Opening in spring 2021, in the traditional heart of Mykonos town, Nōema is a hybrid space designed to inspire a strong sense of community and place. With a contemporary Greek restaurant, an open-air bar, a concept store, and an eclectic line-up of live music, Nōema embodies the easy-going joie de vivre of the Greek islands. A celebration of simplicity, generosity, and spontaneity where nature rules, time stands still, and being together is what really matters.
What is Nōema?
Nōema is the Greek word for ‘meaning’ or ‘substance’.
Distilling the culinary traditions and cultural heritage of the Cyclades to their essence, Nōema is a modern interpretation of this timeless, organic way of life. Gathering family and friends around a table to share nature’s gifts. Improvising a feast from the humblest ingredients. Honouring the seasons and savouring every moment. In the Cycladic lexicon, Nōema is the meaning of life.
“My motivation to open Nōema was a combination of falling in love with the island of Mykonos and very much the people of Greece,” says owner Richard Caring, the legendary British restaurateur. “The warmth, relaxed culture, and the desire to celebrate and enjoy life at every opportunity.”
Pioneering a New Cycladic Cuisine
Nōema’s kitchen spotlights indigenous ingredients and cooking methods, sharpened with an experimental attitude to satisfy the modern palate. Everything is inspired by what people have done for centuries in the Cyclades, using wind, sun, smoke and fire to pickle, ferment, cure, and char-grill whatever seasonal treasure the soil and sea provide. This nose-to-tail approach is the root of Nōema’s culinary philosophy.
“Provenance is at the heart of our kitchen,” says Nōema’s culinary director, Athinagoras Kostakos. “We’ve travelled all over the Cyclades to track down the finest produce — cheese and lamb from Naxos, organic vegetables from Tinos, seafood from fishermen on Paros. And we source whatever we can on Mykonos, from aged feta to caper leaves and rock samphire.”
The menu, predominantly pescatarian and vegetarian, ranges from raw meze to sumptuous feasting platters. Seasonal highlights include crispy octopus with oxymel and wild oregano, sun-dried mackerel in lemon verbena sauce, charred beets with hazelnut pesto and double-strained yoghurt, or slow-roast pork chops with a cinnamon-anise crust. Everything is meant to be shared by the table, taverna-style — a complementary array of flavours and textures that honour the freshness of the raw materials. House-made elixirs, biodynamic and organic wines culti-vated across the Aegean are served in carafes in the spirit of a panigiri, a communal feast to commemorate a Greek Orthodox saint’s day.
A secret garden for starlit gatherings
Evenings at Nōema evolve organically, from Aegean aperitifs and sharing plates to unplugged live sessions and impromptu DJ sets after-hours. The relaxed vibe nudges guests to become one extended parea, a close-knit crew enjoying good food, good music, and good company.
Nōema’s open kitchen, bar, and salon radiate from the enclosed courtyard, creating a seamless transition between loosely defined areas for eating, drinking and dancing.
The courtyard, or avli, is the heart of the Cycladic home — a secret garden, protected from the elements, where family and friends come together to eat and drink, talk and dance, under the light of the moon.
A curated collection of summer essentials
Housed in a whitewashed Pavilion, the concept store embodies Nōema’s Greek soul and nomadic spirit. Encompassing fashion and lifestyle, the store champions Greek craftsmanship, alongside sandals, jewellery, cosmetics, objects, books and magazines by niche global brands. The signature line, Prao, designed by Marios Schwab, captures the effortless elegance of Greek island style. Capsule collections by
Ancient Greek Sandals, androgynous basics by Parthenis, Norma Kamali and Eres swimwear, kaftans by Lemlem, and Castaner espadrilles are some of the timeless wares that will change with the seasons. Far from a typical boutique, this is an immersive space that inspires discovery and sparks curiosity.
A modern spin on Cycladic minimalism
When he alighted on Mykonos in the 1930s, Le Corbusier declared: “These humble island houses are the archetype of modern architecture.” Casting a new light on the stripped-back Cycladic aesthetic, Nōema was conceived by design consultancy Lambs & Lions, in collaboration with Greek architects K-Studio. The subtle design riffs on contrasting elements of raw concrete, polished cement, textured tiles and dark wood. The subdued palette of charcoal, seal, and sand reflects the granite boulders, drystone walls and golden beaches of Mykonos, but shies away from Cycladic white and blue clichés — a warm and welcome contrast to the luminous lime-washed alleys of Mykonos town.
Earthenware and oversized plants create a tropical Mediterranean atmosphere, reflecting Nōema’s natural ethos.
An oasis in the white-hot blaze of Mykonos town
Nōema is discreetly located in the back-alleys of Chora, the poetic harbour town of Mykonos. Beyond the designer boutiques and glamorous bars is a labyrinth of pure white lanes, red-domed churches and smooth-edged houses that fit together like a perfectly imagined puzzle. At the end of a narrow passageway, Nōema is hidden in the heart of this dazzling settlement, its entrance framed by oversized amphorae painted black. A meandering pathway leads to a side door, discreetly concealed behind an old well, reserved for those who prefer not to make an entrance. The adjacent Pavilion is home to the Nōema Store, a constellation of calm spaces for treasure hunting or chilling.