best turkish foods

Traditional dishes of Turkey

Turkey is a country with a rich history and culture, and this could not but be reflected in the national cuisine. Its foundation was laid back in the times of the Turkic tribes. Later, the local cuisine was influenced by the Greeks, Arabs, and peoples of the Balkan Peninsula and the Caucasus.

Turkish national cuisine is considered one of the richest and most diverse in the world, second only to Chinese and French cuisines. Zucchini or eggplant are most often served as a side dish. In each region of Turkey, kofte is prepared differently. Meat-eaters will also enjoy local cutlets – tepsi koftesi.  Pistachios, dried fruits and nuts are often added to this dish, like many others in this country.

Also in Turkey, chickpeas or chickpeas stewed with beef are very popular. Be sure to try dolma – an analogue of our cabbage rolls, only with grape leaves instead of cabbage leaves.

Soups and salads

Cooking soups in Turkey is rarely complete without the use of offal. It is not always clear from appearance whether there are offal in the soup. A striking example is the recipe for ishkembe soup, which is prepared from offal with the addition of garlic and vinegar. There are also soups with other ingredients in Turkey. Merjimek is made from red lentils, shekhrieli yeshil merjimek is made from green lentils. It is customary to add vermicelli to the latter.

There is also tarhana chobrasy – perhaps the most famous first dish in Turkey. A mixture of pepper, flour, onion, yeast and ground dried tomatoes is added to the soup. Purely vegetable Turkish salad – shepherd’s salad, or choban salatasy. It is made from cucumbers, tomatoes, sheep cheese, onions and sweet peppers. Another popular option is potlyjan saladasy.

The main ingredient is fried eggplant. The skin is removed from them, after which the pulp is made into a puree. For a piquant taste, add parsley, olive oil and garlic. The salad is most often dressed with olive oil. Eggplants are quite popular in Turkey, but the main local vegetables are tomatoes and peppers.

But the most famous Turkish snack is meze. More precisely, it is a set of snacks that are offered with alcohol. Mezes come in cold and hot varieties. The former are made on the basis of yogurt with the addition of vegetables, the latter are often easy-to-prepare baked dishes. For example, karidesh gyuvech is shrimp baked in a clay pot with vegetables.

Bread and sweets

Turkey has a special attitude towards bread. Throwing it away is strictly prohibited. There is a tradition in the country: if a piece of bread falls, you need to take it off the floor, kiss it and bring it to your eye.

The choice of bread in local restaurants and cafes is large. In some establishments, pita is served with vegetables or cheese baked on it. Thin flatbreads in Turkey are called gozleme, traditional white bread is called ekemek, bagels cut into triangles are called berek. There is also local pizza lahmacun – a crispy flatbread covered in tomato sauce and minced meat.

Definitely the most famous Turkish national dishes are the world-famous oriental sweets. Who among us has not tried baklava? This delicacy is made from dough with the addition of pistachios and nuts, and then soaked in syrup. But you should definitely try this sweetness in Turkey – it is different here from the one we are used to. Turkish Turkish delight also has a special taste. These are cubes of honey or sugar with coconut, nuts and dried fruits. Turkish delight can taste like different fruits.

Also in Turkey, you will find dough tubes with openwork ribs and tulumba syrup, honey-nut kurabye with condensed milk nath, deep-fried lokma dough balls drizzled with syrup, rice dough sweets with gullyac nuts, oven-baked salad with strawberry sorbet, helva made from sesame paste and sugar. The list of sweets can be continued for a very long time, but it is better to visit Turkey and, forgetting about the diet, taste all these delicacies!

There are several factories producing sweets in this country, for example, Sorbet and Koshka. In many cities there are their branded stores with a huge selection. There are gift sets, products for people with diabetes, and freshly prepared treats with a short expiration date. They let you try the product. In addition to the quality guarantee, the plus of these stores is in their prices.


The national drink of this country is Turkish coffee. Ground coffee beans are boiled in a Turk, sometimes sugar is added. Often a glass of water is served separately.

People in Turkey love kefir-like ayran and boza, a sweetish drink made from millet or wheat. It is prepared by fermentation. To refresh yourself, choose local lemonade or Shiru grape juice.

The main alcohol in Turkey is raki. This is anise vodka with a strength of 40 to 70 degrees. In Turkey, wines are preferred not semi-sweet, but dry.

How much does food cost in Turkey?

For lunch in an average Turkish restaurant you can pay from 25 to 40 Turkish lira (from 400 to 650 rubles). Much depends on the location of the establishment. The closer to the coast or the historical center, the more expensive. In a budget cafe, soup will cost about 4 liras (65 rubles), salad – 4-5 liras (about 65-80 rubles), kebab – 10-15 liras (about 160-240 rubles).

In restaurants, food is more expensive, but the atmosphere is, of course, more pleasant. If your budget allows, check out the Istanbul restaurant Metropolis.

There is a varied menu and excellent kebab. The fireplace is responsible for the warm atmosphere in every sense. In Antalya, tourists praise the Yemenli restaurant for its cozy atmosphere and delicate service. Another popular place at the resort is “Favor”. Before cooking, you will be shown the products from which your order will be prepared. The sofas, carpets and pillows in the hall will take you to an oriental fairy tale.

In Turkey, it is customary to leave an amount from 1 to 5 dollars (approximately from 60 to 300 rubles) as a tip. But it is customary to reward waiters only in case of good service. If you are not satisfied with something, you can shamelessly not leave a tip.

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