Turkish Meals: 15 Conventional Dishes to Attempt in Turkey

Turkey is legendary for thus many issues, together with historical past, seashores, nature, and its traditions, however I’ll allow you to in on a secret—the meals in Turkey is like nowhere else on earth. In the event you’re a foodie, you’ve simply discovered your match: each area is legendary for one thing, and the highest dishes are well-loved for an excellent cause. Conventional dishes to strive in Turkey are plentiful.

I lived in Turkey for a number of years, and I nonetheless go to steadily now. My husband is Turkish and if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have opened my culinary thoughts and tried as many scrumptious kinds of Turkish meals as I’ve. That is arms down among the best locations to strive one thing new, and even in the event you’re a choosy eater, you’re certain to be tempted to offer new dishes a go merely due to how wonderful they appear and scent.

15 Greatest Meals to Attempt in Turkey

There’s a lot well-known meals in Turkey, that you just may wrestle to know the place to start out—that’s the place this record is available in. The primary time I visited, I didn’t perceive so much when it got here to the meals, and as ashamed as I’m to confess this now, I caught with the common worldwide fare. Don’t make the identical mistake; there’s far an excessive amount of deliciousness to get caught in a culinary rut.

On this record, you’ll discover 15 of the tastiest and most well-known meals to strive throughout your go to to Turkey. It doesn’t matter the place you’re visiting in Turkey, or what area, as you’ll discover these meals in all places, they usually’re all fairly cheap by way of value too. You may acknowledge a few of them, however even in the event you don’t, be courageous and pattern them anyway: I promise you gained’t be dissatisfied.

1. Döner Kebab
(Most Well-known Meals to Attempt in Turkey General)

If you consider Turkish meals, you most likely consider the döner kebab first. Now, I ought to level out that that is nothing just like the dry or greasy kebab you get on an evening out after the membership again dwelling; this can be a juicy, scrumptious, and downright mouth-watering deal with. You don’t must smother this in ketchup and mayonnaise to make it style good – it does all that by itself.

Döner kebab is usually both beef (mostly) or hen, and it’s cooked on a big rotisserie. The server slices items off the vertical “skewer” and layers them in your wrap, bread, or pitta, together with salad and sometimes fries. You’ll be able to inform them in the event you don’t need any particular components added, and notably with hen, a yogurt sauce could also be added.

So far as Turkish avenue meals goes, that is probably the most well-known of all of them, and also you’ll discover distributors promoting it in all places. Nevertheless, the perfect döner I’ve ever tried was from Karadeniz Döner Asım Usta in Beşiktaş, Istanbul. The meat is at all times juicy, and the queue ought to inform you how good it’s—get there early as a result of as soon as it’s gone, they shut for the day.

Karadeniz Döner Asım Usta Info

Handle: Sinanpaşa, Mumcu Bakkal Sokağı No:6, 34353 Beşiktaş/İstanbul
Cellphone: +90 212 261 7693
Working Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10.30 am – 5.30 pm, closed on Sundays
Common Value of the Dish: 150TL/$5

2. Turkish Breakfast (Together with Menemen)

Traditional Turkish dish. Fried vegetables with scrambled eggs in a cast iron frying pan on a wooden table.

I’m going to cheat slightly right here and add a complete meal slightly than a particular meals: if I listed every part in a Turkish breakfast, I’d be right here all day. Breakfast is probably the most well-known meal of the day in Turkey, and it’s recognized domestically as ‘kahvaltı’. You will have seen footage of a desk full of small plates containing numerous meals, akin to cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, chilly meats, eggs, jam, honey, and way more – nicely, that’s a Turkish breakfast.

A typical breakfast in Turkey goes on for hours, and also you merely spend time speaking, sipping çay (tea), and nibbling on every part on the desk. My favourite factor a few Turkish breakfast is menemen – a scorching breakfast dish consisting of peppers, typically onions, tomatoes, tomato paste, and eggs. It’s combined collectively, and also you eat it with bread—wonderful.

For probably the most epic Turkish breakfast, head to Van Kahvaltı Evi in Beyoğlu, near Taksim, Istanbul. In the event you’re visiting on the weekend, get there early because it’s extraordinarily well-liked with locals. Nevertheless, I at all times assume that’s the perfect mark of high quality, and this place hasn’t dissatisfied me as soon as (and I’ve been many instances).

