Pireos 17, 22769797, LEFKOSIA (NICOSIA)
Tue-Sat 12:00-15:00, 20:00-2:00
When friends of mine from abroad visit Cyprus they often ask me where they can find those restaurants where everyone breaks plates and dances to the Zorba song in a circle. They might not dance the Zorba song but at Pireos 17 one can definitely find the “traditional” type of fun, over very good quality music and local “meze”.
It is a very small and cozy “mpouzoukia” restaurant in the old city, open daily with Greek music varying from “rembetika” to “entehno” depending on the night. In order to give their customers something different, they often invite well-known Greek and Cypriot artists to sing, often with their own in-house band.
As far as the food is concerned, the “meze” is very good (even though at 19€ per person), and their grilled meat is quite rich and varies from the standard pork chops, kebab and chicken, as well as pancetta and other delicacies. Everything is prepared there and then with a lot of attention to detail (even the salad has a twist!).
Even though I had heard of Pireos 17 and the fact that it is a very good place for “mpouzoukia” I have only visited it recently. What I didn’t know, however, is that it is also open for lunch and works more or less as a local, “magirio”, ie serving cooked food including “ospria” and a wide selection of daily dishes varying from stuffed vegetables with minced meat (“gemista”), “pasticcio” and a wide choice of grilled meat depending on the day.
Why should one visit it? At night, because they want to listen to quality live music and dance like there is no tomorrow. At lunch time, because they are looking for a more quiet and cozy place for home-made local dishes, right on the small street of Pireos in the old city (there are a couple of tables outside as well).