As many may have noticed, not one of my last trips is complete without visiting traditional local restaurants and tasting national dishes. Once upon a time I didn’t attach much importance to the local cuisine, it was more important for me to see more sights, but to have a meal with something on the go, and quickly. Over time (or with age?) The priorities have changed a bit.
I recommend starting by reading the article ” Holidays in Cyprus “, which will help you plan your vacation on the island.
Local food, as well as the ritual of spending time in national “édal”, became for me an integral part of the trip. In the same way as before the trip I study routes, attractions, non-banal places, I google about local cuisine. This time before the trip, I also chose a couple of restaurants and added to my favorites on Tripadvisor.
Arriving in Cyprus and strolling in the center of Ayia Napa in the evening, we noticed one cafe near which there was a line of six, naturally we went to look at the name, looked inside and examined the menu to come here for dinner one evening. Having compared the name of this tavern and the “heart” in Tripadvisor already at the hotel, I realized that this is one and the same institution, namely, the Tony’s “ Tony’s tavern”.
I’ll start with what I read in the reviews. First of all, the Toni tavern is one of the most popular establishments in Ayia Napa. Secondly, there is an institution in a very cozy garden under a lemon tree. Thirdly, the owner Tony himself meets and escorts guests, he can also accept and bring an order. It’s also that the food here is very tasty, especially fish meze, but you need to order it very VERY hungry, because in addition to the dish, they bring “a huge loaf” of freshly baked bread to the guests, and to eat meze for two is simply unrealistic (for those who don’t know, “meze” is a set of traditional Cypriot snacks served in small portions in several sets, and consisting of 20-30 dishes). Well, and finally, the authors of the reviews noted a very tasty wine served in a decanter.
We decided to leave a visit to Tony’s tavern in Ayia Napa on the evening before returning to Russia and check all the reviews personally. We arrived at about 6.30, at this time there was no queue, and most of the tables were empty (at 7-7.30 hours the tables were fully occupied and even a small queue was formed). The tavern is really located in a cozy kindergarten, but I’m not strong in botany, so I could not figure out that same “lemon tree”. Russian-speaking waiters led us to the table (!), And there Tony himself met: he greeted us, put us at the table and wished a pleasant evening. Immediately brought the menu. Since we had already decided in advance that we would order a fish meze, instead of choosing dishes, I photographed several pages of the menu to show you the prices.
Prices for snacks start from 2.5 euros, hot dishes from 11 euros, meat meze – 18 euros per person (you need to order at least 2 servings), fish meze – 22 euros per person (also minimum 2 servings). A jug of wine 8 euros, bottled wine from 14 euros. There are vegetarian dishes.
So, we ordered 2 servings of fish meze and a carafe of wine (by the way, the waiter, having brought a jug, poured me a little so I could try and already finally said whether such wine would suit us or not). Then they brought bread, it was really tasty and hot, as if just from the oven, BUT there was no talk of any “loaf”, there were literally 2 pieces (albeit large, but a piece), and personally I would not refuse from a couple 🙂
After about 10 minutes, they began to bring snacks. First they brought cold snacks (including Greek salad, shrimp cocktail salad, potatoes, some pickled fish, of course, olives, I must say very good, and my husband said that “of all the olives, these are the most normal”, octopuses, cooked very tasty, and not at all “rubber”, which we tried before, pickled hot peppers, and several types of sauces that I personally did not like).
After that, the turn of Tony’s hot snacks began in the tavern, among which were shrimp (one each), mussels (also one each), squid rings (one at a time), baked fish (one at a time), fried potatoes (perhaps I liked it most of all in the fish meze))))) and at the end they brought “hot” – one perch (an ordinary fish that does not compare with the perch that I ate in Bali), two pieces of swordfish (which we so wanted to try on Sicily) and several octopus tentacles baked in foil (also not rubber, but rather tasty). That’s basically it. Honestly, we hoped that there would be more dishes, because we didn’t have enough (we honestly came to an empty stomach and didn’t specially dine!), But, unfortunately, didn’t bring anything else. A total of 20 dishes. Yes, I forgot about the wine! It really was very, very worthy.
To summarize. What I didn’t like: I’m not happy with the fish meze, although everything is cooked with high quality and not bad; unless 2 thin models can eat a fish meze for 2 people (and we went back to our hotel restaurant and ate desserts, fruits and ice cream); expensive prices (lunch for two with a tip cost 54 euros), as well as a big minus for me, this is that the main plate does not change all evening, so if you do not lick every dish, then by the end of the meal on the plate will form a huge garbage. ” What I liked: hot bread, fried potatoes, octopuses; wine; quick service and knowledge of Russian; the goodwill of the owner; “Traditional” and the comfort of the tavern. In general, if I was asked to rate the Tony Tavern in Ayia Napa , I would give 3.7 points out of 5.