30 Best Local Food in Cappadocia: Indulge in Authentic Delights!

 In Cappadocia, food, food adventure, Travel, Turkey

In the heart of Turkey, Cappadocia isn’t just famous for its stunning views, but also for its tasty local food. Imagine dishes full of yummy flavours that have been enjoyed for generations. Cappadocia is one of the best places to visit in TurkeyThe best local food in Cappadocia is like a mixtape of different tastes from over the years. It’s got bits from old times when different groups of people lived there, like the Hittites and Romans. One thing you’ve got to try is the kebab. It’s meat cooked until it’s super tender and juicy, with spices that make it taste amazing. There’s also something called Testi Kebab, where they cook meat and veggies slowly in a clay pot, making it extra tasty.  It is among the Top Things to do in Cappadocia.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Cappadocia has you covered too. You can try Güllaç, which is a yummy pastry soaked in milk and flavoured with rose water and nuts. Or there’s Sütlaç, a creamy pudding with rice and a sprinkle of cinnamon. And let’s not forget about Gözleme, which is like delicious stuffed flatbreads cooked on a griddle. They can be filled with cheese, spinach, or even meat. And there’s Mantı, little dumplings filled with seasoned meat and topped with yoghurt and butter. Cappadocia’s culinary delights are sure to leave you craving for more. So come, commence on a gastronomic journey through Cappadocia and discover the flavours with our Turkey Tour Packages!

30 Best Local Food in Cappadocia

  • Manti
  • Kurufasulye
  • Testi Kebab
  • Börek
  • Iskender Kebab
  • Kuzu Tandir
  • Yaprak Sarma
  • Kiymali sigara Boregi
  • Stuffed Quince
  • Divil
  • Nevsehir Pan
  • Menemen
  • Mercimek Çorbası 
  • Lahmacun
  • Pide
  • Kokorec
  • Koftur
  • Osmanli Macunu
  • Cezerye
  • Sakizli Muhallebi
  • Kabak Tatlısı 
  • Kadayif
  • Tulumba
  • Boza
  • Sira
  • Salgam Suyu
  • Kefir
  • Salep
  • Raki
  • Turkish coffee

1. Manti

manti

Manti is the Turkish equivalent of ravioli, but it has a different flavour and texture. The tiny ravioli are dumplings that are fried or boiled filled with lamb or beef, and seasoned with a variety of spices. The ground meat with spices is simply delicious. Typically, it is served with spicy tomato sauce, garlic yoghurt, and butter, with mint and chilli flakes sprinkled on top. It’s a delicious place to start if you’ve never tried Turkish food before. It is among the best local food in Cappadocia.

2. Kurufasulye

kurufasulye

White beans are stewed in tomato sauce, olive oil, and onions to make the dish called kurufasulye. For added flavour, cured beef dishes like pastirma are occasionally added. If you’re a vegetarian, you can eat this as your main course with bulgur or rice. It can also be served as a side dish.  It is among the best local food in Cappadocia. 

3. Testi Kebab

testi-kebab

A famous dish of Cappadocia and the Central Anatolian region is Testi Kebab. It is not only a delicious meal but also a show to enjoy. In a clay pot, lamb or beef is frequently used as the main filling, along with tomatoes, green peppers, garlic, salt, and pepper. Then some dough is used to seal the pot. The clay pot with your hot kebab stew is then heated over a wood fire. Only when the pot breaks will the food be ready. Your server will rotate the pot and tap the pot’s bottom. This experience is unquestionably one of the coolest things to try.  It is among the best local food in Cappadocia. 

  • Pro Tip: This dish is pre-cooked and reheated in clay pots for customers as they come, so make sure that you call the restaurant you are visiting beforehand as it always remains in high demand and takes very long to cook. 

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4. Börek

borek

There are different types of börek available across Istanbul, some are the specialities of the Sarıyer and Karaköy neighbourhoods. One can easily spot börek shops anywhere. The ideal time of the day to get it is from morning to noon. 

