10 Traditional Turkish Foods you must try!

When talking about Turkish food most people only know Döner Kebab or Turkish coffee or the famous Turkish Delight. Turkey has many more delicious platers that are worth discovering. Here is a list of 10 traditional Turkish foods you must try.

Traditional Turkish Foods

Traditional Turkish Foods: Turkish Coffee

    1. Kumpir:Traditional Turkish Foods: KumpirTraditional Turkish Foods- Kumpir This is my favorite traditional Turkish food because it’s delicious and filling. Kumpir is baked potato filled with almost anything. However, the common ingredients are mayonnaise, corn, sausages, sweet peas, chicken, mushroom, carrots, ketchup, and the best ingredient; CHEESE!! Kumpir is best eaten when served hot, you get to enjoy all these savory and mildly sweet ingredients melt in your mouth. 
    2. Drinks:
      Traditional Turkish Foods: şalgam

      Traditional Turkish Foods- şalgam

      Ok, let’s take a break here and talk about two traditional Turkish drinks. In the west, we are used to drinking sweet and chilled drinks. Turkey definitely surprised me with their Turnip Juice aka Şalgam. It is a salty drink that is best drank with Adana Kebab. I watched as my Turkish friend delightfully sipped the Turnip Juice like it was a refreshing coca cola drink. It was something I couldn’t bring myself to do. My reactions were similar when I tried the yogurt drink (Ayran).  I guess salty drinks are not my cup of tea. 

    3. Durüm Kebab: Durüm Kebab is probably the only popular traditional Turkish food on this list especially in Europe.  It is basically a bread wrap with shaved meat. I had Durüm Kebab prior to my visit to Istanbul but the ones there are unbeatable.  You could taste the love and care the chefs put into the succulent Kebab. If you wanna enjoy the best Durüm Kebab in your life, go to Durümzade (Anthony Bourdain Approves).
    4. Lahmacun: Everyone loves pizza right? Well, Turkey has its own version of Pizza called Lahmacun (pronounced: Lah-ma-juun). Lahmacun is a traditional Turkish Food made of thin dough, topped with seasoned minced meat, vegetables, and pepper. What differentiates this Turkish pizza to what we know as pizza is that cheese isn’t usually included as the topping.
    5. Midye Tava:  Midye Tava are mussels coated with flour and fried together. You can dip this snack with yogurt or ranch dressing (** My suggestions**)
    6. Simit:  
      Traditional Turkish foods: Simit

      Traditional Turkish Foods- Me enjoying my Simit with Nutella

      This is my favorite Turkish street snack. I call it the Turkish bagel! It is a thick circular bread encrusted with sesame seed. You can dip it in a sauce or layer it with cheese and even NUTELLA! Yum! If you wanna try this delicious snack, Make sure to catch the Simit vendor rolling this little carriage in the morning.

    7. Balik Ekmek: Traditional Turkish Foods: Balik EkmekTraditional Turkish Foods-Balik EkmekBalik Ekmek is a traditional Turkish food of bread stuffed with vegetables and fresh grilled or fried fish. I enjoyed mine from the restaurants under the Galata bridge. 
    8. Börek: is a light pastry layered with cheese, spinach and sometimes meat. 
  1. Boza:
    Traditional Turkish Foods: Boza

    Traditional Turkish Foods- Boza

    This is one of the oldest Turkish drinks in time immemorial. It is made of fermented grains usually from Durüm wheat. Cinnamon shavings are sprinkled on the boza drink. You can also add roasted chickpeas. Boza is served hot. The best place to get Boza in Istanbul is right here. It’s best drank during the chilling winter. Check out the Istanbul Insider for more on Boza. 

  2. Kokoreç: Traditional Turkish Foods: KokorecI saved this traditional Turkish food for the last because only the brave can try it. Are you ready to know what this Turkish delicacy consists of? Ok here goes,  Kokereç is bread wrapped around fried lamb intestines. If that doesn’t sound too crazy for your taste buds, then you should definitely try it! I personally enjoyed eating Kokoreç. I guess it will depend on who makes it and how it is being made. 

That’s my list for the 10 Traditional Turkish foods! and this is just scratching the surface. Turkey is a foodie’s paradise.  I hope this post made you hungry.  For more on Turkish food check out these recommendations:

Related post: Things to do in Istanbul.

Share with me what your favorite delicacy in any part of the world is?

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2018-11-17T20:57:50-06:00October 18th, 2017|FOOD, Turkey|9 Comments


  1. Brianna October 21, 2017 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    I love learning more about local foods! These all sound pretty good! I don’t know about that sheep intestine though… 😛

  2. Ana - JauntingTrips.com October 21, 2017 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Delicious post! I had about half of what you mentioned here, because you can find them easily in Romania.

  3. Lexi October 21, 2017 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    This is making me hungry!

  4. Gabby October 21, 2017 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    Yummm great post! Those Turkish delights too 🙂 Makes me hungry!

  5. Taylor October 22, 2017 at 2:47 am - Reply

    Wow! All of the food looks incredible! I swear I gained so much weight when I was in Turkey because I couldn’t resist from eating 10 times a day haha! The simit was my favorite! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. Sara White October 22, 2017 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Ha, I was looking at the picture of the Kokoreç and thinking, wow, that looks amazing… And then I read what it actually is. And now I’m not sure if I’d actually try it or not, because like I said, it looks amazing… But lamb intestines!?

    Intestines aside, everything looks fantastic! The turnip juice actually sounds really refreshing, I think I’d end up enjoying it! And I know I’d love Lahmacun, because anything remotely resembling a pizza is always a good choice.

  7. akvilestan October 22, 2017 at 9:07 am - Reply

    That’s so intriguing! I love tasting local food when I’m travelling so that’s definitely something I would be up for when visiting Turkey! 😍

  8. Ha October 22, 2017 at 12:08 pm - Reply

    I would love to try all of these <3 All look so yummy and delicious!

  9. My Ticklefeet! October 23, 2017 at 7:15 pm - Reply

    Love it! I tried Turkish delights at Istanbul airport during one of my layover and it was amazing. Saving this list for when I visit Turkey 🙂

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