A Taste of the Mediterranean: Cypriot Cuisine

If you’re soon moving to the Mediterranean nation of Cyprus, one of the great things you’ve got to look forward to is the cuisine. The Mediterranean in general is known for having some of the tastiest food in the world – and Cyprus is no exception.

What’s On the Plate?

Here’s a look at some of the local cuisine you can expect to try.

  • Meze: This is a common option offered in restaurants, and one you should definitely opt for. Meze means “small dishes” and is a fantastic way to taste many of the local dishes, with just enough of each for you to taste, but not too much to fill you up too soon.

  • Afelia: Think pork marinated in red wine and mixed with potatoes, mushrooms and coriander seeds – and you’ve got a Cypriot speciality.

  • Halloumi: Loved worldwide, this cheese made from either sheep or goat milk originates in Cyprus and is usually served fried or grilled.

  • Horiatiki Salata: A salad made with Mediterranean favourites – fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, feta cheese, olives, olive oil and vinegar.

  • Sheftalia: A traditional Cypriot sausage made with pork, lamb, onions and parsley.

  • Stifado: Beed, tomatoes, onions and herbs stewed together until tender.

  • Yemista: This can be a range of different vegetables – such as peppers, tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines – with a traditional stuffing.

  • Koupepia: Grape leaves stuffed with a traditional Cypriot filling.

Desserts & Drinks

In addition to savoury dishes, Cyprus is also well-known for its unique dessert recipes. If you’re soon moving to Cyprus and have a sweet tooth, you’ll definitely need to try out some of these:

  • Loukournades: A real treat is deep-fried doughnuts dipped in honey syrup.

  • Daktyla: Topped with a syrup, this is a pastry dish made with either cinnamon, almonds or walnuts.

  • Shoushouko: A unique treat of solidified grape juice rolled and filled with almonds or walnuts to add an extra crunch.

  • Kolokotes: A sweet pastry dessert filled with cracked wheat, pumpkin and raisins.

  • Koupes: If you like mince meat, you’ll love this dessert of fried cracked wheat stuffed with mince meat and spices.

  • There are also plenty of traditional Cypriot drinks that you’ll come across soon after relocation:

  • Ouzo: Typical of the Mediterranean, ouzo is a liqueur made from double distillation of dry wines mixed with aniseeds.

  • Commandaria wine: The locally-grown Cypriot grapes are to thank for this sweet dessert wine.

  • Cypriot Coffee: Served in small cups and with a glass of cold water on the side, Cypriot coffee is boiled to form a creamy froth on the top known as “kaimaki”.

  • Frappe: An iced coffee drink, perfect for cooling down on a hot day.

Tips For Eating Out

If you’re new to Cyprus, eating out may be a different experience than what you’re used to – so here are some tips for visitors when trying the local cuisines.

1. A service charge will most likely already be included in your bill, but it is also expected that you leave an additional tip for the waiter.

2. Eating out is something of a social event in Cyprus and most people tend to dress up. Hence, if you’ve been invited out to eat, it’s important that you’ve made an effort with your appearance.

3. If you’re unsure of what to order, opt for a meze option, which will allow to taste many of the different dishes available.