Typically, the Turkish folks eat Börek as breakfast. It is a baked puff pastry or shortcrust dough that embraces several fillings, including cheese, ground meat, spinach, and other veggies. This can be your go-to option for a quick Turkish breakfast.  It is among the best local food in Cappadocia. 

5. Iskender Kebab

iskender-kebab

Thin slices of grilled lamb are topped with tomato sauce and served with pita bread. Yoghurt and melted sheet butter are also included in the dish. Melted butter and tomato sauce are added to the dish for flavour. It’s a comfort food that tastes best when eaten warm, and it’s typically made in the winter.  It is among the best local food in Cappadocia. 

6. Kuzu Tandir

kuzu-tandir

Similar to Moroccan mechoui, this traditional Turkish dish features roasted lamb. Although the meat is allowed to cook slowly, the result is a delicious lamb that slowly melts in your mouth. Tradition dictates that the meat be cooked for hours over hot coals in a ground-based oven called a tandir. Salt, pepper, lemon juice, bay leaves, and rosemary sprigs are used as seasonings, and the aroma is out of this world. Turkish rice or mashed potatoes are frequently served with it.

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7. Yaprak Sarma

yaprak-sarma

Cappadocia is famous for its vineyards, so it’s logical that it’s also famous for its stuffed grape leaves. Yaprak Sarma refers to vine/ grape or cabbage leaves stuffed with meat, meat, and rice or only rice and other vegetarian ingredients. This dish is a staple of Turkish cuisine and is immensely popular. You’ll be able to easily find stuffed grape leaves on the menu in most restaurants in Turkey.

8. Kiymali sigara Boregi

kiymali-sigara-boregi

This pastry is made with ground beef and is savoury. It is prepared using a wide variety of spices.  It is among the best local food in Cappadocia. 

9. Stuffed Quince

stuffed-quince

The contents of this dish are pretty evident from its name. In this dish, quinces are hollowed out, after which they are stuffed with a mix of minced lamb and turkey. This delectable dish is among the native flavours of Cappadocia. Make sure you try this delicious dish when visiting.  It is among the best local food in Cappadocia. 

10. Divil

divil

This dish is made by kneading the diced boiled potatoes with bulgur and then rolling them into meatballs, after which they are fried in oil. It is one of the unique Cappadocian dishes that is native to this place and can be tried here, in particular.

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11. Nevsehir Pan

nevsehir-pan

This dish is slowly cooked on top of a wood fire, which brings out a lot of natural flavours. In a pan, hot peppers, finely chopped lard, and meat are neatly arranged and allowed to patiently simmer and cook. This dish has an amalgamation of tangy and garlicky flavours that complement each other brilliantly. Although it takes about 1 to 1.5 hours for this dish to get ready, it is worth the wait. 

12. Menemen

menemen

This healthy Turkish breakfast resembles a cross between scrambled eggs and a vegetable stew. Whisked eggs are added after peppers, onions, and tomatoes are cooked down to a broth. Everything is thoroughly combined, and tomato juice gradually develops into the filling base of this Turkish dish. The spicy Turkish sausage, sucuk, or cheese are additional ingredients that enhance the flavour of Menemen. Turkish cuisine is best enjoyed with hot bread, which can be dipped in the dish or spread with Menemen before eating.  It is among the best local food in Cappadocia. 

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13. Mercimek Çorbası

mercimek-corbasi

Turkish soup called Mercimek Corbasi is made from red or orange lentils and is very simple and common. Lentils and spices are pureed to create a delicious lentil soup. Melted butter, cilantro, lemon juice, and pickled vegetables like carrots, cabbage, and olives are frequently added as garnishes. This hearty and filling soup is frequently served with hot pita bread on the side, giving your taste buds a warm, melting experience.  It is among the best local food in Cappadocia. 

