Are you visiting Turkey soon but don’t know what to eat? Haven’t you discovered Turkish dishes and their special cuisine yet or just a part of it? Believe me, in Istanbul you are going to have an incredible culinary moment… but you still have to know what to eat for a truly local experience, so read on!

Best Turkish Dishes:

The Turkish cuisine reflects the geographical position of this country; between the Mediterranean, Oriental and Asian flavors, this is a vibrant cuisine, which will make you feel like you have visited 3 different continents.

TIP! To enter Turkey without any issues, make sure that you will have your e-Visa on hand! Apply at least 3 business days ahead of the planned trip on visa-for-turkey.com and get yours delivered to you via email!

In this article, I present you the 5 Turkish dishes that you absolutely must try when traveling to Turkey!

Top Turkey foods to try

Here, we put very traditional dishes from particular regions of Turkey, and we focus on the best classic dishes.



Obviously, for starters, breakfast! As you may have already been told, breakfast, also known as kahvaltı, is nothing small in Turkey. It is a hearty, salty, and sweet meal, which is accompanied by delicious Turkish tea, of course!

In this basic breakfast, you will find a huge variety of foods such as tomatoes, cucumber, beyaz peynir cheese, olives, honey with cream (bal kaymak), and jam.

All this is accompanied by simit bread, a round sesame bun. In addition, you will also find eggs, either hard-boiled or scrambled (menemem, scrambled eggs with peppers and tomatoes), or fried, which can be served with sucuk, a kind of Turkish “chorizo”, without pork.

This is the definition of a rich Turkish dish; through this, you will experience several Turkish delicacies at once.


The dürüm seems to be a simple “roll” sandwich or “wrap” in English, but be careful, in Turkey, they do not mess with their dishes!

Fresh pieces of bread, more or less thick, minced meat (Adana, or Urfa kebab for a less spicy taste) or on a skewer, cooked over charcoal. To eat with an ayran, a drink composed of yogurt and salted water, to calm your taste buds, if you have chosen the spicy one.

Pide & Lahmacun

The Turkish version of pizza is divided into two big families.quite different. As an Italian, I can’t say anything about the topic 🙂 But let’s see what these Turkish “typical Pizzas” are, shall we?

On the one hand, the pide, a relatively rich version of pizza, which is more like a dish in the shape of a boat, is garnished with your choice of cheese and meat. Among the varieties, you will find the sucuk, a kind of “chorizo,” the kavurma: braised beef or pastirma, and finally, dried and spicy beef. Atop all the ingredients, you can also add eggs which gives it a more traditional flavor.

On the other, slightly lighter than pide is the lahmacun. A thin crispy pancake garnished with minced lamb meat, onion, garlic, tomato, pepper, chili, and parsley. These two dishes are a must-try when you visit Turkey and Istanbul precisely.

Mantı & Gözleme

You will surely see during your walks in Istanbul, in some restaurants, older women shaping mantı (kinds of mini dumplings), often placed near the window to attract tourists.

Despite everything, it remains a very traditional dish that you certainly should not miss! They are served with a yogurt sauce (with or without garlic) and slightly spicy oil. Do not forget to add the dried mint and more or less pul bottle (chili flakes) according to your taste.

The gözleme is a kind of thick savory pancake made with the same dough and garnished with spinach/cheese (feta type), minced meat, and potatoes. They go along perfectly well, but you can try each of them separately.


The Turks are vegetable specialists, and you can’t help yourself but be very happy to eat a ton of them when you get there. They are often cooked in the form of dolma, that is to say, stuffed.

Cheese, meat, other vegetables… the stuffing takes many forms but is always delicious. You will fall in love with the stuffed eggplants you can eat during your stay in Istanbul or any other Turkish city. They are usually eggplants or bell peppers stuffed with a variety of ingredients.

Final thoughts About Turkish Dishes

It would be a very long article if we wrote about all the dishes you can try in Turkey. Instead of reading all of it, we have selected only 5 of the best Turkish dishes that you should not miss when you visit Turkey! Make sure to try some of the traditional dishes to get the full experience out of your travels.

Have you ever visited Turkey and tried one of their traditional dishes? Comment below if you have some delicacy I left out! Bon appetit!

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