14-06-2023 - Tips & Guides

Where to Savor Local Flavors in Cappadocia: Enjoy Culinary Delights

Cappadocia, known for its mesmerizing landscapes and rich history, may not be as renowned for its culinary scene as other Turkish cities like Gaziantep. However, amid the enchanting valleys and ancient cave dwellings, Cappadocia offers a range of delightful dining options. While some restaurants may be average, we have curated a list of the best establishments in the region for you to savor the flavors of Cappadocia. In this article, we'll explore the must-try dishes native to Cappadocia and provide recommendations on where to enjoy them.

The breathtaking landscape of the Cappadocia region in Turkey offers a mesmerizing backdrop for travelers seeking adventure and beauty. With its unique rock formations, ancient cave dwellings, and hot air balloon rides, Cappadocia provides an unforgettable experience that transports visitors to a different world. The Cappadocia Travel Pass®, a convenient all-in-one pass, allows travelers to explore the region's top attractions with ease. Whether hiking through the stunning valleys, exploring the underground cities, or marveling at the sunrise from a hot air balloon, the Cappadocia Travel Pass® ensures a seamless and comprehensive journey, enhancing the overall experience of discovering Cappadocia's natural wonders and cultural heritage.

What to Eat in Cappadocia

Cappadocia boasts two signature dishes that you must try during your visit: Testi Kebab and Kuru Kaymak. Testi Kebab is a slow-cooked meat and vegetable dish prepared in a sealed clay pot, known for its tender meat and rich flavors. Kuru Kaymak, on the other hand, is a unique dried cream that offers a distinct taste experience. It is firmer than a regular kaymak and can be enjoyed with jam or honey. For local foods and dried fruit on Cappadocia read our blog post: Local Flavors and Dried Fruits of Cappadocia.

When visiting Cappadocia, be sure to indulge in these delicious local delicacies:

Testi Kebab

A signature dish of Cappadocia, Testi Kebab is a flavorful meat stew cooked in a sealed clay pot. The pot is cracked open at the table, releasing aromatic steam and revealing the succulent meat and vegetables within.


These small, dumpling-like pasta pockets are typically filled with seasoned ground lamb or beef. Served with a drizzle of garlic yogurt and melted butter, Manti is a comforting and satisfying dish that shouldn't be missed.


A popular Turkish street food, Gözleme is a thin, savory pancake filled with various ingredients such as cheese, spinach, or minced meat. It is cooked on a griddle until crispy and served piping hot.

Soganli Loca Cheese

Cappadocia is known for its unique local cheeses, and Soganli Loca Cheese is a must-try. Made from sheep's milk, this creamy and slightly tangy cheese is often served as part of a meze platter or enjoyed with fresh bread.


This classic Turkish dish features vine leaves stuffed with a flavorful mixture of rice, herbs, and sometimes ground meat. The dolmas are then simmered until tender and served as a delicious appetizer or main course.


A traditional Turkish dessert, Güllaç consists of thin layers of starch-based pastry sheets soaked in a sweetened milk mixture and garnished with pomegranate seeds and crushed pistachios. It's a light and refreshing treat perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth.

Turkish Tea and Coffee

While not specific to Cappadocia, no visit to Turkey is complete without sipping on traditional Turkish tea or indulging in a cup of strong Turkish coffee. These beverages are integral parts of Turkish culture and can be enjoyed in the charming tea houses and cafes found throughout Cappadocia. Click here to see your FREE Tea Treat in Tik Tik Women Co-Op in Ürgüp

Cappadocia Wine

Cappadocia is home to absolutely amazing grapes and is famous for its local wine for more information about the wine of Cappadocia, click here: Famous Wine of Cappadocia: Grapes, vineyards, wineries, and festivals

Don't miss the opportunity to savor these culinary delights during your visit to Cappadocia, as they offer a taste of the region's unique flavors and cultural heritage.

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Where to Eat in Cappadocia

To ensure you have a memorable dining experience, we have handpicked a selection of restaurants across different towns in Cappadocia. These establishments showcase the diverse flavors and culinary traditions of the region. Here are our top recommendations:


Lil’a: Known for its elegance and upscale atmosphere, Lil'a is an exceptional restaurant offering an extensive menu. Try their pit-roasted duck or lamb shank for a truly delectable experience.

