Turkish and Ottoman Cuisine

Turkish cuisine is a delightful combination of savory and sweet, and every food and drink engages your taste buds in a whole new way. The food and beverages here are famous for their variety, it’s always fresh and delicious, and it showcases the tastes that make Turkey so unique. Turkish cuisine has a wide range of appetizers or “meze” and desserts. Appetizers are often an assortment of small dishes, including cheese, honey, olives, eggplant salads, stuffed peppers, and stuffed grape leaves. Turkish desserts are mainly based on nuts (especially pistachios), along with honey and fruits such as figs, dates, and apricots. There’s just no way to forget about how unique and different each food and drink is.

Just about any Turkish restaurant will have some of the most popular dishes: döner kebab, güveç, and baklava. But if you’re feeling adventurous, there are a few more items that you might want to try. Some of these include mercimek köfte, kuru fasulye or yaprak sarma.

Having breakfast at a Turkish restaurant in Istanbul is something you must do before you leave Turkey. This breakfast consists of bread, tomatoes, cheese, olives, and many other tasty things. You will also find many Turkish restaurants on every street corner of Istanbul where you can drink Turkish coffee and get fortune-telling. When you visit Istanbul, you’re not just visiting a city; you’re exploring a culture. In fact, you’re experiencing all these different aspects of Turkish culture.

One of your Istanbul trip stops will be Eminönü, as it is the location of Istanbul’s generally well-known historical monuments. If you’re visiting Eminönü, don’t leave without trying one of its most famous dishes: Balık Ekmek. It is a grilled or fried fish served on Turkish bread. It became famous in the Ottoman era. The favorite place to eat this delicacy is on one of the anchored boats or any Turkish restaurant near the Eminönü ferry docks.

Turkish and Ottoman Cuisine Restaurant


To help you get to know some Turkish dishes, we have compiled a list of some Turkish and Ottoman restaurants in Istanbul for you to try:

Asitane Restaurant: When you’ve worked up an appetite exploring Chora Museum, why not reward yourself with a truly imperial meal? The Asitane Restaurant is an Ottoman dining hall that specializes in palace cuisine. It’s an Ottoman restaurant with a 16th and 17th-century food and drink menu.

Nar Lokanta: Another Ottoman restaurant is the Nar Lokanta. Nar Lokanta offers a wide variety of dishes ranging from palace cuisine to rustic cuisine. It is possible to find different tastes in every season, thanks to the chefs’ creativity.

Matbah Restaurant: Another option for an Ottoman restaurant is the Matbah Restaurant. This Ottoman restaurant serves the contemporary rendition of Ottoman palace cuisine. Located in the heart of Istanbul, this Ottoman restaurant serves dishes inspired by the palace chefs who cooked for the sultans, pashas, and viziers. The food and drink menu includes rare dishes such as grain-i yellow, lamb shank in yufka, beef kebab rested with aromatic herbs, and milk zerde with saffron and currants.

Zennup: Zennup 1844 is a Turkish restaurant that offers a taste of Turkish cuisine. They aim to connect their customers with the Turkish culture and lifestyle through traditional presentation and quality ingredients.

Bridge Restaurant: Another Turkish restaurant is Bridge Restaurant. It is a place where you can get acquainted with the marvels of Turkish food culture and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Bosphorus.

Dilruba: Another option for a Turkish restaurant is the Dilruba. With culinary tastes that are hundreds of years old, this Turkish restaurant offers one of the best views of the Bosphorus.

Haci Abdullah Lokantası: Craving something a bit exotic? If you’re visiting Istanbul and want to dine like a Sultan, stop by an Ottoman restaurant. Haci Abdullah Lokantası has been an Ottoman restaurant in Istanbul since 1885. It has served the indispensable dishes of the Ottoman palace cuisine to the public for over a hundred years, and its reputation is well-known throughout the city. This Ottoman restaurant continues to uphold its reputation as a top choice for Turkish cuisine, thanks to its commitment to providing quality food and drink service and its role in preserving traditional techniques and recipes.

Yanyalı Fehmi Lokantası: Fehmi Lokantası is a stylish Ottoman restaurant in Istanbul, and it’s a great place to go if you are looking for a delicious meal. If you are in the mood for an appetizer, they have some of the most popular Turkish cuisine appetizers like Yanya.

Çiya Sofrası: Çiya Sofrası is a Turkish restaurant where you can eat the most delicious food in the city. The restaurant is located in Istanbul and serves appetizers, soups, kebabs, salads, juicy dishes, and desserts. 

Whether you’re a traveling foodie or looking for some exotic culinary possibilities, Istanbul is one city that has plenty to offer. Istanbul is a city that’s challenging enough to keep even the most adventurous traveler busy for weeks on end, but it’s also a city that has much to offer in the way of food and drink. Whether you’re looking for some delicious street food or a more formal dining experience, you’ll find plenty of culinary options in Istanbul to satisfy your tastes

Frequently Asked Question

What is the main cuisine in Turkey?
There are many dishes from Turkish cuisine, but the main one is doner or manti.
What is the main cuisine in Turkey?
There are many dishes from Turkish cuisine, but the main one is doner or manti.
What influenced Turkish cuisine?
Arab cuisine and Greek cuisine influenced Turkish cuisine.
What defines Turkish cuisine?
Turkish cuisine is defined by its use of spices and butter.
What are three popular Turkish cuisines?
Manti, baklava and kebab are the most famous three Turkish cuisine dishes.
What is Turkey's favorite food?
Turkey’s favorite food is doner, which is a mixture of limb and beef.