Evening and late-night entertainment in Cyprus ranges from tavernas playing traditional music through live jazz and contemporary bars, late-night DJs and dance clubs to pleasant evenings combining fine dining, catching the sunset and good conversation. The beach resorts offer the most choice in venues, and the nightlife hubs in order of liveliness are Ayia Napa, Limassol, Paphos, Larnaca and Nicosia. Eating out has mainly Greek flavors, although international cuisine is easily found in the major tourist areas.
Bars and Pubbing in Cyprus
Ayia Napa is party town, with Cyprus’s hottest pubs, bars and dance clubs and a reputation for 24/7 revels. The Nissi Bay Beach Bar (77 Nissi Avenue, Ayia Napa) is infamous for its wild parties, international DJs and pretty people, all of which take place during the daytime as the venue closes at 7:00 p.m. For night owls, the Castle Club (Gregori Afksentiou. Ayia Napa) has three dance floors, two DJ’s and keeps the beats rocking until 04:00 a.m..
Nicosia is less touristy, but has a lot to offer for a great night out. Plato’s Bar, (8-10 Platonos Street, Nicosia), is set in the Old City and has an amazing range of drinks, as well as a charming courtyard, and the Svoura Café-Bar (5 Thermopylon, Nicosia Old Town) serves coffee and snacks during the day and morphs into a dance club at night. For international fans of Manchester United, The Corner Pub (48, Demostheni Severi, Nicosia) is a shrine to the famous soccer team with several huge flat-screens playing popular matches.
Paphos is Cyprus’ pubtown, aiming at couples rather than a younger crowd, with the Robin Hood Pub (Bar Street, Paphos) a good choice for music, reasonably priced drinks and a friendly atmosphere. The Square Bar and Bistro (Harbor Area, Paphos) is great for a glass of wine at sunset in a welcoming environment, and Noto’s Music Bar (Harbor Area, Paphos) is a cocktail lounge in the evenings and a dance spot from 11:00 p.m onward. For a more chill evening out, the Lighthouse Beach Bar (Lighthouse Beach, Paphos) is perfect for a romantic evening set on the sand.
Dining and Cuisine in Cyprus
Dining in Cyprus is a hodgepodge of regional specialities hailing from it’s two neighbors, Greece and Turkey. Be sure to try tava (a stew of meat, herbs and onions), dolmades (vine leaves stuffed with meat and/or rice), stifado (beef or hare stew), and fresh catches like seabass (lavraki) and prawns (garides). The most authentic and best value can be found in local tavernas away from the main tourist hotspots, but a careful search will reveal a few good restaurants in the beach resorts.
Blueberries (Yuri Gagarin Street, Ayia Napa) is one of the best, serving great food at reasonable prices in a friendly atmosphere. For tasty Mediterranean cuisine in Cyprus, the Clarabel Restaurant ( Makarios Avenue, Ayai Napa) is well worth a visit for its faultless service and enticing menu including excellent steak and chicken entrees.
Paphos has a huge choice of international cuisine and fast food outlets, with a number of good restaurants. Fat Mama’s (Tomb of the Kings Road, Paphos) is a boisterous, family-friendly spot that serves huge portions of Italian-American food in a party atmosphere. Home to three generations of winemakers, Andria (Coral Bay, Paphos), is a popular eatery for its fresh-cooked, exotic cuisine, and for a beach taverna with a reputation for local delicacies, you won’t do better than Vardas (Vardas Beach, Kissonerga, near Paphos).
One of the most venerable traditional tavernas in Nicosia is Zanettos, (Trikoupi 65, Nicosia Old City), set in a slightly seedy pleasure district and famous for meze,Mediterranean small plates popular in Cyprus. For a good value international buffet, the Fontana (Hilton Hotel, Nicosia) is the place to go at lunchtime, and the hotel’s seasonal Pergola Grill is set by the pool and serves food of exceptional culinary standards. For a spicy change, the Taste of India (3, Hadjigeorgaki Street, Nicosia) boasts authentic, yet milder curries and great service.