Turkish traditional cuisines have been celebrated the world over. You cannot fail to find one or
the other type of traditional dishes in most of the world’s luxurious hotels, as well as most
modern homes. Turkish delicacies are among the most sought after foods in restaurants, with
visitors having a taste for particular dishes. And while there is a whole lot of Turkish delicacies,
we bring you the 20 best traditional Turkish food dishes that you must try.
Gozleme is mostly likened to the Mexican quesadilla if you have ever tested it. For those who
haven’t, then you can think of this dish as a stuffed pancake. The recipe is made by a hand-
rolled bread which is then brushed with some oil. To make it even tastier, you can stuff it with
your own choice of ingredients. The most used constituents include cheese, potatoes, greens,
eggplant, or any other that you might wish.
If you visit Turkey and fail to taste Gozleme, then you would have missed one of the best
Turkish traditional food. And you might be astonished to learn that you are the only one who
visited and failed to taste this delicious dish.
Also known as Turkish breakfast, Kahvalti is not just any ordinary delicacy. Those who have had
a taste of this cuisine will agree that the Turkish breakfast is an additional of an experience than
just a meal. Mostly Turkish families take this dish over weekends. Just like any other breakfast,
the Turks will start their Turkish breakfast with a cup of black tea or Turkish cay. During
traditional Turkish breakfast, you will notice that the table is full of small plates and bowls of
jellies and honey. Also, you can find some bite-sized cucumbers, tomatoes or cheese. As a
traditional food, everyone on the table shares the meal from a standard plate in the middle.
The Borek is another one of the best Turkish traditional dishes. Its cook in a large and then
when ready served in a small portion. As a traditional meal, Borek is prepared by a variety of
baked, filled pastries. The pastries are composed of thin flaky dough, popularly known as Yufka.
You then fill it with either cheese, potatoes, spinach or all the three.
Manti is the most celebrated Turkish cuisine. Usually, this dish is filled with a mixture of minced
meat dish, but depending on the region, you can find a variety of mixtures filling manti.
Preparation of manti needs quite a bit of time, and to enjoy the whole process, then you need to
do it with either friends or family members. Traditionally, the ability to prepare manti has been
used to prove an individual’s cooking skills.
Meze is not an actual meal. But only appetizers for any meal you want to eat in Turkey. Turkish
mezes come in different forms, and you can choose any of them as your appetizer. Among the
most popular Turkish mezes include eggplant, salads, and yogurt.
In the coastal regions of Turkey, you will find people having an evening affair where they have
live music with meze delicacies that have been paired with Balik Ekmek, traditional licorice
alcoholic drink, and fish.
Have you ever tasted a salty yogurt that is so sweet? Well, if you haven’t, then you need to taste
the Ayran. Whenever someone in Turkey is taking his or her doner or durum, you will always
find them having Ayran together with it. And if you are new to this, you might find it a little bit odd
during your first days, but within no time, you will never miss Aryan whenever you are taking
7. Doner kebab
The only Turkish persons who do not love doner kebab are vegetarians, but all the others will do
anything they can to have a piece of this food. To prepare doner kebab, you have to stack
seasoned meat onto a screwer which is in the shape of an inverted cone; then it is made to turn
as it cooks. It is this behavior or turning while it is cooking that gave it the name, doner, which
means something that turns.
After the meat has cooked well, it is sliced off in thin strips. The underneath section, which has
not cooked well, is left to cook. You serve doner kebab with pickles and tomatoes.
8. Sütlaç (Rice Pudding)
Sütlaç, the other name Rice Pudding is a dessert that is served after every meal in Turkey, save
from breakfast perhaps. Usually served in a traditional clay bowl, Sutlac is a specific type of
yummy rice pudding that has been cooked. The top of the pudding is broiled, thus giving it a
baked brown. The broiling also gives it a hard coating on the top. The top is colorful, with a
Just like the doner kebab, baklava is a dessert. This dish comes in many different varieties. The
base of baklava is made of layers of Yufka dough, various spices, and chopped nuts and fruits,
and then soaked in simple hot syrup.
10. Iskender kebab
Iskender kebab is one of the most loved cuisines in the land of Turkey. Traditionally, this dish is
offered together with a golden melted butter over its top. For the lovers of Iskender kebab, there
is no any other kebab that is more delicious than this.
This kebab is characterized by these slices of lamb meat or beef in a tomato-based sauce. You
can serve it over cubes of pide with yogurt and grilled vegetables.