Van Kahvaltı Evi Info

Handle: Kılıçali Paşa, Defterdar Ykş. 52/A, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
Cellphone: +90 212 293 6437
Working Hours: Monday – Sunday, 8 am – 5 pm
Common Value of the Dish: 400TL/$14

3. Lahmacun

Grind meat on a layer of pita and tomato with green leaves on the top—a side dish of vegetables, lime, and mayonnaise.

One other well-known dish of Turkey is lahmacun, sometimes called Turkish pizza, though I don’t assume it’s something like pizza in any respect. Lahmacun is a skinny and crispy flatbread that’s topped with minced lamb, tomatoes, and spices after which cooked in a wood-fired oven. It’s then eaten rolled up with onions, greens, and tomatoes inside, smothered in lemon juice.

Gaziantep is legendary for lahmacun, and that is the place you’ll discover the spiciest of all of them. The server will ask you if you’d like it acılı (spicy) or acısiz (not spicy), so select in response to your preferences. I at all times go for the non-spicy possibility as a result of in Turkey, once they say spicy, they actually do imply spicy!

You’ll discover lahmacun very simply throughout your complete nation, and the perfect I had was at Düveroğlu Kebap Salonu in Ankara, famed amongst locals as the perfect within the space. In some locations, the lahmacun could be a little soggy, however right here was the crispiest and tastiest; I extremely suggest stopping in to strive it for your self in the event you’re within the space.

Düveroğlu Kebap Salonu Info

Handle: Mutlukent Mahallesi, 2432. Cadde & 1924 Sk. 117-119-121, 06810 Ümitköy/Çankaya/Ankara
Cellphone: +90 031 223 51111
Working Hours: Monday – Sunday, 11 am – 10 pm
Common Value of the Dish: 90TL/$3
Web site:

4. Pide

Turkish pides with vegetables on wooden cutting board.

One of the crucial well-liked meals in Turkey is surely pide. Identical to lahmacun, you’ll discover this totally in all places, and it is available in differing types. Pide is a flatbread, however this can be a little thicker than lahmacun and formed like a ship, with an open filling within the center.

The commonest filings embrace mince meat (kıyma), cheese, cheese and spinach, meat, and peppers (kuşbaşılı), and typically you’ll discover it with a fried egg on high. That is an inexpensive meals in Turkey and is usually served with salad on the aspect. It’s historically from the Black Beach, notably Trabzon; in the event you occur to be within the space, it’s the perfect place to strive it.

I had the perfect kıymalı pide from Terminal Pide Trabzon, and I stumbled upon it by chance, just because there appeared to be a queue forming outdoors, so I figured it might be good. I wasn’t flawed. Nevertheless, it doesn’t matter what metropolis or area you’re in, pide is a meals that’s very straightforward to search out.

Terminal Pide Trabzon Info

Handle: Sanayi, Terminal Sk. No:4, 61100 Ortahisar/Trabzon
Cellphone: +90 462 325 0436
Working Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8 am – 7 pm, Sunday 8 am – 6 pm
Common Value of the Dish: 200TL/$7

5. Gözleme

on a wooden table, there is a pancake Gözleme with cheese and herbs. A cherry tomato, tea, and a fork and bread knife

One other of my favourite meals, and one which historically goes with breakfast. Gözleme is one other sort of flatbread, however this one is barely totally different because it’s created from both do-it-yourself bread or yufka, which is filo pastry. It’s filled with a wide range of totally different fillings, together with potato, cheese, and spinach, or minced meat and onion.

Gözleme is usually cooked on a sac griddle, which is a big, domed pan over a excessive warmth. Watching gözleme being made within the conventional approach in a village is kind of hypnotic, and also you’ll seemingly wish to give it a go your self after witnessing it. It’s a standard native meals in Turkey, and it will also be eaten as a avenue meals.

My favourite filling is potato, however you may also discover candy variations, akin to Nutella by itself or with banana, or tahini. Gözleme is a typical meals in Turkey to get pleasure from with a scorching glass of çay (tea), and I liked the one I had in Ankara at Sevgi Anne Gözleme. It is a meals well-known from the central Anatolian area and making an attempt it from the place it originated will provide you with the tastiest outcomes.

