In Anatolia, where many civilizations lived throughout the ages, every civilization left a legacy. Our contemporaries added their own experiences to this cultural heritage. Thus, cultural wealth was blended. However, it is best that some elements of culture remain as they are. At the top of these items are Turkish cuisine. Various plants grow in Anatolia. In the village, people are fed with food made from their own agricultural products. Animal food is obtained from cattle, ovine and chickens. In larger cities, nutrition continues to be more fabricated. For this reason, traditional Turkish restaurants where meals are made with natural products brought from the villages are more preferred.
In this article, we’ll discuss Turkey’s well-known flavor. Where you can taste these delicacies in Istanbul, we will write them. Anatolian dishes are quite varied. They are also delicious. It is also possible to find the flavors of Anatolia which are cooked with vegetables and meat in Istanbul. If you’re wondering which Turkish restaurant near me, look for the traditional ones. Here are some of the favorite dishes of our local teams and the Tripster team, and some of the dishes our guests love and the Turkish restaurant names here:
Ottoman cuisine with dishes worthy of the sultans is a separate culture. They are both flashy and very tasty. The chefs of the palaces would not tell anyone the recipe of their food. They wrote the recipes in their notebooks. In the libraries of the Ottoman palaces and in the archives of the large libraries, notebooks with Ottoman recipes were found and the Ottoman cuisine menu was reshaped. Many secrets have been revealed. In order to capture the flavor of many dishes of Ottoman cuisine are:
Hunkar Begendi (Sultan’s Delight)
The indispensable food of the Ottoman palaces makes everyone happy. In the first bite, you will witness the wonderful harmony of eggplant and meat. One of the dishes prepared in a very long time and consumed in seconds! Turkish restaurants recommended:
1. Tarihi Bankalar Lokantası (Historic Banks Restaurant)
Karakoy: Established in 1947, the restaurant was the place where all the bank employees in the area had a meal. The restaurant is ideal for a quiet dinner with its nostalgic appearance and peaceful interior decoration. His meticulousness on the first day still continues. Especially stone walls add a fascinating atmosphere to the stylish and quality restaurant. The authentic food menu of the restaurant is changed every day. The grill menu consisting of fish, chicken and meat is fixed. You can learn the menu by visiting the website before going to the restaurant.
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Cherry Leaf Wrap
The taste of olive oil wrapped leaves is slightly sour. The taste is enhanced by adding sour cherry. One of the favorite dishes of Ottoman sultans, cherry leaf wrap is not a dish you can find in every restaurant. We recommend:
2. Deraliye Ottoman Cuisine
The dishes served to the Ottoman sultans were kept as secret recipes by the chefs of the sultans. These recipes have been found and cooked in various libraries over time. Thus, the unique dishes of Ottoman cuisine started to be served again. After a nice Sultanahmet tour, you can take a break in Deraliye and taste the dishes worthy of the mouth of the Ottoman sultans. The restaurant is right next to Hagia Sophia. If you want, you can get training about Ottoman dishes prepared in Deraliye and you can also cook sultan meals to your friends when you return home.
The amazing harmony of Acem pilaf, meat, rice, almonds, carrots and stuffed peanuts, which is made in the Mediterranean Region, especially in Kahramanmaraş, has a taste so good to enter the Ottoman palaces. If you want to taste the Ottoman dishes that are eaten both in palaces and folk cuisine, as well as Acem rice, we recommend:
3. Asitane Restaurant
The meals in the circumcision feast prepared for the sons of Suleiman the Magnificent, Şehzade Beyazıd and Şehzade Cihangir, in November 1539 are recorded as “A Banquet Book”. This book is kept in Beyazıt Library for years. In 1991, these records were found among the dusty shelves of the library. Food and dessert expense records, books of other banquets and many other important papers are also in the same library. Thus, more than 200 recipes are prepared. These recipes are now offered to you in Asitane. All meals, which are divided into summer and winter menus, are prepared according to the records of Ottoman palace kitchens.
