It’s now been just over a week since Aaron and I arrived back from what we’ve dubbed as our favourite summer holiday yet. We visited the awesome Paphos, a city that sits on the southwest coast of Cyprus. The city of meze, rocky seas and KEO (the local beer that we loved so much we both bought t-shirts with the logo on). Other than our holiday to Malta a few years ago, I’ve only ever summer-holidayed to Spanish islands. I’ve loved visiting Lanzarote and Mallorca multiple times but was excited to get on a plane and go a little further afield for a week of sunshine (and cocktails). Although this holiday was a little less busy than our usual holidays, we had a nice mix of relaxing and exploring the city of Paphos. Here is a little online scrapbook of our dreamy week away and the food and drink we loved.
Eating in Paphos
Aaron and I did more than our fair share of eating in Cyprus. Being big foodies, we like to go half-board and seek out our lunches and dinners everyday. If you’re heading to Paphos anytime soon or considering it for your holiday destination next year, it is the BEST place for food. We stayed at Pyramos hotel (which was not only ideal, but a really good hotel with lovely staff) where we ate a simple but more than did-the-job continental breakfast of croissants, hams, cheese and Greek yogurt before heading out into our day. We mostly ate dinner in the surrounding area and, while we genuinely loved every single meal, I’ve narrowed them all down to my four (because I couldn’t pick three!) favourite restaurants (and therefore meals) below (alongside some links that may be helpful if you’re heading to Paphos in the future):
- Moulia Fish and Seafood – Here we shared fish meze which started with garlic bread (as well as a grilled halloumi dish because who goes to Cyrpus and doesn’t have halloumi on the first night… and every other night too?!). We then ate prawns, fried zucchini, fried calamari and finished with a bream fillet. This was our very first meal in Paphos and our favourite too. We shared a bottle of white and marvelled at how amazing meze is.
- Mandra Tavern – I’d been thinking about the traditionally Greek dish, moussaka, all week. Moussaka is made of layers of thin potatoes, aubergine and baby marrow, separated with mince meat. To me it sounded like cottage pie mixed with lasagne and melanzana (this is probably all kinds of wrong but the thought made me want to order it for every meal of the day). I finally got around to trying it towards the end of the week and, tempted by my choice, Aaron opted for the same dish too. Mandra Tavern’s moussaka was to die for… And I stand by my cottage-pie-lasange-melanzana description.
- Hondros Taverna – On our last night we wandered just outside of the harbour to find Hondros Taverna, a really authentic Cypriot tavern, with an exciting menu. Aaron chose a mixed grill dish, whereas I opted for the whole fresh fish, which was seabream. It was absolutely delicious; a really good meal to see us off with.
- Argo – As mentioned in the Lonely Planet Cyprus guide, although to us it was recommended by the hotel bar lady, we visited Argo, located just round the corner from where we were staying. On a Tuesday and a Saturday Argo serves kleftiko (slow-roasted lamb). The place was really busy, even in late September, and the food was delicious. The lamb was as yummy as we were told it was; as was the halloumi we picked for starters.
Eating dinner in Paphos every night was really exciting for me. I loved picking out restaurants alongside Aaron, trying as much calamari and halloumi as we possibly could, while dipping into the Cpriot/Greek culture with every meal. We loved meze and Greek food so much that we went out to a Turkish/Greek restaurant the day we went home! Safe to say we will be becoming regulars there.
Drinking in Paphos
As Aaron and I met in a Spoons (where all great romances start), we are partial to visiting quite a few bars… a night when on holiday. Granted, this year, I learnt my lesson after the very first night. One sore head later, I was a little more reserved for the rest of the week. But I was never too far away from a large KEO. If you’re heading to Paphos some time in the future and like your beer, cocktails or wine, Paphos has plenty (dare I say it, too much) to offer at those lovely holiday prices we all love. And also those holiday measures too! Here are my top three drinking spots from our trip to Paphos!
- Captain’s View – We went to the Captain’s View on our first day; it provided us with our first KEO. We loved the place so much due to the lively waiter who absolutely nailed dragging in passerbys. It’s just your classic holiday bar that ticks all of the boxes. (We later went back to Captain’s Bistro which sits on top of the bar where we had an amazing pork lountza and halloumi pitta.)
- Flinstones Bar – As is obvious, it is a bar themed around The Flinstones; as is also obvious, it is brilliantly cheesy. The kind of lame that is too awesome to call a “guilty pleasure”; it’s the Popworld of Cyprus. I tried my first ever Snowball cocktail there, where the bartender brought it over with a very impressive “yabba-dabba-do!” It’s exactly where you’d expect a couple of Brits to end up and I’m gutted we found it so late into our trip!
- Aces Sports and Cocktail Bar – Aaron and I visited Aces most nights. Next door to our hotel, we headed there when we arrived at midnight, determined to at least have a beer before we called it a night. It’s a little bar, with outside bar seating and inside seating with televisions and pool tables (that’s where you would find Aaron and I towards the end of a night). It just has a really lovely atmosphere and I would bet it’s packed every night during the peak of summer.
From cocktails to beer to wine, Aaron and I tried some really nice drinks when we were in Cyprus. We’ve thankfully discovered that many local supermarkets in the UK sell KEO which is an absolute game-changer.
If you’re heading to Cyprus any time in the future I really recommend all of these places, especially the restaurants. I had some really epic meals while in Paphos and was delighted to try lots of different food while also getting to eat my favourites.