The Turquoise Coast Restaurants

This coast has been serving tourists for a long time, and you will find a rich choice of restaurants to prove this. There’s no shortage of older, established eateries, which dish out the standard national fare (think mezes, kebabs, assorted grilled meats, and fresh seafood). Simple—but often superb—spots are as popular with vacationing Turks as they are with foreigners. In recent years, the number of fine dining options has also increased, especially in larger cities and tourist centers. The top ones prepare creative dishes, combining high-quality local ingredients with international flair.

Regional specialties along the Turquoise Coast include mussels stuffed with rice, pine nuts, and currants; ahtopot salatas?, a cold octopus salad, tossed in olive oil, vinegar, and parsley; and grilled fish. Most of Turkey's tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, zucchinis, and peppers are grown along the coast, so salads are fresh and delicious. In Lycia, a local home-cooking specialty is stewed eggplant with basil—wonderful if you're offered it. Semiz otu (cow parsley) is a refreshing appetizer in a garlic yogurt sauce.

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  • 1. Smiley's

    $$

    Located next to a 19th-century Ottoman house at the edge of the harbor, Smiley's has been an open secret among Turquoise Coast yachters since 1987....Read More

  • 2. Altın Sofra

    $$

    This restaurant in the Finike marina is famed for lamb and lambs' liver, but it serves a full menu, including fish and meze. There is...Read More

  • 3. Ata Kebab

    $$

    A down-to-earth, traditional Turkish restaurant in often tourist-oriented Kalkan, Ata is (as the name suggests) known for its tender, flavorful kebabs, which come in medium-...Read More

  • 4. Aubergine

    $$$$

    The adventurous menu at this harbor-front eatery includes excellent pasta, salmon en croûte, stuffed sea bass with bacon, extra-large steaks, and occasionally wild boar shot...Read More

  • 5. Avlu Restaurant

    $

    This Antakya-style meyhane draws a lively crowd of diners with its atmospheric setting and delicious local cuisine. Tables are arrayed in the courtyard (avlu) and...Read More

  • 6. Bahçe & Demeti by Bahçe Balık

    $$$

    A casual but stylish courtyard restaurant serving delightful Turkish dishes in a quiet garden setting, Bahçe is just opposite the 4th-century-BC Lycian sarcophagus known as...Read More

  • 7. Balıkçım the Fisherman

    $$

    This relaxed restaurant on a side street in the town center serves fish, seafood, and meze and is popular with locals, who prefer fresh, unfussy...Read More

  • 8. Blue Marlin

    $$$$

    This relaxed restaurant by the harbor has a “back to basics” approach focusing on fresh fish, seafood, and a well-stocked counter of mostly vegetarian meze...Read More

  • 9. Buse Gözleme Evi

    $

    A hospitable spot for a quick bite on your way to or from the beach and ruins, this simple, open-air eatery offers a wide range...Read More

  • 10. Ciğerci Memet Usta

    $

    Nestled in the backstreets of the old city's bazaar near the clock tower, Ciğerci Memet Usta serves up some of the best kebabs in Adana,...Read More

  • 11. Culinarium

    $$$$

    This tiny upscale restaurant run by German-Turkish owners blends European style, atmosphere, and creativity with local ingredients and flavors. The result is a refined, low-key...Read More

  • 12. Datça Sofrası

    $$

    This is an ideal lunch spot, with a terrace shaded by bougainvillea and grapevines and traditional Turkish meats prepared using a brass-hooded charcoal brazier. The...Read More

  • 13. Dikkat Et

    $

    Serving up tasty home-cooking in a contemporary setting, this friendly, good-value option near Hadrian's Gate has a small menu focused on meatballs and other grills,...Read More

  • 14. Duble Meze Evi

    $

    A homey little spot offering home-style fare, this is a good place to have a satisfying and inexpensive meal before or after embarking on excursions...Read More

  • 15. Ferah Künefe

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    No trip to Antakya is complete without eating künefe, a rich dessert with thinly soft cheese in between layers of pastry, baked in an oven...Read More

  • 16. Flash

    $$

    A few blocks north of the fray, Flash attracts more locals than tourists and survives on word of mouth. It’s known for soups, steaks, kebabs,...Read More

  • 17. Güverte Restaurant

    $$$

    This long-standing favorite has a panoramic view of the harbor and excellent traditional Turkish fare that's focused on fresh seafood, though meat, chicken, and pasta...Read More

  • 18. Hatay Sultan Sofrası

    $

    Tour groups often fill this restaurant at dinner for good reason: the food is both delicious and inexpensive, a combination that also makes it popular...Read More

  • 19. Humusçu İbrahim Usta

    $

    Little-consumed most other places in Turkey, hummus is a mainstay of the Antakya diet, and the old town is full of tiny, no-frills shops serving...Read More

  • 20. Ipek Restaurant

    $

    One of the best of the traditional Turkish lokantas around the church of St. Nicholas, Ipek doesn't look like much, and the waiters can be...Read More

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