If you’re planning a trip to Cyprus, or wandering around Nicosia in search of an authentic Cypriot dinner, put this place on your list: Zanettos. This sweet taverna is the oldest in the country, founded in 1938 by Savvas Zanettos, a Cypriot immigrant who returned to his native land after a stint in the U.S. to open a bakalotaverna, a combination grocery store and taverna. Decades later, it’s evolved into one of Cyprus’s most authentic tavernas and a popular haunt for the artsy celebrity crowd, bustling with tourists and locals alike chomping down on very generous portions of meze (a variety of appetizers served with drinks) that arrive in courses. In traditional taverna style, there’s no printed menu, but servers will happily inform you of the variety of traditional Cypriot treats on offer, including cheftalia (a thick sausage with onions), halloumi (a salty, tangy white cheese), and grilled snails (Zanettos’s specialty). Top off your feast with mahalepi cream, fresh fruit, and a glass of local wine. And if you grab a seat on the terrace, you can enjoy it all with a panoramic view of the sea.
Cypriot hospitality at its finest.
Trikoupi 65, Nicosia
Open every day from 6:30 PM to 12:00 AM;
Sundays 6:30 AM to 12:00 AM