THE GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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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 tandır, 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 pastırma (Turkish pastrami), the local specialty.
In Cappadocia and Ankara, restaurants that cater to tourists serve beer, wine, and liquor, including rakı. 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 Karası. 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.