By Bejay Browne
The Traditional Coffee Shop in Paphos old town has been open since 1980 and is a popular family-run business. Angelis and Stavroula Stylianou’s traditional coffee shop – its official name – has managed to hang on to its authenticity, offering a simple menu with well-priced snacks and drinks.
I visit here at least a couple of times a month and usually order a mixed toasted sandwich of halloumi, lountza and tomato, accompanied by a fresh orange juice (which is delicious). However, ordering sandwiches can sometimes be a bit of a lucky dip, and what you get isn’t always what you’ve ordered. But, if Stavroula has what you asked for, these problems are easily sorted out and fresh sandwiches are made.
Sitting under the shade of a beautiful old tree, the branches of which cover much of the outdoor space at the back of the venue, the coffee shop affords magnificent views down across Paphos and out to the sea.
A gentle breeze also provides some relief during the summer months.
Small round tables with metal chairs with either wood or plastic orange seats are surprisingly comfortable and a visit here is a relaxing experience. Found in Paphos old town – Ktima – this is a handy place to take a breather from shopping or to meet with friends to chat and unwind.
The coffee shop is often frequented by locals (some playing Tavli) and foreign residents in the know, as well as tourists, many of whom come across the venue by accident and are pleasantly surprised.
Small groups of locals while away the hours here, savouring the atmosphere and the coffee.
The welcome is warm and the owners’ granddaughter, Stella, is often there, helping out with the orders and serving tables. Her English is excellent, although this is a good place to try out your Greek language skills.
As you would expect, the Cyprus coffee here is good, as are the frappes. Set back off the main road and opposite the old post office and district office, there is plenty of parking in the car park below.
Surprisingly, this venue hasn’t featured widely in the media in its 35-year history, but word of mouth and real Cypriot hospitality has ensured its survival.
Alcohol is also served and well-priced, and this is a superb place to enjoy a sundowner and a spectacular Paphos sunset. Snacks also include cheese and olive pies. Toilet facilities are basic but clean and a covered area keeps off the worst of the weather during the cooler months.
This family’s love of their business and their customers is a good example to others, who may write off the rather ramshackle appearance of this venue. But they have got it right. They stick to what they know, offer great hospitality, a good location and stunning views.
If you haven’t already visited this coffee shop, it is highly recommended that you do. You won’t be disappointed.
The Traditional Coffee Shop
Where: Nicodimou Mylona 2, Paphos
Contact: 26 933587, www.facebook.com/The-Traditional-Coffee-Shop
Price: Small bottle of beer €2, large €2.50