Here is a list of ten of our favorite Turkish dishes that no visit to Turkey is complete without trying.
You can think of mantı as Turkish dumplings or the Turkish Ravioli, and like most dumplings, it is incredibly delicious. Turkish dumplings come with a twist; they are served with yogurt and butter sauce, which makes mantı a dish you wouldn't want to skip in Turkey.
Lahmacun, or Turkish Pizza, is a flat, crispy bread topped with minced meat, minced tomatoes, and lemon juice. You can put the salad that it comes with on it and wrap it to eat, or you can fold it in half. Lahmacun is one of the cheapest foods you can find everywhere. It is an excellent snack if you have just one and a filling meals if you have two or more.
Börek is a pastry that comes in many options. You can have it with cheese, meat, or veggies like spinach. They come in many different shapes as well. The layered one with cheese is called su böreği, one of the favorites of Turkish people. Whichever you choose, it is a delicious, flaky snack or a quick meal.
In many restaurants, you'll find pide is translated as Turkish pizza. It is a flatbread topped with different types of meats, cheese, or veggies. Veggie pide is a delicious option for vegetarians as well. It is cheap and common; you can find pide everywhere.
Baklava is one of the most well-known Turkish desserts, and this sweet pastry dates back to the Ottoman Empire. The layers of filo are filled with various nuts and topped with syrup or honey. This flaky and crunchy dessert is a must-try in Turkey. Although you can find baklava very easily in Turkey, try to find a place that is famous for its baklava. Life is too short to eat bad baklava. You can try Karaköy Güllüoğlu for one of the best in Istanbul.
Güllaç is another dessert from Turkey that is definitely worth a try. With its unique texture and taste, güllaç requires a bit more open-mindedness compared to other Turkish desserts when you try it. But once you like it, you won't stop eating it. It's made with special sheets of dough, milk, nuts, and pomegranate seeds. Found easiest in Ramadan month, güllaç can be found in bakeries.
Mezes are small dishes that are usually served cold. You can order from a large selection of mezes at a restaurant and fill your table with mezes that everybody shares instead of the main course. Or you can have them as a side dish. Restaurants with meze menus would take you to their meze section to show you what the meze looks like and would be happy to explain what they have inside. Since there are lots of options, you'll find many mezes that you'll love.
Dolma can be any vegetable cooked in olive oil and stuffed with herbs, rice, and sometimes minced meat. Although, the most common version is stuffed vine leaves that can also be called sarma. You can eat it hot or cold; it is always delicious.
Iskender kebab is one of the most famous kebab dishes in Turkey. The strips of döner meat are served over pide bread with delicious tomato sauce, rice, and yogurt on the side. After the meal is served, hot butter is poured down on top of the meat to make it even more delicious and add another fantastic smell. I am getting hungry writing this.
Künefe is another Turkish dessert that you won't regret trying. Made with cheese and shreds of filo, künefe is served hot after meals. It is not the easiest food to make, so people prefer to eat it at restaurants.