top of page
  • Writer's pictureDiogo Machado

What to eat in Cyprus?

Updated: Apr 4


The breathtaking island of Cyprus, nestled in the embrace of the Mediterranean Sea and bordered by Greece and Turkey, boasts a culinary landscape richly influenced by the vibrant cultures of its neighbors. From savory delicacies to sweet treats and invigorating beverages, the flavors of Cyprus promise a journey of gastronomic delight that will leave you craving for more during your stay on this remarkable island!




Discover with us:

🍻 Drinks

 

Salty food

Halloumi

Renowned as Cyprus's culinary gem, Halloumi cheese reigns supreme in popularity across European countries. Crafted from a blend of goat and sheep milk, its unique texture and delightful saltiness make it an ideal choice for grilling or frying. Often paired with meats or vegetables, it also shines as a standalone appetizer. During summertime, relish the refreshing combination of Halloumi cheese and watermelon, a true testament to the island's culinary ingenuity.



Moussaka


This oven-baked dish, celebrated not only in Cyprus but also across the Middle East and Greece, features layers of eggplants, beef, or lamb, smothered in creamy béchamel sauce and cheese. Whether served hot or cold, Moussaka delights with its simplicity, heartiness, and irresistible flavor.




What to eat in Cyprus?


Kleftiko


Legend has it that shepherds, seeking to evade capture, slow-cooked lamb and potatoes over an underground fire, giving rise to the iconic dish known as Kleftiko. Simmered with lemon juice and aromatic herbs, the tender meat exudes a tantalizing aroma that evokes the rugged beauty of Cyprus's pastoral landscapes.



Kotopoulo Kolokassi


A quintessential Cypriot dish marrying succulent meat with the earthy flavors of taro, or kolokassi, Kotopoulo Kolokassi embodies centuries-old culinary tradition. Chicken or beef, taro, and onions simmer together, while a rich tomato sauce infused with vegetables and herbs completes this hearty and flavorful dish.



Souvla/souvlaki


Souvla or souvlaki differ only in size. They are bigger or smaller meat chunks slowly prepared over charcoal barbeque. The meat can be different - lamb, pork, or chicken and the best is marinated the night before. Souvlaki are traditionally eaten during family or friends gatherings. While the meat is being cooked family members or close friends start the meeting with a glass of ouzo or zivania. Fortunately, souvlaki are also very common dish in restaurants. They are often served in a pita with tzatziki sauce and a portion of french fries. You should not skip trying this dish when visiting Cyprus!


What to eat in Cyprus?



Dolmades


Rice and meat wrapped in grape leaves. Dolmades are a popular appetizer in Cyprus. Its original taste should always be finished with lemon juice right before eating.







Tirokafteri


Tirokafteri is a kind of spicy dip made from feta cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, chili, and garlic. Next to tzatziki is one of the most famous sauces served with pita, fried potatoes, or even souvlaki. It’s a must-try!






Seafood dishes


As Cyprus is an island on the Mediterranean Sea the traditional cuisine must include also seafood. They are the most popular in coastal towns where every day you can get the freshest fish, and also prawns, calamari, oysters, or octopus. Seafood can be prepared in various ways - grilled, deep fried, baked, or roasted with the addition of olive oil. If you like fresh seafood you should definitely try Cypriot ones.



Sweet food



Palouze


The famous dessert that brings pride to Cypriots. Palouze is a sweet jelly made of grape juice and can be served warm or chilled. As Cyprus has plenty of grape plantations it’s very typical and traditional sugary snack. Palouze is usually made in vineyards as secondary production, but a lot of people also prepare it every autumn at home.



Loukoumi


Loukoumi originally come from Turkey, but also in Cyprus and Greece are very popular and traditional sweets. They are also called Turkish Delights. It’s simply a sweet little jelly that can have different flavors like rose, almonds, pistachios, vanilla, or fruity. Little cubes are covered with powder sugar. It’s impossible not to see them in markets and food stalls so make sure you give them a try!

What to eat in Cyprus?


Loukoumades


Sweet deep-fried snacks made of donut dough and honey. Very popular to eat on Fat Thursday but not only! If you go to Cyprus you should try them because these little bites are one of the best sweets you can get on the island!

What to eat in Cyprus?


Pasteli


Sweet seeds bars that are made with carob syrup. Usually, sesame seeds are used for pasteli but it’s easy to find also mix of various ones. Sometimes even nuts are added to enrich the flavor even more.



Baklava


As in Turkey, Greece, and Balkan countries baklava is the “king of desserts” also in Cyprus. A very sweet combination of pastry full of nuts, honey, and sugar syrup. It is so popular for a reason.

What to eat in Cyprus?



Drinks



Wines


What to eat in Cyprus?

Did you know that wine production is a centuries long tradition in Cyprus? While being there it’s worth trying their local wine made from one of the best grapes in the world. You should not skip Commandaria wine which is the oldest wine in the world and the so-called queen of wines. It’s a sweet dessert wine that you can easily find in restaurants. Cyprus offers also great white wines so if you prefer this kind you will still have a lot of amazing choices. We also recommend visiting local vineyards to get the best experience and learn more about Cypriot wines.






Cypriot coffee


The coffee that you can try in Cyprus is very similar to the Turkish one. It’s prepared in briki - a tall, narrow pot. It should be over the fire till kaimaki appears - it’s a coffee foam created on the top of the liquid. Cypriot coffee is very strong and is served in an espresso cup with a glass of water. Drink it carefully because on the bottom of the cup there are coffee grounds.

What to eat in Cyprus?



Strong alcohol


What to eat in Cyprus?

Cyprus also has a wide range of strong alcohols. Cypriot brandy is lighter than the classic one and contains around 30% of alcohol. You can enjoy local Brandy Sour which is a mix of alcohol, lemon juice, a few drops of angostura, and soda water. Also very popular in Cyprus are Zivania and Ouzo. Zivania is very strong alcohol also known as fiery water. The white color drink is made of grape pulp that is left from wine production process. Ouzo is another grape-based strong alcohol. If you fancy trying this kind of drink you should drink these two because they are very famous on the island.





Airani


Airani is a soft beverage based on fermented milk, water, mint, and salt. It’s popular to drink well chilled on a hot day. Natural drink without any preservatives is famous for its healthy qualities and refreshing effect. Drinking milk-based products and eating yogurt is popular in Cyprus and also in the Balkans and Greece.








We hope the article about Cypriot food made you even more excited about making the trip to the island. This beautiful country is famous for breathtaking landscapes and great food. We suggest you read other food guides that we created - Montenegro food guide, Maltese food guide, and many more! Follow us on Instagram @thewalkingparrot to be alerted when new articles are published!















Recent Posts

See All

Commentaires


bottom of page