Traditional Cypriot foods

Those who vacation in Cyprus usually have a wolfish appetite.

This can be attributed to an active pastime, but much more convincing is the version that the appetite is controlled by the aromas of stewed meat and grilled fish.

They are hovering over every tourist town, luring in the taverns, and all you need to do is to show in the menu what you want – tender lamb stewed in the oven for hours, or crispy chicken kebabs, or octopus in wine sauce.

If you’ve been to Greece, Cypriot cuisine will seem familiar to you. If you’ve been to Turkey, too. You can recognize the features of Arabian cuisine. Yes, in fact, even the words “Mediterranean diet” fit to describe the culinary traditions of Cyprus.

Traditional Cypriot foods

That means the best olive oil, superb cheeses, perfectly cooked meat and fish, local vegetables and fruits are eaten here all year round.

Besides, spices are not overdone here: mainly aromatic herbs are used – thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, and mint, while hot pepper has a modest place. Well, the main advantage is that almost all popular dishes in Cyprus are suitable for children’s table.

This means that it’s time to take a closer look at a typical Cypriot menu. National Dishes of Cyprus As much as the national cuisine of Cyprus is close to that of Greece, there are still specialties of its own.

Kefalotiri is a hard, dry cheese combined with pasta and vegetable dishes. Kefalotiri, like halloumi, is fried. Anari is a soft whey cheese, analogous to ricotta. Anari can be eaten as a dessert, it is also used as a filling for burekia pies.

Mukentra is one of the national dishes of Cyprus and the most popular side dish.

Mukentra is made of lentils and rice, and vegetarians know how healthy and delicious this combination is. Trahana is a specialty of Cyprus, a soup made from a mixture of crushed wheat and sour milk. The same name is given to the sausages of grits and milk, which serve as a half-finished product for the soup.

Cooked sausages are soaked, poured with yogurt and lemon juice, and before serving, boiled meat and halloumi cheese are placed in the soup.

Traditional Cypriot foods

Arkatena is a special bagel baked in the village of Omodos. The sourdough for the arkatena is made from chickpeas, the dough is flavored with mastic, and the bagels are baked so that the crispy crust is formed.

Halloumi is one of the famous Cypriot cheeses, resembling mozzarella in taste and consistency. Halloumi is served fried, added to salads and garnished with seafood. In addition, this cheese combines well with fruits, honey, and nuts.

For sale, halloumi is folded in half and sprinkled with dried mint. Orimo is a ripe halloumi aged in salted whey. Orimo goes well with pasta dishes.


Lunch or dinner in Cyprus begins with mezes, which are cold and hot appetizers. They are supposed to precede the main meal, but if you try two or three dozen pieces, you can get really full.

Dzadziki, or talaturi, is a sauce made of thick yogurt, chopped cucumber, and garlic. Olive oil and herbs are often added to zazziki. Bread, pieces of roasted vegetables and seafood can be dipped into this sauce.

Olives – salted, marinated, stuffed, flavored with various spices and invariably delicious.

Traditional Cypriot foods

A special type of cooking olives in Cyprus is baked in the oven. Olives baked with garlic and fragrant herbs are served warm.

  • Kupepia, or dolmades, small stuffed cabbage rolls wrapped in grape leaves and drizzled with lemon juice. The filling for dolmades is rice, rice-meat, or vegetable (the latter option is truly Cypriot).
  • Tirokafteri – pate of feta or other soft cheese flavored with olive oil, lemon juice, hot pepper and garlic. A great addition to boiled potatoes.
  • Melidzanosalata – roasted eggplant caviar. Lunza – smoked pork pickled in wine.
  • Taramosalata – pate of smoked cod roe, soaked bread and mashed potatoes.

The taramosalata can be spread on bread or dipped into the pita. Pickled vegetables, tahini sesame paste, hummus, capers and seafood are also on the appetizer table. Main courses may also be among the meze.


You know at least one salad from traditional Cypriot cuisine: choriatica, aka village salad, aka Greek salad will be on the menu of any tavern – but it may appear under the Turkish name koban salatasi.

Traditional Cypriot foods
  • Tonosalata is a salad of boiled potatoes, beans, eggs and tuna. This hearty base is masked by lettuce leaves and fresh tomatoes.
  • Wodino salad – a salad of fresh vegetables with boiled meat.
  • Htapoda salad is a vegetable salad with octopus.

And they also make onion salad in Cyprus, which consists of two ingredients – sweet red onions and honey-vinegar dressing. macos/deepLFree.translatedWithDeepL.text

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