The Best Traditional Food In Turkey

There is nothing quite like experiencing the authentic fare of Turkey. While there are a variety of different dishes that you can enjoy, traditional food in Turkey is nothing to be missed. It truly is one of the best experiences you can have while vacationing in Turkey.

Traditional food in Turkey starts with the yogurt that most people in the country grow. Freshly made yogurt that is tangy and rich is the staple diet of many of the people in the region. Turkish yogurt is tangy and rich, just like the dishes that are made from it. You can’t simply go out to a fancy hotel in turkey and get some, though. You’ll be able to get fresh-made yogurt at almost every street-side shop as well as baksalar (the word for kitchen) in most of Turkey.

A typical meal in Turkey is made up of two different meals: breakfast and lunch. Breakfast is served in the morning. In many parts of turkey, early mornings are considered a holy duty. The tradition started in Istanbul around 1000 B.C., long before many of the other countries to spread their versions of the tradition. Turkish Istanbul yogurt is rich and tangy; perfect for a satisfying start to your day. It’s also served with some of the delicious Turkish foods that make up lunch.

Typical traditional turkey food includes such delights as hummus, rice, and, of course, the famous cole. If you haven’t had it, try some of Istanbul’s amazing authentic Turkish restaurants. Many are located in or around the city of Istanbul. The taste of these traditional foods is absolutely delicious, but they’re not like the ones served in American or even in some other developed country. There’s something wonderfully unique about traditional turkey food.

One of the best things about traditional food in turkey is that there is always the opportunity to eat dessert. If you’re having a late night party in Turkey, it might not seem like much of a treat for you to devour a sweet dish like an apple pie. However, if you eat at an authentic Turkish restaurant, a dessert will be part of your experience. Not only that, but you can enjoy the rich taste of Turkish pastry and fruit while appreciating the unique flavor of local wine. A great tip for the night owls who want to keep sugar levels down is to eat dessert after dinner.

One of Turkey’s greatest national treasures is its desserts, which have been around for hundreds of years. Turkish desserts include such classics as the lahmacun, which are similar to the classic confectionary called “turnovers,” but it has an added sweetener and is less heavy on the stomach. You can find the best food in turkey at any of these locations: Baklava, Levent, Kilim, Mavassemus and many others.

Although the traditional diet of turkey consists of meat, it’s also known for including plenty of vegetables and fruits. One of my favorite desserts in turkey is a thin thick layer of fresh fruit over a scoop of eclairs. This dessert is very filling and doesn’t have the overwhelming taste of cheese that you often find in French desserts. The reason for this is because a lot of the ingredients in traditional Greek recipes like pakoras or “tahini” are heavy and cause the desert to become more like a pudding than a cake.

Although the traditional diet of turkey consists of meat, it’s also known for including plenty of vegetables and fruits. One of my favorite desserts in turkey is a thin thick layer of fresh fruit over a scoop of eclairs. This dessert is very filling and doesn’t have the overwhelming taste of cheese that you often find in French desserts. The reason for this is because a lot of the ingredients in traditional Greek recipes like pakoras or “tahini” are heavy and cause the desert to become more like a pudding than a cake.

Traditional Turkish food often revolves around meats that are grilled, which is not always the case within the country. Turkey, unlike many other countries, serves its residents with plenty of dishes that incorporate the use of different vegetables, often in the form of salad. One of my favorites is hummus. Not only is the dressing made from thin, the most common type of salad ingredient, but the actual meat in the sauce is cooked to perfection, while the onions, cucumbers and other vegetables add their own generous amount of flavor.

We ate our way across the country, and everywhere we went, we found delicious Turkish cuisine. Testi kebap, borek, cig kofte, and kunefe, among other delicacies, opened our eyes to the diversity of Turkish cuisine. It also made us realize that we were only scratching the surface of all the wonderful things that this country has to offer.

In terms of cuisine, Turkey has a lot more to offer. When I look at a map, I’m not sure where to start. If you’re visiting Turkey for the first time, this list of 17 typical Turkish cuisine is an excellent place to start.


The continuation of Ottoman Empire cuisine is described as traditional Turkish cuisine. To develop one of the world’s most diverse and significant cuisines, the Ottomans combined Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Eastern European, and Balkan cuisines.

Turkish cuisine is characterized by kebabs and lamb-based dishes, but the cuisine differs by area. The western shore is known for its many olive-oil-based cuisine, Central Anatolia for its hearty pastries, and the Black Sea cities and villages for their plentiful fresh fish.




Leblebi is a roasted chickpea-based Turkish street cuisine snack. They can be plain or seasoned with salt, hot spices, or dried cloves, and they can even be wrapped with candies. They’re a popular snack in Turkey as well as other Middle Eastern nations such as Iran, Syria, and Afghanistan.

Platters of Meze

Meze, which meaning “appetizer,” refers to a group of small appetizer meals popular in Turkey, Greece, the Balkans, North Africa, and portions of the Middle East. Purees, salads, meatballs, pastries, dips, and cheeses are among the vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods available.

Meze platters are popular as snacks or appetizers in Turkey and may be found almost anyplace.

Appetizers on a platter

Appatizer / Meze



One of the most popular Turkish dishes is simit. It’s sold on the streets of Istanbul in these red street food carts.

Simit refers to a sesame-seed-encrusted bagel-shaped bread. It’s crispy and chewy, and it’s a terrific budget-friendly Turkish snack.


