Food is the most important part of any trip, especially when you’re studying abroad. In this post I’m going to introduce you to my favorite restaurants and food spots in Nicosia.

Cypriot Cuisine

Cypriot cuisine is pretty similar to other Mediterranean food, particularly Greek and Turkish food. There’s a lot of fresh produce incorporated into dishes, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives. One of the most popular dishes is the Village Salad, which incorporates cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, bell peppers, olive oil, and tons of feta cheese. Since Cyprus is an island, seafood is also very popular. Cyprus is also well known for Halloumi, a special Cypriot cheese that’s usually served grilled. In my opinion, Halloumi kind of tastes like an elevated, more sophisticated string cheese. More Cypriot staples are gyros, hummus, and most importantly meze. Meze is an eclectic assortment of small dishes, with multiple courses. Meze is my go-to meal when going to a restaurant, and the amount of food borders on overwhelming so I usually split it between 2-3 people. Meze starts with a Village Salad, pita bread, grilled halloumi and a sampling of spreads such as Tahini, Hummus, and Tzakiki. Throughout the meal various kabobs, specialty meats from the restaurant, and sheftalia- Cypriot sausage-, are brought out. My personal favorite dish is Loukanika, a type of sausage marinated in wine.

Best Nicosia Restaurants

I have three restaurants that are my go-to for meze. They’re all very reasonably priced, and serve an absurd amount of food.

My absolute favorite restaurant is Piatsa Gourounaki, or “The Little Pig”. This restaurant is definitely the touristiest of the three, but is such a stand out. It’s located in the Old Town area of Nicosia. I love this restaurant because the atmosphere is really modern, albeit a little touristy, but the service is amazing and the fries are to die for. They have the best honey mustard and insanely good rosemary herb fries. In Cyprus I’ve had fries served with almost every single one of my meals and none of the fries have come close to The Little Pig’s.

My second favorite restaurant is Estiatorio Euroullas. Estiatorio Euroullas is a really quaint and cozy restaurant in the Old Town and was the first place that I tried meze. It’s in a little alley off of Ledras Street, the main street in Old Town, and is almost hidden. I love this restaurant because everything seems home-y and authentic. Of the three restaurants this place has the best Tzakiki, a yogurt based dipping sauce.

The last restaurant on this list is To Anamma. This is the restaurant we went to for orientation dinner. Like the other restaurants it’s in Old Town. I love this restaurant because the seating area takes you to a different place once you enter. Tables are laid out under a canopy of green vines and it’s so quiet it’s like you’ve left Nicosia and you’re eating in a garden. The chef actually lived in Los Angeles for a couple of years, and so he came by and explained the background and inspiration behind his dishes, which added to the experience.

Arisa Dhiensiri studied abroad in Nicosia, Cyprus, in summer 2018: