Turkey is a foodie’s paradise, with mouth-watering dishes and incredible spices that you won’t want to miss. From breakfast to dinner there are so many tasty things to try. You will be overwhelmed with the amount of delicious things to eat. Don’t miss out on the very best foods to try in Turkey!
I went to Turkey this past year to visit my friend and stay with his family. They fed us very well and we were swimming in food. Our friend’s mom made sure that we were full all day long. Turkish cuisine can be hard to navigate, but they showed us the ropes. Below you can read about all of the delicacies that you can’t miss on your trip!
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Table of Contents
10 Foods to Try in Turkey
1. Turkish Breakfast
While this is more of a meal made up of many foods, it is the number one thing you must experience when you visit Turkey. Most Turkish breakfast spreads will include a variety of breads, cheeses, sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, honeys, and jams. Of course breakfast is not complete without Turkish coffee.
There are many foods that you should add to your breakfast spread. You may be lucky enough to try Simit, which is a round bread, covered in sesame seeds similar to a bagel. Most meals are served with an egg dish like an omelette or Sucuk (a spicy sausage) cooked with eggs. Finally, you should drink tea to complete your meal.
Pide is often thought of as a Turkish style pizza. Pide is a flatbread that is covered in toppings and baked in a stone oven. The dough is often folded over making the pide into a boat-like shape. Common toppings include minced meat, spinach, and cheese.
This is a great food to share with friends and is great for a communal meal. Try all of the different varieties to see which one you like best!
Manti was one of my favorite things I ate during our whole trip and I dream of eating it again. It’s also my Turkish friend’s favorite, so you know it’s good! Manti may seem similar to ravioli, but the flavors are quite unique to Turkey.
The dish consists of small dumplings stuffed with either lamb or beef, topped with a creamy yogurt sauce, garlic, and spices. It takes hours to prepare, so you should make sure to savor every bite.
There are so many different variants of kebab that it is hard to pick just one. Kebab is simply marinated meat that has been grilled or stewed. Meat served on a stick was invented in Turkey, so you know that they make it right. You should try all of the different varieties, so that you can choose your own favorite!
Types of Kebab:
- Iskender Kebab -thinly sliced lamb served under tomato sauce
- Pottery kebab -meat cooked in a clay pot
- Döner Kebab– meat roasting on a vertical spit
- Shish Kebab– meat on skewers
Lahmacun is another dish that is very similar to pizza or quesadillas. It is the perfect dish for a quick bite or a lunchtime meal. The thin, crispy crust is covered in a tomato sauce with minced meat and herbs.
Often served with salad and fresh lemons on the side, you can control the flavor of every bite. Due to its flat nature, you can eat it open-faced, fold it in half, or roll it up like a burrito.
Dolma simply refers to stuffed vegetables. However, in the Mediterranean cuisine it’s most common to see stuffed vine leaves. These leaves are filled with spices, meats, and rice and then rolled up. They taste delicious when you dip them in yogurt sauce!
The best way to start a Turkish meal is to order a bunch of meze dishes. Meze is the word for cold appetizers. There are some restaurants called meyhane where they specialize in meze dishes, which are served with alcohol beverages. There are plenty of options for mezes, so it can get very overwhelming. Toasted bread is served to complement the variety of meze dishes.
Popular Meze Dishes
- Ezme– chili tomato paste
- Barbunya– pinto beans
- Haydari– mint yogurt dip
- Sakşuka– fried eggplant in tomato sauce
You probably have heard of Baklava before or even tasted it, but nothing compares to the ones you can get in Turkey. Made with a very thin layer of phyllo dough, filled with nuts, and held together by a delectable syrup, your sweet tooth will thank you. You can’t leave Turkey without trying a piece!
I could not get enough of Börek and ate it many times over our week in Turkey. We ate them during breakfast, for a snack, and sometimes even at dinner. This dish consists of thin sheets of dough filled with various ingredients like cheese, meat, vegetables, and potatoes. Börek can be layered like lasagna, rolled up, or eaten in puffs.
These are the main product at most Turkish bakeries and once you taste one you’ll know why. Poğaça is a traditional savory pastry that has the consistency of a biscuit, but is stuffed with delicious fillings that leave the taste buds pleasantly surprised. You can find Poğaça filled with feta cheese, potatoes, olives, and meat. Stop by a bakery and pick one up for a quick morning meal!
You will not be disappointed by the variety of foods to try in Turkey. Every meal I had was delicious and it was my favorite country for eating so far! I hope that you enjoyed this list of delicacies and that you try it all!
Let me know in the comments if you found this guide helpful!
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