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6 Must-Have Turkish Food and Drinks

The Republic of Turkey is a nation that has a colorful cultural heritage, with Asian, European, and Middle-Eastern influence helping to make this country the diverse place that it is. Turkey is well-known for bridging the gap between East and West, and this cultural conglomeration has long fascinated people from around the globe. This nation’s food and drink are no exception; they are a glorious mix of rich overtones, varied spices, and unique flavors unparalleled anywhere in the world. Don’t believe us? Then check out these 6 dishes and drinks you can’t miss out on when traveling to Turkey!

1. Mezes

Most meals will start out with a series of cold appetizers referred to as mezes. Many favorite appetizers tend to have eggplant in them, so you’ll find this vegetable in many different forms. Of course, other veggies, chili tomato paste, and yogurt for dipping can be included as well!

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2. Dolma

As one of Turkey’s most popular foods, you can eat dolma cold with your mezes or hot as its own dish. These are grape vine leaves stuffed with rice, herbs, spices, and, if you want to get creative, lamb or some other meat!

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3. Manti

Manti is often referred to as the Turkish ravioli. Basically, these are dumplings which can be stuffed with anything from lamb, beef, or veggies. Remember, the smaller the manti, the better, and expect a side of yogurt and garlic to eat along with this hot dish.

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4. Baklava

If you’re ready for dessert, you can’t do any better than Turkey’s most popular sweet dish. Depending on where you are in Turkey, your baklava will have different nuts spread between layers of dough and drizzled with syrup. What a way to ease your sweet tooth!

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5. Coffee

According to an old Turkish proverb, “coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.” This saying definitely rings true for this beverage in Turkey where it is brewed black and with plenty of sugar. It’ll be strong enough to wake you up and sweet enough to give you that much-desired sugar rush!

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6. Çay

Turkish tea, or çay (pronounced chai), is a staple of Turkish culture and, as you’ll find out, isn’t reserved solely for mealtime. In Turkey this black tea is drunk throughout the day and, like Turkish coffee, sweetened with sugar. Of course, there’s plenty of etiquette behind drinking tea in Turkey, so be sure to stick to the rules when enjoying this delicious beverage!

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Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, you’re probably more than ready to head to Turkey to garner an authentic food and drink experience of your own. Learning to speak Turkish before heading oversees is as vital a part of getting a complete cultural experience as enjoying the food and drink, and studying with top-tier language instructors will allow you to do just that. Whether snacking on dolma, drinking yet another cup of çay, or putting your Turkish skills to the test in lively conversations over dinner, you’ll be sure to have a unique experience which will leave you full – in both the emotional and physical sense!