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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Areni

    $$$

    Rather small and with a sophisticated design, Areni serves a variety of dishes, with simple and delicious twists, from Anatolia and beyond. Topik, a local...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Ege Restaurant

    $$ | Kavaklidere

    This charming spot just off fashionable Tunalı Hilmi Caddesi specializes in nicely prepared Aegean-style mezes and seafood dishes (Ege is the Turkish name for the...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. Orient Restaurant

    $$$

    The menu at this well-established Göreme restaurant is extensive and diverse, with typical mezes and grilled kebabs in addition to a range of well-prepared steak...Read More

  • 11. Safranhan Brasserie

    $$$ | Ulus

    Sitting just beneath Ankara Castle and with an incredible panorama of Ankara, this Turkish-style brasserie couples excellent food with first-rate service. An open kitchen gives...Read More

  • 12. Seki Restaurant

    $$$$

    The restaurant in Argos in Cappadocia hotel features contemporary adaptations of Turkish dishes that bring together local ingredients and international cooking techniques. Creative appetizers include...Read More

  • 13. Somatçı Fihi Ma Fih Restaurant

    $

    By far the most unique restaurant in Konya, Somatçı is the project of a passionate local chef who spent several years recreating dervish cuisine from...Read More

  • 14. 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

  • 15. Trilye Restaurant

    $$$$ | Kavaklidere

    Ankara may be landlocked, but Trilye serves such impressive fish and seafood dishes that you wouldn’t know it. Opened more than a dozen years ago...Read More

  • 16. 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

  • 17. 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

  • 18. 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

  • 19. Çengelhan Brasserie

    $$$ | Ulus

    The glass-roofed courtyard of the Rahmi M. Koç Museum (the Ankara counterpart of the Istanbul museum, which focuses on the history of transport, industry, and...Read More

  • 20. Gülbahçesi Konya Mutfağı

    $$

    The terrace of this restored mansion has one of the best views of the adjacent Mevlâna tomb complex. The menu contains largely regional dishes, and...Read More

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