My favorite place about anywhere usually has to do with the food (duh). After I published this post about Seattle foods my mom even asked me if we did anything there but eat🙈 You need food for survival, ok!?!? Really though, trying new foods is one of life’s biggest-but-simplest pleasures and I think everyone should experiment with new cuisines…especially when traveling.
Before heading to Turkey last summer, I was scouring Pinterest for tips on what Turkish foods I just had to try (because obviously I didn’t want to miss anything that was too good to miss!). The results were pretty varied and the lists I came up with were consequently super extensive, so I thought I’d make a list with my personal favorite Turkish foods that I can’t wait to have again next time I’m there/that you should for sure try if you get the chance to do so!
01. Turkish breakfast
I seriously just f*cking love breakfast in general, but there’s something about ordering an entire huge spread that just makes your day first thing in the morning. By far my favorite meals in Turkey were all breakfasts, especially this one in Bursa that I loved so much I wrote a whole post about it (the below two photos are from that best breakfast I’ve ever had). Second favorite was in Istanbul with Ilhan at a place called Van Kahvalti Evi (third photo below) where they brought us the most giant spread with baked eggs, fresh bread, homemade jams/butters, olives, cheeses, breads, oils…TO DIE FOR. DO NOT MISS.
So this is essentially a combination of flatbread and pizza, aka a bread meal from heaven. Picture this: you place your order specifying what meat and cheese you want (or do you want extra cheese? extra meat? meat combo? SO MANY OPTIONS.) and this heaven bread comes straight from the oven to your plate. I of course got extra cheese…it was stringy and melty and amazing. DO NOT MISS.
03. Döner kebab
Hashtag the reason everyone goes to Europe (I’m kidding…kind of). I essentially thought about these daily since I left France (why oh why don’t we have döner kebabs here in the US…WHY GOD!?!?) and could NOT wait to get them in actual Turkey. Best drunk food ever. Too good to be true. Definitely worth the two year wait. 10/10. DO NOT MISS.
04. Iskender kebab
So while döner definitely takes the cake as far as
drunk on-the-go foods go, iskender kebab was one of my absolute favorite non-breakfast meals. We had this several times, actually (the best was at Can Doner in Izmir)…it’s strips of kebab meat smothered in amazing tomato sauce. It comes with pita bread and fresh yogurt and was seriously drool-inducing. DO NOT MISS.
Ahh, bread. It’s truly fascinating how something so simple can vary so much from place to place. While French bread is still my favorite bread on earth (I don’t think I’ll ever find better tbh), I wasn’t about to say no to any of the yummy Turkish breads I was offered. My favorite were these rolls with cheese baked inside (first picture below) and simit (those circle breads on the bottom row, second picture below). Anyway, what the heck…why wouldn’t you just pop into a bakery and give something a try? Bread is universally loved…DO NOT MISS.
06. Turkish delight // lokum
How much do I really need to say about this? I love Turkish delight (does it remind anyone else of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe?), and it’s obviously the best in Turkey. We got ours in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, where the selection was out of control, but I’m sure it’s good from anywhere in Turkey. I wished our purchase would last forever😭 DO NOT MISS.
07. Turkish ice cream // dondurma
I’m not a huge ice cream person…if I’m going to go for a dessert I pretty much always want something carby. But the whole dondurma experience is worth it for sure, because the guys that serve it put on a huge show when they’re making your cone for you. The ice cream is different than regular ice cream; it’s SUPER sticky which allows for the server to do tricks and stuff with it. They’re super cheap, they taste good, the experience is fun. DO NOT MISS.
08. Turkish coffee & tea
I know this isn’t an “eat,” but I thought it was still worth a mention. You simply can’t go all the way to Turkey and not try their coffee and tea. I dedicated a whole post to the coffee because it’s seriously that good (plus it comes with Turkish delight, so.). Like the coffee, the tea is different than what you’re probably used to…it’s very, very strong as far as caffeine goes and the taste is quite bitter (I had to take mine with sugar, which I usually don’t do). Even if you just try each once…DO NOT MISS.
So there you have it, my favorite favorite Turkish foods (and drinks!). Have you tried any of these before? If not…which would you want to try most?