Sevgi Anne Gözleme Info

Handle: Üniversiteler, Şht. Jnd. Astğmn. Mustafa Tayyarcan Cd. No:129, 06800 Çankaya/Ankara
Cellphone: +90 312 227 0201
Working Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9 am – 7 pm
Common Value of the Dish: 100TL/$3.50

6. Mantı

Traditional Turkish food. Dough stuffed with meat and onions serving with garlic yogurt topping.

In the event you’ve ever been to Cappadocia or executed any analysis into it, you’ll most likely know that mantı is a well-known meals from this lovely area, however general, it’s a must-eat in Turkey no matter the place you’re. It’s tough to place into phrases what this dish truly is, however the closest description is a kind of ravioli or dumpling that’s full of meat or cheese, after which both boiled or fried (çıtır mantı). It’s normally served with yogurt and garlic.

It is a well-liked dish all around the nation, however in the event you’re in Cappadocia or the central a part of the nation, you’ll discover the tastiest mantı. I attempted it for the primary time at CANCAN Cafe & Restaurant in Cappadocia, and it’s a fantastic spot to go in the event you’re touring with kids; the costs are actually cheap, and it’s a laid-back spot to get pleasure from your meal. The mantı was actually flavorful, and you may select between the fried or boiled/steamed variations.

You’ll most likely hear mantı known as Turkish ravioli, particularly on worldwide menus, so in the event you do see that, they’re one and the identical.

CANCAN Cafe & Restaurant Info

Handle: Avcılar Mahallesi, No.27, 50180 Göreme/Nevşehir Merkez/Nevşehir
Cellphone: +90 038 427 12440
Working Hours: Monday – Sunday, 11 am – 11 pm
Common Value of the Dish: 250TL/$8.50

7. Güveç

A mix vegetables on casserole and a wood spoon on the top.

If you wish to strive actually genuine Turkish meals, it’s a must to give güveç a strive; in reality, when you’ve had it, you’ll be hooked, and also you’ll need it time and again – belief me. You’ll be able to eat this scrumptious meal any time of the 12 months, however I believe it really works rather well within the winter months whenever you’re after one thing heat and hearty to fill you up.

Güveç is among the most conventional dishes in Turkey, and it’s a stew-style meal that’s made with slow-boiled meat, normally beef. The meat is left to prepare dinner for a number of hours, so it falls aside and melts in your mouth. Peppers, onions, tomatoes, and garlic are added, together with pepper salça, which is a kind of tomato paste, and it’s left to prepare dinner till every part melts into each other.

This dish is normally served with rice, however don’t be afraid to seize some contemporary crusty bread and use it to mop up that scrumptious tomato gravy on the finish. Güveç is one in every of my favourite conventional dishes and in the event you’re within the Istanbul space, head to Nişantaşı Güveç for an unforgettable model of this well-known meal.

Nişantaşı Güveç Info

Handle: Teşvikiye, Akkavak Sk. No:36, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul
Cellphone: +90 212 224 2464
Working Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8 am – 8 pm, closed on Sundays
Common Value of the Dish: 200TL/$7

8. Cağ Kebabı

A large amount of meat cooked on a steel stick in a wood oven.

The primary time I visited Istanbul my husband insisted that we go to a small restaurant in Fatih known as Şehzade Cağ Kebap. I had no concept what I used to be it was, however as soon as we arrived, the place was packed; I figured it should be good. I wasn’t flawed; cağ kebabı is among the high must-try dishes in Turkey, and in the event you love lamb, you’ll adore this well-known avenue meals.

Reasonably than cooking the meat on a vertical rotisserie like döner, cağ kebabı is cooked on a horizontal spit with layers of marinated lamb that’s so juicy, you gained’t fairly consider it. I ought to clarify that I don’t like lamb after I’m within the UK, however this lamb is one thing very particular certainly. It’s served on a big kebab stick, and also you eat it with contemporary lavaş, onions, and tomatoes.

I loved the meal I had at Şehzade Cağ Kebap a lot, and I’m reliably knowledgeable that that is the perfect one, even though the dish truly hails from Erzurum. I’ve returned a number of instances since, and in the event you occur to be within the space, I extremely suggest you seize a desk right here.

