What to Eat in: Turkey

It’s time to step away from the kebabs, leave buying Turkish delight for the airport and branch out when you’re on holiday in Turkey! There is plenty to keep you busy when it comes to trying new dishes, and we’ve done the legwork to suss out the best!


simit, turkish bread topped with sesame seeds

This delicious bread is a cross between a French baguette and a bagel and most people eat it for breakfast, served with jam or cheese. More and more places are now offering them made into sandwiches for lunch too. Usually served with strong, sweet tea.

Yaprak Sarma

stuffed vine leaves

Better known to us as stuffed vine leaves, these tasty morsels contain rice, onion, and a range of spices from mint to cinnamon, depending on who’s making them. These very often come as part of a meze meal, which is a choice of little dishes like the Spanish tapas.


meat pizza served with lemon
Dominik Schwind

This is a flat dough topped with minced meat, it’s a bit like a pizza but with more emphasis on the meat! Don’t be afraid to get stuck in – most people roll it up and eat it with their hands, after squeezing lemon over the top, which is optional!


deep fried anchovies

Anchovies are one of the most popular seafood items in Turkey, and they also find their way in to all sorts of other dishes too, including pilaf. To enjoy them at their best, get them dusted in flour and deep fried for a tasty snack or light starter.

Hunkar Begendi

rich lamb stew on pureed aubergine

Turks seem to be more than a little obsessed with aubergine, and this dish sees roasted and pureed aubergine topped with a stew of lamb, tomatoes and butter. Expect melt-in-the-mouth meat and a newfound love for aubergine!


meat dumplings with yoghurt

These delicious dumplings are not to be confused with ravioli, although they often look similar! Spiced meat, usually lamb, is wrapped in dough and steamed or boiled, creating delicious meaty morsels for you to dip in yoghurt-based sauce.


varieties of this sweet pastry treat
Ellen Munro

If you’re not brave enough to try Tavuk Gogsu – a milk pudding thickened with shredded chicked – then seek out these delicious treats. Layers of wafer thin pastry, chopped nuts, butter and honey combine in a bewildering array of designs, so you’d best try them all!

So now you know what to eat – visit our Turkey guide to find out where you want to go!