The island of Cyprus lies in the Eastern Mediterranean and is a captivating cultural infusion of Turkey and Greece, Islam and Christianity. This exotic mix is particularly evident when it comes to the island’s cuisine. Northern Cyprus (known to Turkey as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) is heavily influenced by its Turkish settlers dating back to the 1500s, while the island’s south is home to Greek Cypriots, whose history on the island goes back as far as 2000 BC.

Weaving these two different cultures together on the lush island nation provides visitors with an interesting and diverse palette when it comes to local cuisine. Journey with us to this Mediterranean paradise as we check out ten of Cyprus’ most iconic dishes!

1. Halloumi


The national cheese of Cyprus, halloumi is the island’s equivalent of Greece’s famous feta cheese. Comprised of a mixture made of sheep and goat’s milk, this semi-hard white cheese is perfect when grilled or fried, and also tasty when eaten fresh!

2. Tzatziki


Though tzatziki finds its roots in Greece, it’s also a huge part of Cypriot cuisine. In Cyprus, this creamy yogurt dip comprised of cucumber, vinegar, garlic and olive oil is made with a more minty flavor.

3. Meze


A favourite across the Mediterranean, Meze is comparable to tapas; a wide selection of various small, colorful dishes like hummus, tahini, olives, tzatziki, usually served with fresh bread and salad.

4. Souvlaki


Lauded by as the island’s “most popular fast food”, souvlaki comprises of lean, juicy pieces of lamb, chicken, beef sliced thin and served with pita bread, salad, hummus and tzatziki.

5. Calamari


Being an island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus has a cheeky, unfair advantage when it comes to seafood. Order a golden serving of fried calamari with the oh-so-tasty tzatziki, and if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try the island’s iconic salt cod!