The İmam Fainted (İmam Bayildi)
Although the translation is fainted, it means that the imam loves this dish. Eggplant fried. The onions are made in a seasoned pilaf with garlic and tomatoes. The inside of the fried eggplant is split and put in the seasoned pilaf. Then the food is cooked in the oven. Thus the aromas mix. Meat is not used and is made with olive oil. If you are vegetarian, this olive oil dish is for you. Our restaurant recommendation:
4. Matbah Restaurant
Restaurants and lounges are presented in a magnificent palace feast. Some of the interior, inspired by the Ottoman palaces, is used as a summer garden and the other as a winter garden. The lounge, where the summer garden opens, is prepared for sultans. Here, you can go to dinner after resting or drinking your coffee. If you have gone as a crowded group, you have the chance to have a special meal in a special place in the lounge. You can feel like sultans while eating Ottoman dishes in the restaurant, where many international gourmets are also frequenter.
Southeastern Anatolia and Gaziantep Cuisine
All the flavors of Gaziantep cuisine take you to different lands. In 2004, Gaziantep entered the network of creative cities by UNESCO. There are several sections in UNESCO’s network of creative cities. Gaziantep is one of the 9 cities in the world in the gastronomy section. Here are some dishes from Gaziantep:
Adana and Urfa kebabs are very similar. However, the taste intensity of the meat and the preparation before cooking are different. Urfa kebab, you can taste the meat. Served with roasted peppers. Urfa kebab is eaten in restaurants that sell Urfa kebab. The same type of minced meat is used in the roadside restaurants selling both Adana and Urfa kebab. However, the meat prepared for Urfa kebab is taken as a piece and is cut into a lump of minced meat by the butcher. You can easily understand the kebab made from minced meat prepared with a butcher knife, it is divided into tiny pieces as soon as you touch your fork. Meat is obtained from the animals that are fed and growing in the Şanlıurfa region. You should go to traditional restaurants to eat a real Urfa kebab. Restaurant recommendations:
5. Hamdi Restaurant
The restaurant, founded by Hamdi Arpacıklı, expresses great effort and success. Hamdi, who came to Istanbul in 1960 and became a street seller, immediately became famous for his delicious kebabs. Hamdi, who made and sold kebabs on the same street corner in Eminönü for 7 years, finally kept a floor of the apartment standing just behind the sales counter in the money he saved. He had so many customers that Hamdi bought the other floors and became the owner of the 5-storey restaurant. He prepared his kebabs with the meticulousness of the first day. It is famous not only for its delicious kebabs but also for other dishes. Everyone who comes to Istanbul knows Hamdi.
Kebab with Pistachio
It has a different taste than the kebab types you know. And the color of this kebab is green. It contains pistachios. Pistachio kebabs are usually not ordered by people who don’t know. A secret flavor. Arif Develi is the owner of Develi Restaurant. Our suggestions are:
6. Develi Restaurant , Samatya
Develi Restaurant was established in Mardin in 1912. Its founder, Arif Develi, was raised as a kebab master from the age of 6. He came to Istanbul in 1966. The first Develi Restaurant was opened in Samatya, a nostalgic place. Arif Develi introduced Gaziantep cuisine to Istanbul residents. Develi has always been a place for Istanbul residents, fascinated by the taste of kebabs and meals. Arif Develi also has his own special recipes. The most famous of these recipes is pistachio kebab. Develi Restaurant continues to serve with many branches.
Interestingly, there are people who do not like kebabs in Turkey. We leave these people alone with Alinazik kebab and watch how they are captivated. “I do not like kebab”, we do not accept such a sentence. But you might say I don’t like that type of kebab. Alinazik is a kind of kebab that you can easily make at home. It is important to soften the meat before making the kebab. The restaurants we recommend:
7. Ziya Şark Sofrası, Fatih
Ziya Sark Sofrasi, which has been preparing delicious meals for Istanbul residents for 38 years, allows you to get acquainted with the culture of Şanlıurfa as well as its flavors. It prepares one of the most important dishes of Şanlıurfa, AliNazik, with its full taste. While enjoying the privileges such as botanical terraces, children’s playgrounds, VIP meeting rooms in their restaurants, you can be enchanted by delicious meals.