Seki Restaurant (Argos Hotel): Located within Argos Hotel, Seki Restaurant offers quality food accompanied by breathtaking views. Don't miss their wine cellar, where you can sample a variety of local wines.


Tandir: With its stunning sunset views, Tandir is an ideal spot for a memorable dining experience. Enjoy their signature dishes like tandir lamb and lamb shank, and complement your meal with their homemade wines.

İstanbullu Bozacinin Yeri: This unique place is renowned for serving boza, a traditional fermented drink made with yeast and bulgur. Immerse yourself in local culture by savoring this authentic Turkish beverage.


Ziggy Cafe: Housed in an old building, Ziggy Cafe offers a cozy ambiance and scenic views of Ürgüp. Delight your taste buds with their meze (tapas-style Eastern appetizers) and immerse yourself in the charm of the cafe's history.

Old Greek Restaurant: Step into history at Old Greek Restaurant, located in a beautifully restored old residence. Indulge in their homemade olive oil dishes (zeytinyağlılar) and mezes, showcasing authentic flavors.


Topdeck Cave Restaurant: With its cozy setting and attention to detail, Topdeck Cave Restaurant is a hidden gem. Their carefully crafted dishes are a treat for both the eyes and the taste buds.

Seten Anatolian Cuisine: Offering a fine dining experience, Seten Anatolian Cuisine presents a range of delectable dishes. Don't miss the opportunity to try their testi kebab, and be captivated by the artful presentation.


Seyyah Han: Enjoy breathtaking views from Seyyah Han's terrace while savoring a delicious meal. The restaurant offers a delightful atmosphere and a diverse menu that will satisfy your cravings.

Uranos Sarıkaya Restaurant: Combining food and entertainment, Uranos Sarıkaya Restaurant is a must-visit in Avanos. Delight in their traditional Turkish dishes while being entertained by live music and traditional dance performances.

Cappadocia not only offers breathtaking landscapes and historical wonders but also a rich culinary experience that should not be missed. From the mouthwatering Testi Kebab to the unique flavors of Kuru Kaymak, the region's cuisine is sure to leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.

By exploring the recommended restaurants in Uçhisar, Ortahisar, Ürgüp, Göreme, and Avanos, you can savor the best of Cappadocia's local flavors. These establishments not only offer delicious food but also provide unique atmospheres and stunning views, enhancing your dining experience.

Whether you're looking for an upscale dining experience or a cozy, traditional setting, Cappadocia's culinary scene has something for everyone. So, during your visit to this enchanting region, don't forget to indulge in the gastronomic delights it has to offer. Bon appétit!

Note: It's important to check the opening hours and make reservations in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure a seamless dining experience.

Tips about Eating in Cappadocia

Try local specialties: Cappadocia is known for its unique regional dishes, so don't miss the opportunity to try them. Sample dishes like testi kebab (meat cooked in a clay pot), manti (Turkish dumplings), and pottery kebab (meat and vegetables cooked inside clay pots).

Explore the local markets: Cappadocia's markets are a treasure trove of fresh produce, spices, and local delicacies. Take some time to wander through the markets, interact with the vendors, and try out the various snacks and treats available. It's a great way to immerse yourself in the local food culture.

Dine in a cave restaurant: One of the unique experiences in Cappadocia is dining in a cave restaurant. These establishments offer a charming ambiance with their cave-like interiors and often serve delicious traditional cuisine. Enjoy the cozy and atmospheric setting while savoring your meal.

Consider food tours: To make the most of your culinary adventure in Cappadocia, consider joining a food tour. These tours provide a guided experience where you can explore the local food scene, visit hidden gems, and learn about the history and culture behind the dishes. It's a great way to discover hidden culinary treasures.

Ask for recommendations: Don't hesitate to ask locals or hotel staff for recommendations on where to eat. They can provide valuable insights into the best places to enjoy authentic cuisine or point you in the direction of lesser-known local eateries that offer exceptional dishes.

Enjoy Turkish tea and coffee: Turkish tea (çay) and coffee (Türk kahvesi) are an integral part of Turkish culture. Take the time to indulge in a traditional tea or coffee experience. Sip on a cup of tea while enjoying the panoramic views of Cappadocia or savor the rich and aromatic flavors of Turkish coffee.

Be open to street food: Cappadocia offers a variety of delicious street food options. From simit (sesame-coated bread rings) to gözleme (savory pancakes), you can find tasty and affordable treats while exploring the streets. Just ensure that you choose reputable vendors who maintain good hygiene practices.

