Where are the best Cyprus restaurants?
Discover my all time favourite taverna plus other secret Cyprus restaurants, hidden away in mountain villages or on quiet back streets.
While you can find some great places to eat on the coast, the tastiest and best value food in Cyprus can really only be found in a traditional Cypriot taverna usually located in a mountain village
WHY? Because it is only in the traditional villages that you find the most authentic local "home-cooked" food, rather than the mass-produced meals that always come with chips found in most restaurants in the main resorts.
I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the "fast food" in some of these places, if that's the kind of food you like, but the Cypriot way is to take time over a meal...try lots of different dishes...and relax.
The best place to do this is to find your own special little Cyprus taverna up in the hills where the locals will welcome you with open arms and where you will eat like a king for a pauper's price.
Well, it's not quite as cheap as it used to be even in the village tavernas, but you can still get a main course for well under €10 euros - you will be hard-pushed to find anything that low in price near the coast.
Where to Eat the Best Cyprus Food
Our favourite Cyprus restaurants are situated mainly on the WEST of the island as that is where we live, near Polis. It happens to be the most unspoilt part of the island,"far from the madding crowds" as Thomas Hardy would have said, so I will admit we are a little biased in our opinions...but all of the Cyprus restaurants mentioned on this page here are unique in one way or another so please DO give them a try on your next villa holiday to Cyprus.
Before revealing my favourite Cyprus taverna secret, I have to tell you that we are SO lucky here in Cyprus.
- We have the freshest fruit and vegetables imaginable.
- Everything TASTES so good, as most Cyprus food is freshly picked the morning you buy it.
- As the quality of the produce is so good, it follows that you will get a great meal in most tavernas.
- We say MOST as the best food is made by taverna owners who have one love in life - FOOD!
When you take a trip up into a mountain village, don't expect white table cloths or fancy cutlery AND don't expect to be offered a huge menu.
In fact, don't even bother to ASK for the menu!
In our first few days on the island, we were told to avoid the local village tavernas by a local Cypriot as he didn't think their food was fresh due to the fact that many of them do not have a regular flow of customers. If you are unsure of going into a place with very few customers, take our tip and forget the menu...
TIP: Just ask the taverna owner what they are cooking that day and what is available for you to try. Whatever they are cooking, they will be eating themselves so you can be SURE it will be fresh.
They will also be using seasonal fruit and vegetables so you can be certain you will never have the same meal twice.
NB: Most of the village tavernas in the hills don't have fresh fish on the menu as they are not near the sea.
So what is our BEST Cyprus restaurant?
Well, we've tried lots on the island and have many we return to again and again but our #1 Favourite village taverna is still:KOUPPAS STONE TAVERN run by Andreas.
The taverna is situated opposite the co-op supermarket in the traditional stone village of Neo Chorio (pronounced Nay-oh Hor-ee-o) on the Akamas peninsula. In the summer you can sit outside and watch the world go by while you enjoy a mouthwatering meal.
That will usually include the wonder of regular traffic jams as delivery vehicles go head to head with cars, jeepsand the school bus just after mid-day. In the winter just sit inside the stone tavern itself where the locals hang out.
Andreas has all the usual Cyprus specialities on his menu (beef stifado, afelia, sheftalia and wonderful kleftiko on special nights), but we usually just ask him to bring us a small meze (a variety of mixed dishes). We say small for a very good reason - you only have to look at Andreas to realise that small actually means very large!
November 2011 update
- Andreas is half the man we knew 7 years ago! And by that I mean he has lost a HUGE amount of weight. After nagging him for years to get a bike and come riding with us, he has taken the plunge, bought a spanking new mountain bike and now rides 3-4 times a week over 25km. He's now slim and healthy, but his food in the best of our Cyprus restuarants still tastes just as good:)
Depending on the season, Andreas will tempt you with a variety of unusual dishes - over the years we've had beans with wild "grass" (freshly picked by his grandma - only she
knows which grass to pick), wild rabbit Kouppas-style, kleftiko slow-cooked over carob leaves and even snails (when it rains in November here, the snails come out in their thousands and you can just scoop them up in a bucket!).
His Cypriot specialities are the best we've tasted too, especially the
(slow cooked pork in red wine with coriander seeds).
TIP: Warning - DON'T order the full Meze unless you can eat a 32 oz steak and still have room for more. We did order it once (the Meze not a steak) and couldn't believe how much food we had to leave - now we always make sure we ask for a "small" meze!
N.B. There used to be 2 stone taverns in Neo Chorio. But the first one as you enter the village has just been renamed. Kouppas stone tavern is further up the village opposite the Co-op supermarket and 100m before the church.
We do have other favourite Cyprus restaurants, of course, especially those that do great meze lunches. Click on the links below for more best Cyprus restaurants.
The Phyti Tavern
Laona Tavern (our FAVOURITE Paphos eatery)
Seven St Georges
Viklari Last Castle
These are just some of my favourite tavernas and I'll keep adding to the list as hubby and I find new ones.
If you have found a special Cyprus restaurant, maybe one that does exceptional mezes too, please share it with our visitors via the form below and create your very own webpage about it!
The restaurants in Cyprus that OTHER people are raving about
Where is your favourite Cyprus restaurant?
If, like me, you like to cook great food at home for family and friends, you probably have high standards as far as eating out goes. So good restaurants have to have fresh food packed with flavour via careful use of herbs and spices or simply to serve food in a unique way.
We have our favourites but we'd love to hear about your favourite restaurants too and so would all our visitors.
So why not tell us about your best Cyprus restaurant here?
YOUR Best Cyprus Restaurants
Click on the links below for best Cyprus restaurants all written by those who've been on this page.
Beef Stifado Recipe
Best value restaurant in Paphos
Great value Cypriot tavernas
More favourite taverna recommendations
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