Where to eat in Cyprus: pick of the island's best restaurants
Deciding where to eat in Cyprus can be difficult thanks to the eclectic mix of culinary options available. As a country bursting with global cultural influences, naturally, the food is a vibrant blend of flavours, including a mix of traditional, fusion and wholly international dishes.
With so many restaurants across the island offering everything from Greek salads and moussakas to pizzas and curries, even the fussiest of eaters will be able to find something to tickle their taste buds. Vegetarians need not worry as the Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, salads and cheeses, including their most famous export, halloumi. Portions are usually large and very filling, so be warned!
It's worth visiting Venezia in Limassol for the decoration alone, which is a cross between Teletubby Land and Bill and Ben's garden, with walls adorned with wheelbarrows, sunflowers and even scarecrows. Waiters are warm, friendly and fond of a joke, while food is delicious and they're more than happy to accommodate any allergies. It's also great for families with a dedicated menu for under 12s.
The perfect place for lunch, Glykolemono in Larnaca offers a quiet atmosphere and has not yet gone the way of so many smaller eateries. This café retains its traditional charm and offers a wide selection of pastries and local dishes as well as more familiar cuisine such as pizza (with a Cypriot touch: think halloumi and feta). The coffee's strong, the lemonade refreshing and the mpougatsa (a creamy, custard filled pastry) is arguably the best in Cyprus.
Ta Perix, Paphos
Somewhere to go if you're looking for a unique but traditional meze experience is Ta Perix in Paphos. You'll receive a warm welcome, before choosing your own meze selection from a simple tick sheet. Choices include seasonal vegetables (try the courgette balls and roasted aubergine), grilled quail and a selection of spicy and cheesy dips. The local wine is quite sweet, but compliments the food well.
Raj's Tandoor, Limassol
Not exactly a traditional Cypriot restaurant but sometimes when you're on holiday you just fancy a curry! Allegedly the first tandoori restaurant in Cyprus, the food was beautifully cooked and the staff very friendly and helpful, even with an onion allergy and two vegetarians in tow! The chicken Biryani was tender and fragrant, and the mushroom Bhuna was delicious.
Pahit Ice, Nicosia
No holiday to Cyprus is complete without at least one ice-cream and of the many we had, Pahit Ice in Nicosia was by far the best. There are so many flavours of both ice-cream and sorbet that the choice was agonising (go for the pineapple, coconut and caramel), especially as there are some unusual options, including wine and prickly pear.
One of the best things about eating in Cyprus is the freshness of the food - if it's not in season, it probably won't be available. There's also so much choice that no matter what type of cuisine you're after, you'll find it somewhere on the island. Of course, if deciding where to eat in Cyprus proves too much of challenge, you could always turn to the well stocked supermarkets, which offer a wide variety of delicacies to turn a simple beach picnic into a gourmet al fresco meal. And did I mention how good the ice-cream is?
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