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The cuisine of North Cyprus is as diverse as the cultures that have helped to create it…

With influences from Arabia, the Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, and Greece, it is bound to be diversified and extremely tasty.

From savoury to sweet there is a rich choice of foods to tempt even the fussiest palate.

Eating out in North Cyprus…

turkish meat shish food

Delicious lamb shish served with tomatoes and peppers

Awaken your taste buds with Cypriot Cuisine...

North Cyprus offers visitors an abundance of places to eat; from the simplest of tavernas to international style restaurants, the choice is stunning. But all share the traditional Cypriot values of fresh ingredients, friendly staff and good value.

No holiday to 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.

turkish pizza lahmacun

Lahmacun also known as Turkish pizza

North Cyprus cuisine is quite varied, with many dishes featuring meat and vegetables to encompass the healthy Mediterranean diet. Some of the amazing cuisine in North Cyprus you should try includes:

  • Lahmacun - a type of Turkish pizza
  • Yalanci Dolma - vine leaves stuffed with rice
  • Sigara Borek - feta cheese rolled in filo pastry and deep-fried
  • Kofte - Minced lamb and herb patty
  • Kleftiko - lamb in the oven
  • Meze - a variety of starters, both hot and cold
  • Mousakka - layers of potatoes, mince and aubergines
  • Shish Kebap - marinated lamb on a skewer
  • Simit - a type of Turkish bread, a snack
  • Ayran - a type of Turkish yoghurt drink, fresh or chilled

North Cyprus sits on the crossroads of three continents and with its rich history, 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 fascinating 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 favourites 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 'mousaka' (layers of mince, potatoes, and aubergines baked in the oven with cheese topping). Cypriot meals normally commence with 'meze'. This speciality 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 the supply of dishes seeming never to stop arriving!

traditional turkish food meze

Give the Turkish mezes a try, you won't regret it

Local deserts are mostly eastern in origin and are usually extremely sweet, examples include 'lokum' (Turkish Delight), 'halva' (slices of ground sesame seeds and sugar) and 'baklava' (mille-feuille pastry, nuts, honey and syrup), but there is an abundance of fresh fruit too and many more European dishes. No meal should end without the thick and strong Turkish coffee.An everyday part of life in Northern Cyprus, it was introduced to the West by the Ottoman Turks in the fifteenth century. It is very popular all over the world today and considered a delicacy in fashionable circles. The secret of making Turkish coffee is that the coffee beans are ground into a very fine powder then boiled in a small amount of water, with or without sugar, producing a thick 'cream' on top. Turkish coffee is served in small coffee cups in three ways; 'sah-de', which is unsweetened, 'ortah', which is moderately sweet, and 'shekerli', which is very sweet. You will always be asked before the coffee is brewed, which of the three you would like.

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.

turkish coffee traditional sweets

Lokum a Turkish sweet is served with a Turkish coffee after dinner

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Take a look at our collections of holiday types to help you decide on your perfect Cyprus holiday, or alternatively, call one of our expert holiday advisors who will be happy to help you choose. Please click the links below to view all of our Cyprus hotels:

Amazing Cyprus Holidays

With the tranquillity and natural beauty of the Levant, the fascinating medieval ports and castles of Kyrenia and Famagusta and the best Mediterranean climate, there is something for everyone to enjoy on a holiday to Cyprus. Whether a family vacation or a getaway break for two, the rare blend of delights on offer in Cyprus is guaranteed to leave you with fond memories of your stay. The north of this beautiful island really does give you the best of Cyprus holidays!

Cyprus Paradise Holidays

Cyprus Paradise has introduced thousands of travellers to the delights of a Cyprus holiday over the last 26 years. We are fully ATOL protected, to ensure your holiday is completely secure financially for your peace of mind. We make it our goal to exceed the expectations of everyone who travels with us – you can book holidays to Cyprus with Cyprus Paradise in the knowledge that you are in the best possible hands.

Hotels in Cyprus

Whether this will be your first experience of Cyprus, or you are one of the many holiday-makers who return to the island year after year, Cyprus Paradise should be your first choice. Cyprus Paradise is a specialist UK based tour operator offering the widest range of quality hotels in Cyprus. With over 26 years experience in selling holidays to the island, no one knows Cyprus quite like we do!

To most visitors, a North Cyprus holiday means Kyrenia, and Kyrenia means Kyrenia Harbour. Kyrenia is an ideal base to explore North Cyprus, and it has some of the island's best accommodation, yet the serene beauty of the countryside is never far away. Kyrenia is full of architectural interest and things to do. Visit our Discover Kyrenia page to read more about some of the most beautiful hotels and package holidays Kyrenia has to offer. read more...

Famagusta & Bafra are areas of truly outstanding natural beauty. Famagusta is perfect for golden beaches mixed with entertainment and ancient history like the famed Salamis Ruins. The Bafra region offers mile after mile of open countryside and untouched beaches. Drive around for hours amidst picturesque landscapes with no other vehicles in sight except in villages seemingly frozen in time. read more...

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