Şehzade Cağ Kebap Info

Handle: Hoca Paşa, Hoca Paşa Sk. No:6 D:4, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul
Cellphone: +90 212 520 3361
Working Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10.30 am – 10.30 pm, closed on Sundays
Common Value of the Dish: 170TL/$7

9. Köfte

A meatballs and green leaf garnished and a fork on the side.

One of the crucial well-known and simply discovered kinds of meals in Turkey is köfte, which is basically a kind of grilled or barbecued meatball. There are several types of köfte, together with Muğla köfte and Izmir köfte to say simply two, and the distinction comes right down to its form and the spices used. Nevertheless, I believe Izmir köfte is the tastiest of all of them, and in the event you’re within the metropolis, that is one thing you have to strive. You’ll discover common köfte completely in all places.

Köfte may be served on a plate with potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and rice as a important meal, or it may be loved as a avenue meals in both a wrap or on bread. Both approach, it’s scrumptious and is a well-known dish in Turkey, because of its versatility. You’ll additionally discover köfte in a sauce or a stew.

In the event you’re strolling round Istanbul or Izmir specifically, you’ll discover avenue distributors cooking köfte in entrance of you and the scent is certain to make your mouth water. It’s fairly a problem to stroll previous with out giving in. I had the perfect köfte at a small spot in Izmir known as Köfteci Turgay; the köfte was so juicy, and I loved it a lot, that I went again once more the very subsequent day.

Köfteci Turgay Info

Handle: Alsancak, 1456. Sk. No:92/B, 35280 Konak/İzmir
Cellphone: +90 232 404 0033
Working Hours: Monday – Sunday, 11 am – 9 pm
Common Value of the Dish: 200TL/$7

10. Adana Kebab

A meat shape on long, two grilled green peppers, grilled tomato, and scrambled egg on a white plate.

Because the identify suggests, Adana kebab is a kind of Turkish delicacies that hails from the southern metropolis of Adana. In the event you like spice, you’re going to get pleasure from this one, however you may also ask for it to be made barely much less spicy in case your tastebuds can’t fairly deal with the warmth. Both approach, it’s a really well-known and simply discovered dish, though the perfect ones are surely present in its namesake metropolis.

Adana kebab is made from minced lamb and spices that are mixed collectively and formed over an extended kebab skewer. It’s then cooked over an open fireplace to make sure a slight crunch on the surface and loads of juiciness within the center. The skewer is eliminated earlier than dishing up, and it’s sometimes loved with lavaş, tomatoes, and onions, and served alongside rice or bulgur.

You too can get Adana kebab in a wrap, which is a well-known sort of avenue meals you’ll be able to seize on the go. Both approach, in the event you’re in Adana itself, be sure you add this to your must-try record; I can extremely suggest Adana Ege Kebap Salonu, as can the numerous locals who flock there, particularly at weekends.

Adana Ege Kebap Salonu Info

Handle: Cemalpaşa, Ege Taksi içi, Kapalı Spor Salonu Karşısı, 63014. Sk. No:2, 01120 Seyhan/Adana
Cellphone: +90 543 457 3628
Working Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9 am – 11 pm
Common Value of the Dish: 200TL/$7

11. Dolma

A rolled green vegetable on a wooden bowl.

Dolma is a typical meals in Turkey and likewise across the Balkans, relationship again to Ottoman instances. There are several types of dolma, however probably the most well-known is vine leaves filled with rice and spices. You too can discover dolma containing minced meat, or fish, nonetheless, the seafood model is much less frequent.

The dolma is wrapped up right into a cigar-like form after which boiled in liquid till it’s all absorbed and served whereas nonetheless heat. You’ll normally discover dolma served with lemon slices, and I wish to drench mine for a very zingy style. The beauty of this dish is which you could eat it scorching or chilly, so in case you have any left, merely put them within the fridge and revel in them in a while.

Dolma is discovered all around the nation, and it’s an excellent conventional dish that almost all households will make in some unspecified time in the future by means of any given week. I had actually scrumptious dolma in Kadıköy on the Asian aspect of Istanbul, in a small restaurant known as Çiya Sofrası; the flavors burst in my mouth, and that’s the place I realized my love for this well-known dish.

