Traditional Turkish Cuisine to Try Out on Vacation

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Trying the national cuisine is one of the major highlights when travelling to a foreign country. First-time visitors to Turkey are definitely in for a treat and will soon discover that this country has
more to offer than just delicious kebabs.

Turkish food is a mouth-watering mix of Middle-Eastern, Mediterranean, and Asian flavors, and whether you’re buying snacks from city street vendors or visiting a resort, restaurant quality food is one of this country's hallmarks.

Best for breakfast

If you’re looking for an energy boost in the morning, then try out the traditional Turkish version of scrambled eggs and tomatoes called Menemen. This dish, which also includes chilies, is a unique morning fix and is best served with some crusty bread and salty cheese. Have a cup of Turkish coffee or Türk kahvesi alongside it.

Traditional Turkish Cuisine to Try Out on Vacation

Lunch Favorites

You can afford to over-eat a little on vacation so why not try out 'Pide', Turkey's version of the pizza. Chewy but crispy dough is topped with lamb, meat, salami or cheese in this classic cheap and cheerful lunchtime dish. You’ll find pide restaurants in every town where you can take a seat and watch as the chef prepares this dish just for you.


Most popular snacks

Traditional Turkish Cuisine to Try Out on Vacation

If it’s a quick but filling snack you want, then simply grab a chicken, beef, or lamb kebab from a street vendor. These tasty spit-roasted or broiled snacks packed into Turkish bread and topped with sauces are an everyday staple across the country. Kofte, which is balls of ground lamb or beef served in sandwiches or in stews, is another not to be missed snack.


Best for dinner

Go for the traditional Turkish starter of soup and you’ll sample plenty of green or red peppers, rice, eggs, and yoghurt. Meat is featured heavily throughout main meals in Turkey and you’ll find that the Turkish people love stuffed eggplants and peppers with ground meat rice, onions, and tomatoes.


Best for after dinner

Sit back, relax and take your time when deliberating over the many desserts available in this country. Try Sutlac, which is a baked rice pudding with a variety of ingredients such as raisins or cinnamon. A sweet tooth will definitely be satisfied with the syrupy pastry Baklava, or go for a Revani, which is the moistest semolina cake in syrup. Coffee will usually be served with the desert but if you fancy something alcoholic, try a traditional fruity Raki.


The year-round hot weather makes Turkey an excellent destination for beach holidays, even during the low-cost spring, autumn, and winter seasons. The good news for foodies is that the quality of food is high but the cost is relatively low, making this country an excellent option for being able to live - and eat - well.



Want more information on Turkey? Check out The Best of Turkey: An A-Z Guide





Photos cc: chicken shawarmaRed peppers