A guide to the very best of Turkish food

Cooking up a storm between Europe and Asia, Turkey’s national menu is a flavoursome blend where east meets west. Punchy seasoning and sweet treats hail from eastern neighbours, while the love of fresh fish and vibrant vegetables is Mediterranean through and through.

Speciality dishes, including shish kebabs and baklava, are widely served across the country in which the locals are renowned for their passion in the kitchen. To discover the very best of this passion for all things food, pull up a chair in Istanbul and indulge in the myriad of tantalising dishes the lively city has to offer.

Menemen

Awaken your taste buds the Turkish way, with a traditional breakfast serving of menemen. This rich creamy dish mixes scrambled eggs, tomatoes, onions, peppers and seasoning, with local bread on the side to soak up every last drop.

You’ll find menemen on almost every street corner in Istanbul. However, for the best breakfast in the city – served in hearty portions to boot – make sure to stop off at Café Privato in the bustling backstreets of Karakoy. 

Shish Kebab

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Arguably Turkey’s most well-known dish, the succulent shish kebab is a national favourite famous across the world. Expert chefs nationwide gently stoke their coals, serving up tender, spiced meat skewers day and night.

For an authentic experience, huddle into the atmospheric kebab houses of Kadinlar Pazari to see the grills in action, or enjoy a sophisticated spread at Mabeyin – a 19th-century mansion with ambient outdoor seating in the Uskadar district of Istanbul.

Manti

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Some call them dumplings, others say ravioli - however you describe manti, no trip to Istanbul is complete without sampling them. Traditionally, these are small, hand-wrapped parcels filled with spiced meat - usually lamb or beef - and served with a light yoghurt sauce.

Casita is well known for this classic dish, and with several branches in the city, you’re never far away from enjoying. For a delicious twist on tradition, visit Sinop Manti in the Besiktas region of the city, where manti topped with crunchy walnuts is served just a short distance from the waterfront.

Baklava

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Turkey is heaven for dessert lovers, with an enticing menu of pastries and cakes to sink your teeth into. Baklava is perhaps the sweetest of all, with flaky pastry, nutty fillings, and sticky syrup coming together perfectly to become the very definition of indulgence.

Pistachio baklava is particularly popular, with the Gulluoglu store in the trendy neighbourhood of Karaköy serving some of the best. If pistachio isn’t your thing, you won’t have to look far to find other delicious variations, including rich chocolate and tangy orange.

From meat feasts to sugary delights, Turkey is a country bursting with flavour. Treat your taste buds to the authentic Turkish experience - simply book flights to Istanbul with flydubai and tuck in.

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