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Restaurants in Larnaca

Cypriots are known the world over for their love of good food and Larnaca does its best to keep this reputation intact. Starting with a base of fresh seafood, local dishes reflect regional influences with a wonderful blend of exotic flavours. The food at most restaurants is quite good and relatively cheap for the amount you get. By law, all restaurants are required to display a menu with government-approved prices, which makes it easy to see what's on offer before you commit to sitting down. The prices include a 10 per cent service charge and an eight per cent VAT. Casual dress is acceptable in almost every restaurant in Larnaca, but some of the fancier hotels may require something a bit more formal Cypriot cuisine blends the elements of Turkish, Italian and British flavours, creating an interesting and very tasty menu. The main course of fish and meat is often cooked over the grill and naturally, the seafood is as fresh as you can get. Many restaurants change their menu depending on what is in season at the market.

Meals in local taverns and restaurants typically begin with mezes (appetisers), followed by kebabs, dolmas, stews, fresh fish or lamb dishes. Meals usually end with fresh fruit or honey pastries and a Greek coffee. The traditional food in Cyprus is simple, fresh and quite healthy, following a typical Mediterranean diet.

Although there is lots of continental and international cuisine available in Larnaca, don't miss out on indulging in the local food. Many of the staple dishes involve beans, such as fasoulaki (French beans cooked in red wine with lamb) and louvi me lahana (black-eyed beans with chard). The mezes, or appetisers, are particularly delicious and can almost be a meal in itself, much like tapas in Spain. Some of the standard appetisers are potato salad, kohlrabi salad and hot, grilled black olives.

Your next course may include village sausage and sheftalia, dolmades and keftedes, kolokassi in tomato sauce and several aubergine-based dishes. Baked or grilled lamb usually apears somewhere in the course of dining, as does some kind of fish. The slow pace of eating and the series of food courses makes dining out in Larnaca a true delight.