Main Courses

What to expect from your main course when dining in Cyprus...

The meat or fish course is traditionally cooked on a charcoal grill or a stone oven.

Meat dishes

Moussaka is a baked dish made from minced lamb with aubergines and sometimes courgettes (each cook has their own variation) but it is almost always topped with sliced aubergines and a creamy cheese sauce. Some restaurants serve vegetarian moussaka although this is a break with tradition.

Sheftalia, spicy pork sausages served with pita bread and olives.

Afélia is a pork casserole with a red wine herb sauce with coriander seeds. A traditional Cypriot dish.

Souvlaki is the traditional Cypriot kebab; it has Greek origins and is often known as Greek fast-food. It can be served in pita bread with salad, with rice, or on its own with vegetables and a choice of sauces. Modern influences have made souvlaki available in chicken or fish varieties but originally it was a pork or lamb dish.

Kléftiko is a traditional Cypriot stew served in many restaurants and tavernas. It is a knuckle of lamb baked in an airtight oven (or casserole) with garlic and vegetables. Legend has it that this dish was cooked by either thieves or Cypriot freedom fighters (depending on who is telling the tale) when they were hiding in the hills. They would bake the dish in airtight ovens so it could not be seen or smelt by anyone. Now it is a traditional Cypriot dish served in many restaurants and tavernas.

Yemista are stuffed vegetables that sometimes accompany a main dish or are served as a main dish. They are usually stuffed with rice, meat and herbs.

Makaronia tou fournou (pastitsio) translated means baked macaroni/pasta in the oven. This is a traditional Cypriot dish made with layers of thick pasta (bucatini), seasoned pork mince and topped with a béchamel sauce. There are various variations to the recipe.

Cyprus potatoes are one of the most important produce exported from the island and served with many meals.