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. 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

  • 2. Prokopi

    $$$$

    Prokopi offers a local take on both regional and international cuisine. The setting is simple but elegant, with tables in a long rectangular stone room...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

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