Lahmacun is made of thin dough and is crispy. Pita bread is made of thicker dough. The pita looks like pizza, but the flavor is very different. Gaziantep’s lahmacun is produced from the meat of animals in this region. Taste and density of spices differ from other regions. Our recommendation:
8. Karakoy Koskeroglu
Koskeroglu is actually known for its baklava. However, after the lahmacun you eat here, you may not want to eat lahmacun elsewhere. The restaurant, which offers the best tastes of Gaziantep cuisine, is in Karaköy. You will feel at home in Istanbul in the warm and friendly atmosphere of Koskeroglu, founded in 1946.
If you want a more spicy lahmacun meal, Kilis and Hatay region is for you. The garlic lahmacun is also worth tasting. For this you should go to these restaurants: Öz Kilis kebab and lahmacun salon. Say open buttermilk next to the Lahmacun.
9. Akdeniz Hatay Sofrasi
Fatih: Mediterranean Hatay Sofrasi, which carries Hatay’s traditional flavors to Istanbul, is a restaurant where those who miss Hatay often stop by and eat. All meals are made using raw materials in the private production center in Antakya. Recipes are prepared according to the manuscripts of Dahiye Sultan, the mother of Mehmet Deveci, the owner of the restaurant. Dahiye Sultan comes to the restaurants at certain times and checks whether the meals here are in accordance with her recipe.
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Baklava, one of Turkey’s traditional desserts. It is the local dessert of Gaziantep and its environs. However, it is now possible to find baklava almost every district of Turkey. Nevertheless, the baklava masters we recommend:
10. Karaköy Güllüoğlu, Karakoy
Karaköy Güllüoğlu is perhaps the only restaurant with many fake branches. The baklava of Güllüoğlu is so famous that everyone wants to sell their baklava under the name of Güllüoğlu. However, the restaurant has only one branch, and it is in Karaköy. Here, each of the baklava masters has a separate dough rolling technique. The most important point of this technique is to roll out the dough very thinly. The masters who know this technique make their dough suitable for baklava by adding their own special styles. Each of the ingredients placed in the baklava is brought from its own region. For this reason, you do not eat baklava in Karaköy Güllüoğlu. Each baklava is unique and special for you.
Künefe is a dessert made in Hatay. There are rumors that künefe is made elsewhere, but it cannot be like Hatay künefe. One of the best Turkish desserts. Recommended restaurant:
11. Hatay Ekol Kunefe
Kunefe is held in Urfa, Mersin, Hatay and Antep. Kunefe made in each region has a different aroma. Hatay Ekol Kunefe claims that kunefe did the best. We tried, it says absolutely right. It is very important that Kunefe’s ingredients are local. If you want to eat a delicious kunefe at the end of a tiring day or night, Hatay Ekol Kunefe is waiting for you. You may want to eat ice cream with you, ice creams are coming from Maras.
Dishes of Central Anatolia Region
Central Anatolia region, is right in the middle region of Turkey. Since there is no seashore, there are not many herbs and similar items in the food. The dishes are mostly fried on bread, dough and meat. Some of the dishes in Central Anatolia are as follows:
Konya Meat Bread
Konya’s meaty bread is similar to lahmacun. But flesh and spices are different. Moreover, tomatoes are used when preparing minced lahmacun. Although the fineness of the dough with Lahmacun and meat seems to be the same, the ground beef used in meat bread is juicier. Therefore, the outer part of the dough is hard and crispy and the inner part is soft. We recommend you to eat meat bread in Istanbul:
12. Konyalılar Etli Ekmek, Kadıkoy
Konya, the city of tolerance, is here with its humble taste: Bread with meat (You can also eat tandoori, its taste is also amazing). One of the most visited restaurants in Kadıköy, Konyalılar Etli Ekmek adds all the sincerity and warmness of Anatolia to the dishes. All the meats, wheat and other ingredients come from Konya and are prepared in the restaurant and served to you fresh.
