What to Eat in Cyprus? Your Guide to the Wealth of Flavors

Posted in Food & Drink on October 17th, 2018

Deciding what to eat in Cyprus is hard because you have to pick between delicious kebabs, rich-flavored stews, and dozens of other fantastic dishes. The Cypriot cuisine is a mix of Greek and Turkish with lots of unique local flavors thrown in. Many of the dishes have Greek names, but all Cyprus foods taste a bit different. You’ll be able to learn this yourself as every town and village is proud to share its local delicacies.

What to Eat in Cyprus: 10 Traditional Cypriot Foods You Must Try

  1. Halloumi cheese

Halloumi cheese is the staple of the Cypriot diet. You can eat it grilled, freshly-made, in salads, in pastries, and a dozen other ways. It’s considered traditionally Cypriot food, but the cheese is so good, it’s popular all over the world.

In most cases, halloumi cheese is made from a mix of goat and sheep milk. However, today you can find some options with cow’s milk as well. This product should be not only on your list of things to eat in Cyprus but also the list of possible gifts. Your friends and loved ones will surely appreciate a delicious treat more than some souvenir to put on a shelf.

  1. Meze

Meze is not an actual food but a special kind of meal that can include up to 20 small dishes and alcoholic drinks. Eating meze in Cyprus is an experience that is sure to leave an impression on you. You go out to do this with friends and share a multi-course meal while bonding.

One of the main advantages of meze for a foodie tourist is that this experience allows you to try many Cyprus foods. Traditional Cypriot, Greek, and Turkish recipes all go into the mix.

  1. Kebab

A delicious kebab is one of the first things you should eat in Cyprus. This dish is extremely popular in many countries, that’s why there are many types of kebabs. All of them are the same in their basics, meaning that those are pieces of cooked marinated meat. In many cases, they are cooked on a skewer over the open fire.

The aroma of a cooking kebab will have you salivating while you pass many restaurants and cafes in Cyprus. Each place has its own unique recipe, so enjoy tasting as much as you want.

  1. Koupepia

Koupepia is one of the things to eat in Cyprus to enjoy the unique local flavor. There is the same dish in the Greek and Turkish cuisines, but Cypriots use a special blend of herbs.

Koupepia is ground meat with rice wrapped in grape leaves and cooked in a fragrant sauce. The dish is very filling and delicious. But that’s the case for all traditional Cyprus foods.

  1. Souvlakia

Cypriot souvlakia is the kind of fast food you have to eat in Cyprus. Don’t let the name fool you, because this dish has nothing in common with hamburgers, fried chicken, and fries.

Souvlakia in Cyprus is a piece of pita bread filled with grilled meat and vegetables (tomatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, and onion). The meat is grilled right before your eyes and you squeeze a piece of lemon over the treat to bring out more flavor from every ingredient.

  1. Macaronia tou fournou

Macaronia tou fournou is the Cypriot way of cooking Greek pastitsio. This is a very filling dish that will be perfect after a day of playing and swimming. It’ll give you lots of energy to party long into the night. The food is so simple yet tasty, you may not only eat it in Cyprus but also take the recipe home.

Macaronia tou fournou is a baked dish that consists of ground meat, macaroni, and béchamel sauce. Of course, there are many seasonings at play as well. All Cypriot recipes include a lot of different spices and herbs.

  1. Kleftiko

The name kleftiko literally means a dish cooked from stolen lamb meat. You won’t need to do anything illegal to enjoy it today however. It’s available is many traditional Cyprus restaurants, and you should give it a try.

The dish is very simple, the lamb is baked with seasonings for a long time. Historically, it was cooked in clay, but today many use a Dutch oven. The point is to make sure that the pot is sealed and has thick walls. The meat should be cooking in its own juice and seasonings.

  1. Ekmek kadayifi

When it comes to desserts, ekmek kadayifi is one of the essential things you should eat in Cyprus. It’s incredible, sweet, and versatile. The recipe originates from Turkey and you should find it in every good Cypriot cookbook.

The syrup served over ekmek kadayifi is responsible for the versatility of flavors. You should try several options to determine which is the best.

  1. Moussaka

Moussaka is another filling baked dish with ground meat you should eat in Cyprus. It’s Greek in origin and requires a lot of time and work to make. However, it’s definitely worth it because the taste is incredible.

The dish usually includes beef, aubergines, potatoes, and tomatoes. There are quite a few other ingredients as well. Many unique variations of the recipe are available. This means you can enjoy a new flavor every time you try it in a new place.

  1. Stifado

Stifado is a hearty hot stew that will warm up your body and soul. It’s the number one dish to eat in Cyprus if you visit during the winter.

Stifado is traditionally cooked with hare meat, but you can also find many options with beef.

Where to Eat in Cyprus?

Cyprus has a multitude of restaurants, cafes, and stalls where you can buy a variety of delicious foods. The best way to find out what you like most is to try all of the available options and compare. You can also look up reviews of different Cyprus restaurants and cafes on online travelers’ portals, like TripAdvisor. Many of the places serve not only the local dishes. Italian, Asian, Turkish, and Russian cuisines are also very popular.

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