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Traveling to Turkey: Top 20 Foods You Must Try

When we talk about the best foods in the world, we can’t disregard Turkish cousine. Turkish food is one of the country’s many gifts to the world which is an extraordinary blend of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors. We are talking about a different world of taste that almost all visitors to Turkey admire.

If you have a list of the best foods that must be tasted in the world, we have listed some flavors from Turkish cuisine that you need to add to your list. Actually, there is no need for a special list for yourself. When you taste some of these dishes, you will already want to taste them again

A journey to this stunning country is incomplete without experiencing the Turkish culinary excitement. If you are planning to visit Turkey take a look at our list of the top 20 foods that you must try.

1. pide

It resembles a certain amount of pizza. A different taste created by placing many types of ingredients onto a pizza-like dough according to your taste. There are many preferred types such as with minced meat, chicken, cheese, or sucuk (Turkish Sausage).

It is one of the most preferred foods due to its easy preparation and low time consumption. The taste is also worth mentioning.

You can easily find it in almost all kebab restaurants and special pide restaurants in Turkey. The price varies depending on the place you eat, but it is quite reasonable.

I especially recommend trying it when it is freshly baked from the oven and still has that aroma on it.

Top foods in Turkey. Pide

2. Doner kebab

This dish, which is quite popular worldwide, is made by layering thin slices of beef on top of each other to form a cylinder. As the surface is cooked, it is thinly sliced with a special knife resembling a sword.

From this point on, how you want to serve it is entirely up to your taste. You can have it as a sandwich, in a pita bread, or even served with pilaf. I can say that it goes very well with ayran (a Turkish yogurt drink).

You can easily find this dish in every region of Turkey, whether at street vendors or kebab restaurants. Due to its delicious taste and suitability for grab-and-go, it is also quite famous in the fast food industry as a sandwich.

When you smell it while you’re hungry, your feet will take you to try this food whether you want it or not. It’s that good, and I think its taste deserves all the praise.

Top foods in Turkey. Doner Kebap

3. Lahmacun

Another unique food from Turkish cuisine is lahmacun. Although it may look like pizza, you will notice its distinct taste when you eat it.

Sometimes, walking on the streets, you can catch the delicious smell of it. It totally deserves to be your list of top foods you should try.

Made with a mixture of minced meat and vegetables on a thin dough, it is cooked on wood-fired stone ovens. It is usually served with fresh parsley, onion, and tomato slices. Eating it traditionally involves rolling it into a roll with the vegetables inside.

Depending on your preference, it goes well with ayran and şalgam suyu. There are spicy and non-spicy varieties available, so those who are sensitive to spiciness should be cautious about which one they eat.

Top foods in Turkey. Lahmacun

4. Manti

Manti is a delectable Turkish dish that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds. This traditional treat is made up of small, flavourful dumplings that are stuffed to the brim with premium meat. Once cooked to perfection these tasty morsels are then served up as individual portions, topped off with garlic-infused yogurt sauce and a spicy drizzle of oil.

As an appetizer, Manti’s small-size of less than an inch in diameter is perfect to whet your appetite before indulging in the main course. And with its irresistible taste, this dish is sure to remain a crowd-pleaser no matter the occasion.

Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or someone new to Turkish cuisine, Manti is definitely worth a try! Don’t hesitate to discover one of the top foods in Turkey.

Top foods in Turkey. Manti

5. Borek

Borek is a savory pastry made of phyllo dough that’s filled with cheese, potato, meat, or spinach. It can be eaten as a snack or a main course.

It’s one of the Turkish pastries that are historically made during special occasions and celebrations. You can find this Turkish food mostly in pastry shops and at local markets.

6. Adana kebab

Adana kebab definetely deserves to be in the list of top foods you should try. It became a much-loved favourite among locals and visitors alike. Known for its luscious and juicy meat, this appetizing meal is made by blending lamb or beef with grilled onions, parsley, and an array of mouth-watering spices, then skewered and grilled to perfection.

The distinctiveness of Adana kebab lies in its mild to hot red pepper flakes, which give the food that unforgettable and unique flavour. You simply cannot visit Turkey as a meat lover without trying the Adana kebab.

It’s comforting to know that reputable Adana kebab restaurants can also be found dotted around other cities throughout the country.