14. Lahmacun

lahmacun

Lahmacun is a popular street food in Turkey that consists of Turkish pita dough topped with minced meat, tomatoes, onions, and parsley. It usually has a round shape, and it is common for tourists to call it Turkish pizza. If you have the opportunity to taste a lahmacun that is cooked over wood, do not pass it up. This spicy and garlicky street food is usually eaten alongside lunch or dinner and is not recommended as a morning snack. The typical way to enjoy your lahmacun is to put some lettuce and parsley on top. Squeeze some lemon roll the whole lahmacun into a wrap and enjoy the flavours.  It is among the best local food in Cappadocia. 

15. Pide

pide

This boat-shaped pastry, one of the most well-known Turkish foods, is made with slightly thick dough and a variety of fillings. Different meats, fresh vegetables, cooked spinach, eggs, the hot Turkish sausage sucuk, and cheese are some of the most popular fillings. This bread is baked in a high-heat stove oven and tastes best when served warm. It is offered by many takeaway food spots, and you can order it as an appetiser or the main course. It is among the best local food in Cappadocia. 

16. Kokorec

kokorec

This dish has grilled sheep intestines outside, and the middle white part in Kokoreç is sheep fat. It is finely chopped and mixed with spices like pepper, oregano, salt, and sometimes fresh tomato. Then, it is served with bread as a sandwich. Though not everyone can eat this dish, throngs of local folks love to eat this classic street food.

17. Koftur

koftur

Koftur is related to grape molasses and contains a significant amount of it. Grape molasses is made by dehydrating grape juice, and koftur is made by dehydrating grape molasses, resulting in a chocolate-like pressed grape sweet that lasts a long time. Grape molasses, water, flour, and some starch are all combined to make koftur. This sweet is highly recommended, especially if you are on the long hiking trails of the Cappadocia region.

18. Osmanli Macunu

osmanli-macunu

These Turkish candies, which resemble toffee and are a well-liked street food in this region, are fascinating not only for their vibrant colours but also for the variety of intriguing flavours they come in. You can choose from a variety of flavours of Ottoman paste, such as lemon, bergamot, mint, cinnamon, mastic, rose, and others that are herbs and spices.

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19. Cezerye

cezerye

It translates to “carrots” in Arabic, and while you might not think of this simple vegetable when it comes to rich, sweet treats, rest assured that this cherished candy is much more than just what its name suggests. Cezerye is made by blending carrot, coconut, walnut, hazelnut, or pistachio into a sweet, thick paste. The paste is then dried, cut into chunks and pieces, or sold as packed candy bars. These delicious candies, which are stuffed with sweet and nutty flavours, are popular in Turkey as an energising afternoon snack.

20. Sakizli Muhallebi

sakizli-muhallebi
Image Source : ozlem's turkish table

The Turkish word “sakiz” can refer to both this mouthwatering and fragrant pudding as well as the resin from a particular kind of Mediterranean tree. This pudding is made easily by combining butter, milk, vanilla, flour, and mastic. Cinnamon is then sprinkled on top. Despite being referred to as “gummy pudding,” this pudding’s texture is anything but stretchy and sticky. Instead, it is luxuriously smooth and creamy, and as it sways, the light glints off its surface.

21. Kabak Tatlısı

kabak-tatlisi

Kabak tatlisi is a pumpkin-based sweet dish that is not limited to the winter holiday seasons as is the case in the United States and Europe. With cooked pumpkin and sugar, this decadently soft Turkish pumpkin dessert melts in your mouth and can be topped with tahini, nuts, or clotted cream, among other things. This dish is a must-try when you are visiting.

22. Kadayif

kadayif

It is a dish made with special kadaifi noodles, pistachios, or walnuts that are baked in the oven and then generously drizzled with traditional lemon syrup. A slice of this delectable cake and some cottage cheese are favourites among Turks. Both varieties are equally delicious, so don’t forget to try both of the options. Slices of this extraordinary Turkish dessert, best enjoyed with a glass of cold milk, will have you craving more immediately.

