A culinary guide to Cyprus – the island with a love for food

Village salad - Cyprus[UPDATED 14TH SEPTEMBER 2016]. My compatriots may not like what I am about to declare but it’s embarrassingly true. To fully appreciate and experience Cyprus’ love for food, one has to head off the beaten track, steering well clear of the island’s hugely and sadly commercialised resort destinations (which boast gorgeous beaches by the way). That’s not easy when you’re a visitor and want to saunter out of your hotel into a neighbourhood brimming with restaurants. If you do, you will mostly, be seriously disappointed. Furthermore, don’t even consider dining out on anything other than Cypriot, Greek or the more all-encompassing Mediterranean cuisine. So you know where I am going here with this post…but having just returned from a summer vacation in my homeland, I’ve pulled together a round-up of hidden restaurant gems across Cyprus’ various towns and villages, along with must-try dishes and places to stay. *

A heads up, this guide takes in the Republic of Cyprus, not the Turkish-occupied part which incidentally houses my birthplace, the enclaved Famagusta (I am half Greek-Cypriot). We refrain from labeling the Mediterranean island, south and north, as there’s only one legally recognised Cyprus – if you’d like to read more on the political situation click here – but otherwise it’s food and travel from now on. After all, like many Mediterranean countries, Cypriots’ social lives revolve around communal eating.

Cyprus has been occupied by many nations, with bundles of influence on its cuisine from the Arab world and more specifically Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, the Romans and Venetians. Unlike popular perception, there are distinct differences between Cypriot and Greek fare; the cooking style of Cypriot cuisine is less refined and more rustic than its Greek neighbour – simpler dishes with less sauces.

Halloumi at MousikosGrilled halloumiFried sesame fetta ballsGreek coffee with koulouriGrilled red mulletGrilled squidGrilled red snapperDaktylaPischiesLokmadesBrandy SourPinakothiki

TOP 10 DISHES TO TASTE

This list could be endless, so I’ve chosen to highlight a mix of must-eats and more unusual fare.

  1. Mezze – 20 plus tasting plates designed for sharing. Usually very meat (and veg) heavy unless you’re in a dedicated fish tavern. Needless to say, pace yourself.
  2. Souvla and souvlaki – chunks of meat (pork, lamb and chicken) skewered and grilled on the spit or barbequed over charcoal. Souvla refers to larger chunks of meat, whereas souvlaki is the traditional kebab.
  3. Sheftalia – minced pork sausages, more like meatballs (wrapped in intestine lining) and grilled. Usually accompanies souvlaki and is served with salad in oval-shaped pitta bread.
  4. Kleftiko – slow-cooked lamb shank served on the bone with sliced potatoes. Traditionally cooked in outdoor earthenware ovens, but nowadays also roasted in kitchen ovens.
  5. Ravioles – part of the culinary legacy left by the Venetians who ruled Cyprus from 1489 to 1571. Similar to Italian ravioli, these pasta parcels are stuffed with halloumi cheese and simmered in chicken broth.
  6. Kolokasi and poulles – taro has been grown here since Roman times. Chunks of taro root are simmered with pork or chicken in a sauce of caramelised tomatoes, onions and celery, spiked with lemon juice. Alternatively try the moreisly good sauteed, coriander coated baby taro ‘poulles’.
  7. Halloumi – a semi-hard, unripened brined cheese made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep’s milk, but given diminishing flocks, cow’s milk is often used. It’s set to receive the EU’s Protected Designation of Origin status soon. Wonderful with chilled watermelon slices on a hot summer’s day – or grilled with a village salad.
  8. Wild, foraged ingredients – mezze dishes with greens such as kapari (wild capers), karaoli (tiny snails), and game like rabbit, hare and partridge.
  9. Pastelaki – sticky toffee made from carob bean juice and pressed with peanuts.
  10. Loukoumades – mini doughnuts (more dense and gooey than luqeimat) sizzling hot and straight out of the frying pan. Served drizzled with sugar syrup.

