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. Pumpkin Restaurant

    $$$$

    This cozy venue is the place to come for simple home cooking, in the form of a reasonably priced, four-course, set menu cooked nightly by...Read More

  • 2. Seten Restaurant

    $$$$

    Housed in a magnificent old mansion at the top of Göreme's hotel hill, Seten provides a classy setting in which to enjoy top-notch mezes and...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Ziggy Cafe

    $$

    This Ürgüp favorite is very inviting, with attractive table arrangements, richly upholstered armchairs, wrought-iron lamps, and three open-air terraces that have sofalike seats and stone-topped...Read More

  • 5. Muti

    $$$

    Run by a longtime restaurateur from Istanbul, Muti has a diverse, seasonally changing menu influenced by Ottoman cuisine, the cosmopolitan kitchens of Istanbul, and Turkey's...Read More

  • 6. Tike

    $$ | Kavaklidere | Turkish

    At this Istanbul-based kebab chain, the excellent mezes include mütebbel, chopped smoked eggplant and garlicky yogurt topped with ground pistachios...Read More

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