By Andrea Kouyiali

Taverns are usually associated with the best of traditional Cypriot food – and it goes without saying that meat is front and centre of the feast. What happens though when friends are visiting from abroad and you want them to sample the infamous meze but you yourself don’t eat meat?

Much to my joy, Ayios Epiktitos tavern offered a vegan meze option. Admittedly, most taverns offer a vegetarian alternative of sorts, usually with fish replacements.

But Ayios Epiktitos is popular for more than its vegan offerings. The tavern, nestled in the village of Armenochori, offers a beautiful view of Limassol. It’s located quite high up on a hill and as such overlooks the city. At night, you can feast on your food while looking at the city’s sparkling lights. And a fun perk for children and adults alike is the huge swing they’ve added (it calls for an instagrammable moment apparently) where you see even more of the city from a height as your feet dangle in the air.

rest 1The tavern itself adopts the traditional interior décor with wooden chairs and checkered tablecloths. The same can be said for the service – authentic staff showing typical Cypriot hospitality and keenness to make everyone feel at home.

Inevitably, that goes hand-in-hand with the endless servings of meze dishes. For the meat eaters, the classics are all in – sheftelia, souvlaki, lounza, sausage and of course the typical pourgouri, halloumi and eggs with zucchini that satisfied the vegetarians at the table too.

I wasn’t sure what to expect and half expected to leave hungry if I wasn’t going to be consuming the meat. But I was impressed at the extent to which the restaurant had gone to create great tasting non-meat alternatives.

The vegan keftedes (meatballs) were incredible – not in the way in which people ‘settle’ for an alternative but a genuinely delicious serving of food. It ticked all the boxes of the traditional keftedes – crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside and the pungent smell of herbs.

Vegetarian options also included stuffed vegetables and a few fascinating experiments for vegan alternatives which remained a mystery but a tasty one at that.

My initial fears never materialised. We were all stuffed and couldn’t finish the food.

Tip: definitely ask for the house wine and reserve in advance. Weekends usually have live music.

 

VITAL STATISTICS

SPECIALTY Traditional

WHERE Ammochostou 18, Armenochori , Limassol, Cyprus

WHEN Every day 7pm – 12:30am, Sunday also open between 12:30–4:30 pm

CONTACT 99346529

HOW MUCH Average €20-25 for meze and drink