To Karafaki

A traditional Cyprus tavern in the center of Limassol

It seems that when you enter, one is transferred hundreds of years back by a time-machine: the walls are decorated with posters from magazines of the last century with singers performing classical Greek songs.

At Karafaki they prepare traditional Greek meze, which can be supplemented with a carafe of red wine of Cyprus from local cellars. Not by chance is it given the name: in Greek Karafaki means “decanter”.

Most importantly, of course, how can it be a traditional Greek tavern without dancing? The experts at Karafaki know a lot about this! From 10 o’clock you can enjoy live music and genuine Greek dances at the restaurant.

To Karafaki opens on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 pm until dawn.

the entranceReview on behalf of the “Cyprus Inform”

To Karafaki is a diminutive of Carafe (pitcher) – “decanter.” Such a lovely name has this stylish restaurant in the old town of Limassol! The building where the restaurant is located dates back to 1890.

Crossing the threshold of places, you find yourself in the last century: from the old magazine pages on the walls of the restaurant you will see famous popular Greek singers.

The history of the magazine publications originates from 1930. Classical Greek folk art – is the main theme of the restaurant. Memorabilia of a past time, old water pipes, typewriters and the classic layout of a traditional Greek house, is what you can admire here.

The restaurant owner, Nikos took down a Bağlama – a small bouzouki – Greek national stringed musical instrument to demonstrate to us. Karafaki is a Cretan restaurant and everything here reminds you of Greece, the national homeland for every Cypriot. Not by chance is the choice of food and beverages made at this tavern.

Greek meze

At Karafaki they serve traditional Greek meze (€19 per person), subtly different from its Cypriot counterpart.

Meze is a celebration of taste, a culinary abundance, when slowly, one by one, a variety of cold and hot dishes appear on the table. If ordering a meze, one can enjoy all the variety of the traditional Greek cuisine.

First of all, the waiter brings plates with national Greek dips – Tzatziki, hummus, olives, potato salad. In a separate bowl there are coarsely chopped lemons, whose juice will abundantly water the meat dishes.

And of course, Greek salad – how can it be without it? Juicy tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and tender feta cheese.


Karafaki MezeKarafaki meze

On a platter one can find flaunt fried halloumi cheese, with sesame and a drop of honey – a soft texture and an exciting combination of light saltiness of cheese and the sweetness of honey.

More serious food is coming. Chicken breast with rice; chicken and sweet aromatic herbs.

All the food at Karafaki is richly seasoned with spices. The pork is cooked perfectly – no blood, but retained juiciness. The pork ribs are fried until crisp.
The chicken liver has a palpable scent of cinnamon and other spices.

Further on into this feast of flavors, one will taste the meatballs in tomato sauce – a traditional Greek dish: delicate minced meat, tomato sauce, sweet and spicy notes of cumin.

In a separate dish, the lukanika arrive – smoked meat sausages roasted on a grill, as well as the mushrooms and spinach with goat cheese. The sausages, juicy with a pronounced smoked aroma; the spinach and cheese complement each other perfectly.

And the final touch for an unforgettable meal – half ram’s head. The Greeks do not only eat this dish, but they also relish it! This is a local delicacy. Piece by piece, this tender meat is separated and washed down with red wine. Doing this may take an hour or two …


Karafaki MeatKarafaki Lamb's HeadKarafaki Meze


At Karafaki they offer traditional Cyprus wines, but one should definitely try the house wine on tap. It is served in “decanters” – stylish and aluminum. This wine is from Greece (€15 for 1 liter). There is an option of white, red and rose wine. Personally talking, a meat meal is perfect with red wine – dry, moderately tart and rich in color.

 Nikos demonstrating the BağlamaDancing

By 10 pm the meal is completed gradually, carafes of wine have already been drunk and all the guests are in a blissful satiety.

Musicians are on the scene. They will play traditional Greek quality music. And the guests … No, they will not listen, sitting at the tables! One by one, people start to dance, and it is impossible to sit at the table!

Paper towels fly on top of everyone’s heads, creating an incredibly fun atmosphere which attracts even the most timid and serious ones.

And the final touch of local tradition: the ladies here can dance on the tables! For this reason, tables at Karafaki are strong, with a Morin wooden top. How many heels have tested their strength? God knows!

Instead of conclusion

Karafaki is a family business. The owner Nicos operates it with his two daughters, son and nephew. Actually, for him it is not work, but his whole life.

The restaurant is a house where friends come, and you feel the same – you are a friend, who came to the merry feast- that is exactly how you feel in these walls.

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