Mediterranean-diet  Cyprus Food  | Mediterranean diet


The Cyprus cuisine is based on the famous Mediterranean diet which has been hailed by the experts as the best diet for a healthy lifestyle. In the Cyprus cuisine you are going to find all the components of a healthy diet, such as vegetables, fruits and fresh salads.
Cyprus cuisine dishes are always full of nutrients because they are based on fresh ingredients. They are usually cooked with pure olive oil and the basic ingredients come from the Cypriot countryside.


Examples of the Cyprus food Mediterranean diet 

The Cypriot potatoes, as an example, are one of the most tasty and famous in all the European Union. Do taste the fruit and vegetables with their unique smell and taste. Special place among the many fruits have the citrus fruits (oranges, mandarins, satsumas, grapefruit, pomelo), and also strawberries, apples, pears and watermelon, melons and grapes and don’t forget the figs! Everything grows in the Cypriot sun and the Mediterranean climate. No wonder they taste so good!

Other main components of the Cyprus cuisine are the homegrown, premium cuts of meat: pork, lamb, goat, and chicken. Fresh fish from the crystal sea waters is a prominent ingredient in daily dishes as do yoghurt and cheese.



cyprus-food-history  Cyprus Cuisine formation


The island’s history played an important role in the formation of the Cyprus cuisine.

During the centuries Cyprus was conquered by many who envied its strategic place. Persians, Romans, Venetians, Ottomans and English are but a few of the conquerors. Their presence influenced the Cyprus cuisine since all conquerors brought with them their own culture and favourite dishes and ingredients.

A traditional Cyprus food is “koupepia”.

They were introduced to Cyprus by the Ottomans who called the dish “dolmades” more than 500 years ago. Cypriots adopted this dish and modified it to use as a basic ingredient their own plentiful young grapevine leaves. In similar ways, the Cypriot cuisine has added plenty of flavours and tastes to its repertoire and now it is one of the most popular and richest cuisines in the world.



famous-cyprus-food  Famous traditional Cyprus Food


For a visitor, the most famous dish is the traditional “meze”.

You will find meze in all restaurants and it will be suggested in every place where traditional cyprus cuisine meals are served. The Cypriot meze is really a compound meal of many, different dishes – some cold, some hot, but always in small portions. It gives the visitor the opportunity to taste a wide variety of cyprus cuisine dishes and enjoy the cyprus food aroma as well as the taste.

Cyprus food | Barbecued or cooked in the oven

Other favourite Cyprus cuisine dishes are everything that can be grilled, barbecued or cooked in the oven. If you are lucky enough to go to little villages, you will enjoy cyprus food grilled in a coal fire.

Cyprus souvlakia | Kebab | Souvla

The Cypriot has a strong affiliation towards souvlakia (kebabs) and souvla (roast meat on a spit). Souvlakia are usually small pieces of meat served in pitta bread. Souvla is usually roasting big pieces of lamb on a spit over a coal fire.

 cyprus kebab

Cyprus cheese |Halloumi

On the pedestal of the traditional tastes sits the famous Cypriot cheese, the “halloumi”. Halloumi is the only cheese in the world that can be eaten in a variety of ways: you can eat it raw, grilled, fried, boiled or cooked in the oven.




cyprus-wine  Cyprus Wines | Koumandaria


The Cyprus wines are especially sweet, fragrant and nutritious.

The most gorgeous of them all has to be the one called “Koumandaria”. Koumandaria is a wine with plenty of history and tradition. It was traditionally made by the Templar Knights back at the time when they had bought Cyprus, and they used their own secret recipe.



cyprus-Recipe  Cyprus Cuisine | Cyprus Recipes

Once you are in a restaurant, you will meet the following Cyprus cuisine dishes. Here’s an explanation of the main ingredients and method of cooking so you can have an idea of what is presented in front of you once you order it! 


Most of the timeSeftalia is served in pitta bread together with souvlakia. Seftalia are made with pork mince meat, salt, pepper, cinnamon, onion, parsley and breadcrumbs. Note that seftalia are covered in lamb’s intenstines.


Afelia consists of pieces of pork mixed with chopped coriander, wine, olive oil, salt and pepper. 


Koupepia are cooked with pork mincemeat, onions, tomato paste, rice, lemon juice, parsley, mint, olive oil, salt and pepper. We mix everything together and we put a tablespoon of the mix in the middle of each grapevine leaf. We turn the corners of the leaf in such a way as to create a little packet, and we bake them or cook them on the hob.


Soutzoukos is a traditional Cypriot candy made from boiled grape juice in which flour, masticha and rose water is added. Pieces of walnut or almond are threaded in a special kind of thread and this is dipped in the grape juice mixture enough times to cover the pieces of walnut. The whole thing is then dried in the sun. 




Christodoulos Kikas

Written by Christodoulos Kikas


Translated by Anthea Papa