Çiya Sofrası Info

Handle: Caferağa, Güneşli Bahçe Sok, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul
Cellphone: +90 216 418 5115
Working Hours: Monday – Thursday & Sunday, 11.30 am – 10 pm, Friday & Saturday, 11.30 am – 10.30 pm
Common Value of the Dish: 170TL/$6

12. Iskender Kebab

Traditional Turkish Iskender Kebab with Roasted Vegetables

You’ll most likely have come to appreciate by now that there are numerous kinds of kebab to strive, and consider me, I’ve solely launched you to a small handful; there are numerous extra. Nevertheless, Iskender kebab is among the most well-known and conventional meals in Turkey. The dish hails from Bursa, however as with most of those dishes, you’ll discover it very simply irrespective of the place you’re within the nation.

Right here, sliced döner meat is served on high of chopped pitta bread, and is then lined in yogurt and a scorching tomato and butter sauce. You’ll discover this dish in eating places and small takeaways, though you’d typically eat it inside, as it may be fairly messy! What I like about Iskender is that it’s not dry like another grilled meat kebabs may be, and the bread completely soaks up the yogurt and tomato sauce.

By way of what to eat in Turkey, this dish could be very well-known, and even in the event you’re not Bursa, it’s an alternative choice you’ll discover in all places. Nevertheless, it’s at all times finest in its dwelling place, and I’d extremely suggest Uludağ Kebapçısı Cemal & Cemil Usta within the Osmangazi space of Bursa for a really conventional model.

Uludağ Kebapçısı Cemal & Cemil Usta Info

Handle: Ulu Mahalle, Uluyol Caddesi, 16. Şirin Sk. No:12, 16220 Osmangazi/Bursa
Cellphone: +90 224 254 7264
Working Hours: Monday – Sunday, 11 am – 7 pm
Common Value of the Dish: 250TL/$8.50
Web site:

13. Baklava

Baklava with Ground Pistachios on a white plate.

When visiting Turkey, you should strive baklava, whether or not it’s your first time or not. That is a kind of meals that vacationers love, and locals get pleasure from on particular events, and it’s well-known throughout the nation. You’ll discover baklava in most high-end eating places as a dessert and in native patisseries (bakeries) to purchase by weight.

Baklava is a kind of meals in Turkey that you just solely want a really small quantity of it, as a result of it’s fairly wealthy and candy, however there are differing types so you will discover your favourite model. I like the unique sort probably the most, which is made from layers of filo pastry with honey syrup and pistachio filling – it’s scrumptious with ice cream too.

I believe baklava makes a fantastic reward for family and friends again dwelling, and Köşkeroğlu Baklava Tophane is a high spot to purchase it. The selection on supply is large, they usually reward wrap it in a tin to make it look actually fancy. After all, it may not make it that far – I wouldn’t blame you for consuming it your self earlier than your return dwelling…

Köşkeroğlu Baklava Tophane Info

Handle: Hacımimi, Kemeraltı Cd. No:46, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
Cellphone: +90 053 097 74821
Working Hours: Monday – Sunday, 8 am – 12 pm
Common Value of the Dish: Varies relying on weight
Web site:

14. Kuru Fasulye

Turkish cuisine; Lamb and beans in tomato sauce and onions.

Kuru fasulye is arguably the staple meals of Turkey and it’s a standard home-cooked meals that almost all households get pleasure from no less than as soon as per week. You’ll additionally discover it in most dwelling meals eating places across the nation, often known as ‘ev yemek,’ and it’s fairly cheap by way of worth and is simple to make.

Put merely, kuru fasulye means ‘dry beans,’ however the dish typically is a white bean stew in a tomato sauce. It’s sometimes served with rice and bread and sometimes comes as the primary course after soup and salad. The dish may be made with a small quantity of meat (normally beef), or it may be vegetarian.

It is a typical Turkish meals that’s cooked all year long and is discovered completely in all places, nonetheless, the tastiest home-cooked meals like that is discovered within the southeast, with a complete host of scrumptious spices to make the dishes much more scrumptious. İspir Fasülyeci Diyarbakır is extremely advisable by many locals as a high place to do that conventional meals.

