The Cyclades Bars & Nightlife
You can easily spend an entire afternoon at Scorpios, a beach club on the southern tip of the island. Reserve a sun bed and slowly make your way through the (predominantly vegetarian) lunch menu. The food is deservedly known as some of the best on Mykonos and includes big plates of wood-fired peppers, zucchini, and endive, along with all manner of salads. When the sun goes down, the whole place turns into a boho-chic dance party.
If you’re going to try rakomelo—a hot raki drink sweetened with honey and spiced with a pinch of cinnamon—do it here. It’s very hot and very strong, and if there are some who may not find it appealing during the summer, Astarti also makes a really good ice-cold Negroni. Even if you don’t try the rakomelo, the pots of hot raki brewing on the bar give the air a pleasant aniseed fragrance, and the welcome is always so friendly.
Smack in the middle of Antiparos square, Boogaloo is an atmospheric spot for a pre- or post- dinner drink (ideal if you’re dining at Sapou, nearby), with polished concrete walls and tropical textiles and colorful paintings everywhere. The cocktails here are uniformly great, but we’re especially into the Green Witch (kiwi, ginger, cucumber, lime, gin, and elderflower with a hint of chili). Revelers will dance the night—and much of the early morning—away during the summer high season.
Fotis Art Cafe
Aghios Dimitris, Naousa, Paros
Beach bars in the Cyclades are a dime a dozen, but Fotis is more like a living room on the shore, complete with comfy white sofas and small tables right on the sand. Sinking into one of the sofas as the sun dips, cocktail in hand, you realize exactly why you decided to come here—and why you never want to leave. Despite the allure of the outdoor setting, the owners haven’t slacked on the décor inside, either. A collaboration with local gallery Medusa means there is always a rotating cast of local artists’ work on display.
We love the easygoing vibe of bars and restaurants that occupy former family homes, as the feeling of comfort is immediate. Somaripa Consolato is just such a place, especially because of its cast of regulars, who’ve been visiting Paros summer after summer and wouldn’t dream of stopping anywhere else for their first round of cocktails. During the day, visitors stop by for pastries and rich, rich Greek coffee. But Somaripa Consolato is primarily a bar, and the specialty is cocktails infused with Parian ingredients and homemade island liquors like souma, made of fermented, boiled figs, similar in strength to ouzo and raki.
Botzi is a lively, lovely spot to park yourself on hot afternoons, retreating to the bougainvillea-strewn terrace for a small glass of cold white wine. Or come for dinner, when Botzi becomes Sifnos’s center of gravity from midnight until the wee hours of the morning. Inside you’ll find a warren of rooms kept cool with stone floors and walls, illuminated with candles, and scattered with colored stools and benches, which are moved out of the way once the impromptu dance parties get going. The music skews toward funk and electric, and the drinks are expertly made and–don’t say we didn’t warn you—very strong.
A pair of emerald-green double doors is the second indication that you’ve arrived at Drakakis café. The first is the line snaking around outdoor tables heaving with locals and visitors alike on this narrow street. While waiting, you can’t help but read the menu scrawled on a chalkboard tacked to the wall outside. Traditional dishes, like honey chicken and chickpea stews, are on every table, but really there is nothing more satisfying than stopping in for a glass of tsipouro and a salad of thick-cut ruby-red island tomatoes with wedges of salty feta and a good glug of local olive oil.