You can refer to Kofte as a Turkish version of meatballs. They are balls or patties that are made
of lightly cooked ground meat or lamb. Apart from beef or lamb, you can also have the cig kofte
in a vegetarian version. The vegetarian version is made up of chickpeas and vegetables. The
dish is sold in wraps with salad together with some bit of pita bread.
The Lahmacun is more of a Turkish pizza with some minced meat, lettuce as well as lemon
juice on top of it. Lahmacun comes in different flavors. In Turkey, you will not miss finding this
dish on most streets, as many of the citizens, as well as foreigners, enjoy this delicious meal.
Menemen is a rare form of breakfast, but very delicious for those who know about it. Menemen
is a delightful cuisine but is not put on menus of most restaurants in the Turkey kingdom. It
consists of scrambled eggs cooked with sautéed vegetables. To cook the scrambled egg dish,
you need to have onions tomatoes, green pepper, paprika, and oregano.
14. Sis kebap
Sis kebap is the original kebab and differs from the typical kebabs such as Edana kebab and
others in that it contains lamb on top of the chicken or fish found in an ordinary kebab. You need
a wooden or metal rod to serve it on. And just like lahmacun, the Sis kebab is Turkish street
food, enjoyed by the majority of Turkish people. On your next trip to Turkey, you should include
Sis kebab on the list of the Turkish dishes to enjoy, and not just the usual Turkish coffee and
other typical foods.
The Corba is a soup dish, that comes in two choices, either lentil or tomato sauces. Cobra is
mostly served hot with sheep brain or tongue soup. When you are on your holiday in Turkey,
this Turkish soup is a must-taste, as it is unique among all the dishes you can ever have. The
soup will give you a cozy and warm feeling, and you should not be surprised to learn that it has
quickly turned into one of your favorite Turkish dishes. Corba is one of the most celebrated
soups in Turkish restaurants, with most restaurants including it on their menus.
16. Yaprak Sarma
It is an assortment of vine leaves that have been wrapped around a filling of rice and onion. It
contains flavors of mint, currant, red pepper, and cinnamon. This cuisine is packed with lots of
flavors, and one can choose any of the mouthwatering Turkish flavors. It is the most popular
meal, right from the Middle East to Middle-Eastern Europe. It is worthy to note that you will need
quite some time to prepare this meal, but all in all, it is worth your time.
Dolma is a traditional Turkish cuisine that is made up of fresh vegetables or dried eggplants,
peppers, tomatoes, or zucchinis. When preparing dolma, you need to stuff all these with a
mixture of onion and rice before being cooked with butter.
Dolma, as a dish, is not just served in Turkish restaurants alone, but beyond the restaurants and
even beyond the Turkish boundaries. The cuisine is celebrated in the entire Mediterranean
region and the whole Middle East. There have been rumors that dolma originated from the
Ottoman Empire in the 17th century.
Durum is a slow-cooked beef, lamb or chicken and then served inside a wrap. To prepare
Durum, you need to have lavash, which is a thin Turkish flatbread. We use the same ingredients
as those used to make dishes like doner when making Durum.
Kumpir is one of the most famous street dishes which you can find along with beachside resorts
as well as cities. This traditional Turkish food is made up of baked potato with a crisp outer skin
and soft inside. You have a variety of toppings to choose from when you are eating the Kumpir
dish. Cheese, sausage, pickles, and Russian salad are among the most common toppings that
one can serve with this traditional Turkish food.
Here are other Turkish desserts that are commonly known as the Turkish delight. It is a firm
jelly-like cube, which has flavors of rosewater, lemon, or mastic. It also has powdered sugar on
it. The dish comes in different variations from which a visitor can choose. Tasting this cuisine is
a privilege, especially when tasted in its land of origin. Most visitors to Turkey carry t back home
in boxes of balaclava as a souvenir.
There are lots of traditional dishes in Turkey that you should try before leaving Turkey. But if you
cannot be able to travel to Turkey, then you can have some of the dishes brought to you by
some of your friends who have visited this part of the world, as a souvenir.
One thing we must note that most of the dishes are very affordable, and you do not have to
worry about your budget. But based on the kind of hotel, the budget may vary that you want to
have your meal in. There are those high-end luxurious hotels that might have their prices a little
bit high, but generally, the traditional Turkish foods are affordable for everyone. You should
make it your choice to have a taste of these meals on your next visit to Turkey.