Larnaka Eating and Entertainment

Where to eat in Larnaca


Larnaca is packed with restaurants and night spots.

For a nice simple Cyprus meal, we used to recommend the Megalos Pefkos (the Big Tree) next to the fort, however one awful day in 2005 it disappeared. Actually the tree was no longer there as it was blown down one winter in the early '80s, but the food was good and wholesome and the ladies in the kitchen worked very hard under difficult conditions to produce it. They were refugees from Famagusta, and  the powers that be decided to knock their place down in order to better light up the fort at night. So now we have lost a local landmark in order to see another one more clearly.

We now frequent (occasionally) Melitzis. Good beef or lamb kleftiko, pourgouri, salad and giant beans in the oven. It is past the fort (now known as the castle,) and has a windmill on the front patio. The sea view makes it a pleasant place to eat.

If you wish to have the best Cypriot meal we know, we can highly recommend A & K  chicken lodge, the food is freshly cooked daily and tasty, the decor is typical Cyprus and is a lunch only / take away joint. The koupepkia (stuffed vine leaves) are still cooked by the same woman who did them 25 years ago, (when it was Chris chicken lodge) the kolokasi (Cyprus only yam type root vegetable) is good with or without meat, we think better without. They do most traditional Cyprus fare and are reasonably priced. They only open for lunch and we do hope this recommendation doesn't ruin them for the mostly Cypriot locals who eat there regularly.

A main course will cost you 6 or 7 Euros and they have a good selection of vegetarian dishes, including pisselli (peas, carrots and artichoke hearts in a tomato sauce ) cauliflower in commanderia (yum) faggi, (lentils and rice) beans etc.

The Campanario near metro offers standard international cuisine and concentrates on steaks and meat dishes. It is often good, but is unfortunately not consistent. Stingy with the sauces if served separately. X rated steak sauce is often good.
Pleasant garden area in the summer.
Not cheap but reasonable value when at its best.

There is an Italian restaurant opposite the American Academy on the little back street which does decent enough fare. The pizzas are good, their aubergines in the oven are nice (melitzanes stin fourno) and they have a nice simple Italian ambiance.

For local food we did frequent a place which was known by Cypriots but not by tourists. And here is the dilemma, do we tell you about it and risk turning it into yet another tourist trap? Ok, I suppose the answer is yes as we don't think it will harm it at all. It is usually quite busy anyway, so more business will not be particularly noticed. Funnily enough, we discovered this little gem one early evening, when, having been swimming at Dhekelia beach, we decided to have fish and chips at the restaurant we have been frequenting since they were a small hut some 25 years ago. Their success turned the early hut into a bigger hut, then to a proper restaurant and now it boasts a covered area by the beach with posh tables and chairs. We had swum, showered, wrapped towels around ourselves and wended our way towards the older indoor bit, as we thought that we would sit in there, towards the back and watch the goings on.

As we approached the door, we were attacked, first by a man who said, the showers are over there, pointing. We know, we said in unison, we have just been there. Just then a very unpleasant woman leaped out of the door and told us to go to the shower, nastily. The man then said ' I suppose you want to use the toilet'. No, said I, we wanted to eat. We looked at each other as the woman was ranting some further unpleasantness, agreed with our eyes, and left.

We giggled indignantly on our way back to the car, well, well, we have become such a posh beach cafe that we don't want customers in swimming costumes? We drove towards Larnaca and thought we would try a place that we never had. A plain looking place, across the  road from the beach, but in a car park, with white plastic tables and chairs outside. As we stopped our vehicle and got out I changed the towel I was wearing as a skirt for a different coloured one, which matched my full length swimsuit better. We walked across the road, and went to the desk to get a menu to take to the car park tables. A man looked at me and said ' I suppose you are going to change are you?' We giggled a bit and left. Well well, beach cafe's in Larnaca just don't want to be beach cafe's anymore do they.  That must have been Gregory himself!

We drove into town discussing where we should go next. Lets try that Greek place, I said. It is a bit posher, has tablecloths and lamps on the tables, also is not on the beach, but it will be interesting to see whether we are welcome or not. We pulled up, went and chose a table and a waiter approached with a menu. Is this ok? I asked, are we allowed to sit here? Why not! he exclaimed. Well because  we are wearing swimsuits and towels. I said. That's up to you, you are the customer, what difference, he shrugged. We warmed to him immediately. We felt even happier when a delightful crispy fresh salad was produced and the best sheftalia and chips I have had for a long time in a seaside town. A meal for 2 of us where I needed to take half of it home as a doggy bag came to 18 Euros. To find it, you need to travel along Makarios avenue towards the port. At the set of traffic lights just before the petrol station (which is on the left corner as you are at the lights) turn left. Opposite Lefkaritis petrol station (on your left) just before the next set of traffic lights is the restaurant. It straddles a couple of shops on the pavement outside in the summer.

A new restaurant in Larnaca opened in May 2006 and was run by an Estonian family. The concept was the same Cyprus Meze, however the dishes were different and beautifully prepared and presented. The medal which The maitre ' Diit ' wore with pride was for an international best BBQ award, he could be seen below serving up one of his specialities of the house, a whole salt baked salmon.

Unfortunately he went the way of many and didn't last the year out. This happens to a lot of people - If you are going to start a restaurant or bar in Cyprus (or anywhere for that matter) you must be prepared to keep at it for a couple of years. I have seen so many give up after a few months because they didn't make a fortune immediately. Pity because his food was good.

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Krateon is behind the tennis club, at the top of the hill. A wonderful old building, renovated nicely and decorated well. Pity about the food, which is pretty abysmal and expensive.
Puts itself up as upmarket but serves tinned asparagus and frozen chips. No cold coke ! We have not been back in 10 years, We hope it has improved.

Cessac fish and chip shop in Dhekelia is an institution. It has been ok for years and has recently expanded to a pavilion type building next to the original.
Good value and consistently ok food.

Kantara is on the right as you head towards Dhekelia road.
Nice decor, reasonable service and ok food that was very good in spots. Haven't checked it now for 10 years though.

There are many seafront restaurants in Larnaca, a kebab has gone up to between 5 and 10 Euros a shot .

More tried and tested restaurants here... your views , your recommendations...

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