From Baklava to Doner Kebab: Must-Try Dishes on Your Turkish Food Adventure

By HalalTrip | 18, Jun, 2024
From Baklava to Doner Kebab: Must-Try Dishes on Your Turkish Food Adventure

Türkiye boasts a myriad of options for all kinds of travellers – beach lovers, history and culture enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and many more. It is truly one of the best countries to visit for a vacation, as there are numerous tourist places to see! However, one universal delight that ties these experiences together is the delectable Turkish cuisine. Renowned globally, Turkish food is celebrated for its rich flavours and delicious dishes. From the melt-in-mouth baklava and juicy doner kebabs to scrumptious kunafa and lip-smacking kofte, the variety and taste of Turkish cuisine are simply unmatched.

We bring you the top seven must-try Turkish dishes that you cannot afford to miss during your visit. Get ready to tantalise your taste buds with culinary delights that define Türkiye's vibrant food scene. Join us on this flavorful journey and discover why Turkish cuisine is considered one of the most beloved in the world!

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Baklava turkish baklava

Image Credit: engin akyurt on Unsplash

Baklava is the epitome of Turkish desserts, a sweet treat that’s as rich in history as it is in flavour. This iconic delicacy is made of multiple layers of delicate filo pastry filled with finely chopped walnuts or pistachios, then generously soaked in syrup or honey. Just like other syrupy Turkish desserts, the crunchy texture of baklava makes it a true textural wonder.

Available in countless pastry shops and bakeries across Türkiye, baklava is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. Each bite offers a perfect balance of sweetness and crunch, leaving you craving more. Whether you're savoring it with a cup of Turkish tea or coffee, or enjoying it after a meal, baklava is an unforgettable experience that highlights the best of Turkish culinary artistry. Plus, it makes for a delightful gift to bring back home for friends and family, allowing them to share in the deliciousness of Turkish cuisine.


Doner Kebab 

Of course, no list is complete without Türkiye’s most popular and traditional dish that has made a name for itself far beyond the country’s borders: the doner kebab. This classic staple is primarily made with beef, although lamb and chicken options are also available. The meat is cooked on a vertical rotisserie and then wrapped in bread with a one-of-a-kind sauce, salad, and fries.

There is no shortage of doner kebabs in Türkiye as you will find them everywhere. Both locals and tourists love this dish, and the queues at popular joints can be quite long. Whether you're grabbing a quick bite from a street vendor or enjoying it at a restaurant, the deliciousness of a well-made doner kebab is an experience you cannot miss on your Turkish food adventure.


Turkish Pide turkish pide

Image Credit: Юлия Козликина on Pixabay

Turkish Pide (pronounced ‘pee-day’) is a popular staple of Turkish cuisine that has delighted palates for centuries. This boat-shaped, elongated flatbread is traditionally baked in a stone oven. The roots of this Mediterranean flatbread trace back to the 15th and 16th centuries in Istanbul, evolving from pita culture that originated during the Turks' period in Anatolia. 

Turkish Pide has various toppings such as minced meat, cheese, tomatoes, olives, parsley, and peppers. Whether enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as a snack, Turkish Pide is always a satisfying choice. Among the most cherished are the ground meat pide and the mixed pide, which combine several toppings for a rich, savoury treat. Turkish Pide is not just a dish but a testament to the rich, diverse culinary heritage of Türkiye, making it a must-try for any food enthusiast.


Manti (Turkish dumplings) 

Manti is a tantalising culinary delight akin to miniature ravioli. These delicate, meat-stuffed morsels come in various forms and shapes, typically filled with spiced ground beef or lamb. The word "manti" itself is derived from "mantu," meaning dumplings. Each bite offers a burst of flavour as the tender meat melts in your mouth. The marriage of dumplings with the tangy yogurt and the rich, spiced butter sauce infused with paprika or chili oil creates a taste sensation that is both comforting and exotic. 

These dumplings are blanketed with a dressing of toppings such as sour cream, luscious garlic sauce, or chilli oil. The dish is often garnished with tangy sumac, red pepper flakes, and dried mint, elevating the taste to the next level. Manti delivers a taste of Turkish tradition with every bite, making it an irresistible treat that every food lover should try.


Kadayifkadayif angel hair

Image Credit: Malicki M Beser on Unsplash

Kadayif, often known as "angel hair," is a beloved Turkish dessert that captivates with its unique texture and delightful sweetness. Made from fine vermicelli pastry, this dessert consists of thin, stringy dough soaked in rich syrup, creating a perfect balance of crispy and chewy. Traditionally topped withTurkish clotted cream, Kadayif offers a luxurious finish to any meal. The pastry is often paired with nuts such as pistachios, almonds, or walnuts, adding a satisfying crunch to the tender strands of dough.

The dough, made from a simple mixture of wheat and water, is wrapped around a filling often spiced with cinnamon and cloves, then baked to golden perfection. Once cooled, it is soaked in a sweet lemon syrup, infusing each strand with a refreshing sweetness. Kadayif pairs wonderfully with Turkish coffee or tea, making it an excellent choice for a sweet ending to any meal or a delightful snack. 



Güveç is a hearty and flavorful Turkish stew. This traditional dish is slow-cooked in a clay pot, which enhances its depth of flavour and tenderness. Güveç is typically made with a medley of vegetables such as tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggplants, combined with succulent pieces of meat like lamb, beef, or chicken. The ingredients are seasoned with aromatic spices and herbs, including paprika, cumin, and fresh parsley, creating a fragrant and comforting meal. 

The versatility of Güveç makes it a beloved dish across Türkiye, with regional variations adding unique twists to the recipe. Some versions might include potatoes, zucchini, or okra, while others might incorporate seafood instead of meat. The clay pot, or "guvec," plays a crucial role in the cooking process, as it evenly distributes heat and retains moisture, ensuring that each bite is tender and flavorful. Güveç is often served with rice or crusty bread, making it a complete and nourishing meal. 



Menemen is a Turkish breakfast dish that perfectly embodies the vibrant flavours of Turkish cuisine. This delightful scramble is made with fresh eggs, juicy tomatoes, green peppers, and onions, all cooked together in olive oil until they form a fragrant mixture. Seasoned with spices like red pepper flakes and sometimes enhanced with Turkish sausage (sucuk) or feta cheese, Menemen is a versatile dish that can be adapted to suit various tastes. Served hot with crusty bread, it's a satisfying way to start the day, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.

The beauty of Menemen lies in its simplicity and the freshness of its ingredients. Each bite offers a delightful combination of textures and tastes, from the softness of the eggs to the slight crunch of the vegetables. Menemen is not only a breakfast staple but also makes for a delicious light lunch or dinner. 



Embark on your Turkish food adventure and immerse yourself in the rich flavours and diverse dishes that make Türkiye a culinary paradise. From the heavenly sweetness of baklava to the savory delight of doner kebabs, each dish offers a unique taste of Turkish culture and tradition. 

Let the vibrant food scene tantalise your taste buds and leave you craving more. Plan your trip to Türkiye and experience firsthand why Turkish cuisine is celebrated around the world—it's a journey your palate will never forget!


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