Ayia Anna Taverna

Ayia Anna Taverna has gained a far-reaching reputation that attracts meze connoisseurs from all over the island.

Costas, whose family have been chefs for generations, set up the restaurant a decade ago driven by a passion to keep Cypriot cuisine alive. He serves up to thirty dishes in one sitting, and that's not counting dessert.

Food and wine alike are presented in traditional red oven-fired clay. Live folk music and Greek dancing on weekends afford a pleasurable, authentic dining experience.

Taverna Trimithos

A favourite with locals is the modest but friendly taverna at the bottom of the road specialising in sheftalia, charcoal grilled lamb sausages, along with other regional dishes. It goes without saying the meal commences with a couple of dips – yoghurt and cucumber tzatziki and sesame tahini – to accompany pitta bread.

Another noteworthy lamb speciality is kleftiko, probably the island's signature dish, deriving its name from kleftis or 'thief' after brigands who would steal a sheep to be slow-roasted on the bone in an underground oven, sealed so no smoke would be visible.

Archontiko Papadopoulou

Cypriot fine dining at its best, the restaurant spills into the candle-lit courtyard of an old mansion in the dreamy village of Kornos.

A delight to eye and palate alike, the international award-winning chef imaginatively presents sea bass in vine leaves cradled in a terracotta roof-tile, prepared in a wood-fired oven.

The wine list is a near-exhaustive catalogue of the island's better vineyards and the sommelier is happy to offer suggestions. Don't miss the house's own sweet red Commandaria to finish.

Kokkinou

Kokkinou or 'The Cockerel', in the neighbouring village of Mosfiloti, is a long-established restaurant that does a good Greek 'village' salad complete with olives and feta.

Try their steak with mountain mushrooms and home-cut chips. Grilled halloumi is another Mediterranean must.

Highly commended is the tavas, lamb with potatoes and courgettes oven-baked in a rich tomato and onion sauce.

Taverna Koutsonikolias

A friendly family-run taverna in the village of Kalo Chorio, only five minutes away, specialising in authentic cuisine from the Karpass Peninsula on the north of the island.

This meze offers an interesting alternative to the standard fare on offer in most Greek restaurants of the south. Another novelty is the succulent roast lamb served from a mobile domed oven wheeled to your table.

Walking food tours in Larnaca, Limassol and Nicosia with chauffeur-driven taste tours in the best of Cyprus' villages. Feel like a local as you journey off the beaten track through some of the island's tantalising hidden food establishments.

LARNAKA

Teeming with affordable restaurants, most of which have alfresco dining, especially on the seafront along Phinikoudes Promenade.

  • Zephyros sits on the edge of a little fishing harbour and, not surprisingly, is renowned for its fish meze. Alternatively, look out for the popular tziporah fish.
  • Militzis offers traditional Cypriot food and is known for platters cooked in a wood-fired oven. It's also known for souvla or roast lamb.
  • Marzano. Watch chefs prepare Italian pizza and pasta in this ambient dining room. Select from an ample range of ice cream for afters.
  • Chrysanthi's Kafe is perfect for a cheap breakfast or brunch either inside or out under sun umbrellas. Proper cake, generously sliced, and proper coffee from an authentic Italian steam machine.

LIMASSOL

Undisputedly the island's culinary capital. Ask for advice and we'll direct you through the restaurant scene from value to fine dining.

  • Columbia Steak House comes highly recommended for those serious about beef; attentive waiters and a decent wine list to match. Reservations advised.
  • Syrian Friendship Club, despite its unusual name, offers authentic Middle Eastern cuisine as good as you'll find anywhere: falafel, tabbouleh, humous, lamb kebabs and the works.
  • Amathus Beach Hotel puts on a champagne breakfast buffet with an endless array of delectables; dine overlooking the palm beach.
  • Colours Café a smart coffee lounge at the Four Seasons with impeccable interior and flawless patisserie. Cocktails and non-alcoholic creations served in the evening.