With chain coffee shops, independent third wave establishments and café-restaurants jostling for attention in most of the island’s vibrant towns and cities, a taste of real tradition is becoming slightly harder to come by. But head for the hills and you’ll soon find a place where time stands still and age-old traditions are still adhered to in much as the same way as they were decades ago. My Cyprus Insider thoroughly enjoyed our experience at these quaint spots…and we think you will too!
1. Stafilaris Coffee Shop, Kato Lefkara
Lefkara village is well known as one of the most picturesque villages on the island, and its cobbled streets tell glorious tales of bygone days, with village folk still making the village ‘Lefkaritiko’ lace in the same fashion as the start of the 19th century.
Once you’ve had a good ramble through the area, pop into Stafilaris coffee shop, featuring a lovely patio and an extended seating area under the shade of thick vines. The friendly owners will be happy to greet you and you can tuck into snacks, sweet treats, coffees, teas and other refreshments.
Where? Kato Lefkara village, Larnaca district. Tel: (+357) 96-559211
2. Village Café Serenity, Kakopetria, Troodos district
In the summer months, nature-loving crowds gravitate towards this place to sit on the back balcony by the gurgling river. And once the winter months set it, Village Café Serenity boasts a rather different unique charm with a roaring fireplace luring the crowds on cold afternoons.
Located in the peaceful little pocket of Kakopetria’s old town, traditional charm and local authenticity successfully meet modern day Cypriot customs in a harmonious union of frappé, fresh juices, Cypriot coffee and homemade sweets and cakes. The venue, packed with old village memorabilia, even boasts traditional apartments for guests who like it so much that they want to stay the night.
Where? Old Kakopetria, Troodos district. Tel: (+357) 22-922602
3. Kafes stin Hovoli, Kyperounta
If you’re heading towards the mountainous area of Pitsilia, a new coffee shop awaits in the village square, breathing new life into a traditional old building as modern touches fuse with stone and wood. Aptly named ‘Kafes stin Hovoli’, this place is proud of making Cyprus coffee the good old-fashioned way, with the ‘priki’ (a long-handled pot traditionally made of copper) placed on hot sand.
What to enjoy as an accompaniment? Go for their traditional spoon sweets, baklava, or delicious mahelepi (a cold pudding made from corn starch) served immersed in refreshing rose water.
Where? Kyperounta village square, Pitisilia district. Opening times: 10am- 12 midnight.