The perfect time of year to head out on an invigorating country walk followed by a great meal at a quaint rural tavern, My Cyprus Insider has narrowed down a few of our absolute favourite village restaurants that have turned tradition on its head, satiating those autumnal food cravings with a difference!
1. ‘To Patrikon’ Creative Tavern, Tersefanou village
We never had great reason to plan a special trip to Tersafanou village on a day or evening out, but the moment that ‘To Patrikon’ opened its doors, there was suddenly a surge of interest in this quiet village on the outskirts of Larnaca. Step into the place and you’ll immediately witness all things traditional and quirky fusing in perfect unison. And we’re not just talking about the decoration!
The menu at this place changes every season, and each time you visit, you’ll get to indulge in about 15 – 17 dishes made with local seasonal produce. From carob, honey, pastellaki and rose flavoured anari balls in the mix, to a dreamy pumpkin dessert, and plenty of surprises in between, you’ll be in for a dining experience that you’ll never forget. And you’ll no doubt want to have your camera or phones at hand – each and every dish makes for the most enviable Instagram snap!
Where? Dionisios Solomou Avenue, Tersefanou village. Tel: (+357) 24 424831
2. Peiragmena, Lympia village
With news of their autumn menu now out, there were a few cheers of delight here in the My Cyprus Insider offices! Forget Cypriot food as tradition intended and delight your taste buds in gastronomic delights with a twist. A short drive from both Larnaca and Nicosia – situated in the small village of Lympia – this place may look like a typical village restaurant on the outside, beckoning crowds from near and far with its stone built exterior, but on the inside, it has a rather different tale to tell.
After all, the name of Peiragmena itself means ‘tweaked’, and the owners are adamant about dishing up Cyprus and Mediterranean inspired tavern treats set to surprise your taste buds in the most wonderful fashion. And with a menu that changes each season, there’s emphasis placed on fresh seasonal produce, mostly locally sourced.
So what exactly can you expect? For starters, tuck into homemade dips with the restaurant’s special homemade ciabatta making the experience all the more tasty. We love the roasted pumpkin with ginger, rosemary and thyme dip, while their eggplant dip with cilantro, lime, masticha and smoked black sea salt is rather moreish too. Then there’s their signature pate that most visitors rave about – the autumn version is chicken and duck liver pate with wild berry compote. Then there are seven hot main dishes set to land on your table, including fried duck ravioli, grilled pork ‘bifteki’ (meat patty) with peanut butter and sweet chilli sauce, herb crusted lamb chop, cracked wheat with fennel, leeks and scallions, and the list goes on. Drooling yet? We thought you might be!
Where? Lympia village, Nicosia district. Tel: (+357) 22 524333
3. To Katoi, Omodos village
Cypriot cuisine with a twist from locally sourced ingredients in the heart of the wine-producing region of Cyprus? We certainly can’t resist! Omodos is renowned as one of the most beautiful villages on the island, but once you’ve walked around its pretty streets and the hunger pangs start to kick in, dedicated foodies will no doubt want to escape the tourist trap in search of quality food. And that’s where To Katoi reigns supreme!
Housed in an atmospheric medieval Cypriot mountain house – complete with its hanging chandeliers pointed arches and wooden beam ceilings – the highly recommended tavern serves a host of delicious Cypriot dishes with a twist. We love their halloumi ‘kourkouti’ drizzled in grape syrup, their pork ‘cotsi’ with lemon infused chicken, and ‘politiko’ kebab (yiaourtlou), while many rave about their moussaka made with a special ‘Katoi’ twist! If you’re out with a friend or your other half and would like something to share, go for their mixed grill meat platter and house salad for two.
Eaten too much and feeling a little lazy? You’ll be glad to know that ‘Katoi’ is not just a restaurant, but also a guesthouse, so you can kick your feet up for the night in the comfort of the traditionally decorated private rooms!
Where? Omodos village, Limassol district. Tel: (+357) 25 423033