Don’t be afraid to try different spice levels of Adana kebab; it’s usually served with fruity and mildly charred grilled tomatoes, peppers, onions, and fragrant basmati rice, which all work together to level out the spiciness of the dish.

With its robust flavour and local roots, Adana kebab is without a doubt the perfect dish for the curious foodie who wants to establish new connections with Turkish culture and cuisine.

Top foods in Turkey. Adana Kebap

7. Baklava

Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, baklava is a dessert that’s sure to make your taste buds sing. This delicious pastry is made with layers of delicate phyllo dough, chopped nuts, and a sweet syrup that’s often flavored with honey or sugar.

Its roots can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire, but it’s now enjoyed by people all around the world.

As a tourist exploring Turkey, sampling the local baklava should be high on your list of things to do. Whether you’re wandering through the city’s bustling streets or soaking up the sun on a nearby beach, there’s always an opportunity to try this sweet delight. Not only does it taste divine, but it’s also a cultural dessert that represents the rich history of Turkish cuisine.

So when you travel to Turkey, don’t miss out on the chance to savor a piece (or several!) of baklava. Trust us – every cell in your mouth will thank you, and you’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for this mouth-watering dessert.

Top foods in Turkey. Baklava

8. Iskender kebab

If you’re a foodie traveling to Turkey, don’t leave without trying iskender kebab. This traditional dish features thinly sliced lamb, tender pita bread and a mix of tomato-based sauce and melted butter, all topped off with tangy yogurt.

While you can find the dish throughout the country, you’ll want to head to Bursa, the birthplace of iskender kebab, for the most authentic version. It’s the perfect filling meal to share with loved ones and a must-try while exploring Turkish cuisine.

Top foods in Turkey. Iskender Kebap

9. Kofte

Köfte is the collective term for meatballs in Turkish cuisine, but it can refer to any type of ground meat; the most popular ones are lamb mixed with chopped onions, parsley, and various herbs. These meatballs can be grilled or fried, then usually, they are served with a side salad or as a sandwich.

I am sure that during your culinary adventures in Turkey, you will come across many varieties of this food such as Izmir meatballs, Tire köfte, Inegol köfte, and sucuk köfte. Since they are made from similar ingredients, you might think that their taste is the same but it’s not true. Each of them has a unique and delicious taste.

10. Mercimek Kofte

There’s nothing quite like mercimek kofte – a vegan dish that’s a staple in Turkish cuisine. Comprised of lentils, bulgur, onions, and herbs.

This nutritious dish is not only filling but also full of rich flavor. The ingredients are blended and kneaded to form small, bite-sized balls, that are typically served cold with lettuce, fresh herbs and lemon slices make it a refreshing treat.

Whether as an appetizer or a main course, mercimek kofte provides a satisfying and healthy option for those looking to try something new in Turkish cuisine. And best of all, it’s simple enough to make at home, allowing anyone to experience the unique taste and texture of this beloved dish.

11. Dried fruits

Turkey is known for its production of some delicious dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, figs, and cherries. Usually, they are eaten as a snack, but some recipes like chicken with dried apricots, lamb with prunes or couscous with raisins require these ingredients.

12. Turkish Delight

When it comes to satisfying our sweet tooth cravings, Turkish Delight is one dessert that never fails to impress. This chewy, fragrant and melt-in your mouth delicacy is made by combining sugar, corn starch, and water, and then adding a variety of rich flavors such as rosewater or nuts.

But Turkish Delight is more than just a delicious treat; it’s an experience for all your senses. The moment you touch your teeth into a piece of Turkish Delight, you are hit with a burst of sweet and fragrant flavors that captivate your taste buds. The chewy texture of each bite feels like a soft, velvety cloud melting in your mouth. And the faint, aromatic aroma of rose or nutty flavors transports you to another world.

If you want to bring a taste from Turkey when you return to your loved ones, Turkish delight would be a good option. In addition, it is very easy to preserve and carry. Therefore, it can easily be stored in your suitcase.

Top foods in Turkey. Turkish Delight

13. ayran

Ayran is one of the most traditional Turkish drinks, it’s made with yogurt, water, and salt. It’s fresh, light, and ideal to drink during the warm summer months. The drink is also known for its health benefits and functions as a natural probiotic.

