Finding reliable food, good service and a pleasant atmosphere does not necessarily mean picking a fancy restaurant and paying over the odds anymore in Larnaca, with a select few establishments showing that attention to detail and doing the basics right can result in long-term success.
If you live in Larnaca, you have either walked past this small café and not have even noticed it, or you are an avid fan who visits just about every week. Situated on the corner of the big outdoor car park near Laiki Geitonia, To Kafe Tis Chrysanthis is a quaint little spot whose popularity continues to soar.
With inches between the road and the front door, we made our way into the cozy café which could be confused for the set of a 1970s sitcom. The indoor seating area has a very retro vibe – a number of simple wooden chairs and tables are scattered around the small space, some nice art on the interior walls as well as a different motivational quote to give your day a boost.
There is also a narrow outdoor part sandwiched between its own exterior wall and that of the neighbouring shop, ideal with spring just around the corner, but not on the day of our visit.
Fewer and fewer places in town lay importance on a homely touch and good customer service but for this family-run café, it comes naturally. There is a wonderful atmosphere at the café, created by both the staff and the customers, helped by the very comfortable surroundings.
We were greeted with a smile by the owner, who handed us each menus. Though a small café, the menu has more options, and interesting ones, than most restaurants, catering to a variety of different preferences.
In one of those situations where everything seems appealing and you feel like ordering everything you lay your eyes upon, time was beginning to tick so I eventually settled for the homemade veggie burger, topped with grilled mushrooms, lettuce and tomatoes (€4.95). It was a sizeable burger, rich in flavour and, equally important, great texture with fresh toppings that complemented each other perfectly.
My side order of fries (€2.50) were great too; freshly cut, thick and prepared there and then rather than the usual frozen chips found at most restaurants.
My friend went for a jacket potato, with which come your selection of three toppings, with grilled veg, mushrooms and baked beans which also came with a generous side salad (€5.95). Though I am not a big fan of jacket potatoes myself, the fluffiness of the dish was impressive and they did not go easy on the fillings.
Not knowing that there would be enough salad for both of us in our meals, we also got a fresh rocket salad to share, with sundried tomatoes, avocado, honey mustard dressing and walnuts (€5.50).
The service was fast and to the point, and seeing as the restaurant is run by Chrysanthi herself, along with her mother, mother-in-law and grandmother, who prepare most of the dishes themselves, it is apparent why the attention to detail is so on point – they really care about what they are selling.
The homemade theme follows when it comes to cakes too, and even those on the strictest of diets will have trouble turning down a slice of oreo or lemon cheesecake. In the end, my cravings caved in for a slice of carrot cake, and I did not regret it. A fluffy, sweet, rich but not sickly cake which was the perfect end to a good meal.
If you like a relaxed environment, warm service and wholesome food a then there is very little chance that you will leave Kafe tis Chrysanthis without a smile on your face.
SPEICALTY Home cooked comfort food
WHERE: 1 Ifaistiou, Larnaca
PRICE: €12-15 – main, dessert, drink
CONTACT: 24 256262