If you are vegetarian, you can try Madimak. It is made from a plant that grows in Sivas, one of the famous cities of the region. It can be made with meat and without meat. The restaurant we recommend for Madimak:
13. Çiya Sofrası, Kadıkoy
Çiya is a name that evokes high mountain peaks and mountain flowers. It is possible to reach all the hidden tastes of Anatolia in this restaurant that prepares only authentic dishes. In this restaurant, passion, love, research and sharp desire are combined. The purpose of the restaurant is to bring together the forgotten Anatolian tastes with people. Here, it is possible to reach all the flavors you want to taste in a wide geographical area extending from Mesopotamia to the Ottomans, from the Balkans to the Caucasus and the Arabian Peninsula.
It is the food of the Central Anatolia region, especially Kayseri. The ravioli is a bunch of specially prepared ground beef with opened dough. Pour garlic yogurt and sauce over it. Spices such as mint, sumac are further increased in flavor. The restaurants we recommend
14. Askana Manti, Ulus
Askana means “food house” in the Tatar language. Here, the ravioli are made in Tatar style. Minced meat, dough, butter and yogurt are brought or prepared daily. You can see kebab meticulousness in the minced meat. Sauce and peppermint sauces are also prepared according to the customer’s request. In classic ravioli, garlic yogurt and tomato sauce are poured over the ravioli. Serving Istanbul residents for a quarter of a century, Askana preserves its flavor as it was the first day.
Black Sea Region Dishes
The Black Sea region is in northeastern Turkey. It is rainy and cool. Especially fish dishes, pitas and breads are famous. Especially you should eat cornbread. We share a few of the most valuable dishes of the Black Sea region:
Anchovy is cleaned and dried. Seasoned pilaf is prepared. Anchovies are placed on a baking tray, rice is poured, rice is completely covered with anchovies and cornflour is planted. You should eat cornbread and “kuymak”. Our restaurant recommendations:
15. Anzer Sofrası, Sariyer
Black Sea people love their guests. They take place at the table with all their heart and prepare the most delicious dishes for their guests. Anzer table is cooking with this logic. You can find the best meals of the Black Sea here. Here you should taste cornbread. You should ask the pickle roast as an appetizer. You live the Black Sea of Istanbul with its friendly staff.
Kuymak is a type of food that belongs to the Black Sea region. It may sound a little greasy, so it’s not right to eat in very large portions. Kuymak is made from Trabzon cheese. Some tried it with kashar cheese, but unfortunately, they could not get the same taste and became depressed. Recommended restaurants:
16. Muhlama Karadeniz Mutfagi, Beykoz
The most important feature of the Black Sea cuisine is that the products from which the food is prepared come from the Black Sea. The products are different due to the climate and vegetation of the Black Sea. Although the Black Seafood is prepared with products from other regions, it will not have the same taste. Muhlama Karadeniz Cuisine, being aware of this situation, brings all its products from the Black Sea. It is especially ambitious in the flavor of the mihlama (also called Kuymak). Mihlama, one of the most famous dishes of the Black Sea, is oily. If you want to breathe the beautiful atmosphere of Beykoz at breakfast and have a delicious Black Sea breakfast, go to Beykoz.
You tell the pita you like according to your taste, we will tell you where you can go. For Black Sea Pita food, choose the restaurants that produce products from the Black Sea region. This is also known as Turkish pizza. The flavor of the pita bread is incredible with the roasting from Rize, the cheese and butter from Trabzon. The restaurants that we recommend:
17. Fatih Karadeniz Pidecisi İbrahim Usta
İbrahim Usta has been making delicious meals since 1969. Pita bread is at the top of these dishes. Cooking the pita is as important as its ingredients or preparation. It needs to be cooked in stone ovens. Roasting meat and butter used in pita bread comes from Rize. Bacon or minced meat obtained from the meat of animals fed in the highlands of Trabzon adds a completely different flavor to the pita. İbrahim Usta cannot take you to Trabzon, but he brings Trabzon to you. Try it, you won’t regret it.
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Turkish Aegean Coast Food
Especially if you pay attention to vegetarian nutrition, you will love Aegean cuisine. These splendid flavors of herbs, vegetables and olive oil are waiting to enchant you. What’s going on? Take your fork and start eating!
