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. 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

  • 2. 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

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

  • 6. 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

  • 7. Kervan Humus

    $

    In business since 1950, Kervan draws hummus lovers from as far away as Mersin city center to eat its house specialty, served warm with a...Read More

  • 8. Kirtil Cafe

    $

    This homey lokanta is a good-value place to grab a quick bite after visiting the nearby castle. Choose from the daily array of traditional Turkish...Read More

  • 9. Kumsal Pide

    $

    An Ölüdeniz institution, this casual restaurant set just back from the seafront at the eastern edge of town serves up hearty fare at reasonable prices....Read More

  • 10. Nur Pastaneleri

    $

    After paying your respects to St. Nick, retire to this bakery-café, the local branch of a popular Turkish chain, to enjoy arctic air-conditioning and a...Read More

  • 11. Paul's Place

    $

    A homey, peaceful retreat on the southern edge of the old city serves great coffee, fruit smoothies, homemade American cakes, and home-cooked lunches that include...Read More

  • 12. Tarihi Balık Pazarı Unlu Mamülleri (The Fırın)

    $

    Every Turkish village has a fırın: a tasty, unpretentious bakery that churns out a daily bounty of smooth puddings, flaky pastries, fresh bread, and sweets....Read More

  • 13. Zekeriya Sofrası

    $

    This casual lokanta in the center of town is a reliable place to get satisfying home-cooked food at reasonable prices. Choose from the array of...Read More

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