TIPPLES TO SIP

  1. Brandy Sour – Cyprus’ national cocktail mixing brandy, lemon squash, Angostura bitters and soda water. Read the lovely tale of its origin here.
  2. Wines – Cyprus has a thriving wine-growing industry with the cultivation of its own local grapes – the red Maratheftiko and Lefkada, plus white Xynisteri – along with international varietals. My favourite by far is Vlassides (both the Cabernet Sauvignon and a Shiraz) and Zambartas Rose (Lefkada and Cabernet Franc grapes).
  3. Commandaria – considered to be the world’s oldest known wine still in production, a sweet dessert wine (PDO protected), produced in the foothills of the Troodos mountains.

The Market CompanyMousikosAlati by the SeaClifftop barKoiLimassol MarinaYacht Club view of Limassol MarinaPiatakiaArchontiko PapadopoulouApokryfoApokryfoNicosia old townKamara tou KorakaKonnos BayAgia Anargiri churchCape Greco

WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK ACROSS THE ISLAND

Nicosia – the capital in the near-centre of the island

  • Traditional Cypriot (and Greek) tavernas – so many goodies to choose from in this category, here are my top three. Zanettos and To Tavernaki tou Pampou are a couple of rustic gems with tables crammed like sardines, whilst Pantopolio Kali Orexi is strictly speaking a Greek restaurant with a fresh, contemporary feel.
  • Cafés-cum-restaurants – minimalist Pinakothiki in the Leventis Art Gallery; retro The Market Companyrustic Diosmos & Kanela, and the bizarrely named The Gym all in the heart of the old town; plus ladies-who-lunch institution Pralina on Stasikratous street.
  • Delightful hippie-chic cafe Silver Pot makes wonderful healthy all-day breakfast and lunch dishes.
  • Wine bars serving good fareIl Bacaro for Venetian cichette and prosecco and Vino Cultura for Spanish-inspired creative tapas.
  • A trio of choices that I’ve not tried and tasted but come foodie recommended – PatioCaraffa Bastioneand 1900 Oinou Melathron – the latter serves French/ Italian inspired cuisine.

East Coast (Famagusta district) – Paralimni, Protaras, Ayia Napa and Sotira

An extra word of warning here related to my opening para – please, please do avoid eating and drinking in the so-called tourist ‘strips’ of Protaras and Ayia Napa. They are crazily commercialised and seriously tacky. Instead do your research and read blogs (mine included of course) to discover local favourites off the beaten track. I’ve included some additional reading links at the end of this post. Note, you will need a hire car or taxi.

  • Rustic tavernas are the restaurant of choice in this east coast district too and my favourite with arguably the best mezze on the island is Mousikos, slightly inland in the village of Sotira. You can’t miss it with a mammoth windmill gracing the entrance. The halloumi here is unpasteurised, served freshly churned and still warm with its creamy goodness oozing out – the Cypriot version of burrata :). I flew back with a suitcase full. Other tavernas worth dining in are Vangelis which I have frequented since my childhood, Ttappis and Kamasias, all in Paralimni village, but note Vangelis transfers to Protaras for summer season pop-ups. Kalamies is my taverna of choice for all things seafood in Protaras overlooking the beach (opposite Golden Coast hotel), and Spartiatis overlooking Konnos Bay (next to the Grecian Park hotel) is also a goodie for some glorious fishporn. Fisherman’s Hut may be set in the Grecian Bay hotel in Ayia Napa, but this fish-only gem with just a handful of tables is also set on the coast – expensive though. Foodies also recommend Steki ton Kalofagadon in Paralimni, and To Ploumin in Sotira, even though the latter leaves me unimpressed.
  • Alati By The Sea – a pretty Greek-style white-washed restaurant on the Pernera side of Protaras. A la carte with a sea view.
  • Cocktail barsCliff Bar at the Grecian Park hotel between Protaras and Ayia Napa has an oldie worldly charm with its cliff top setting overlooking Konnos bay. Sun sets on the west coast so sadly not a sundowner spot, but all the same, the view is spectacular. Koi is an al fresco lounge and bar in the Capo Bay hotel overlooking the sea. It also houses a Japanese restaurant, but as mentioned earlier, I would refrain from eating anything other than Med cuisine in Cyprus.
  • A couple of hidden gems – Panikkos – round off your meal with the loukoumades I mention earlier at this glorified roadside shack in Protaras. A shack, To Kafenion, aka coffee shop set on the bay at Vizakia near the Cavo Maris hotel. Think pickled eggs, Cypriot coffee and ‘karidaki’, a preserved walnut sweet served on a spoon.

