by Julia Ramyalg
Can you imagine vacation in the Northern Cyprus without tasting traditional cuisine?
For every holidaymaker this means definitely an inseparable adventure as tasty Cypriot food represents a part of the unique culture.
North Cyprus is literally studded with restaurants from the authentic Cypriot cuisine, which offer very good value for money, to the fashionable restaurants like French, Chinese or Indian.
Lying on the crossroad of the three continents, the Turkish-Cypriot cuisine has been influenced by different cultures throughout history, owing most of its heritage to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences. Many dishes vary from region to region making North Cyprus a marvelous place to eat. The finest restaurants are, however, found in and around Kyrenia.
Over the years the culinary offerings in Northern Cyprus have grown as has the demand for their services. Not only the residents of the island required their services but also by the growing number of tourists that visit the island each year.
The first restaurants on the island were more local in nature and offered Cypriot dishes such as kebabs and mezes. The most famous of these restaurants are
located in the Kyrenia harbour area. It’s a pleasure to enjoy a candlelight dinnerwhile gazing at the warm light illuminated Kyrenia castle. Between the breath taking scenery and the scrumptious cuisine it is hard to tell which casts the stronger spell on you.
As the international community on the island is continually growing there has been a push towards more family oriented restaurants, similar in nature to TGI Fridays and Steak Houses, “Stone Grill / Cafe Duka” to name a few have opened in and around Kyrenia.
Cafe Bars and English Pubs
There are lots of Cafe bars and English pubs across Northern Cyprus, like the rest of the Mediterranean islands the cafe bar culture is to be seen everywhere.
There is a great range of Cafe bars in and around Kyrenia Harbor that serve a good choice of beers and food. You can also find some great bars in the better
hotels, The Colony Hotel the Rocks Hotel and the Merrit Hotel to name a few also offer entertainment however they can be expensive, so please bear this in mind.
Some English bars worth mentioning are, Villa Swallow that is situated just two minutes walk from the Harbour, it offers a great selection of beers and superb home cooked English food, the Fireman’s Fez Pub is handy to know as it serves good old fish and chips on a Friday evening and the Castle Pub in araoglanoglu which is only five minutes away is very convenient if you want to watch the live football.
The Santori Holiday Village is a great place for a night cap especially in the summer when there is a great atmosphere around the pool bar and restaurant.
The Escape beach offers both bars and Nightclub during the summer months. It is a great place for the latest in dance music and with its open air club next to the sea you could not ask for a better setting.
Niazis Restaurant has been serving good quality food, mainly kebabs and steaks, to locals and tourists for over 40 years. His now famous kebabs have stopped people needing a starter ever since day one, and with a wide selection of desserts to suit every taste, you really are spoiled for choice. Positioned in the heart of Kyrenia center, just 2 minutes walk from the harbor, you are also in the perfect position to seek out some late night entertainment. Open 7 days a week.
Pizza Garden is just a few miles to the west of Kyrenia and this is very popular restaurant that serves various foods throughout the day. Famous for their individual style & taste in a pizza and those delicious, thick chocolate/brandy milkshakes, you can sit and watch the best sunsets the island has to offer in this relaxed and tranquil location. Open 7 days a week, closed from November to March.
Rich in history and architecture, this delightful restaurant is situated right in the heart of Kyrenia harbor, with its old fishing boats and imposing backdrop of the ancient Kyrenia castle. There are 3 floors in total with the “roof top terrace” being the most popular place for diners to enjoy the amazing view on offer. The menu is extensive and there really is something to suit all tastes, so whilst in the Northern Cyprus the Carob is a must. Open 7 days a week.
The Ambiance is opened by 2 of the most experienced and popular restaurateurs in the Northern and offers its diners something different from the average restaurant. Set right on the seas edge in the very popular village of Karaoglanoglu, you can relax and enjoy one of the most extensive menus on the island whilst listening to the waves gently splashing against the rocks. The evening is busy and the atmosphere is perfect, the day is laid backed with the chance to relax on loungers and soak up the rays, all in all, the perfect choice. Open 7 days a week, booking essential.
Altinkaya 1 is just 5 miles west of Kyrenia city center on the Kyrenia-Lapta road. This is lovely fish restaurant which offers panoramic views and a friendly atmosphere, open 7 days a week.
Peking and Cantonese dishes served at Kyrenia’s popular Chinese House situated just 1.5 km west of the city center. There are indoor and outdoor seating arrangements so you can enjoy the authentic dishes any time of the year. Closed on Sundays.
Efendis House is situated in the old Turkish quarter with a delightful courtyard garden and giant apricot tree. This old time restaurant has a small but delicious menu, the staff is all friendly and the atmosphere is perfect. Closed on Mondays. If you are looking for a good quality Indian restaurant, look no further. The location is both convenient and impressive and offers diners a wide choice of menu including authentic indian dishes, some French cuisine and an impressive choice of Italian. Something for everyone. And it’s all about Jashans.
The Stone Grill
The Stone Grill offers a superb setting and benefiting from a innovative idea that you can cook your own dinner in front of you! The idea seemed strange at first but has quickly taken off with the full car park an indication of its success. Open 7 days a week
One of just a few restaurants that stay busy all through the year, and when you taste the food you will know exactly why. Whether it’s on the terrace in the summer, or indoors in the winter, The Address always has a fantastic atmosphere. Closed on Tuesdays.
Looked upon as one of the superior restaurants in Northern Cyprus, and quite rightly so, St Tropez has built up a superb reputation over the years. With an excellent menu to suit all tastes, friendly and efficient staff, a separate ‘cocktail bar’ and a wine list to rival all others, St Tropez is perfect for that special evening out. Open 7 days a week.