Sandwiched between Greece and Turkey, Cyprus is very much influenced culturally by its neighbors, whilst simultaneously instilling its own unique blend of history and tradition into its cuisine. Local Cypriot cuisine and international fine-dining options compose a delectable plethora of dining gems in these ten cultural restaurants from Limassol to Nicosia, and Paphos to Ayia Napa.
Serving up steaks and grills from all sorts of different cuts, Fuamo Steak House is a carnivore’s treat with fillet, rib-eye and T-bone steak all on offer next to choice cuts of veal or a range of burgers. With all the meat prepared on-site, cuts are aged carefully to suit all tastes and are broiled to make sure the maximum amount of juices stay within the meat. With live music every Saturday, the venue is also a cultural and fun experience.
Situated in a converted 1930s house, Pyxida Fish Tavern is a restaurant that specializes in fresh fish, making the most of the wealth of seafood available to the small island nation. The menu’s highlights include such specialties as melt-in-the-mouth oysters, octopus in vinegar, and swordfish souvlaki style. Alternatively, the fish meze are also available; the meze menu reveals a gorgeous selection of 19 different plates, all composed of the freshest local ingredients. A friendly and warm atmosphere ensures that Pyxida is always busy, and it’s rated as one of Cyprus’ best fish restaurants.
Fanous is a contemporary Arabic restaurant which brings modern Lebanese cuisine to Cyprus and gives it a hint of Mediterranean flavor. The venue is decorated with luxurious pillows and throws which conjure up images of Ancient Arabia. It’s not just the genuine flavors of the Arab world or dishes of kofta and shawarma that bring Fanous’ Middle Eastern flair – performances of belly dancing are set up for guests to experience the venue’s exotic roots.
Bar Italia, as the name might suggest, is an Italian establishment serving up the best of authentic Italian cuisine in its cozy and relaxed premises. With all the standard fare one might expect from an Italian restaurant such as lasagna and various other pasta dishes, they also serve cow calf, salmon and a range of fresh salads which are really worth sampling. One particular pleasure is the freshly ground mid-morning coffee, sure to perk anyone up even under the lulling influence of the Mediterranean sun.
Burgers have never before been associated with fine dining or high class fare, but Artisan’s Burger Bar aims to change that with its sleek, chic restaurant that wouldn’t look out of place in a thriving metropolis such as London or Paris. In fact, it is located in the relaxed area of inland Cyprus. An exquisite approach to the preparation of the humble burger sees ingredients like figs or melted blue cheese appear on the menu next to more standard condiments that have classically staked their claim in burger bars around the world.
Cooking using rocks is an ancient practice which requires no oil or fat to prepare each dish, making the food that much healthier, but it has fallen somewhat out of fashion in recent times. Oliveto is trying to revive this culinary rarity within the walls of its elegant and sophisticated restaurant. Dishes that emanate from the stone grill include beef tenderloin, sirloin steak and tiger prawns. Upholstered sofas and soft candlelight add to the air of relaxation. There are also a couple of tables surrounded by ‘thrones’ should guests be tempted to book a special event.
Located in the idyllic setting of Coral Bay, Andria restaurant sits on the former site of a vineyard and is now a restaurant serving up genuine Cypriot cuisine including steaks, fish, chicken and a range of vegetarian options. All of these are selected from local markets to provide the freshest ingredients seasonally available. A family restaurant that has been passed down from generation to generation, Andria embodies both Cypriot cuisine and the nation’s lifestyle, and offers up a relaxed atmosphere in gorgeous surroundings where you can enjoy the best the Mediterranean has to offer.
Fat Mama’s is an Italian-American restaurant which plays heavily on the cross-nation theme with steaks, ribs, cannelloni and pizza, all serving as eye-catching options on the menu. Not content to just mix and match these two iconic international cuisines, Fat Mama’s also makes the best use of Cypriot produce in its dishes with meals such as the enticing ‘Magic Mushrooms’ using fresh mushrooms from the island itself. Naturally, pasta plays a starring role on the menu with a vast selection to choose from; the pasta carrietare is a firm favorite of many patrons.
Hokkaido provides both dinner and a show in one with its authentic Japanese cuisine being cooked on their teppanyaki grills. Guests can watch the chefs prepare their own meals with a certain theatrical panache added to the proceedings. Freshly made sushi, rice and noodle dishes are all present on the eclectic Eastern menu, whilst the decor is sleek and stylish hinting at Oriental origins. Just a short walk from Ayia Napa’s famous main square, Hokkaido is right at the heart of Cyprus.
Situated in a small building built in 1900 (hence the name) is a small, quirky cafe with a warm and homely atmosphere. There is far more on offer than just the food at Art Café 1900, as it acts as an emporium for all sorts of interesting bric-a-brac; from traditional Cypriot instruments to china plates. The venue also acts as an art gallery, hanging all manner of pictures of various styles, imagery and provenance. Simple, home-cooked meals add to the charm, with plain but tasty dishes such as lamb in oregano or chicken in beer sauce, providing a pared down but agreeable dining experience.
Art Café 1900, 6, Stasinou Street, Larnaca, Cyprus, +357 24653027