Larnaca

This airport town on the south-east coast has an up and coming beat to it with the opening of the Tassos Mitsopoulos beach road, whilst the old district’s restaurant and bar scene is buzzing.

  • Fish tavernas galore here on the south-east coast. I usually pop in upon landing at the airport. My go-to spot is Psarolimano, but you also have the local haunt next door Zephyros.
  • I also recommend Kritiki Gonia a teeny Cretan joint hidden in the old town with a handful of tables and mezze only with no menu; Stou Rousha Tavern with a simple blackboard menu of char-grilled specialities; Kalamaki snack bar on the Kalamies promenade for ordering kebabs by number of skewers; cute cafe To Kafe tis Chrysanthi’s for coffee and cake; and Art Cafe 1900.

Limassol

  • On the south coast, the island’s most multi-cultural city has been regenerated with historical buildings in the old town boasting an upbeat bar and café scene, whilst a new marina makes for a picturesque stroll. At the latter avoid all the American imported chains and head to the only decent bar (and restaurant), The Yacht Club with glorious maritime views and good Bellinis.
  • Ta Piatakia – one of the few restaurants on the island still going strong 13 years down the line. Owned by a Greek-South African chef-cum-restaurateur, this cosy concept is all about little plates aka ‘piatakia’ of Cypriot dishes with a twist, and a walk-in wine cellar where diners are encouraged to choose their own vino.
  • A trio of foodie recommendations – Karatello Tavern, Library Café Bar and Dino Art Café.

Kornos

  • This quaint little village between Nicosia and Limassol gets its own mention because of one wonderful spot, Archontiko Papadopoulou – a century-old renovated mansion that houses a restaurant serving only local produce. Tables are scattered across an open-air courtyard with a stooped olive tree mimicking an authentic village square.

Paphos

  • I’ve not set foot in this west coastal resort recently, but the restaurant at Elea Estate golf resort on the outskirts of the town comes highly recommended for a creative spin on Cypriot cuisine; as does 7 St. George’s Tavern in the heart of Paphos for wholesome fare using the owners’ locally-grown produce. They even make their own wine 🙂

BOUTIQUE SLEEPING OPTIONS

Agro tourism has flourished since Cyprus’ EU entry a decade ago, with heritage buildings lovingly converted into boutique hotels and guesthouses. Here are a couple of FooDiva favourites, and more here.

  • Apokryfo – a literal translation of ‘hideaway’, this boutique hotel is centred around a cluster of beautifully renovated old stone houses in the quaint village of Lofou, in the foothills of Mount Olympus. There’s a small swimming pool, spa and an exceptional restaurant serving Cypriot food with a twist, with most ingredients locally sourced and foraged.
  • Ayii Anargyri – a converted 17th-century monastery named after the monks, now a boutique spa resort, set in the hills of Miliou village on the island’s west coast. The stone chalets are scattered among orange groves, whilst a spa has, for four centuries, been famed for its healing sulphur springs.
  • Lokal is a 17-room newbie boutique hotel in Larnaca’s old town. Disclosure – it’s my brother-in-law’s venture where he has converted a heritage-listed family home.
  • Aristotelio is a newly opened shabby-chic guest house and restaurant in the mountain village of Pedoulas. I’ve only eaten here – the excellent mezze focuses on traditional dishes.

And now for some travel housekeeping:

FLIGHTS

Emirates flies direct daily to and from Larnaca International Airport on Cyprus’ south coast. It’s a near-four hour flight. Qatar Airways and Gulf Air also fly to the island.

WEATHER

Cyprus has a Mediterranean climate with the most ideal weather from April to October, peaking to hot temperatures in July and August especially inland in the capital. My favourite time of year is September when the sea is at its warmest and the humidity drops – not that it ever rises to the ridiculously high levels of Dubai – or at Easter which makes for a much larger foodie celebration than Christmas.

A GREEK FIX IN DUBAI

Sadly we have no dedicated Cypriot restaurants in Dubai (anyone want to open one with me – #CyprusDiva perhaps?), but we do have a handful of Greek restaurants of which FooDiva can highly recommend three. Elia at the Majestic hotel where you can get a glass of ouzo too – and the more casual Eat Greek in the Beach mall at JBR (also at Mall of the Emirates and Dubai Mall). The Elia peeps have also recently opened another licensed joint Mythos in JLT. In addition, Little Greece is a charming little deli with a few tables in Barsha Mall.

