List Of 20 Popular Food In Turkey – A Foodie Guide

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Turkey is a country that’s known for its vibrant culture, unique history, and delicious cuisine. It’s no wonder why the country has become a popular destination for food lovers worldwide. From savoury kebabs to sweet baklava, Turkish cuisine is a rich and diverse amalgamation of flavors and traditions passed down for generations.

With so many tasty dishes, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled a comprehensive foodie guide to help you discover some of the most popular food in Turkey and there delicious cuisines.

We’ll explore the history and culture behind some of the country’s most beloved dishes. We’ll examine the ingredients, preparation methods, and regional variations that make each dish unique. Whether you’re planning a trip to Turkey or want to experience the flavours of this amazing cuisine in your kitchen, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to get started.

20 Most Popular Food In Turkey

Popular Food In Turkey

When exploring Turkish cuisine, there are plenty of delicious options. Turkish cuisine is rich in flavour and variety, from savoury kebabs to sweet pastries and everything in between. Not only does it offer a unique taste experience, but it also provides insight into the cultural heritage of Turkey. Scroll down to get a closer view on popular food in Turkey.

1. Iskender Kebab: A Classic Dish

With its rich history and unique blend of flavours, it is no surprise that Turkish cuisine has become an international sensation. One of the most iconic dishes in the country is Iskender Kebab. This classic dish consists of thinly sliced lamb or beef served over pita bread and topped with tomato sauce, melted butter, and yoghurt.

Named after its creator, Iskender Efendi, this dish has been a staple in Turkish cuisine since the late 19th century and remains a favourite among locals and tourists. Iskender Kebab is often served with grilled vegetables and rice pilaf, making for a hearty and satisfying meal. Don’t miss Iskender Kebab if you are seeking a glimpse into the rich culinary history of Turkey or simply craving a delicious meal.

2. Adana Kebab: A Spicy Delight

Introducing the fiery Adana Kebab, a popular Turkish dish made with minced lamb or beef spiced with paprika, cumin, and other seasonings. Named after the southern city of Adana, where it originated, the kebab is traditionally served with bulgur, grilled tomatoes, and onions.

This spicy delicacy is considered one of the most delicious dishes in Turkish cuisine, and its level of spiciness can range from mild to extremely hot. Don’t miss the exciting experience of trying Adana Kebab while visiting Turkey, especially if you’re a foodie looking to try something new.

3. Testi Kebabı: A Meaty Stew

Slow-cooking meat and vegetables in a sealed clay pot, known as the “testi,” is a traditional method of preparing Testi Kebabı. This method allows the flavours and aromas to blend and infuse the meat with a tender texture that melts in your mouth. The dish is often served with rice or bread and pairs well with a glass of traditional Turkish Raki.

Diners eagerly await the moment when the pot is broken open, filling the air with its aromatic steam, and Testi Kebabı offers an immersive dining experience with its delicious taste.

4. Tantuni: A Wrap Of Flavors

Indulge in the tantalizing flavours of Tantuni, a Turkish wrap that is a must-try for foodies. Originating from Mersin province, this popular street food consists of thinly sliced beef or lamb seasoned with spices and onions.

You then wrap the meat in lavash bread and top it with fresh tomatoes, parsley, and lemon juice, making it a flavorful treat for your taste buds. Ayran, a refreshing yoghurt-based drink, perfectly complements the spiciness of the wrap. Whether wandering the streets or sitting at a restaurant, Tantuni is a delicious option while exploring Turkish cuisine.

5. Köfte: Turkish Meatballs

Regarding Turkish cuisine, Köfte is a dish that cannot be missed. These flavorful meatballs are a staple in Turkish households and restaurants alike, loved for their juicy texture and rich taste.

Restaurants often serve Şiş Tavuk with rice pilaf, fresh salad, or grilled vegetables, making it an ideal meal for any time of the day.

What makes this dish truly special is the variety of types available – from the İnegöl köfte to the Adana köfte, there’s a Köfte for every food lover to enjoy. Give this classic Turkish dish a try and discover the unique flavours of Köfte for yourself.

6. Şiş Tavuk: Marinated Grilled Chicken

Marinated grilled chicken is a staple in Turkish cuisine, and Şiş Tavuk is a classic example of this dish. The chicken is marinated for hours in a mixture of yoghurt, lemon juice, olive oil, and spices before being grilled to perfection.

This process gives the chicken a juicy and tender texture with many flavours. Restaurants often serve Şiş Tavuk with rice pilaf, fresh salad, or grilled vegetables, making it an ideal meal for any time of the day. Locals and tourists can enjoy this delicious dish at traditional restaurants and street vendors throughout Turkey.

7. Tavuk Sote: Chicken Sautéed In Tomatoes And Peppers

The delicious aroma of Tavuk Sote wafting across Turkish streets is commonplace. This traditional dish, which translates to “chicken sautéed in tomatoes and peppers,” is a staple for locals and visitors alike.

