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. Pumpkin Restaurant


    This cozy venue is the place to come for simple home cooking, in the form of a reasonably priced, four-course, set menu cooked nightly by...Read More

  • 2. 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

  • 3. Topdeck Cave


    Few are the cave restaurants in Cappadocia, and even fewer are those that serve quality food. Topdeck offers exquisite entrees from a limited menu, which...Read More

  • 4. 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

  • 5. 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

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  • 6. 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

  • 7. 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

  • 8. 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

  • 9. 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

  • 10. 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

  • 11. 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

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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

  • 14. 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

  • 15. 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

  • 16. 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

  • 17. 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

  • 18. 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

  • 19. Muti

    Closed Permanently

    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

  • 20. Tike

    $$ | Kavaklidere | Turkish
    Closed Permanently

    At this Istanbul-based kebab chain, the excellent mezes include mütebbel, chopped smoked eggplant and garlicky yogurt topped with ground pistachios...Read More

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