If this mini guide isn’t sufficient, here’s a few more features and books on my homeland for some more bedtime reading:

So have I tempted you to visit? Or have you been, and do you have any other gems to share?

Kali orexi!

FooDiva. x

Note – this guide was updated on the 14th September 2016.

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57 Responses to “A culinary guide to Cyprus – the island with a love for food”

  1. Dave Reeder August 11, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Looks great – ready for a more leisurely and considered read tonight. Bit surprised by the bright pink taramasalata – I thought that was only for us ignorant Brits and that the original was grayer. Or maybe it’s something else?

    • FooDiva August 11, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      Perhaps it’s my Instagram filters Dave! Mind you, it’s always a little rosy even in Cyprus. I have some goodies for you 🙂

      • Dave Reeder August 11, 2014 at 7:17 pm

        Starting to get inspired by Cyprus for a Christmas break – quite an achievement on your your part to convince a not-really-interested-in-Greek-culture skeptic A word, of course, of Greek origin… Can’t wait to find out what the ‘goodies’ are! Hoping it’s more of those local dried herbs… Tortuga brunch on Friday?

        • FooDiva August 11, 2014 at 9:16 pm

          For your first visit don’t go at Christmas…weather cold and the coastal destinations practically shut shop. Eid end September would be more ideal. Going to the Q’bara brunch on Friday. Will get goodies to you.

          • Dave Reeder August 11, 2014 at 9:21 pm

            End September off to Zurich for the big annual culinary event, The Epicure… Maybe Cyprus on the Spring then.

  2. Kelly August 11, 2014 at 11:32 am

    A very informative and well written post. I do agree about the “tacky” restaurants on the touristic strips in all towns. Do stay away from the ‘tourist restaurants’ and discover local tavernas with traditional specialities. I would even recommend, if you want to discover the real Cyprus and its hospitable people, to head to the countryside and the picturesque villages.

    • FooDiva August 11, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks Kelly. You’re right, the mountain districts with all its villages offer more unrefined beauty. Next year I should venture more to the hills for some foodie discoveries.

  3. Stacy August 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    You have tempted me, Samantha! Cyrus has jumped up several notches on my “must visit” list. Is there any place to stay where one can be among the locals and eat at their restaurants without hiring a car? Your first two links seem remote. Perhaps I should just wait till your brother-in-law opens the family mansion to guests?

    • FooDiva August 11, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Honestly Stacy I don’t know of any decent hotels currently open in the ‘old town’ districts of each city – even in Nicosia, the capital. My brother-in-law has hit a market gap for sure! I’ll do some digging though and let you know. When you’re planning your trip drop me an email and I will send you a very comprehensive PDF that my sister has written covering all things sightseeing in Cyprus (other than restaurants!).

    • victor August 12, 2014 at 11:47 am

      Stacy, check Hotel Opera in Larnaca. I believe this is what you are looking for.

  4. IshitaUnblogged August 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Already bookmarked. Cyprus is definitely the next on my list. . You know the girfriends that I go out with once in 18months .(psychologically its not every year then!). I would love to travel with you to Cyprus!

    • FooDiva August 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      Perhaps I can be your guide on your next trip Ishita?! #CyprusDivaDineAround lol.

      • IshitaUnblogged August 11, 2014 at 8:52 pm

        Thank you… that’s my honour. I would love to be the first one on board your new venture #TravelAndDineWithFoodiva!!!!

  5. Lifeinthefoodlane August 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Your love for Cyprus shines through. I have many delicious memories of our visit to Cyprus 3 years ago, and yes, authenticity was on our trail. We stayed in a farm B&B a little “up in the Troodos”, tramped around the Akamas peninsula, and had wonderful food. Mezze meals were our absolute favorite, most notably a fish mezze on a terrace in a little fishing village (around Akamas) Citrus trees were blooming, and the scent was simply intoxicating. Must go back tho for the wild capers and the tiny snails, and most definitely for Nicosia. Belief that was a plan?

