I'm in Xylofagou in a couple of weeks time and am constantly on the lookout for traditional Cypriot food. I am aware of most places that sell souvlaki, kleftico, etc. and while I enjoy these I would also like to try some of the less well known but traditional foods. I've had fried rabbit-which was delicious, snails, wild mushrooms with green onions (my current favourite), wild asparagas and wild spring greens. If anyone has any suggestions as where to eat or even some new meals it would be appreciated. And if anyone knows the name of the bean stew which the locals have with fresh chopped tomato and onions ( I only know its not the tomato based gigantes )? Also looking forward to a visit to the green door and the guitar bar-don't know it's correct name.........
There are numerous pulse dishes, e.g fasolia (butter beans), kounes (broad beans), faki (green lentils), louvia (black-eyed beans), cooked with tomatos and/or spinach or other leafed vegetables; as you said usually served with a plate with a whole, raw onion, tomato and cucumber.
Many of the smaller Cypriot run restaurants (even in tourist areas) will have one of these (even though they won't be on the menu) for staff/family and Cypriot customers fasting during lent.
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The basis of Cypriot gastronomy contains elements from our long and rich history and the CTO in adherence to the strategic plan has taken upon itself to maintain and pass this heritage on its future generations through the Vakhis project.
The Vahkis project is named after the ancient legendary Cypriot Chef which lived in the ancient city of Kiton (Larnaca) around 300BC.The project provides the opportunity to all entrepreneurs who serve local cuisine and meet the strict standards of the programme to obtain CTO quality certificate for authentic Cypriot cuisine. The project has been set up with the association of the Higher Hotel Institute
The taverns listed below have been thoroughly inspected, were found to comply with the specific regulations and quality standards of this project, and were awarded the ‘VAHKIS’ certificate.
We found very good cypriot food in Larnaca around the corner from the Art 1900 they mainly do meze and its full with cypriots on friday and saturday nights there is also music after 9.30pm so you have to book. its called ηρα ξλλαδοs tel 24665100. Its well worth a visit.
I left the Green Door disappointed after my visit last week, which left me and a few people I spoke to very surprised. I had the meze which was not in the same class as The Shack or Green Garden in Vrysoules. I appeared to be an inconvenience to the son of the owner who almost threw every dish from the meze onto my table. The owner seemed more attentive and was the only person who actually spoke to us, checking if there was anything else we wanted to eat or drink.
I also visited the Potamos Cafe in the village, opposite the butchers along from the Magnificent Homes office. Now this was a very enjoyable experience and I shall be visiting there again. I had the pork souvlaki, afelia, sheftalia, stuffed vine leaves, keftedes an a couple of pulse dishes, not all on the same night!! I went in on the monday night and had fasolia with fried halloumi which was wonderful. The owner then offered to make kounes for me on the wednesday together with the keftedes, which were the best I have had. This place was frequented mostly by locals with a few Brits also there, but this is one Brit who will be there as often as possible, just need to find somewhere for a tuesday night when it is closed.
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