27 Delicious Turkish Foods Everyone Must Try

Don't forget to put yogurt on EVERYTHING.

Posted on

1. Menemen

Instagram: @mikkelploug

This traditional Turkish breakfast item is scrambled eggs cooked in sautéed vegetables and served hot with bread. Dip it, spread it, or spoon it up.

3. Mantı

Instagram: @mor_mutfak

Mantı might remind you of ravioli at first sight, but the traditional Turkish dish is completely unique in taste and texture. Small beef or lamb dumplings are boiled or fried and served with yogurt or butter, and often accompanied with a range of spices.

4. Kuzu Tandır

Instagram: @datlimaya

The meat for this popular lamb dish is traditionally hung and slow roasted whole, and it often served with rice or potatoes, and yogurt.

5. Lahmacun

Chelsey Pippin / Buzzfeed

This flat and crispy bread is traditionally topped with minced meat, salad, and lemon juice (thought the above is a beetroot vegan option!), and can be wrapped, folded in half, or pulled apart to eat.

Cheap and available on any street corner, it's the perfect light lunch or snack while touring.

6. Börek

Flickr: seelensturm

Turkish savoury pastry comes in many varieties, most popularly filled with minced meat or spinach and cheese. Börek can be rolled, served as puffs, or layered like lasagna, and served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack. Anyway you have it, börek is always flaky and delicious.

8. Pide

Instagram: @datlimaya

Often called "Turkish Pizza," Pide is a boat-shaped flatbread served with a variety of toppings, often minced meat or spinach and cheese.

9. Güllaç

Instagram: @caffebeyzade

A traditional dessert most often served during Ramadan, güllaç is a uniquely textured treat made from dough, milk, rosewater, nuts, and pomegranate seeds. You might find other fruit or chickpeas in some variations.

10. Meze

Flickr: klg19

It's common to have meze, or a range of cold appetisers, with drinks or in place of a full meal. Dinner guests are provided with around 20 choices, bean dishes, salads, and spreads on small dishes to eat with bread.

11. Dolma

Instagram: @datlimaya

Dolma is often used to refer to stuffed vine leaves, but encompasses any stuffed vegetable. Vine leaves are popular in Turkey, but so are stuffed peppers, courgettes, and aubergine.

12. Lokum

Flickr: beggs

Lokum, or Turkish Delight, is a nougaty dessert served with a variety of flavours and fillings and often topped with powdered sugar. It's always best fresh, as pre-packaged versions tend to go too light on the fillings and too heavy on the sugar, drying it out.

13. Şiş Kebap

Flickr: turkish-travel

Meat on a stick originated in Turkey, wouldn't you know? Sis Kebab is typically lamb, chicken or fish served on a wooden or metal rod, often with bread. Dip it in yogurt or eat it on its own; it's always tender, savoury, and delicious.

14. Pilav

Instagram: @datlimaya

Turkish rice is simply put, delicious. Buttery and toasted, it can be the tastiest thing on your plate, and that's not a bad thing. Don't miss out on smothering your rice in yogurt - it's actually amazing.

15. Kayısı Tatlısı

Instagram: @datlimaya

Tasty morsels of apricot stuffed with cream and nuts is a signature Turkish dessert that will blow your mind.

16. Baklalı Enginar

Peeled artichokes dressed in oil and lemon juice and served cold with beans and fresh parsley, this dish is fresh, light, and a perfect summer meal.

17. Su Böreği

restaurantmeram.nl

This variation of börek is a strange and amazing cross between lasagna and pastry. Su böreği (or water börek) is made from dough softened and cooked in milk and eggs. Stuffed with cheese and spinach, it's a moist and filling snack.

18. Mozaik Pasta

sohogreens.com

Chocolate cake made with chocolate sauce and broken biscuits is artful to look at and and delicious to eat. Available in almost any cafe, mozaik cake is also a go-to for Turkish mums, most of whom can whip up a no-bake version in no time.

19. Mercimek Köftesi

Instagram: @datlimaya

These vegetarian meat balls made from lentils, bulgur, and chopped vegetables are a common Turkish appetiser.

20. Döner

Flickr: krienke

Döner is a typical slow cooked meat sandwich, made with chicken, lamb, or beef and served with vegetables, spices, and garlic yogurt. Döner is usually available from takeaways, but don't be fooled, it's exponentially tastier than McDonalds.

21. İmam Bayıldı

Instagram: @jordanbourke

This stuffed aubergine entree is delicious, hearty, and versatile. Aubergines can be filled with rice, bulgur, mince, and/or other veg and smothered in oil and butter before being baked or cooked on the stovetop.

23. Künefe

Flickr: jhfoto

This unique Turkish dessert, made from cheese baked with shredded pastry dough and topped with pistachio, is a common treat for nights out as it's difficult to make at home.

24. Dürüm

Instagram: @kaserol_

Essentially a Turkish burrito, dürüm is slow cooked chicken, lamb, or beef served inside a wrap. The perfect takeaway food, dürüm offers the best of Turkish flavours on the go.

25. Balık Ekmek

Flickr: jorgecancela

A Turkish fish sandwich is best enjoyed along the water - whether you're enjoying the seaside of Bodrum or taking a lounge by Istanbul's Bosphorus, it's common to see floating fish restaurants docked to the shore, and you mustn't miss the opportunity to be served on one of those!

26. Salep

Instagram: @yvzbusra

A trip to Turkey is not complete without tasting salep, a warm and cozy drink made from orchids and topped with cinnimon. Pure salep is illegal to export due to depleted orchid supply, and so is only consumable within Turkish borders.

27. Turkish Coffee

Flickr: lwy

True Turkish coffee is strong, thick, and best served with a fresh piece of Turkish Delight, baklava, or a slice of mozaik cake to take the bitter aftertaste away.