    • FooDiva August 11, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      Thank you 🙂 I think next year’s round-up should focus on Akamas, Troodos, Platres and beyond – plus more on the west coast. And yes plan still on, just let me know when you’re this side of the world and I shall pop across.

  6. Chef John August 11, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Hello Samantha,
    Thank you for the mention 🙂
    I agree wholeheartedly with your recommendation to avoid the local tourist strips.
    Visitors to our beautiful island will not discover any of the true Cypriot food, values or hospitality unless they hire a car and explore for themselves.
    Little villages and the old parts of town that still preserve some of the authenticity that Cyprus boasts, are all readily available.
    Your followers are more than welcome to tweet me up while on island and I will endeavour to assist in more recommendations.
    Thanks again

    Chef John

    • FooDiva August 11, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks John. I should have asked you to guest write this post! You’re right, without a hire car, visitors will be disappointed. The key is to venture into the hills and teeny villages. I’ll be knocking on your door next year 🙂

      • Chef John August 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm

        Sounds like a very good idea 🙂

  7. Nick August 11, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    I’ve been to Cyprus about 10+ times and the diversity of the food always seems to surprise me somehow.

    Knowing where to go and not to go is key, of course. The best advice saves time and money but can also open you up to a new world of cuisine and service.

    Car hire is important, as there’s so much to see and don’t worry about getting lost….that’s when you’ll find some of the hidden gems that Samantha likes to share with us from time to time 🙂

    It’s a great, spot-on review as we would normally expect from Foodiva. Thank you!

    • FooDiva August 12, 2014 at 10:36 am

      Thanks so much Nick. I’m sure you’ve been to a few spots I have yet to uncover. Every year when I return, I come across quaint tavernas I have not stepped anyway near before…yet they have been rooted there for years. Here’s to new discoveries 🙂

  8. Kelly August 12, 2014 at 12:53 am

    An interesting information for those who like to stay away from the beaches. As per the link below, the capital Nicosia – the only divided capital in the world – has been voted in 4th place in ‘Best European Destinations’ competition.

    http://www.europeanbestdestinations.org/destinations/nicosia/

    • FooDiva August 12, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Nice one. Thanks for sharing Kelly 🙂

  9. Ekavi August 12, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Trasnport yourself to Cyprus!! Excellent culinary guide.
    Bravo!

    • FooDiva August 12, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Efharisto Ekavi!

  10. Vips U August 12, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Another Paphos area place is Seven St. Georges in Geroskippou. I had heard about it for years before actually going but mostly put it down to expat reviewers but it really does live up to the reviews. Most everything is home grown and they also cater for the more restrictive diets (give them more notice for more selection).

    Dave Reeder’s comment about tarama reminded me of the one I had at Dia Chiros (Periklis Roussinidi’s current venture in Nicosia) recently; I am not a tarama fan so usually avoid it but if it’s a lightish pink then I take it as a sign that it’s homemade and will try it. Anyhow, his was definitely a reminder that there *is* good taramasalata out there! I dunno about grayer taramasalata.

    Stacy, re: places to stay among the locals – have you considered using AirBnB? Apparently the number of hosts in Nicosia has really grown over the last couple of years. Otherwise, if you’re under 35, check out the Nicosia Youth Hostel (supposedly they also allow those over 35 to stay but I guess they would give priority to the younger ones). Foodiva, what do you mean by ‘decent hotels’? I would think that Classic Hotel or Castelli Hotel would serve the purpose?

    • FooDiva August 12, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks for the additional tips, will add to my wish list for my next visit 🙂 Classic and Castelli in Nicosia old town could be good options, but they seemed a little run down when I popped in a few years ago – have they been renovated?

      • Vips U August 14, 2014 at 1:19 pm

        The Classic finished their renovation in 2010; was that before you popped in? The Tripadvisor reviews agree with the needing an update for Castelli. Anyhow, since you come every year, have you already gone to No Reservations (also in Nicosia)? It doesn’t fit the scope of traditional Cypriot food so I hesitate to mention it!

        Garry, what disappointed you about the food at Seven St. Georges? re: Dia Chiros, I agree that the place is very often empty. Out of the probably 5 times we’ve been there, 2 have been busy – once when they were newly opened and later on a Friday night.

