If you’re looking for a new culinary country to explore, Turkey makes for a wonderful choice, with its wealth of diverse, delicious local dishes that are impossible to resist. Rooted in ancient Ottoman cuisine, which takes elements and influences from nearby areas such as Central Asia and the Balkans, it’s renowned for its healthy, fresh ingredients, and every region boasts its own specialities. You can snack on street food, dine on meze, and enjoy the freshest catch of the day by the coast. You’ll find plenty of grilled meats, juicy kebabs and seafood, as well as sweet and savoury pastries, soups, salads, and stuffed vegetables.
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Here we take you on a culinary tour of two of Turkey’s best regions for foodies, Antalya and Bodrum, and outline the best local dishes and tipples to try…
Meze and markets in Bodrum
Bodrum may be a coastal city, and a former fishing village, but seafood makes up just part of its local cuisine; think everything from street food like kebabs and flatbreads, to chargrilled meats in rustic taverns. Vegetarians will also be happy here, thanks to the vast array of plant-based meze platters, soups and fresh salads widely available. Tucked around the castle, cobbled alleys and marina, you’ll find markets, meyhanes and meze aplenty in Bodrum town. Just follow the locals and you’re sure to dine well.
So, what are the must-try dishes? In a meyhane (a traditional Turkish bar or restaurant) you’ll be able to choose from a wide selection of hot and cold meze – small plates such as muhammara, a red pepper and walnut dip; şakşuka, aubergine with tomato and yoghurt; and beyaz peynir, a local white cheese. In most restaurants and street food stalls,…