23. Tulumba

tulumba

A simple doughnut batter and white wine vinegar are used to make this dessert, which is deep-fried in batches and then covered in syrup. The initial bite has a lot of crunch, but after you break through the outer layer, the dough releases a delightful mouthful of syrup and soft batter.

24. Boza

boza

A boza is a popular wintertime beverage that resembles a smoothie. Boza is typically served with a spoon due to its thick consistency and light fermentation because it is made from millet or wheat, sugar, yeast, and water. It is one of the oldest drinks and dates back about 9,000 years when it travelled from Mesopotamia and the Caucasus to the current shores. It is typically topped with chickpeas or cinnamon. 

25. Sira

sira

Şıra, also known as “Shira,” is a spring and summer beverage made from apple juice or lightly fermented grapes. Due to the high fructose content of the fruits used to make it, the crimson-coloured beverage is naturally sweet and sour. The same variety and high quality of grapes used to make wines in this region are used to make Şıra, which is frequently served with hearty portions of Iskender kebabs.

26. Salgam Suyu

salgam-suyu

Made from fermented turnip juice, purple carrots, salt, pepper, spices, yeast, and bulgur wheat, Şalgam Suyu is available in two varieties: mild and very hot. It is often served with traditional Turkish kebab dishes. It is also mixed with other alcoholic drinks, such as Raki to dilute the alcohol content. Packed with vitamin C, this interesting but tasty drink can be found throughout restaurants and eateries that usually serve it with food.

27. Kefir

kefir

The ancient fermented dairy drink known as kefir first appeared in the North Caucasus before making its way to Turkey. The beverage is a thicker and sourer variation of Ayrani, another traditional Turkish beverage made primarily from dairy milk, yeast, and kefir grains. This fermented beverage is a tasty and healthy probiotic, similar to yoghurt.

28. Salep

salep

A popular winter beverage is salep. Salep stands out from other beverages due to its distinctive flavour and texture. Ground wild orchid roots, sugar, milk, and a dash of cinnamon on top are the main ingredients. Salep’s distinctive texture is a result of the ground orchid roots’ high starch content and custard-like consistency when combined with milk.

29. Raki

raki

Raki is a traditional alcoholic beverage that is best enjoyed at dusk with close friends and family. Always served with water and occasionally with ice, Raki is made from white grape pomace, known as suma, and anise seeds. Nicknamed “Lion’s Milk” due to the drink’s milky hue after mixing it with water, Raki contains between 40% and 50% alcohol. Raki fits in with the food and wine culture, where good food, drinks, and company play a big part. It is similar in flavour and appearance to Ouzo from Greece and Sambuca from Italy.

30. Turkish coffee

turkish-coffee

Turkish coffee is unfiltered coffee made with just two ingredients: coffee and hot water, in a traditional pot called a cezve. Coffee is served straight from the pot after the cezve has been heated until both ingredients have reached boiling point. Its flavour is charred and earthy, and its powerful aroma tempts you to want a sip. It is impossible to imagine Turkish culture without Turkish coffee, which serves as the focal point of weddings, coffeehouse conversations, and even fortune-telling, in which shamans use the leftover coffee beans to read people’s futures.

What is the most famous local dish in Cappadocia?

The most famous local dish in Cappadocia is Testi Kebab, a meat and vegetable stew cooked in a sealed clay pot.

Where can I find the best traditional meals in Cappadocia?

You can find the best traditional meals in Old Greek House, Ziggy Café, Seten Restaurant, and Muti Restaurant in Cappadocia.

What are some must-try street foods in Cappadocia?

Some of the must-try street foods in Cappadocia are Gözleme, Simit, Lahmacun, and Çiğ Köfte.

What is unique about Cappadocia's local cuisine?

cooking methods, Anatolian influences, historical fusion, and use of local produce. These are some of the unique features of Cappadocia’s local cuisine. 

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