dining north cyprus


Even though we understand that the true definition of the French term À la carte is ‘from the card,’ and that the term is generally used to suggest that a restaurant offers an open menu where individual meal choices are detailed with a separate price for each item, we are cheating slightly and using this phrase to give you our take on fine dining in North Cyprus.

Kyrenia, or Girne – Girne being the Turkish name for the town, although most people still call it Kyrenia – is probably the most popular town in North Cyprus, and it’s located in the middle of the north coast.  Kyrenia is where all visitors to the island are naturally drawn due to the famous pretty horseshoe shaped harbour, along which you’ll find many bars and restaurants, and which is dominated by an immense Byzantine castle.

The extremely attractive and peaceful village of Karaman, (or Karmi, which is the Greek name for the settlement), sits around 1,000 feet above sea level and is located on the lower slopes of the Kyrenia mountain range.  The gothic castle of St. Hilarion sits majestically above it, and is easily viewed from any spot in the village.

Lapta, or Lapithos, is located about 10 kilometres west of Kyrenia and the town actually begins just before you hit the main ‘Lapta strip’ on the coastal road.  It rises up into the mountains and is a local tourist hotspot with some excellent hotels and general accommodation options for visitors to North Cyprus.

We don’t mean to be pushy but we will say that you cannot come to North Cyprus and not partake of some traditional Turkish Cypriot meze!  Meze is the mainstay of traditional cuisine in North Cyprus, and basically means appetisers or starters.  More often than not, there is so much of it that depending on your own appetite, you may not require a main course!

Meze are served in various forms and variations all over the Middle East and certainly the Turkish Cypriot variety have influences which may be recognisable if you have ever eaten meze in another country.  However, there are also some which are definitely unique to this part of the world.  You will also find that depending on the time of year, the offerings will differ slightly due to the seasonal produce on offer, which is nice as you will know that everything is fresh to the table.