Cappadocia and Central Turkey Restaurants

Central Anatolia is the one region in Turkey that does not touch water, so fish has to be trucked or flown in. Be prepared for a lot of meat served in various permutations, including kebabs and stews. In Cappadocia, popular specialties include lamb roasted in a tand?r, or underground pit, and meat cooked in a testi, a type of earthenware vessel. In Konya you'll see etli ekmek (flatbread topped with ground lamb and sometimes cheese) as well as local dishes, such as okra soup. Main courses in the region are often preceded by a delicious array of mezes—most notably warm hummus served with past?rma (Turkish pastrami), the local specialty.

In Cappadocia and Ankara, restaurants that cater to tourists serve beer, wine, and liquor, including rak?. In Konya and other conservative towns, however, alcohol can be quite difficult to find. The inhabitants of Cappadocia have been making wine for thousands of years, though the modern revival of the industry is still somewhat in its fledging stages. Of the local varietals, whites like the Emir tend to be better than reds, which include the Kalecik Karas?. Vintners are also producing increasingly successful wines with grapes from other regions of Turkey, as well as foreign ones like Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Whatever you eat and drink, you'll likely dine in atmospheric surroundings—restored kervansarays (old-fashioned inns), caves, Ottoman mansions, and garden patios. In some traditional restaurants you'll sit on cushions on the floor, and your meal might be accompanied by live music.

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  • 1. Topdeck Cave


    Few are the cave restaurants in Cappadocia, and even fewer are those that serve quality food. Topdeck offers exquisite entrees from a limited menu, which...Read More

  • 2. Bizim Ev


    This restored old stone house makes a pleasant setting for Bizim Ev (“Our House”), which attracts many tour groups with reliable food at reasonable prices....Read More

  • 3. Centre Restaurant


    It's far from fancy, but this unpretentious local favorite tucked away just behind the town square is one of Uçhisar's best places for reliably good...Read More

  • 4. Devrez

    $ | Çankaya

    Devrez serves reliably good Turkish fare in a no-frills environment. Kebabs are the star of the menu, alongside Turkish classics such as köfte and pide....Read More

  • 5. Halk Etli Ekmek


    Etli ekmek, literally "bread with meat," is the dish most associated with Konya, and those served at Halk Etliekmek are nearly three feet long. Despite...Read More

  • 6. Old Greek House


    In the sleepy village of Mustafapaşa, about 5 km (3 miles) from Ürgüp, the charming Old Greek House serves delicious home-cooked specialties and decadent desserts....Read More

  • 7. Tiritci Mithat


    Situated in winding back alley of the old bazaar, Tiritci Mithat is the place to try Konya’s lesser-known specialty: tirit. Consisting of tender, thinly sliced...Read More

  • 8. Anadolu Izgara Salonu


    Though decidedly no-frills, this lunch-only eatery on a backstreet behind Konya’s main post office serves well-prepared home-style food—including perhaps the best kuru fasulye, or baked...Read More

  • 9. Bolu Lokantası


    Don’t expect to be wowed by the service or décor at Bolu; people come here for one thing only: etli ekmek, or literally “bread with...Read More

  • 10. Hi Coffee


    Just across from Mevlâna Meydanı, Hi Coffee opened as the first Western-style coffee shop in downtown Konya, serving espresso, cappuccino, lattes, and filtered coffees from...Read More

  • 11. Şömine


    Right on Ürgüp's main square, this welcoming lair takes its name from the fireplace in the center that warms guests in winter; in summer, you...Read More

  • 12. Washington Restaurant

    $$ | Ulus

    Don't expect to be wowed by the food, as the menu is far from cutting-edge, but the draws are the city views and the old-school...Read More

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