There are restaurants that make artichokes with olive oil, sea beans, which are one of the dishes of the Aegean region. It is known to be especially good for the liver. Therefore artichokes are always on the tables of people, especially those who wear out their livers. The restaurant we recommend:
18. Borsa Restaurants
With its modern and stylish decoration, Borsa Restaurant combines authentic dishes with today’s concept. You can see businessmen, politicians, artists and jet society here. He tries ways to make the food healthier and tastier with his recipes that synthesize today’s lifestyle with the understanding of the palace. If you want to eat at Kandilli Borsa, you will do this in the historical palace of Adile Sultan.
Eggplant roast and pepper (Cigirtma)
It is one of the most delicious dishes of Bergama. Prepared with olive oil and fried in olive oil, aubergine also carries the magnificent aroma of olive oil. The fried aubergine is a very good pre-meal with peppers and sauce added on it. The restaurant we recommend:
19. Radika, Kadikoy
You can feel yourself in a seaside town in Radika. The interior decoration, colored in blue tones, looks modest and stylish. Radika is a country restaurant. You can see that your appetite has been opened, do not be surprised.
Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Before making stuffed squash blossoms, which is one of the delicious dishes of the Aegean region, you need to collect your flowers. Pumpkin flowers are collected in the early hours of the day. It is cleaned and filled. Delicate leaves should not be filled too much to tear, but you can not get the flavor of filling less. A masterpiece. The restaurant we recommend:
20. Feriye Restaurant, Ortakoy
Feriye is not just a restaurant. A culture of life. It gives information on many subjects such as theater, cinema, dance, stands up or adds you to this culture of life by opening workshops. Be careful, it’s very attractive!
The Marmara Region
It is possible to find different tastes in the Marmara Region. Istanbul and its environs have been adopted because of its palace culture and its flamboyant appearance. In the surrounding provinces, there is a food culture that blends with the palace culture.
If you ask which is the most beautiful kebab of Bursa, everyone will say Iskender kebab. In earlier times, it was advisable to go to Bursa for those who want to eat in Iskender because it is better to eat in the local area. This magnificent flavor made from the flesh of fattened animals fed at the foot of Uludağ was not found anywhere else.
You will be a regular at this flavor. We are. Bursa’s famous kebab brought to Istanbul and we do not compromise on the taste of the restaurants in our recommendation
21. Iskender Iskenderoglu, Kadikoy
Produced by İskender, son of Mehmet, iskender kebab is patented by İskender İskenderoğlu. İskender İskenderoğlu restaurant, which has been preparing kebabs for many years in Bursa, is located on one of the busiest streets of Kadıköy. İskender kebab, which you eat in its warm and friendly restaurant, will change your perspective on life.
Rice Pudding (Baked Rice Pudding)
One of the most beautiful milky Turkish desserts. When the rice pudding is not cooked in the oven, the normal rice pudding is called the oven rice pudding since it is cooked in the oven. Recommended restaurant:
22. Tarihi Sarıyer Muhallebicisi, Sariyer
Founded in 1928, Tarihi Sarıyer Muhallebicisi was in a very small shop for the first time. He made so many delicious puddings that he became very famous. It has grown over the years and has started to serve the lovers of this flavor in its present place in Sarıyer Center. Sarıyer Muhallebicisi, which provides the flavor and naturalness with the milk and eggs produced in its farm in Zekeriyaköy, makes chicken breast dessert as well as custard. We suggest you try.
The vine leaves have a distinctive, sour taste. This taste is legendary when combined with a specially prepared minced meat mixture. A piece of minced meat is placed on each vine leaf and wrapped. It’s cooked like that. There is also leaf wrap with olive oil. It’s more like an appetizer than a meal. It is a delicious and satisfying meal. You’ll love it. Our restaurant recommendation:
23. Çiya, Kadikoy
Çiya has three branches. Two of them serve with flavors prepared entirely on kebabs. Another makes authentic dishes. If you want authentic food, just go to Kadıköy. In its restaurant with several floors, you will encounter different flavors that you have never known before. Be prepared for beautiful surprises in the journey of flavor.
