Tasty Turkish Travel Temptations

Posted on August 20, 2010 by

This week’s sponsored post brings us more tantalizing Turkish fare as we dig deeper into Turkey’s culinary world. From aromatic spices to tender meat kebabs to bizarre eats, Turkish foods have gained quite a reputation for themselves and it’s easy to see why, when you’re reveling in its sprawling markets and street bazaars. We’ve taken a look at where to find authentic Turkish food, now let’s check out these quintessential dishes that make up Turkey’s vibrant gastronomy.

Turkish spices in spice bazaar

The varied and delicious cuisine of Turkey is a major draw for tourists from all over the world. Thanks to the richness of Turkey’s cultural heritage, including Ottoman, Balkan and Turkic influences, a huge variety of exciting dishes are available for travelers to sample.

Cheap flights to Turkey are readily available at the moment, and food prices there are also very reasonable, making it the perfect destination for a culinary adventure on a budget! Below are classic Turkish dishes that are well worth the trip:


Turkish Mezes, or appetizers, are a good way to get the taste buds firing, and restaurants will serve a huge variety of hot and cold small dishes.

Turkish mezes

Cold Mezes include stuffed vine leaves, aubergine salad and stuffed mussels. Vine leaves have got vegetable mash wrapped within them, giving a succulent flavor when eaten together.

Vine leaves

Hot Mezes will usually involve borek – delicious flaky pastry stuffed with meat, spinach or cheese. The nationally celebrated dish is eaten through out the day, and can be found everywhere – from simple pastry shops to fine-dining restaurants.

Turkish boreks

Main Dishes

Main courses in Turkey often involve meat kebabs, with sauces and flavorings varying according to the region. Casseroles and goulash dishes are also popular. There is a myriad of meat dishes to choose from, most of them are eaten with pilau rice and a cucumber-tomato-onion salad.

Kebabs in turkey

Fish is also a common main course option, and you will find extremely fresh swordfish, turbot, lobster and many other varieties on offer. Popular cafes in Turkey will also serve homely stews known as ‘ev yemek’.

fish in Turkey

Lahmacun, or Turkish Pizza, is a tasty and cheap lunchtime option. Barbecued bread is spread with minced lamb, coriander and other flavorings, then rolled with salad and lemon juice for a mouth-watering snack.

Turkish pizzas, or lahmacun


Seasonal fruits form the core of Turkish desserts, including almonds, plums, strawberries, cherries, melons and more, depending on the time of year. There are plenty of dessert options in Turkey, ranging from baklavas to sweets.

Berries in Turkey

Tulumba is a tasty fried dough dessert, served here with buffalo cream (‘Kaymak’) and pistachio powder.


Delicious Baklava desserts come in many shapes, but all involve flaky pastry sweetened with syrup or honey. The cakes are flavored with nuts and fruit and are sometimes served with cream and pistachios.

Turkish baklavas

Asure is a rich pudding which forms part of the history of the area. Legend has it the dish was created by Noah’s wife to celebrate the Ark coming to rest on Mount Ararat (in Turkey). The dish can contain up to forty ingredients, signifying everything that was left in the Ark’s kitchens!

Turkish dessert, Asure

Photo credit: Flickr images 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Information Source: Turizm


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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

11 Responses to “Tasty Turkish Travel Temptations”

  1. Connie August 20, 2010 1:45 am #

    YUM! You have my mouth watering! I grew to love Turkish food when I was living in Istanbul last year and was lucky enough to have an old Turkish "nanny" to teach me how to cook. Here's one of her recipes that I posted on my blog: http://connvoyage.blogspot.com/2009/05/cooking-wi

    But I'm disappointed that you didn't mention my all-time favorite Turkish dish, manti. It's basically stuffed ravioli with yogurt sauce. Delicious!

    • Nellie August 23, 2010 5:12 pm #

      Manti! Yes, I had the ravioli with yogurt sauce, but it wasn\’t exactly my cup of tea. :X Next time I\’ll include it in!

  2. Jen L August 20, 2010 3:35 am #

    I love manti, kefta, borek, imam bayaldi (?) and all sorts of Turkish food. We have a Middle Eastern market near our house where I can get authentic Turkish foodstuffs like dried apricots, sumac, etc. Great post!

    • Nellie August 23, 2010 5:11 pm #

      Lucky you, a Middle Eastern near you! I\’m not big on cooking, so I\’m just happy to have lots of Turkish and Moroccan restaurants here in town. :)

  3. Migrationology August 20, 2010 9:03 pm #

    I’ve had delicious Turkish main courses, but I still need to find some Turkish pizza! They look incredible!

    • Nellie August 23, 2010 5:09 pm #

      Oh yeh I had some at the entrance of the Spice Bazaar and they were outrageous!

  4. Marina K. Villatoro August 20, 2010 11:12 pm #

    Turkish pizza looks like so much fun. But I still can’t get over the amount of species on the first picture.

  5. Marty June 19, 2012 10:53 pm #

    Photos looks yummy :) Foods are really great but i like desserts most.

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  8. Bo G May 15, 2013 7:05 pm #

    Yummy! The Turkish boreks look so much like Chinese egg rolls.

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