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One essential Cyprus dining experience not to miss is meze, a collection of small dishes (similar to Spanish tapas). Restaurants in Cyprus might serve up to 30 meze dishes, including dips, salads, fish, kebabs and meats, before rounding off the meal with sweets such as baklava and a glass of sweet Commandaria wine.
Be sure to sample local halloumi cheese soaked in brine when dining in Cyprus. It’s typically served grilled or fried in a salad, or incorporated into a variety of other traditional dishes.
Other local products to look out for in Cyprus restaurants include sheftalia (a juicy minced pork sausage) and kleftiko (slow-cooked lamb shank). Sweeter treats include pastellaki, a sesame-seed and peanut candy, and loukoumades, little doughnuts covered in sugar syrup.
If the local cuisine in Cyprus doesn’t suit your taste, or you simply fancy something else, you’ll also find plenty of international restaurants throughout Cyprus.
Travellers wondering where to eat in Cyprus will be pleased to find that restaurant prices across the country are generally quite reasonable compared to other European countries. As with most destinations, you’ll find the best places for food in Cyprus by paying attention to where the locals are eating, rather than the tourists.
There are few better places to try meze than 7 St Georges Tavern (Anthipolochagou Georgiou Savva, Yeroskipou) in Paphos. The small plates served at this delightful restaurant focus on seasonal, organic ingredients, some of which are grown in the restaurant’s own garden. Carnivores will appreciate the in-house smoked meats, while vegetarians will enjoy the solid selection of meatless meze.
In Limassol, meanwhile, try Ladas (Old Port). It’s one of the best fish restaurants in Cyprus and is set in a charming 19th-century warehouse. There’s no menu. Servers simply ask how you prefer to have your fresh catch of the day cooked.
The home-style Cypriot cuisine served at Art Cafe 1900 (Stasinou 6) is also well worth trying. The bar on the ground floor has a huge selection of whiskies, wine, and beers.