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To Mpakaliko tou Hapsi

Leoforos Agrou 114, 99409108, Agros Village
Fri afternoon-Sunday evening
When I was told it’s a coffee place that serves brunch I thought to myself  “good luck convincing Mr Proud Cypriot to go to Agros village for that”. I wasn’t particularly excited about brunch in the mountains either to be honest as we usually connect villages to traditional tavernas. I definitely did not expect to find a place like “To Mpakaliko tou Hapsi”. The best (and weirdest) thing is that we ended up drinking and eating as much as we would have had if we went to a taverna.
Walking in and facing a small, traditional “kafeneio” (old coffee place), with a young crowd and old elements was certainly refreshing. From the old decorative moppet to the old school furniture. My favourite part was the buzzing, casual and friendly vibe with lots of people talking, Marios walking around like a mad man trying to serve everyone and his helper behind the open plan bar trying to prepare the drinks.
Although we were a bit worried to see that our table of 5 (which was actually for four adults and two kids) was nonexistent but we were happy to see that in no time, Marios gathered two tables and 6 chairs and just placed them by the staircase.
The menu consisted of literally 6 options, more than enough for us, as we wanted to order all 5. The “Mezes sto sanidi” (meze on a wooden board), was a must since we had to try the traditional cuts over a glass of wine. The “Mpoukoma”, aka brunch option, was also a must since the fried eggs on traditional village bread was not something we could resisist to. Finally we had to try the local “mpifteki” (burger), just because it looked good and the traditional sausages because the proud Cypriot father said we can’t have Sunday lunch without sausages.
The perfectly presented on a wooden board local charcuterie and cheese was a great starter. I loved how it was served with sliced apple and home made jam as well. The crunchy, Cypriot sausage with a rich, flavourful tetxure was equally yummy and a great nibble. The highlight was definitely the “Mpoukoma” (aka brunch). It does take imagination and vision to present something so simple, so beautifully. Everything from the “anari” cheese with carob syrup, the “halloumi” cheese cooked in commandaria wine, the fried eggs on village bread to the local tomatoes and cucumber smelled fresh.
Last but not least the burger in pitta bread was a good option if you crave for something more filling. Needless to say it’s homemade.
I was particularly impressed with the wine list. Right when I expected to see a couple of local wines I saw a good selection of Greek and Cypriot wines for all tastes and preferences served in nice tall glasses.
The best part about it is that all of the above is made by a young photographer who lives in Nicosia and happened to be from Agros, who wanted to do something he loves. He understands that quality is important. He doesn’t care about promotion, he doesn’t care about “must-do’s” and “must dont’s”, all he wants is to offer something good to the ones who choose to have a coffee, a glass of wine, a nibble or lunch at his place. The cherry on the cake is that on top of his day job and his weekend job he is also part of a group who grow superfoods locally and make products like jam and other condiments.
Don’t expect to see a luxuriously modern cafe, or a proper taverna, but a small, cute and revamped “kafeneio” serving the best of our little island in tasteful way.


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