Though Nicosia may be small, the Cypriot city is packed with venues, from traditional locales to brand-new cocktail bars. There’s dozens of options to choose from when you’re hitting the town, so we’ve narrowed down the best places to grab a drink in Nicosia, fitting every mood.
Patio Cocktail Bar
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Tapas, Spanish, Mediterranean, Greek, $$$
Walking into Patio, you are greeted by a beautiful staircase which complements the old, traditional architecture of this Nicosian house. To its right is a long bar which leads to a patio garden. The colourful window shutters that decorate the walls are the venue’s most impressive décor, adding to the bar’s tropical atmosphere. Plants and vibrant lighting set the mood for exotic cocktails, from their extravagant Dragon Kiss signature cocktail, to subtle twists on old favourites like the Patio Mojito. Accompany a cocktail with Mediterranean-influenced tapas, hot or cold dishes and then let the DJs decks lead the way.
If you can’t spot this tiny black bar, the crowds of people filling the pavement in front of it will be a sure sign. Locted on the corner of Lord Byron Street, Lost + Found was voted one of the world’s 50 best bars and has become quite the hotspot for young crowds with its vast array of drinks and nightly music selection.The bar’s diverse menu is divided into four categories: sweet, sour, sweet-sour and dry-sweet. L + F have just added seven new cocktails that will last until October/November, all featuring fresh ingredients that can be found within 50 metres the bar. This means that you’ll get to smell and taste the eucalyptus trees that surround the area, fig leaves and even prickly pears that have been transformed into unique cocktails. And the drinks are as beautiful as they are tasty – all served in bespoke glasses – unless you order a mojito, which comes in a simple cup. To counteract the alcohol, you can also order a bite to eat like their signature ham, cheese and truffle crepes.
Beer lovers: this is the place for you. This small red bar near the Ledras Street checkpoint in the Old Town is an old coffee shop craft brewery. Their unique selection of craft beer from around the world includes nine draft lines and dozens of imported bottles, and has won them Ratebeer.com’s prestigious Best Craft Beer Bar in Cyprus award 3 times in a row. Head there for a chilled night out; and if you’re not sure what to drink, the friendly staff will help pick something out for you.
Another popular after-work venue is this small wine bar that decorates the pavement with wine barrels for tables. Located in the town centre beside a handful of office buildings, many business people and other locals choose Silver Star to unwind with a fine bottle of wine. Choose from a hand-selected variety of local and foreign wines that have little to no additives, or try their gin cocktails for a faster kick. As the night falls, the crowd gets bigger and the music gets louder. With great attention to music, Silver Star invites local DJs to play alternative/indie, new wave, post punk, garage, and rock n roll music. And if you get peckish, grab a cheese and charcuterie platter from their sister delicatessen Kantina Deli next door.
Away from the bustling vibe of Old Nicosia, this bar is almost secret as it’s located in an residential area beside Pedieos River. From the outside, no one can tell it’s a bar due to its simplicity, but indoors is another story. Newly-refurbished, the venue’s bar area features copper-coloured tiles, and serves up bespoke gin combinations – the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer’s day. Sit inside and observe the art pieces or grab a table in Granazi’s jasmine-scented garden, and order a bite from their night food menu to pair with your drink. Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days at the bar, with DJs playing a variety of music. If you’re lucky you might even catch a live gig, as Granazi hosts artists on a regular basis. With a creative and rustic atmosphere and a funky drinks menu, Granazi is a stunning spot to enjoy a cocktail after work, before the night-time madness begins.
Tucked away in an alley in Old Nicosia, just off the busy Onasagorou Street, you’ll find Plato’s Bar. This venue doesn’t need to make a lot of noise to maintain its status in Nicosia’s bar scene, as those who know it always make their way back. Open for an impressive 31 years, its interior is enriched by its cozy fireplaces for chilly nights, and is complemented by a beer garden for the Cypriot summer evenings. Plato’s has a selection of 150 beers and ciders and an even larger display of whiskies – 300 to be exact. The Jack Daniel’s Plato’s Selected Single Barrel is a must-try, which you can accompany with one of their huge burgers. For a more relaxing environment, visit this locale on a Sunday or a Monday, as weekends tend to be busy.
“Great wines and great food at reasonable prices” is a phrase this wine and tapas bar lives by as they have a variety of wines and dishes made from raw ingredients. Vino Cultura believes that wine isn’t only for drink lovers, and that pairing it with the right food is key. That’s why their staff are trained on food and wine monthly to guarantee the best experience. Popular during weekdays as well, it’s best to go early (happy hour is from 6pm – 8pm) or reserve a table if you’re tasting their delicious tapas. The halloumi croquettes and the ravioli with chicken and mushroom are a must.
For a more chilled environment, head to one of Nicosia’s favourite gardens just a five-minute walk from Lost + Found. New Division is a bar housed in an old, beautiful home with a stunning garden filled with plants – and three cozy bars. The low lighting gives it a calm feel, but when the DJ turns up the music be ready for a dance party inside. Live bands occasionally play there too, though generally it is a relaxing place to grab a drink and chat with friends. It’s been around for decades: generations of people have spent time hanging out at New Division, and it’s usually full during the weekends. It attracts people from all walks of life, ages and cultural backgrounds and everyone is usually friendly, so it’s easy to make friends here.
Another beloved city garden is that of Babylon, a bar that’s hidden away behind plants in a quiet street in central Nicosia. Established in 1993, the bar has attracted dedicated fans who appreciate its large selection of beers and tasty burgers. The building is also an old house, so you can sit inside among vintage beer adverts or cool down in its large garden with picnic tables and benches. And if there’s a match on, sports fans can enjoy it on a projector screen in the garden which can fit nearly 200 people. Babylon gives the all-time classic feel of a pub in Nicosia.
Located in the old part of Nicosia, in an industrial neighbourhood where lots of metal workers have their garages, Palaia Pineza is housed in an old metal shop. Right on the Green Line, it was created to keep the area alive after it was abandoned in 1974 due to the war. It is one of the liveliest bars you’ll find – don’t be surprised if the party lasts until the late hours. Pineza, as the locals call it, has cocktails for all tastes with unusual ingredients such as yoghurt. To find a table, go early (around 9pm), though later in the evening people spread out onto the road as few cars pass by there. Their annual birthday party in May and their Street Party (this year on September 30) turn into massive parties with food trucks and drinks, and hundreds of people lining the street.