Platis Gialos, Sifnos
This tiny, rustic beach shack may not look like much, but as the name suggests, Omega 3 is the best fish restaurant on Sifnos.
Tsipouro is a type of brandy made from the grape residue left over from wine production. It may not sound too appealing, but we found ourselves drinking it a little too easily. And this is the first thing you should order when you claim your pastel-painted seat in Mosaico’s intimate courtyard for the evening. The chef here turns out especially good Greek mezze, like eggplant and lamb meatballs smothered in tomato sauce and baked into stews in little terra-cotta pots that are traditional in the Cycladic kitchen. The way to go: Sit outside while enjoying the cool night air but be sure to pop your head into the bar before you leave. Shelves heave with a mishmash of crockery, bottles of booze, the odd ancient urn, and a television so old, it may be the first version ever released. This is an ouzeri with personality. The food is always good, and sometimes (if you’re lucky) a few local musicians strike up during the meal.
Vathi Beach, Sifnos
You’ll probably recognize the ochre terra-cotta pots and plates here as the handiwork of the nearby Atsonios kiln (the island’s best ceramicists). And just like the tableware, the food hasn’t changed much since the place opened decades ago. Herbs and vegetables still come direct from the owner’s garden and the day’s catch is pulled up by fisherman a few feet from the tavern door. Every salad is topped with a mound of mizithra (a local cheese with a loose texture and a milder flavor than the more popular feta), and even the lamb for mastello (a traditional Sifniot dish in which lamb is marinated in red wine and slow-cooked for hours) is roasted atop a pile of vine branches pulled from nearby trees.