        • FooDiva August 14, 2014 at 8:47 pm

          I don’t think I’ve been to Classic since the renovation so that’s good to know thanks 🙂 Not tried and tasted No Reservations, but I have heard of it – do you recommend it despite the non-traditional cuisine?

        • Garry August 15, 2014 at 10:10 am

          Hello VIPS U. What disappointed us at Seven St. George’s was that they did not offer any grilled items as
          hot dishes – only from the oven.
          Yes is it is a shame that Dia Chiros was never busy when we have been there as we enjoyed the food.

          • Vips U August 18, 2014 at 9:21 pm

            Garry, thanks for the clarification; I guess I hadn’t particularly noticed the lack of grilled dishes!

            I am surprised that the food at No Res would qualify as Cypriot (even with an elegant twist!). They post their menus on their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/NO-Reservations/195453167218302
            My husband would agree with the preference to order a starter, main dish, and dessert. About a year or so ago, they offered the ability to reduce the number of dishes ordered to essentially increase the portion size though that is subject to availability which my husband occassionally takes advantage of. I would definitely recommend checking it out at least once but do make a reservation!

  11. Garry W August 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    This is really informative and I now have a few more places to try out on my next visit – thanks Foodiva.
    We have had a couple of meals at Dia Chiros – they were very enjoyable but the restaurant was never busy. However, we were disappointed with the Seven St Georges although we could not fault the service.
    Once again thanks for the ‘heads up’ on the Cyprus dining scene.

    • FooDiva August 13, 2014 at 8:43 am

      Thanks Garry. I will have to try them both out next time.

  12. Stephanie August 12, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    This is a really informative guide on Cyprus eating! Thank you! Also for wonderful Cypriot recipes there is a food blog called Afrodite’s Kitchen. She is a food photographer too so her photographs are beautiful. This is the website in case you want to check it out: http://www.afroditeskitchen.com

    • FooDiva August 13, 2014 at 8:45 am

      Thanks Stephanie. Of course, I’ve come across her on Instagram and it completely slipped my mind. I will add the website to the reading links. Thanks so much for sharing.

  13. Mrs Bubbly August 13, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Woah Foodiva. When written down there is an impressive amount of eating to do in Cyprus. The taverna/resto/café scene is definitely developping and has changed the going out scene in nicosia and limassol dramatically. This also started last year in Larnaca with the arrival of a few newbies. I expect it wont be the case in Ayia Napa or Protaras sadly due to the tourist strips, hence why u need to venture to the villages. I hope the hotel scene develops too as the ptoliferation of these 150+ room hotels, albeit on a stretch of sandy beach, is not always what quality tourists are looking for. Cyprus needs to diversify so as to attract high-quality tourism and not just mass tourism. Looking fwd to the opening of Lokàl ???? in the meantime i shall feed myself in the beautiful villages. Looking fwd to an akamas, pafos, mountains review next year!

    • FooDiva August 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      I must admit I too was pretty impressed with the breadth of fabulous restaurants our little island has Mrs Bubbly. It is sad though that the two most popular resort destinations (Ayia Napa and Protaras) have not preserved their ‘old town’ districts. I can understand why there are not many boutique hotels – it’s hard to make it commercially viable when the room count is small. It only really works if you own the building/ land outright like with Lokal 😉 But perhaps more EU funding like with the agrotourism properties would help develop the resort boutique hotel market.

  14. Cyprus Tales August 13, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    I do hope that local authorities and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation read these comments and take action but I am afraid it is too late for the touristic strips… It is such a shame! Another point to make is that with the all-inclusive hotels, tourists do not go out to eat thus missing so much on the food scene and also they do not have the chance to meet the locals and experience the Cypriot hospitality.
    By the way, thanks for the reference.

  15. Andreas August 14, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Dear Foodiva, a truly excellent guide! Thanks!!

    For traditional meze, next time you are in Cyprus you should also try CAFE AMAN in Anafotia, Larnaca district. The food is prepared and served by the couple that owns the restaurant.

    They also prepare kleftiko once a week (usually Thursdays). Check out here their tripadvisor page:

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g190379-d1785677-r164020646-Cafe_Aman-Larnaka_Larnaka_District.html

    Cheers,

    Andreas

    • FooDiva August 14, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      Thanks Andreas. Wow I like the sound of Cafe Aman, especially with the chefs front of house. Another one to try next year!