It is a dish that you can eat at every meal of the day. In fact, it is mostly prepared and consumed on long weekend family breakfasts. Menemen is made by roasting onions, tomatoes and peppers and breaking eggs. It is important that the tomatoes and peppers are cooked well. Traditional Turkish breakfasts are served with menemen. Our restaurant offer:
24. Lades Menemen, Taksim
Lades menemen is a lifestyle. Lades, which established its first branch in 1969, offers you great specialties for an energetic breakfast. Its small and modest restaurant is in the decoration of the first day. In Lades, nobody pays attention to decoration while eating their delicious food. You taste the food, you will understand what we mean.
Haricot beans, which are the indispensable food of everyone in Anatolia, are made in different varieties. Sausage, pastrami, meaty varieties each have a different flavor. Prefer Cassoulet. Baked beans and pilaf are a great duo. Be sure to ask for an onion or pickle next to it. You’ll understand what we mean. The restaurant we recommend:
25. Erzincanli Ali Baba , Fatih
Kurufasulyeci Erzincanlı Ali Baba, founded in 1924, is here with its magnificent dishes that will remain in your palate. Located right across the Süleymaniye Mosque, the restaurant creates a warm atmosphere with its private garden and sincere style. Beans are grown in Erzincan. A bean variety of this region is called Dermason. We recommend Ali Baba’s restaurant to eat Turkish-made beans. Do not forget to visit the unique beauty of Süleymaniye before or after meal.
Sarıyer Pastry (Sariyer Borek)
A crispy pastry offers a completely different flavor with spices and ground beef. Sarıyer Pastry is called because it is being made in Sarıyer in Istanbul. Especially at breakfast, the Sariyer Pastry with the tea is fabulous. This is the most delicious Istanbul food. Bon Appetit! Restaurant recommendation:
26. Tarihi Sariyer Borekcisi
Historical Sarıyer Pastry Shop has been serving since 1895. Bringing the flavors of Safranbolu to Istanbul, the historical Sarıyer pastry maker stands out in the Balkan cuisine. If you want to eat pastry in Sarıyer’s unique beauty, abundance of oxygen and woodland, stop by Sarıyer Pastry.
Mediterranean Region and Cyprus Cuisine
It is made with meat obtained from male cattle that grow in the region. The meat of the animal that grows by eating the grasses grown in that region also contains the aroma of those grasses. Tail oil is also used as fat in Adana and surrounding provinces. Therefore, the food in this region is oily and tastes heavy. Adana kebab is a kebab with plenty of spice and pain. Adana cuisine and especially Adana kebab are among the best restaurants you can eat:
27. Adana Ocakbasi, Kurtulus
Would you like to sip your drink while eating kebab? Then Adana Ocakbaşı is waiting for you. Meat comes from Balıkesir, Gönen. It has been offered to customers with the same taste for years. In addition to kebab, they also have amazing appetizers. While eating, you will not believe the sincerity of the people in the restaurant. While sipping your drinks, it will never be fooled to attend a topic discussed at the table next door. This is a friendly assembly.
Also known as groom meatballs. Meatballs contain bulgur and chickpeas. Do you have to say it’s a lemon dish? If you want to try this wonderful taste of the Mediterranean Region of Turkish cuisine, these restaurants are our suggestion:
It is possible to find many authentic dishes in Osmani. The restaurant, which has been serving as a single branch for 11 years, has opened its second branch and this branch is also overflowing. With the specially designed dinner sets suitable for the spirit of authentic dishes, you are satisfied with both visual and taste. You can go to the Osmani restaurant for all meals from breakfast to dinner.
If you want to try this famous dish of Cyprus, it will be hard to find in Istanbul. Peach kebab is learned everywhere by kebab masters. However, there is only one restaurant where the products are brought from Cyprus:
29. Latife Hanım Tavern
Are you tired of city life? Are you looking for some quietness and peace? Be a guest of Latife Hanım. You will be fascinated with its historical decoration and local foods. It has many sections where you will feel comfortable: the ground floor garden, mezzanine or upper hall. Latife Hanım’s kitchen will fascinate you with different tastes such as Topik.
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