6 Best places to eat in Paphos, Cyprus
Where to eat traditional Cypriot food in Paphos
Besides from being the birthplace of the Greek goddess of love, Cyprus is well-known for its halloumi cheese that’s traditionally made from sheep’s or goat milk and its fresh Mediterranean salads as well as its abundance of meze’s – which means small plates that locals typically share in groups. In Paphos, you will find a lot of traditional Cypriot dishes and delicacies as well as pretty much any type of ethnic food such as American, Indian, Italian and Pan-Asian. But of course, if you're visiting this stunning Greek island you want to be experiencing authentic Cyprus cuisine. Therefore, I highly recommend visiting places that are popular with the locals because you know it’s going to be the best place to go for traditional Cypriot food.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when finding places to eat in Paphos. There are sophisticated dining places for you to dress up and splurge, traditional taverns that you’ll find are popular with the locals, affordable sports style bars that attract tourists or modern places with trendy menus. It all depends on your budget and the type of food and atmosphere you are looking for, or simply somewhere that has a great view and is perfect for either couples or families.
On my Jet2holidays to Paphos trip our lovely tour guide Mary from Visit Cyprus took us to some of the best traditional food places to go in Paphos and the surrounding area as well as a lively modern venue with a view and a fancy 5* dining restaurant.
Petradaki Taverna in Kathikas
The Petradaki Taverna located in the Paphos district of Kathikas was by far my favourite traditional place we ate at, so I’m not surprised it has a great rating of 4.5* on TripAdvisor. It was my favourite because of its extensive selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free friendly meals. The traditional stone building was evidently popular with the locals as by the time our group indulged in a tremendous amount of food the Taverna was filling up fast.
As a vegetarian, I loved that I was able to try almost all of the meze plates that were continuously brought out for us to try. Compared to other traditional Taverna’s we visited were I was limited on choice. Although that did mean I left the Petradaki well and truly stuffed as the food was so delicious that I just had to try everything more than once. My foodie highlights were the gorgeous battered aubergine slices, balls stuffed with peas and crispy courgette.
The first evening in Cyrpus after our Jet2 flight to Paphos from Manchester was made complete when we arrived at the Hondros Tavern because we had really worked up an appetite with all the travelling so couldn’t wait to stuff our faces with plenty of food and Cypriot red wine. Thankfully, Hondros wasn’t too far from our accommodation at the Elysium Hotel.
Hondros Tavern has been open since the 1950s and claims to be the oldest traditional tavern in Paphos. It’s in the perfect location to visit, with it being close to all the local attractions such as the Tombs of the Kings and Paphos Mosaics. There is also an on-site car park and a bus station nearby plus the Tavern has the option to dine al fresco with many friendly Greek cats to keep you entertained.
Apart from the sharing vegetable mezze platter and the ‘Hondros special salad’ (€8,50) there was only one vegetarian meal on the menu that I could order, as the menu mostly consists of ‘meat on coal’ and fresh fish – so this place is perfect for you if you love meaty Cypriot homemade dishes.
After nibbling on crunchy garlic bread, I enjoyed the IMAM (€12,50) meal which consisted of aubergines and courgettes with tomato and garlic. Although I did enjoy this succulent veggie dish, I was forever grateful for the side of chips as the meal did get a little repetitive towards the end, so trusty carbs helped me finish it off.
Yiannis Traverna, Kathikas Village
Yiannis Taverna was the most charming of the traditional taverns we visited as the stone building had a lot more character with its cosy roaring open fireplace. The rustic and homely tavern is hidden down a narrow path somewhere in beautiful Kathikas Village with views of vineyards nearby.
At Yiannis, we enjoyed sharing plenty of meze plates with most being vegetarian. Besides from the salad and its juicy sweet tomatoes, I enjoyed the vegetable moussaka, couscous and the huge crispy potatoes sprinkled with sea salt.
Ristorante Bacco, Elysium Hotel
As we were staying at the 5* Elysium hotel with Jet2holidays it was only right to experience one of its many fine dining restaurants. Our restaurant of choice was the hotels Italian offering, Ristorante Bacco.
