To be honest, that’s a topic we always wanted to write about! The day has come. No need for introductions. It’s street food and we all adore it. And the good news? You are in one of the best street food places of Europe. Just do what the first word asks: step out in Nicosia’s streets and start discovering tastes and flavours which, we promise, you will be so fascinated by, that you will dare to pass them from the control gate of the airport, upon your return to your countries. Until then, just dive into Nicosia’s street food tour!
Avo’s Armenian Food
If Nicosia’s street food had a king, then it would definitively be Avo. Most travel guides highly recommend it but even if they didn’t, it’s not a place you’ll bypass without noticing. Taking down Onasagorou Street from Eleftherias Square, you cannot miss it: on the corner where Onasagorou Street and Apollonos Street meet each other, behind a large glass mirror, you’ll see a narrow indoors kitchen and serving bar, people queuing and a spacious outdoor spot with tables and chairs (usually full of people). Just wait to hear the cashier asking ‘’who’s next?’’ and explore the delight of Eurasian flavours. Check their specialty, ‘’lahmatzoun’’, a baked slice of thin pita bread with minced meat and amazing spices. Combine it with a halloumi pie (‘’haloumoti’’) or a ‘’coupa’’, a fried bulgur ball, filled with minced meat and other goodies. The success story of Avo is based on his wood oven. When the pies come out of it, it’s kind of a show time! The prices are incomparable given that, with 5€, you can offer yourself and company a good quality Armeno-Cypriot street food fusion. Plus, if you are up for some zivania or wine in the nearby all-time classic ‘’Sta kala kathoumena’’ café, you can take your food there and enjoy it with your drink. Steaks, pizzas and salads are also served in low prices. Everyone comes here, on weekdays or weekends, day and night: from entire tourist or local families, to Greek soldiers, students and businessmen/women who drop by to grab their lunch and eat it on the spot or take it away.
Avo’s Armenian Food
Corner of Onasagorou and Apollonos Street, 1011, Old Nicosia
Tel: +357 22661172
If you had to make 3 street food wishes while visiting Nicosia, then one of them should absolutely be to taste Aladdin Restaurant’s suggestions! You’ll meet him lower in Onasagorou Street. Like in a lot of other capitals, Arabic street food makers achieved to adapt their strong gastronomic legacy to the expectations and habits of a diverse urban environment, like Nicosia. And there you have some of the greatest proof of what they can do. Grab a comfortable seat outside the modest canteen-type restaurant and order one of Aladdin’s various thin-bread pizzas, starting from 3€, or any other of his surprising pies or lahmatzoun. There is a rich catalogue with a variety of them starting from 1€. Take away is of course an option and this becomes obvious while you hold your delicious piece of pizza and you step down to Faneromeni square where you will see other people enjoying the same great stuff with you. Phone ordering is also an option, if you live or work around the old city centre.
Onasagorou 67, 1011, Old Nicosia
+357 70 004660
There are the ones among you who know exactly what they are expecting from life: a stunning shawarma or some delicious falafel. And the most fanatics among you implement the same plan wherever they travel to, from Paris to Bogota and from New York to Athens. Well, good news for you guys: you are in Cyprus, you are at the gate of Middle East. Plus there is Sham Food waiting to serve you dreamy street food in Nicosia! Enjoy their outstanding specialty, shawarma, halal meat of your choice, flavoured with fresh vegetables and light spices, wrapped in a round thin Arabic pita-bread. Alternatively or…additionally, give a go to Sham’s delicious falafel. Sham’s staff give so much love to their falafel that you can even have them heart-shaped! There are also a lot of other Arabic-style options like lamb kebab. You’ll find Sham in the first street left from Eleftherias Square. Take your treasure away or attack it on the outdoor narrow iron bar.
7 Rigainis, 1050, Old Nicosia
Tel.: +357 22 333381
Salonikios, Greek gyros
And here begins the eternal debate about souvlaki. Does it come from Greece? Does it come from Cyprus? Is the Greek version (gyros) better than the Cypriot one (Cypriot souvlaki)? When Greeks meet Greek-Cypriots it’s most often a usual and funny topic of discussion. Even, among Greeks, there is an ongoing ‘’conflict’’: is Athens and Southern Greek souvlaki better than the Thessaloniki and Northern Greek one? And how shall we call it: souvlaki or gyros? Well, you have nothing to care about. Just visit one of the numerous branches of Salonikios around Nicosia (both in the old and new city) and get your answer directly, once the miracle spreads on your palate. Stavros o Salonikios (which in Greek means ‘’Stavros from Thessaloniki’’) counts almost 30 years of presence in Nicosia and promises to guide you within Greece’s gastronomic masterpiece. Every Greek has his favourite gyros style, just as coffee. Ask the staff to explain to you how you can complete the puzzle: tzatziki, tomato, French fries, salad etc. Such important decisions need careful guidance!
Salonikios (Stavros o Salonikios)
151 Ledras, Old Nicosia (check for other branches too)
+357 22 674805
Berlin Wall No.2, Cypriot grill and souvlakia
The division of Cyprus, following the Turkish invasion of 1974, has an impact on almost all aspects of Nicosia’s everyday life, especially concerning the part of the city within the Venetian walls. This fact left its traces on food too-and more specifically street food. For instance, pedestrian streets are interrupted by barricades, fences and metallic barrels, signposting the Green Line. There are lots of cafes, workshops, cultural centres, foundations, smaller businesses and restaurants established right along the line. Berlin Wall No.2’s owners chose to symbolically name one of the best souvlaki places in Cyprus, reminding that Nicosia deserves a better, reunified future. Indeed, sitting at a restaurant next to a Greek-Cypriot military observatory with an armed soldier is for sure an experience. Enjoy the must Cypriot souvlaki with small pieces of pork combined with vegetables, put in delicious pita-bread or order a mix-grill and discover their exquisite ‘’sheftalia’’, the traditional Cypriot meatballs which are the source of the recognizable barbecue smell dominating the old city centre’s air.
Berlin Wall No.2
39 Faneromenis, Old Nicosia
Tel.: +357 22 674935