Pide is a type of flat bread baked in a brick or stone oven in the shape of a boat. It’s similar to pizza and can be topped with everything from cheese to onions, peppers, tomatoes, sausage, and eggs.

Pide is a staple of Turkish cuisine and may be found in everything from fine dining establishments to street food carts.



One of my favorite Turkish dishes was this. Lahmacun looks like a thin, cheese-free pizza, but it’s actually a type of wrap filled with minced meat (usually lamb or beef), vegetables, herbs, onions, tomatoes, and spices.

To eat, fill the lahmacun with pickles, peppers, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and roasted eggplant before rolling it up. It’s baked to be crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle, similar to a pizza.

Wrapped and ready to eat lahmacun. Turkish Lahmacun Recipe


Borek is a name for a type of stuffed pastry that is popular in Ottoman cuisine. It’s often filled with meat, cheese, or veggies and prepared with a thin flaky pastry like phyllo or yufka.

Borek, like lahmacun, was a favorite Turkish dish of ours. It comes in a variety of regional variants, such as water borek, pen borek, and palace borek. A patatesli, or potato borek, is shown below.


Gozleme is a delicious Turkish pastry made from unleavened dough that is thin and crispy. Before being sealed and fried over a griddle, it is lightly coated with butter or oil and filled with various toppings such as meat, veggies, mushrooms, and cheese.

Gozleme, like borek, comes in a variety of variants that vary by area. A kiymali, or minced meat gozleme, is shown below.
Gozleme Recipe


Durum is a Turkish word that means “roll,” and it refers to wraps that are often filled with doner kebab components. It’s one of the most common varieties of Turkish street food, and it’s available almost everywhere.

In Turkey, the durum was one of our favorite foods. We tasted it on several occasions, but the nicest durum we had was from Istanbdul’s well-known Durumzade shop. It was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations: Istanbul episode.

Kebab Doner

Doner kebab vertical rotisseries can be seen all over Turkey. Seasoned meat (usually lamb, beef, or chicken) is stacked and slowly flipped next to a vertical heating element in the shape of an inverted cone. The outermost layer is shaved off in small slices and served on a platter or wrapped in a durum wrapper after cooking.

The doner kebab is one of Turkish cuisine’s most important and influential dishes. Similar foods such as Greek gyros, Arab shawarmas, and Mexican tacos al pastor are said to have been inspired by it.

Islak Burger

The unappealing islak burger epitomizes Turkish drunk food at its most obnoxious and wonderful. The moniker “wet burger” comes from the fact that these soggy and greasy orange-tinged patties are immersed in a garlicky tomato sauce before being left to steam in a hamam-style glass box.

Islak burgers have a juicy, chewy texture and a garlicky flavor. They don’t appear that attractive, but they’re surprisingly tasty, especially after a few beers. It’s tough to limit yourself to just one.

Kizilkayalar near Taksim Square is one of Istanbul’s most popular islak burger joints. It was also featured on the Istanbul episode of No Reservations and is a popular among late-night boozers.

Ekmek Balik

The name Balik ekmek means “fish bread,” which is precisely what it is: a Turkish fish sandwich. A grilled mackerel fillet is sandwiched between two buns and topped with onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and a spritz of lemon.

The balik ekmek sandwich is best savored while sitting by the water. Several balik ekmek kiosks may be seen on either side of Istanbul’s Galata Bridge.


A family of meatball or meatloaf dishes prevalent in Central Asia, India, the Balkans, and the Middle East is known as kofte. It’s created with minced or ground meat (usually beef, lamb, or chicken) mixed with onions, herbs, and spices in its most basic form.

In Turkish cuisine, kofte is a popular meal. In Turkey, there are about 300 different types of kofte, with the most well-known being kuru kofte (dry), sulu kofte (soup), cig kofte (raw), and sis kofte (skewered).


Lamb is the most common sort of meat in Turkish cuisine. When someone says “meat” in Turkey, they’re usually referring to lamb. Lamb is widely consumed in Turkey, and it may be found in a variety of recipes such as kebabs, kofte, lahmacun, pide, ragout, and casserole.
Chops of lamb

Kebap Testi

The most interesting Turkish food we tried in Cappadocia was testi kebap. Testi, or ceramic kebab, is a traditional Anatolian dish cooked in a clay jar or jug. It’s typically made with lamb, beef, or chicken, as well as potatoes and garlic.

The ingredients are placed in the pot and wrapped with bread dough before being cooked in their own fluids in a tandoor or clay oven for several hours.

Fresh Fish

Turkey’s coastal areas, which are surrounded by four seas, are famed for their abundance of fish. Lamb, as well as fresh fish, play a key role in Turkish cuisine.
Visitors to Istanbul will have a wide selection of seafood restaurants to pick from. Because it is surrounded (and separated) by water, a variety of fish is frequently available at different periods of the year.

Fish that has been grilled If you take a Bosphorus cruise, you can dine on seafood at one of Anadolu Kavagi’s many coastal eateries. It’s the cruise’s final destination, and it’s when the majority of passengers disembark for lunch or dinner.

The Bosphorus is home to a variety of fish.

Midye Dolması

Midye dolmas are stuffed mussels with herbed rice, pine nuts, and currants, and are a favorite Turkish snack. In coastal locations like Istanbul and Izmir, they’re spritzed with lemon and offered as street food.


Men in their sixteenth year.

Eggs, onions, tomatoes, green peppers, and spices are used to make Menemen, a classic Turkish dish. It’s similar to shakshouka and is typically served with bread for breakfast.

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