The restaurants interior has been designed to resemble a wine cellar with barrels lining a feature wall and lit candles made to look as if the wax has melted down the walls. With its outstanding table service and romantic atmosphere, it would perhaps be more suited for couples to enjoy an evening meal over a bottle of wine, with the perk of not having to leave the resort.
For browsing the menu which is in many languages we were presented with a bowl of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to accompany our wonderful selection of freshly baked bread. They bake the bread in the kitchen daily and so gives the restaurant a lovely aroma which just adds to the warm and cosy atmosphere that the candles around the room give off.
Along with a glass of white wine, I thoroughly enjoyed the baked ricotta tart with crispy pancetta, walnut, amaretti crumble and wild rucola drizzled with a lavender and honey dressing. For the main, I couldn’t resist ordering the espresso & Parmigiano-Reggiano risotto with sautéed oyster mushrooms, it was beautiful. I was tempted to ask for a large bowl of it to take to my room. This time last year I would have turned my nose up at the thought of eating risotto, but I sampled some at an event in Birmingham and ever since I just have to have it every time I see it on a menu!
The dessert menu at Ristorante Bacco certainly got our attention with it consisting of a chocolate soup, a chocolate ravioli and a tonka bean pannacotta. I was less adventurous than the others and opted for a tiramisu because when it comes to the most important course of all it’s not worth the risk. However, everyone seemed to enjoy their unusual desserts and they certainly did look inviting and beautifully presented. Nonetheless, I don’t regret my choice, the tiramisu was amazing, it was such a generous portion too, so the incredible thick cream and rum soaked sponge ended our last night in Paphos with Jet2holidays perfectly.
Before catching our Jet2 flight to Manchester the last place in Paphos we visited for lunch was the Thalassa Restaurant which is located on the coast, so we had views out to sea while we ate. Although it was raining slightly when we arrived, and the sea was rough, so we didn’t go to explore but we did snuggle up to some kittens for a while on the decking.
The Thalassa restaurant is well known for its fish and seafood meze, so they put out a large selection of crispy fish baked in their skins with cut limes to drizzle over. Of course, I avoided the fish (as well as looking at their wide eyes staring at me across the circular table) and enjoyed a plate of roasted Mediterranean peppers, courgettes and runner beans with my salad and a handful of chips.
Muse Café Kitchen Bar
The liveliest of food places we went to was Muse Café Kitchen Bar, which is a popular spot with the locals of an evening. Our Visit Cyprus tour guide said it’s not that well known to tourists because of it being hidden in a residential area.
Apart from the trendy food & drink menu and modern interior I imagine that it’s the views overlooking Paphos through the floor to ceiling windows and outdoor area that really attracts locals to this stylish purple lit venue.
Muse specialises in cocktails, so you’ll be spoilt for choice browsing the drinks menu. After a lot of indecisiveness, I finally decided on the ‘Bounty time’ (€8.50) made with Grey Goose infused vanilla vodka, coconut puree, pineapple juice and caramel which are all my favourite flavours, so it tasted like a summer's dream!
We skipped the starter and dessert (sob) and went straight into the mains. As I spotted avocado on the menu that was it, I had to have an avocado mozzarella cheese sandwich (€10.80) with toasted walnuts and honey mustard sauce in a multigrain bread served with coleslaw salad and French fries. There were generous amounts of thick mozzarella slices, so I couldn’t eat all the cheese, but I demolished everything else on the plate, it was delicious washed down with my tropical sweet cocktail.
So, there you go, just a few of the great food places I recommend visiting. This food guide to Paphos is the final instalment from my wonderful trip to Cyprus with Jet2holidays . However, if you are planning a trip to the ‘island of love’, you may find my post on one of the best 5* hotels in Paphos useful as well as 12 of the best cultural things’ to experience in Cyprus. My visit was courtesy of Jet2holidays who have Jet2 flights to Paphos from Manchester leaving all year-round.
Disclaimer: Complimentary press trip with Jet2holidays and Visit Cyprus. All words and photos are my own.