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20-05-2023Things To Do in Turkey
13 Dishes that Will Convince You Turkish Cuisine is The Best
If you consider yourself an epicure hungrily browsing for the “best Turkish food near me”, you’ve arrived at it!
Turkish cuisine is big for its flavorful, subtly spicy kebabs and rich desserts. A gorgeous platter of searing kebabs, freshly baked borek and a serving of syrupy Baklava sets the deal perfectly! Although these delicacies are the first thing that pops into the mind, Turkish food goes beyond the baklavas and the kebabs.
Turkey’s traditional cuisine weaves together diverse flavors from the Mediterranean coast, the east, and the southeast. The dishes we’re familiar with today not only carry great cultural heritage but also immaculate taste.
Here are some of the most lip-smacking Turkish foods that you can devour during your stay.
A popular spin on the traditional doner kebap, Iskender kebap is prepared with thin cuts of juicy grilled lamb. The dish is served with chunky tomato sauce and soft, warm bread. Eaten with generous dollops of velvety yogurt and molten butter on top, this Turkish kebab is one for the kings!
The taste is simple yet irresistible. These kebabs nail the perfect balance of spices and juiciness. A favorite amongst tourists and locals alike – you will find many eateries serving Iskender Kebab in Istanbul.
Cappadocia is a beautiful gateway to the rich cuisine and culture of Central Anatolia. Testi Kebab in Cappadocia is a notoriously tasty dish you ought not to miss. A traditional treat, Testi kebab is slow-cooked in conical clay pots and secured with a layer of dough.
As the pressure and temperature build up, the flavors begin to melt and seep into the juicy pieces of lamb and veggies. Once done, the waiter theatrically knocks off the seal like a pro and the bubbling lamb gravy oozes out on your plate, ready to feast on!
The name may be foreign but the food is familiar to the whole planet. Etli Ekmek – bread with meat – is a finger-lickin’ delicious pizza. Originally from Konya, Etli Ekmek is very similar to a Turkish pide. A meter-long flat and thin bread is sprinkled with generous servings of cheese and tender meat.
The pizza is sliced into smaller cuts and served fresh and hot. You can get your hands on this pizza-like dish in most central regions of Turkey.
The classic Turkish pide is a flatbread baked with meat and cheese that you can spot at almost every street food corner in Turkey. Turkish pide packs all the gooey cheese, onions, tomatoes, peppers, pastrami, mushrooms, and egg in a beautiful pocket of bread.
Even the bread is exquisitely thin and together with a savory, cheesy filling makes for a terrific evening snack. Usually baked in a stone oven, Turkish pide carries a gorgeous aroma that is sure to fill your sense.
Also known as water borek, Su Boregi is a traditional Turkish bread prepared with hand-rolled dough. Thin, delicate sheets are boiled or soaked and later baked into silky layers. Filled with tangy feta cheese, copious amounts of butter, and a generous sprinkle of parsley, su boregi is served the way lasagna slices are.
This pastry is a masterpiece. The added step of soaking the sheets in water, eggs, milk, and olive oil is the real magic. Each bite bursts with simple yet irresistible flavors. You can easily find this at most borek shops in Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Ankara.
Do you fancy crepes for breakfast? Gozleme is one snack without which your Turkey trip is simply incomplete. Made crepe-style, Gozleme is a delicious, savory Turkish bread prepared with hand-rolled dough – the same way Su Boregi is! It is the easiest snack to enjoy in all the main cities like Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa, and Cappadocia.
The thin crepes are filled with seasoned meat, vegetables, and lots and lots of cheese! Sealed and seared over a griddle, Gozleme is available in many variations. Our personal favorite is spinach and feta. Looking for a nice spot in Turkey to enjoy this pastry? Simply search up “best Turkish restaurants near me” and you’ll surely find Gozleme on the menu!
Turkey will never let you miss out on your beloved go-to snacks. Here’s one called simit that looks like both a bagel and a pretzel. This Turkish bread is baked with crusty sesame seeds on top and can be enjoyed with your favorite spreads.
If you’re wondering, “Where can I find simit in Istanbul?” simply head over to the nearest street vendor and catch this hot, delicious bread right out from a wood-fired oven!
Turkish cuisine is really in a league of its own. Here’s another spin on pasta – Turkey’s very own Ravioli. Manti isn’t your usual pasta. It’s very special and delicate handmade dumplings that you’ll want to bolt down in one go.
Stuffed with tasty beef or lamb mince and drizzled with a super-creamy yogurt sauce, Manti actually takes a lot of time to reach its perfection. However, once you taste these ridiculously delicious Turkish dumplings, you’ll never want to have any other ever again. Watch out for Manti in Istanbul and Kayseri!
Here’s a crazy good Turkish meatball dish for vegans – Cig kofte! These meatballs are made of flavor-packed veggies like tomatoes, red peppers, bulgar, and onions. A very traditional Turkish treat, Cig Kofte goes perfectly well with a vinaigrette salad and fresh lettuce.
Cig kofte in Cappadocia, Istanbul, and all the main cities are usually served in lavash bread wraps making for a perfect Turkish burrito!
Perde Pilav is the epitome of a savory delight. This traditional dish starts with a gorgeous dough topping filled with rice, juicy chicken, sweet-and-sour currants, pine nuts, almonds, and a host of luscious spices.
Typically made for wedding occasions, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t feast on this regional specialty. You can find it in many low-cost eateries in Istanbul and Van!
We’ve saved the best for the last. Turkish desserts are addictive. Turkish Delight or Lokum is not your usual sugary pastry. These are pleasantly sweet, irresistible, and packed with hazelnuts, pistachios, dates, and walnuts. There’s one for each tastebud!
Since it’s a traditional delicacy, there are many authentic Turkish brands selling these sweets in all the main cities. Simply scout for “best Turkish delight near me” to find a good spot in the city you’re staying! We personally recommend Istanbul for the best Turkish delight.
Turkish baklava is all about the sweet, syrupy, flakey, and nutty goodness that will leave you begging for more. This tempting Turkish dessert is prepared into layers of fine pastry and filled with chopped nuts. The final applause goes to the sugary syrup that holds this delicious dessert together. Find this in almost every restaurant and street food corner in Turkey!
If you find Baklava to be sweet, then Kunefe is just the Turkish dessert for you. This dish is made with unsalted cheese and Kdayif noodles and topped with a sugary syrup that perfectly balances the sweetness!
Izmir, Istanbul, Ankara, and Cappadocia have lots of lovely restaurants that serve Kunefe. You can search for “the best kunefe near me” to find a good place to dine in for this yummy dessert!
So, that’s a wrap! If you’ve reached the end of this blog, you’re probably salivating! We know we were. All the more reason to book a ticket and fly to Turkey!