Consider dietary preferences: If you have any dietary restrictions or preferences, communicate them clearly to the restaurant staff. Most establishments in Cappadocia are accommodating and can make necessary adjustments to cater to your needs, whether it's vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or other dietary requirements.

Embrace the mezze culture: Mezze refers to a selection of small dishes served as appetizers or snacks in Turkish cuisine. Embrace the mezze culture in Cappadocia by ordering a variety of meze platters. It allows you to taste a wide range of flavors and textures while enjoying a social dining experience with friends or family.

Leave room for desserts: Turkish desserts are a sweet delight, and Cappadocia is no exception. Indulge in treats like baklava, künefe, and Turkish delight. Many cafes and patisseries in the region offer an array of delectable desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Remember to savor the local flavors, embrace the cultural experience, and enjoy the delightful culinary journey that Cappadocia has to offer.

Highlights of Cappadocia Travel Pass®

Nestled in the captivating region of Cappadocia, Turkey, travelers are greeted with a captivating tapestry of natural wonders and rich history. As visitors embark on their Cappadocia adventure, the Cappadocia Travel Pass® emerges as an invaluable companion. This all-inclusive pass unlocks the region's most iconic attractions, making exploration effortless and immersive. With the Cappadocia Travel Pass®, adventurers can embark on scenic hikes through the enchanting valleys, admiring the surreal rock formations and ancient cave dwellings that dot the landscape. 

Delving further, the pass grants access to the fascinating underground cities, where history comes alive as travelers navigate the intricate tunnels and chambers that were once home to ancient civilizations. For an unrivaled experience, the Cappadocia Travel Pass® also includes the opportunity to witness the breathtaking sunrise from a hot air balloon, soaring above the ethereal landscapes and taking in the panoramic vistas that make Cappadocia famous worldwide. This comprehensive travel pass offers convenience and value, allowing visitors to delve deep into Cappadocia's natural wonders and cultural heritage, ensuring an unforgettable journey. Check here 35+ attractions and services in your Pass and BUY YOUR PASS NOW!


What are some vegetarian or vegan options for food in Cappadocia?

Cappadocia offers a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes. Some options include stuffed vine leaves (dolma) filled with rice and herbs, vegetable-filled gözleme (savory pancakes), lentil soup, and various meze platters featuring dishes like hummus, baba ghanoush, and tabbouleh. Many restaurants in Cappadocia also accommodate dietary preferences and can prepare vegetarian or vegan versions of traditional dishes upon request.

Where can I find authentic local cuisine in Cappadocia?

Cappadocia has numerous restaurants and eateries that serve authentic local cuisine. Some popular options include traditional Turkish restaurants, family-owned establishments, and local cafes. The towns of Göreme, Ürgüp, and Avanos are particularly known for their authentic culinary experiences. Additionally, exploring local markets and trying street food can provide opportunities to sample regional delicacies.

Are there any must-visit restaurants or dining experiences in Cappadocia?

While the choice of restaurants depends on personal preferences, there are a few noteworthy dining experiences in Cappadocia. One such experience is dining in a cave restaurant, where you can enjoy your meal in a unique underground setting. Many cave hotels in Cappadocia also offer dining options with scenic views of the fairy chimneys. Some recommended restaurants include Topdeck Cave Restaurant, Seten Anatolian Cuisine, and Dibek Restaurant, known for their delicious local dishes and atmospheric settings.

Can I try traditional Turkish desserts in Cappadocia?

Absolutely! Cappadocia offers a wide range of traditional Turkish desserts that are worth trying. Some popular options include baklava (layers of filo pastry filled with nuts and soaked in syrup), künefe (a sweet cheese pastry soaked in sweet syrup and topped with pistachios), and Turkish delight (gelatine-based sweets in various flavors). Many local cafes and patisseries in Cappadocia serve these desserts, providing a delightful way to end your meal.

Is it safe to eat street food in Cappadocia?

Street food in Cappadocia is generally safe to eat, and it allows you to experience the local flavors in a more casual setting. However, it's advisable to choose vendors who maintain good hygiene practices and have a steady flow of customers. Look for places where the food is prepared freshly in front of you. Additionally, trust your instincts and opt for food items that are cooked thoroughly and served hot to minimize any potential health risks.

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