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Food and DrinkBack to top Back to main Skip to menu
Turkey - Food and Drink
Most locals prefer eating out regularly because the food is often of good value.
Menemen is a traditional Turkish breakfast food that comprises of scrambled eggs prepared in sautéed vegetables and served hot with bread. Spoon it up, spread it or dip it to eat.
Köfte is Turkish staple that includes patties or balls of crushed lamb or beef served stewed, plain with yogurt, in sandwiches, or over salads.
This Turkish dish will remind you of ravioli when you first see it, though it has a distinct texture and taste. The dish incorporates tiny lamb or beef dumplings that are either fried or boiled with butter or yogurt. It is often cooked with a variety of spices.
Kuzu Tandır is a common Turkish lamb dish. Its meat is usually hung up traditionally and slow-roasted whole. The dish is frequently served with potatoes or rice and yogurt.
Lahmacun is flat, crispy bread topped traditionally with salad, minced meat and lemon juice. It can be folded in half, wrapped or pulled apart when eating. The dish is economical and readily available on any street corner. It is great for a snack or light lunch when travelling.
Börek is a Turkish savory pastry. Turkish savory pastries usually come in different assortments but most are stuffed with cheese and spinach or minced meat. The dish can be layered like lasagna, rolled, or served as puffs. Börek is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it can also be eaten as a snack.
Baklava is a popular nutty, syrupy, pastry dessert in Turkey. It is sweet, unique and regularly topped in ground pistachios. Baklava should be eaten fresh for the best dessert experience.
Pide is often reffered to as Turkish Pizza. It is curvy flat bread that is frequently served with various toppings including cheese and minced meat or spinach.
Güllaç is a textured dish made from pomegranate seeds, rosewater, milk, nuts and dough. The treat is a traditional dessert most often served during Ramadan.
Meze is a variety of cold appetizers served with either a full meal or drinks. It is a popular dinner treat that includes over 20 salads, spreads on small dishes to eat with bread, and bean dishes.
Dolma is a word that frequently refers to stuffed vine leaves, though it can also include any stuffed vegetable. Vine leaves, courgettes, aubergine and stuffed peppers are very popular in Turkey.
Also known as Turkish delight, Lokum is a nougat dessert regularly topped using powdered sugar and served with several flavors and fillings. It is best served fresh since pre-packaged alternatives are extremely light on the fillings.
Did you know that the practice of serving meat on a stick began in Turkey? Şiş Kebab is fish, lamb, or chicken served on a metal or wooden rod with bread. It can be dipped in yogurt or eaten alone. This dish is delicious, savory, and tender.
Pilav is delicious buttery and toasted Turkish rice. For an amazing eating experience, smother your rice in yogurt.
Kayısı Tatlısı is a popular Turkish dessert that includes tasty morsels of apricot filled with nuts and cream.
Coffee and tea
During the 17th century, the Ottomans brought coffee to the West. The coffee is still made as it was back then, using well crushed coffee beans prepared in a pan and served in small cups. Traditional Turkish coffee is usually available in resorts and big towns. Rural areas mostly serve instant coffee.
In Turkey, tea has become the national drink especially in remote areas because it is cheaper than coffee. Herbal teas are also available and very popular especially ada çay (“island” tea), ıhlamur (linden flower), ıhlamur (linden flower), papatya (chamomile) and kuşburnu (rose hip).
Soft drinks Today, fruit juices in Turkey come in cans or cardboard cartons. They are stimulating but have a high amount of added sugars. Some of the flavors include vişne (sour cherry), kayısı (apricot) and şeftali (peach). Pomegranate juice and fresh orange juice are available in big towns and tourist areas.
Fizzy mineral water and bottled spring water are mostly found in restaurants but cheaper eateries also offer free tap water in a jug or glass bottle. Meşrubat is the name for any type of carbonated soft drinks. Some beverages are usually served with specific food items.
The cost of alcoholic drinks has increased rapidly due to an 80% tax levied on alcoholic drinks. Despite this, alcoholic beverages are still widely available, especially in resort cities and big towns. It might be difficult for you to find a place serving alcohol in provincial and remote towns in central and eastern Anatolia like Afyon, Konya, Erzerum or Diyarbakır.
Wine (şarap) originates from vineyards all over western Anatolia. Fine wine is available locally and expensive labels are available in hotel restaurants or most up market and big supermarkets. Although local wines have an inconsistent taste, they are sold in hotels and resorts all over Turkey.
Rakı and other spirits
Rakı is the Turkish national aperitif. It is like the Greek ouzo but stronger since it has 45–48 percent of alcohol. The drink is normally served over ice and topped using bottled water. The best brand is said to be Efe’s green-label line. On the contrary, Burgaz brand is known to be of more value and almost as good. The gold series of Tekirdağ is also recommended. The most available version of Rakı is the Yeni Rakı. It is found in many establishments and incorporates double rakı in a meyhane. Stronger spirits – votka (vodka), cin (gin), and kanyak (cognac) are available as imported labels or cheap local brews.
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