  16. Cyprus Tales August 14, 2014 at 6:12 pm

    I feel tempted to say a few words regarding two places mentioned above. We have been to No Reservations in Nicosia the first year it opened. It is run by a nice couple (italian chef). I would say that food is Cypriot with an elegant twist, very well presented, small portions with 7 or more different dishes, if I remember well. Personally, I would prefer if they had a menu with a choice of dishes (starter, main dish, dessert). I am sure they would have done better and I would then go back without hesitation.
    I would also recommend the Classic Hotel, if one wants to get away from the big hotels; Perfect location just a few meters away from the old and historic city of Nicosia.
    In Limassol, my favourite restaurant is Artima, right next to the Castle.

  17. Winifred August 20, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Thanks so much for this. Just confirmed my trip to Cyprus for September. Looking forward to good food and wine and ditching the diet!

    • FooDiva August 20, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      Delighted Winifred, and September is idealic, weather-wise. Kalo taxidi (bon voyage) as we say 🙂

  18. liloneoftheashes May 3, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    going to cyprus this weekend. gonna have to print this out and keep it handy ha ha. we’ve only got four days in cyprus, if u were to give me 5 must-go’s restaurants/bars out of the list above, which ones would it be ? i’ll probably hassle you over social media when we’re there 😀

    • FooDiva May 4, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      Great news. It really depends as the towns are all different. I can safely recommend them all so go with whatever tickles your palate 😉

  19. Eddhe August 2, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Great stuff. Good work, even as a Cypriot this is very helpful.
    Perhaps now you should update your guide with Lokàl’s website since its opening 🙂

    • FooDiva August 3, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      Thanks Eddhe. Website is hyper-linked to the hotel name 😉

  20. Kelly August 4, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Definitely get away from the touristic places and venture into the countryside for the true Cypriot hospitality and traditional flavours.

  21. Garry W January 15, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Many thanks for the update – this will be very useful for my upcoming visit to Cyprus – I will book at Lokal as most of my business will be in Larnaca though I will have to go to Nicosia for a couple of meetings so the lunch suggestions will also be useful.

    • FooDiva January 17, 2016 at 11:04 am

      Pleasure Garry. The beauty of Lokal is also its location…very near the airport 🙂

  22. Kelly January 16, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    May I add the following restaurants in Nicosia?
    Gevsikkeous 69 for local tasty cuisine and a changing menu daily.
    Jimmy’s Kitchen for Cypriot cuisine with a twist.
    Apparently the new taverna Piragmena in the village of Lymbia, a very short drive from Nicosia, is worth trying.

    • FooDiva January 17, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Thanks Kelly. Will try them out on my next visit 🙂

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  1. What I enjoyed reading this week (8) | Ivan Brincat - August 23, 2014

    […] sister of a very good friend of ours with a great food blog on the Dubai scene. Being Cypriot, her culinary guide to Cyprus is not only mouthwatering but it also makes you want to visit this Mediterranean […]

  2. What I enjoyed reading this week (8) - September 5, 2014

    […] sister of a very good friend of ours with a great food blog on the Dubai scene. Being Cypriot, her culinary guide to Cyprus is not only mouthwatering but it also makes you want to visit this Mediterranean […]

  3. Dinner at Ta Piatakia, Cyprus | liloneoftheashes - May 12, 2015

    […] Prior to our trip to Cyprus, I did honestly very little research on where to go, where to eat, what to do. I had remember reading somewhere that Samantha from Foodiva was Greek-Cypriot-British, so off I went to her site and found this.  […]

  4. Weekly round-up of great reads on food and wine #43 – Food and Wine Gazette - August 3, 2015

    […] is your go to blog for the food scene in Dubai but she is also Cypriot so this insider’s guide is a must for anyone heading to Cyprus anytime soon. She was also recently on a gastronomic tour of […]

  5. A new heritage-listed boutique hotel, and my go-to boutique hotel websites | FooDiva - January 13, 2016

    […] a hugely comprehensive dining reference to Cyprus, here’s an update to my culinary travel guide – be warned it’s very detailed. I also post photos from my visits using the hashtag #CyprusDiva […]

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