Tavuk Sote has a rich flavour made with juicy chicken, ripe tomatoes, and spicy peppers. You can enjoy it on its own or as a side dish with rice or bread. A blend of paprika and cumin adds depth to the dish, making it the perfect comfort food option for anyone craving a hearty meal.

8. Çerkez Tavuğu (Circassian Chicken): A Creamy Delicacy

Çerkez Tavuğu, or Circassian Chicken, is a traditional Turkish dish with a creamy and nutty flavour. This dish originated from the Circassian region of Turkey but is now popular all over the country.

First, boil the chicken meat and shred it into small pieces. Then, mix it with a creamy sauce made from ground walnuts, bread crumbs, garlic, yoghurt, and spices.

The sauce has a rich, nutty flavour that perfectly complements the tender chicken meat. This dish is perfect for those who love creamy sauces and want to try something unique in Turkish cuisine. Whether you’re a local or a tourist visiting Turkey, try Çerkez Tavuğu for an authentic taste of Turkish delicacy.

9. Imam Bayildi (Stuffed Eggplant): A Rich Eggplant Dish

Imam Bayildi, a popular Turkish dish made with eggplant, is a rich and flavorful delicacy that will leave you wanting more. Legend has it that the dish is so delicious that an imam fainted in pleasure upon tasting it, thus giving it its name. The dish is typically served as an appetizer or side dish and is perfect for vegetarians and vegans looking for a filling meal. Sliced lengthwise and stuffed with a mixture of cooked onions, tomatoes, and garlic. This eggplant dish, seasoned with various seasonings and baked to perfection, will delight your taste buds with its savory goodness.

10. Menemen: Turkish Style Scrambled Eggs

Looking for a hearty and healthy breakfast option? Try Menemen, a popular Turkish dish made with scrambled eggs and vegetables. This flavorful dish is perfect for starting your day right, providing ample protein and nutrients to energize you throughout the morning.

Menemen is often enjoyed alongside crusty bread or simit, a traditional Turkish sesame bagel. Its simple preparation makes it a great choice for home cooks looking to whip up something delicious without spending too much time in the kitchen. Give Menemen a try and experience the flavours of Turkey at your breakfast table.

11. Gözleme: A Savory Turkish Pancake

Gözleme is a delicious and savoury Turkish pancake worth trying during your visit to Turkey. This popular dish consists of unleavened dough rolled out thin and then filled with various ingredients such as spinach, cheese, minced meat, and potatoes.

Then, fold the dough into a half-moon shape and cook it on a grill or saj until it becomes crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

One of the best things about gözleme is its versatility. You can enjoy it as a snack or serve it as a full meal, depending on the size and filling.

You can find this tasty treat at street vendors, markets, and festivals throughout Turkey. So if you’re looking for a quick bite or something more substantial, try gözleme!

12. Pide: Turkish Pizza-Like Dish

Pide, a traditional Turkish dish, is often compared to pizza due to its similar shape. However, unlike its Italian counterpart, pide has a soft and fluffy dough that is the perfect base for various toppings. From cheese to vegetables and meat, there are endless options for customization.

You can enjoy Pide as a main course or appetizer and typically serve it with salad or yoghurt on the side.

Its unique flavour profile makes it a must-try dish for anyone looking to explore the diverse cuisine of Turkey.

13. Börek: A Savory Pastry Roll

Börek is a delicious Turkish pastry that has become increasingly popular worldwide. You can fill this savoury dish made with phyllo dough with cheese, spinach, or potatoes and bake it in various shapes.

Börek not only tastes scrumptious but also serves as a versatile snack that you can enjoy as an appetizer or main course.

Its portability makes it the perfect food to take on the go and enjoy during work breaks or picnics. Whether you’re a vegetarian or meat lover, a Börek is filling for everyone to try in Turkey and beyond.

14. Turkish Tea: A National Icon

The popularity of Turkish tea extends far beyond its taste. As a staple in Turkish culture, it has become a symbol of hospitality and friendship. The ritual of serving tea to guests has become an essential part of daily life, with the beverage being consumed throughout the day.

It is not uncommon for Turks to consume up to ten cups of tea per day. Almost every home in Turkey has double-stacked kettles called çaydanlık for brewing tea. It is no wonder that Turkish tea has become known as the “national drink.”

15. Turkish Coffee: A Rich Cultural Heritage

Turkish coffee is not just a beverage but an integral part of Turkish culture. Its richness and unique taste are attributed to the finely ground coffee beans and the special brewing equipment called a cezve. They brewed the foam on top of the coffee to perfection, it’s not just for aesthetics.

In Turkey, drinking coffee is more than just consuming a drink; it’s a social activity where people gather to catch up with friends and family while savouring the taste of this iconic drink.

