Turkish Food: What to Eat in Turkey

Dec 30, 2019

Introduction to Turkish Cuisine

Turkish cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors, unique combinations, and centuries-old culinary traditions. It is a vibrant fusion of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Central Asian, and Balkan influences. From hearty kebabs to delicate desserts, Turkish food offers an unforgettable journey for your taste buds.

Traditional Turkish Dishes

1. Kebabs

Kebabs are an iconic part of Turkish cuisine. From juicy Adana kebabs to succulent shish kebabs, there are various types to satisfy every meat lover's palate. These grilled delights are often served with fluffy rice, creamy yogurt, and freshly baked bread.

2. Baklava

No discussion about Turkish cuisine would be complete without mentioning Baklava. This decadent and sweet pastry, made with layers of thin phyllo dough, filled with nuts, and soaked in syrup, is a true treat for dessert enthusiasts. Each bite is a perfect balance of crispy, buttery layers and a blissful sweetness.

3. Pide

Pide, often referred to as "Turkish pizza," is a popular dish enjoyed throughout Turkey. The dough is topped with a variety of ingredients such as minced meat, vegetables, and cheese. It is then baked in a stone oven, resulting in a deliciously crispy and flavorsome meal.

4. Meze

Meze refers to a wide array of small dishes served as appetizers or part of a full meal. These include stuffed grape leaves, creamy hummus, smoky eggplant dip, and tangy yogurt with cucumbers. Meze allows you to explore a multitude of flavors and textures, perfect for sharing with friends and family.

5. Turkish Tea and Coffee

Turkish tea and coffee are an integral part of Turkish culture. Sip on traditional Turkish tea, served in delicate glasses, while engaging in lively conversations. If you're a coffee lover, indulge in a cup of rich and aromatic Turkish coffee prepared through a unique brewing method.

Regional Specialties

1. İskender Kebab (Bursa)

Originating from the city of Bursa, İskender Kebab consists of thinly sliced lamb or beef, served over a bed of warm pita bread, topped with rich tomato sauce and melted butter. This mouthwatering specialty is a must-try when visiting Bursa.

2. Lahmacun (Gaziantep)

Gaziantep is famous for its Lahmacun, a thin and crispy dough topped with minced meat, herbs, and spices, then baked in a searing-hot oven. The combination of flavors and textures makes Lahmacun a true delight.

3. Manti (Kayseri)

Manti, also known as Turkish dumplings, is a beloved specialty of Kayseri. These small parcels are filled with seasoned minced meat and served with yogurt and melted butter. The tender dumplings are a perfect blend of flavors and make for a satisfying meal.


Turkish cuisine is a treasure trove of delightful dishes, ranging from the classic kebabs and baklava to lesser-known regional specialties. The harmonious blending of spices, fresh ingredients, and cooking techniques passed down through generations results in a culinary experience unlike any other. When exploring Turkey, don't miss the opportunity to indulge in the diverse flavors of Turkish food.

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