DESTINATIONS turkey eating-out-5


Eating Out

The restaurants we list are the best in each price category. A small service or "cover" (kuver in Turkish) charge of a few liras per person (a charge just for sitting at the table, the bread, the water, etc.) is often added to the bill, especially in meyhane-style restaurants but you should tip 10% on top of this. If a restaurant's menu has no prices listed, ask before you order—you'll avoid a surprise when the bill comes.

Meals and Mealtimes

Breakfast, usually eaten at your hotel, typically consists of beyaz peynir (soft white cheese, made from cow, sheep, or goat’s milk), sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and yogurt with honey and fresh fruit, with a side order of fresh bread, perhaps a hard-boiled egg or basic omelet, and tea or Nescafé; the menu varies little, whether you stay in a simple pansiyon or an upscale hotel.

Breakfast starts early, typically by 7 am. Lunch is generally served from noon to 3 pm, dinner from 7 to 10 pm. You can find restaurants or cafés open almost any time of the day or night in cities; in villages getting a meal at odd hours can be a problem. Many Turks fast during daylight hours during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. If you're visiting during Ramadan, be sensitive to locals and avoid eating on public transportation or other places where you might make mouths water. During Ramadan, many restaurants, particularly smaller ones outside the major cities, close during the day and open at dusk.

Unless otherwise noted, the restaurants listed are open daily for lunch and dinner.


Most relatively upscale restaurants, particularly those in western Turkey, take major credit cards. Smaller eateries will often accept only cash.

Reservations and Dress

It's a good idea to make a reservation at popular restaurants. We mention when reservations are essential (there's no other way you'll ever get a table) or when they are not accepted. We mention dress only when men are required to wear a jacket or a jacket and tie.


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