16. Salep: A Winter Delight

As the winter months roll in, locals and visitors alike can enjoy a traditional Turkish drink known as Salep. Made from a type of orchid root, this creamy and sweet floral beverage is a delight for the taste buds.

Not only does it warm you up on chilly days, but Salep also has a long history in Turkish culture and was once considered a symbol of luxury. Its popularity persists today, with many enjoying it hot or cold and topping it off with cinnamon or grated nuts. Give your taste buds a treat with this traditional winter beverage!

17. Manti

Manti is a beloved Turkish dish with a history dating back to ancient times. Many people enjoy these small dumplings, which are a staple in Turkish cuisine and often filled with ground meat or vegetables.

Manti is not only delicious but also a symbol of togetherness and unity. In many households, making manti involves multiple family members coming together to prepare the dumplings, highlighting the importance of community and shared experiences in Turkish culture. Whether served at family gatherings or in restaurants, manti is essential to Turkish culinary tradition.

18. Doner Kebab

Doner kebab is a Turkish dish that has become popular worldwide. It’s not hard to see why, considering how delicious it can be. The meat, whether lamb, chicken, or beef, is cooked on a vertical rotisserie and then served on pita bread or wrapped with vegetables and sauces such as tzatziki or hummus.

One of the reasons doner kebab has become so popular outside of Turkey is its versatility. You can find variations of the dish worldwide, with unique twists on the traditional recipe.

19.Sütlaç (Rice Pudding)

Sütlaç, a traditional Turkish dessert, is a simple yet delicious rice pudding enjoyed for centuries. People typically serve the dish cold with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nuts on top. The dish contain rice, milk, and sugar.

One of the reasons for its enduring popularity is its versatility. Sütlaç can be made in many different ways, depending on the cooking time, ingredients, and toppings used. This makes it a perfect dessert for special occasions or everyday treats. Its creamy texture and sweet taste make it a favourite among adults and children.

20. Lahmacun

Lahmacun is a popular street food in Turkey that has been gaining popularity worldwide. It’s often compared to pizza, but the thin, crispy dough topped with minced meat and vegetables creates a unique culinary experience.

People often add fresh herbs and lemon wedges to the dish for flavour, making it a refreshing option on hot summer days.

People can trace the origins of Lahmacun back to the early Ottoman Empire, and people still consider it a beloved staple in Turkish cuisine today.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is Turkey’s Main Food?

Ans: While Turkey has a diverse cuisine, one of its main foods is kebab. However, many other popular dishes exist, including meze, pide, and baklava. Turkish cuisine offers vegetarian and vegan options, such as dolma and mercimek çorbası. To complete your culinary experience in Turkey, try traditional drinks like ayran and Turkish tea or coffee.

2. Is Turkey Famous For Its Food?

Ans: Yes, Turkish cuisine is famous for its diverse flavours and rich history. Turkey’s most popular dishes include kebabs, baklava, Turkish delight, and meze. With Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian influences, Turkish food offers a unique blend of flavours and spices. The city has a wide variety of restaurants and street food vendors serving delicious traditional dishes that will delight your taste buds.

3. What Meats Are Popular In Turkey?

Ans: Lamb and beef are the most popular meats in Turkey, with kebabs being a staple of Turkish cuisine. Lamb kebabs, in particular, are quite popular. Other meat dishes like doner kebab, Adana kebab, and Iskender kebab are also common. Turkish mezze dishes such as dolma (stuffed vegetables) or borek (savoury pastries) can be great options for vegetarians.

4. What Are Some Traditional Turkish Dishes That Every Foodie Should Try?

Ans: If you’re a foodie, there are several traditional Turkish dishes that you won’t want to miss. Start with a Turkish breakfast, known as “kahvalti,” which features a variety of cheeses, olives, and pastries. For street food, try the doner kebab, made with seasoned meat cooked on a vertical spit. And for dessert, sample baklava, a sweet pastry made with layers of phyllo dough and honey syrup.

5. What are some common spices and ingredients used in Turkish cuisine?

Ans: Turkish cuisine uses various spices, such as cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and sumac. Common ingredients in Turkish dishes include lamb, eggplant, yoghurt, and tomatoes. Using mint and parsley as popular herbs in salads and meat dishes is also common. Regarding traditional Turkish sweets, honey, pistachios, and walnuts are often the main ingredients to create delicious desserts that many enjoy.


Turkey is a food lover’s paradise, with various dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. Turkey is a country with a rich culinary tradition that offers a diverse range of dishes that cater to different palates. From mouth-watering kebabs to sweet baklava, there is something for everyone.

Turkish cuisine uses fresh ingredients, bold flavours, and spices that create a unique taste. So, if you’re a foodie looking to explore new culinary experiences, popular food in Turkey should be at the top. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Turkish cuisine is gaining popularity worldwide.

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