It is commonly used as an unchanged beverage alongside kebabs in Turkey. If you want to try best foods in Turkey, you should accompany them with best suitable beverage.

Top foods in Turkey. Ayran

14. simit

Simit is a popular Turkish breakfast food that’s with sesame seeds. It’s a snack that can be enjoyed with cheese, jam or honey. Simit is usually sold from street vendors, carts, or bakeries throughout Turkey. It’s usually served with Turkish tea or coffee.

Besides being a snack for people in Turkey, simit is also used for another purpose. To enjoy the pleasure of feeding hundreds of seagulls that gather around you while you are at a seaside or on a Bosphorus trip with a ferry. It is like a tradition for people in Turkey.

Top foods in Turkey. Simit

15. menemen

Menemen is a Turkish breakfast that is essentially scrambled eggs mixed with spices, green peppers, onions, and tomatoes. It’s packed with flavors and is the perfect way to start the day.

Usually, it does not contain meat in its preparation, but in some versions, sucuk can be added if desired. It’s served with a slice of bread.

16. gozleme

Gozleme is a popular Turkish food that has gained popularity worldwide. It is a type of stuffed pastry that is typically filled with cheese, spinach, potatoes, and other ingredients. The dough is rolled out and filled, then cooked on a griddle or sautéed until golden brown.

There are many variations of gozleme, and each one has its unique taste and texture. Some popular gozleme fillings include feta cheese and spinach, potato and onion, and minced meat with herbs.

Gozleme is relatively easy to make and is a great option for a quick snack or a meal on the go. If you want to try making your own gozleme at home, there are many recipes available online, and you can experiment with different fillings to find your favorite.

17. sis kebabi

Sis kebabı is the meat dish that every Turkish person knows how to make. It is made with lamb that has been marinated and skewered, then grilled over charcoal until it’s tender and juicy. Sis kebabı is best enjoyed with a side of rice and will keep you happy and satisfied for hours.

If you want to get best taste of this delicious kebap, you should try it in restaurants called “Ocakbasi” in Turkey. You will have a unique atmosphere while enjoying your food.

18. kunefe

Kunefe is a one-of-a-kind and highly cherished dessert deeply rooted in Turkish culture. Its irresistible appeal comes from a delightful combination of contrasting textures and flavors. Imagine a crispy layer of shredded phyllo dough encasing a warm and velvety layer of cheese filling – all generously doused in a sweet syrup made from honey and sugar.

This delicious dessert is traditionally served hot, and adorned with a topping of your choice, typically pistachios or walnuts. If you’re looking to explore the gastronomic wonders of Turkish cuisine, don’t miss out on this unique and mouth-watering treat that offers a sensational taste experience.

Indulging in kunefe is sure to leave you with a lasting impression and fond memories of your Turkish culinary adventure.

Top foods in Turkey. Kunefe

19. Pilav

Pilav is a classic Turkish rice dish that can be served as a side dish or main course. This rice dish is made by boiling rice pilav with various herbs and spices like saffron or cinnamon.

The most popular variation is the Turkish rice pilav, which is mixed with shredded toasted orzo pasta. Almost every nation has a variety of rice made dish in their cousine.

You should definetely try Turkish style of rice dish as one of the best foods.

20. Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee is not just any old cup of Joe. It’s a cultural practice that goes back generations. When you brew Turkish coffee, you’re in for an aromatic, velvety treat.

To make the perfect pot, you add finely ground coffee, sugar, and water to a special pot called a cezve. The key to getting that delicious, silky foam on top is to slowly boil it.

When you get served this coffee, you’ll notice that there’s always a tiny little glass of water next to it. And if you’re lucky, you might also get a piece of Turkish Delight on the side.

The foam-soaked coffee is bold and inviting. The sugar and spice add extra depth to the earthy richness of the coffee, making each sip feel like a warm embrace from a close friend.

It’s more than just a drink; it’s a symbol of the Turkish tradition of hospitality. So, take a sip and let the warmth and togetherness of the Turkish culture envelop you.

Top foods in Turkey. Turkish coffee

In conclusion, Turkey is a point where Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food cultures meet. I can easily say that it offers quite different and delicious tastes for visitors coming from outside these regions. You will like some of these dishes so much that when you return home, you will begin to take interest in Turkish cuisine restaurants.

Comments

  • 23 May 2023

    I need to try several of these still!

    reply

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