a roof backyard to its stylish whitewashed courtyard. All of the fish on the menu comes from the household’s conventional kaiki fishing boat and you may eat and drink fantastically effectively right here from round €15 a head – a favorite is the octopus with fava (yellow cut up peas cooked with onions and garlic).• On Fb
Meze at Medusa

With a cliffside setting above the brightly painted syrmata (fishermen’s huts) of Mandrakia village, Medusa ouzerie is a much-loved spot for a lingering lunch. Take pleasure in ouzo the Greek means: teamed with seafood meze, sunshine and a sea breeze. The grilled sardines, smoked eel with fava (each round €9), and the aubergine and courgette balls (€5) are all nice selections. Wander right down to the fishing village of Firopatamos beneath for a post-prandial nap on one of many beanbags that entrance the iridescent waters.•
Seaside picnic from Kivotos ton Gefseon, Firiplaka

{Photograph}: Amanda Dardanis
In Pollonia, go to Kivotos ton Gefseon (cave of flavours) and seize a couple of slices of its must-try watermelon pie – watermelon, honey, cinnamon, flour, sesame, and oven baked – for €2.50 a portion, or attempt the galatsaboureko (€3.80). The latter is Greece’s reply to the custard slice. Batches come out of the oven each half hour, so wait with a espresso or a dish of its do-it-yourself yoghurt with fruit and honey (€3.80) within the rose backyard or browse the honeys and oils made by this household of beekeepers. Take away your goodies and picnic on Firiplaka Bay: a volcanic seashore set in opposition to pink-and-white cliffs. The adventurous might desire Tsigrado, the smaller, extra secluded seashore subsequent door, reached by a brief climb down a steep rope ladder.
Sundown eating in Tripiti

Tripiti. {Photograph}: Alamy
Slip away from the vacationers who flock to the historic hilltop city of Plaka to salute the sundown and go to the subsequent village down, Tripiti, as a substitute. It’s residence to third-century catacombs, in addition to gourmand hotspots, equivalent to homey Ergína taverna, subsequent to Agios Nikolaos church. Ergína in all probability gained’t win awards for plating however the sunsets from its blue-picket-fenced deck are one other matter. Mains are beneficiant and, for those who’re craving moussaka, that is the place to have it. Nonetheless, it’s the vegetarian meze (from round €5) that actually stands out. Feast on the well-known Milos pitarakia – a cross between a samosa and a Greek cheese pie; the long-baked peppers crammed with manouri, the native, gentle goat’s milk cheese; or the flavour-packed aubergine rolls.
Brunch at Astakas in Klyma

Seaside in Klyma. {Photograph}: Getty Photos
White tables metres from the water; sea spray round your ankles; vibrant fisherman’s cottages as a backdrop – this merely whets the urge for food right here. The well-known lobster spaghetti at elegant Astakas is a dear choice (€90 a kilo, based mostly on fishermen’s costs final summer season) nevertheless it’s no purpose to overlook out on this dreamy locale that nails most individuals’s concept of the Greek-island fantasy. Go for brunch and order the baked eggs with do-it-yourself tomato marmalade. Add a espresso and also you’ll pay round €10.
The place to remain

Captain Zeppos
Captain Zeppos is a seafront bolthole with 4 gorgeously decked out self-catering suites from €120 an evening. You’re proper close to the restaurant and cafes motion of Pollonia, although you’ll in all probability spend a lot of the day lounging across the slinky pool deck or taking dips from the non-public dock.
Getting there
Aegean Airways flies from Heathrow to Athens 3 times a day (from £61 a technique), and on to Milos 4 occasions a day throughout summer season (from €53 a technique). Ferry suppliers, equivalent to Zante Ferries, journey every day to Milos from Athens’ Piraeus port for round €75 return (journey time about 41/2 hours every means).