Like us, the food you’ve loved since childhood likely holds a special place in your heart. And also like us, it probably only took the first semester away at school or first holiday spent apart from your family to realize the untold worth of the meals prepared by the hands of your loved ones.
Here in Antalya, it’s no different. Delicacies cooked in the kitchens of generations of mothers and grandmothers are truly priceless. They transform a house to a home, an ordinary meal into a feast. Served up with a bottomless breadbasket, a side of salad or yogurt, and some pickles, we hope you get to join their table for a plate at least once during your stay.
Every neighborhood has what is called an “ev yemekleri,” a word used both for home cooking and the restaurants that serve it. Most change the menu selections daily, so make multiple stops if you can–and maybe even a lifelong friend.
Here are some suggested favorites you can try with English description from other expats, We have also included how long they’ve lived in Turkey (to help you gauge how ‘local’ their taste buds have grown or perhaps how adventurous yours might become.) If you are brave enough to try some of these at home, check out Ozlem’s Turkish Table or Almost Turkish Recipes .
*karnyaırık,- seasoned ground beef stuffed eggplant served with rice and yogurt sauce, 19 years
mercemek çorbası – lentil soup, 14 years
Ali Nazik Kebab – lamb stew over smoked eggplant and yogurt puree, 8 years
patatesli havuçlu bezelye Yemeği – green peas with potatoes and carrots served, 6 years
taze fasulye – braised green beans served warm or cold, 5.5 years
nohut yemeği – stewed chickpeas often with meat and served with rice, 5 years
menemen – scrambled eggs with tomatoes and peppers, 5 years
dolma biber – rice stuffed pepper (but may be stuffed anything), usually without meat, 5 years
fırında kıymalı patlıcan musakka – baked ground beef eggplant without Béchamel sauce, 3 years
yaprak sarma – grain stuffed grape leaves, usually with rice but not usually with meat, 3 years
*In our informal survey, this by far topped the votes of favorite Turkish dish for those having lived here 6 months to 20 years.
Konyaalti Recommendation: Zencefil Ev Yemekleri & Cafe
Location: Gürsu Mah. 22.Cadde 370.Sokak 30/1 Örnek Apt. Konyaaltı ANTALYA
Phone: +90 242 229 63 73
Muratpaşa Recommendation: Evren Lokantası (owned and run by friends of our family)
Location: Anafartalar Cd. No:1 Evren Pasajı/Pasaj içi Deniz Mah., 07050 Muratpaşa/Antalya
Phone: +90 242 244 33 12