İspir Fasülyeci Diyarbakır Info

Handle: Yenişehir, Lise 5. Sk. No:6, 21100 Yenişehir/Diyarbakır
Cellphone: +90 412 999 4720
Working Hours: Monday – Sunday, 9 am – 10 pm
Common Value of the Dish: 100TL/$3.50

15. Çiğ Köfte

A raw meatball in Turkish with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and lemon, hot çiğköfte

If you first see çiğ köfte you’ll marvel what on earth it’s, however appears may be very deceiving and it’s a must to give it a strive. It is a very wholesome and flavorful meals of Turkey and one that you just’ll discover in lots of small vendor shops across the nation. The opposite plus level is that it’s tremendous low cost so it’s a fantastic avenue meals possibility in the event you’re on a price range.

Çiğ köfte hails initially from the southeast of Turkey, notably the Urfa and Adıyaman space. It’s a combination of bulgur wheat, tomato paste, and spices which can be kneaded collectively till extraordinarily clean and served both in lettuce with pomegranate and lemon juice or in a wrap with no matter salad components you want. You too can ask for a spicy or non-spicy model.

There are massive corporations that make this well-known dish, akin to Komagene and Oses, however there are small distributors too, and also you usually discover the tastiest variations from locations like that. Çiğ köfte all around the nation however if you wish to strive probably the most conventional model, head to Adıyaman and take a look at Yeni Nesil Adıyaman Çiğköfte Kenan Usta, a favourite amongst locals.

Yeni Nesil Adıyaman Çiğköfte Kenan Usta Info

Handle: Kapcami, Eski Kahta Cd. No:10, 02100 Adıyaman Merkez/Adıyaman
Cellphone: +90 416 216 0282
Working Hours: Monday – Sunday, 10 am – 12 pm
Common Value of the Dish: 100TL/$3.50

Should-Attempt Meals in Turkey: FAQs

Listed here are some solutions to probably the most generally requested questions on must-try meals in Turkey:

What are probably the most conventional meals in Turkey?

A typical meal in Turkey includes soup to start out, rice, meat, greens, and salad. Probably the most well-known conventional meals are due to this fact güveç and kuru fasulye. Nevertheless, kebabs are additionally frequent, with an enormous vary out there, together with Adana kebab, Urfa kebab, and Iskender.

What’s the nationwide meals of Turkey?

Turkish delicacies is extraordinarily diversified, however the kebab is undoubtedly the nation’s most well-known dish. You’ll discover numerous several types of kebabs with diversified meats. Doner kebab might be probably the most well-known of all of them, and also you’ll discover these kind of eating places all through your complete nation.

What’s the most well-liked meals in Turkey?

The preferred meals in Turkey is tough to pinpoint, however doner kebab is extraordinarily well-liked, together with lahmacun and pide.

Which space is finest for meals in Turkey?

Each a part of Turkey is legendary for a particular delicacies, with Izmir well-known for köfte, Cappadocia famed for its mantı, and Adana for its Adana kebab. Nevertheless, for a diversified mixture of dishes, you’ll be able to’t beat Istanbul; you’ll discover every part you’re on the lookout for on this big metropolis.

Is Turkey recognized for avenue meals?

Among the finest meals in Turkey falls underneath the road meals umbrella. Doner kebab, börek, pide, çiğ köfte, köfte, and kokoreç are among the most well-known kinds of avenue meals on supply.

In Conclusion

Turkish meals is among the finest on the earth. Maybe I’m slightly biased, however spending massive quantities of time within the nation has opened my palate to fully totally different flavors that I most likely wouldn’t have dared strive in any other case. Whether or not you’re a meat lover, all concerning the greens, otherwise you’re into super-spicy delicacies, you’ll discover one thing you’ll fall in love with.

Completely different elements of the nation are well-known for particular dishes, however there are some all-rounders, akin to lahmacun, pide, and güveç that excel irrespective of the place you’re. And naturally, you’ll be able to’t begin the day with no full and hearty Turkish breakfast!

So, put together your abdomen for a plethora of scrumptious tastes in your upcoming go to to Turkey—you definitely gained’t go away hungry.

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