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North Cyprus Restaurants & Bars

Turkish Cypriot Cuisine and Eating Out

Northern Cyprus
offers an abundance of places to eat; from the simplest of taverns to international style restaurants, the choice is stunning.  The service is generally courteous and good, and most restaurant waiters and waitresses know sufficient English, French, or German.

Eating a Turkish Cypriot meal is, as is always the case with Oriental food, something of an exotic adventure. But it is one well worth undertaking, as the diner will be rewarded by tasty, aromatic, and nourishing dishes, which please the palate and satisfy the appetite.

Sitting on the cross-roads of three continents, and with a rich history, traditional Cypriot cuisine has been influenced by many cultures. Although owing most of its heritage to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern origins, European settlers have had a major impact too - though you will struggle to find a burger bar here! Many dishes vary from region to region making Northern Cyprus a marvelous place to eat. Each dish has a specific taste and is well presented reflecting the Cypriot character. 'Molohiya', Arab in origin, is a well developed dish appealing to Cypriot taste, preparation and presentation. Other favorites include 'yalanci dolma' (vine leaves stuffed with rice, onions, and tomatoes); 'shish Kebap' (marinated lamb, skewered and grilled over charcoal), 'sigara borek' (feta cheese rolled in filo pastry and deep-fried) and 'mousakka' (layers of mince, potatoes, and aubergines baked in the oven with cheese topping).

Cypriot meals normally commence with 'meze'. This specialty consists of a large number of cold and hot hors d'oeuvres, including many salads, meats, vegetable, and fish dishes. It can be eaten as a starter, but equally as a meal in itself with a dishes seeming never to stop arriving!

plays an important part in Turkish Cypriot life. Thick and creamy, it complements meats and vegetables, is added to sauces, kebabs, salads, and cakes.

No summer evening in Northern Cyprus would be complete without at least one meal in Kyrenia Harbour, and the place comes alive in the evenings, when the locals and visitors promenade - but don't neglect some of the smaller restaurants to be found in the villages or the back streets of Kyrenia and along the coast.

An evening meal in Bellapais village, under the floodlit majesty of Bellapais Abbey, is also an occasion to savour, whilst watching the sun slowly sink into the Mediterranean over a cool drink and a relaxed meal will stay in your memory forever.

For drinks before the meal, a cooling cocktail is perfect and the local 'Brandy Sour' worth a taste. Imported wines, beers and spirits are widely available, but the locally brewed 'Efes' beer is of good quality and excellent value. Of the local wines, the most popular are 'Chankaya' (white) and Kavaklidere (red).

As well as the numerous local establishments, Northern Cyprus boasts a marvelous selection of restaurants offering dishes from around the world. French and Italian cuisine is widely available and there are a number of excellent Chinese and Cantonese specialists too. On the coast road to the west of Kyrenia there is a really excellent Indian restaurant and while the whole island is mercifully lacking in European-style fast food outlets, there are many places you can pick up a mouth-watering kebab or chicken dish.

Many restaurants and taverns are also happy to provide take-away dishes.

Here’s a very brief look at the traditional food of
Northern Cyprus;
A soup generally served to start a meal rather than being the centre of the meal. The most common and best loved soup is lentil but expects to see offered tarhana soup, tarhana is a mixture of crushed wheat and yogurt, and you could always try hummus soup as well.

A selection of hors d'oeuvres often served with drinks before a meal to entice the appetite, or they can from the main part of a meal when served with salad and bread. Dishes are generally plentiful and they tend to keep on coming! Don’t eat everything put in front of you because you will quickly be too full to keep sampling the tasty dishes that will likely include cacik (a yogurt dish),  chakistes (a green olives), hummus, fried hellim, various salads and pickles, calamari, fried aubergines to name but a very few.

There are so many kebab specialties that you have to keep trying to them to find your favorite!  Sish Kebab is probably the most well known dish. Kebabs are mainly made of lamb but expect to also find vegetable, chicken, beef and fish kebab available. You should also try Hirsiz Kebabi  ( Thieves Kebab) and Sheftali Kebab.

Deserts & Sweet
There is a traditional saying in Turkish that one eat sweetly and also speak sweetly, which may be why Turkish Cypriots tend to have such a sweet tooth and also be some of the friendliest most welcoming people around...

Honey and nuts form the centre for many deserts and sweets. You’ll at least try Lokma (deep fried honey or syrup covered delicacies), Katmer ( cream filled pastries), Ceviz Macunu (green walnuts in syrup) and Trunc Macunu ( oranges in syrup)

Here are just a handful of our traditional Turkish Cypriot restaurant, they all offer extremely tasty and beautifully cooked meals for you to try;

Padisah Restaurant
– located up a side street opposite the Colony Hotel in Kyrenia. Padisah are specialists in clay oven cooking and traditional dish Kleftiko .

– located on the street that runs parallel to, but behind the Colony Hotel is Beyti’s Restaurant. This is true favorite with local people and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a popular is their menu.

– located the opposite of the Dome Hotel, central Kyrenia.  The centerpiece of the restaurant is the massive traditional charcoal grill and diners literally watch their meal being cooked in front of them.

Erols’ – Erols Bar&Restaurant
in the pretty village of Ozankoy offers the best cold and hot meze in Northern Cyprus. 

Bars & Pubs

There are at least as many as pub and bars in Northern Cyprus as there are restaurants, meaning that  there is a wide choice available to keep everyone happy whatever their own personal pub or bar preference.

Horbour Bars
The harbour in Kyrenia is unarguably the prettiest most desirable place to while away an hour, a day or even all night and horseshoe shaped horbour is home to a whole host of bars and restaurants.
The best two – Café 34 and Boaters Café; both has sophisticated décor, the staff efficient and the ambiance is exciting but relaxed.
Night Bars
Two of the best late night bars are NightJar and C’est La Vie, they offer those seeking a great palce to chill out, listen to music, chat to friends and enjoy a drink or two, the best places to go...

Music Venues
One of the best music venues on the whole island is La Habanera, which is located in the Rocks Hotel. It is open to everybody, (you do not need to be hotel resident) and it is the most excellent club around. The live music; they offer is world class, the décor within the bar is exquisite and the service is exactly what you would expect from a 5 star luxury hotel and yet the prices for drinks are fairly reasonable. This is great place to chill out and enjoy a spectacular evening’s entertainment.

Traditional Pubs
The Villa Swallow in Kyrenia is a great destination if you are after a fairly traditional pub atmosphere.
Further out of the town, The Castle in Karaoglanoglu, is another quality pub serving fairly traditional pub grub, showing major sports events...

This web page, barely scratches the surface of what’s available but if you are after a place to start it should set you on the right track. Further more all casinos on island have their own bars as well... drinks are often free to those who come in to gamble... children are of course are not allowed but they offer an interesting alternative to an evening in a pub.

Whatever your own personal preference for your evenings’ entertainment, one thing for sure, the bars, pubs, night clubs, casinos and restaurants of Northern Cyprus will give you plenty of choice.

North Cyprus Property by Category

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