Discover the Local Dishes and Flavors of Cappadocia

Among the remarkable delicacies of the region, testi kebab, dried beans (kuru fasulye), tandoori, Aside dessert, stuffed onions, and stuffed zucchini flowers top the list. Remember that Nevsehir’s recipes made with pumpkin seeds, meatballs, apricots, cheese, chewing gum, and grapes are the most famous; therefore, don’t return home without tasting them. To help you have a full tummy, let’s find the highly famous Cappadocia delicacies we’ve put together for you. Read on!

Local Dishes and Flavors of Cappadocia

There are plenty of options in Nevsehir, integrating different eating and drinking cultures from every corner of Anatolia, capturing the diversity of the city’s offerings that suit every budget, thereby making you fall in love with Cappadocia cuisine from your very first bite.

Local foods tell a lot about a country’s culture and lifestyle. Central Anatolia preserved its tastes for centuries, handing them down for many generations. Cappadocia couldn’t be any prouder, as it once housed different civilizations on its land, including the Hittites, Assyrians, Phrygians, Romans, Byzantines, and more.

So much so that some are still being made today as traditional Cappadocia dishes. As the center of agricultural wealth, Cappadocia is famous for its food rich with grains, legumes, and meat cooked in jugs and pots. In central Anatolia, most local flavors are slow-cooked (simmered)!

Testi (Pottery) Kebab

Testi (Pottery) Kebab is a popular local dish cooked with lamb or beef meat, onion, pepper, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, and spices in a unique jug.

traditional Turkish Testi Kebab cooked in clay pot on open fire at night in restaurant, authentic oriental cuisine

In the central Anatolia cooking method, local flavors are simmered, and testi kebab takes about 2.5 hours to prepare. Just imagine the flavors and juices blending for long hours, releasing a delicious aromatic smell when the jug is broken! We promise you it’s worth the wait if you want to taste the softest meat and vegetables.

Some restaurants also offer a beautiful presentation of the testi kebab at the table. As such, the waiter breaks it in front of you, and then serves it in casseroles. Casseroles are essential to preserving the food’s warmth. All jugs and pots are made in Avanos and are disposable and recyclable.

Arabasi Soup

Arabasi Soup is one of the oldest and most famous soups originated from Konya.

If you are a soup-lover, remember that it has different versions, too— some are made from chicken meat or chicken broth, intensified by adding flour and spices, and served with pastry instead of bread cooked with only flour, water, and salt. You can taste the tandoori (tandır) alongside your soup, too.


Cebic is another delicious food you can taste in Cappadocia although it belongs to city of Konya.

This popular delicacy is made from lamb meat, and is slow-cooked in a jug. It’s served over bulgur (boulgur) pilav. The satisfied gourmets advise tasting the most delicious cebiç season in September or fall when the lambs mature.

Urgup Meatball

Urgup Meatball, or Ürgüp Köftesi. If you want to savor a quick snack after a long excursion, go ahead and try the meatball – pita duo.

It is a traditional dish where potatoes are grated into minced meat, dipped in egg & flour, and then, finally, fried in oil. Only leave Cappadocia after eating this meatball!

Juicy Meatballs

Juicy Meatballs, or sulu kofte, is another unforgettable local taste of Cappadocia cooked in a pot. You can find this flavor in most of the restaurants throughout Nevşehir.

A list of ingredients, such as eggs, tomato paste, onion, parsley, butter, black pepper, chili pepper, salt, mint, cumin, and minced meat, are all added to the fine bulgur of Nevşehir, kneaded in a bowl, rolled in the size of a hazelnut, roasted in onion and salsa (tomato sauce), and finally cooked in boiled water.

Kayseri Ravioli

Kayseri Ravioli, or Kayseri Mantisi. Indeed, manti is one of the most well-known local dishes of Central Anatolia best known for its very small cover and juicy texture, and served with garlic yoghurt, tomato paste, and sumac.

The good news is that you can easily find this delicious treat in Cappadocia at the first restaurant you stop by.

Nevsehir Ravioli

Nevsehir Ravioli, or Nevsehir mantisi. Just like Kayseri ravioli, Nevşehir ravioli is another delicious treat made with chickpeas in its filling and presentation.

Folded in triangular shape, it’s a delicious example of food that blends chickpea with meat, leaving a pleasant taste in your palate. You must try with yogurt on top.

Divil Stuffed Quince

Divil Stuffed Quince is one of the traditional tastes of Cappadocia.

After carving out the quinces, they’re filled with a mixture of dough and minced meat, are then loaded into the tray, and cooked. The sour taste of quince adds a different flavor to the meat. It is a delicacy that you will never forget!

Stuffed Apricots

Stuffed Apricots are a dish unique to Nevşehir, prepared, just like how stuffed peppers are made.

As with many other Cappadocian dishes, sweet apricots stuffed with pieces of meat are cooked in pots, and they have a unique, slightly sour taste. It’s a flavor you must try when you visit Cappadocia.

Dügü Soup

Düğü Soup is both a delicious and very healthy Anatolian soup. The flavor emerging from the onion, oil, and tomato paste trio is delicious!

When a cup of finely ground bulgur is added to the trio alongside spices, this hearty delicacy will taste great, resulting in an exquisite taste that makes it legendary. If you want a light food after a long day, you’ll appreciate like this food very much. Don’t go back home without tasting it!

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers are prepared with zucchini flowers that are collected before sunrise. They are among the most tasted dishes; and you can eat them cold.

Pottery Beans

Pottery Beans, or Çömlek Fasulyesi, is another taste of Nevşehir. Dry beans are well-known in almost every province of Turkey.

But in Göreme, it’s cooked differently; with meat, pastrami, and sausage. This delicacy appeals to those who like dry beans. No matter what, this flavor will remain on your palate forever.

Stuffed Onions

Stuffed Onions are usually prepared just like stuffed zucchini or stuffed peppers, but using hollowed onions. You can eat it with or without minced meat.

If it is eaten with meat, consume it hot. If you prefer without meat but with olive oil, then you can eat it cold.

Pumpkin seeds

Nevşehir is famous for its pumpkin seeds roasted with milk that will satisfy your appetite. Grab some pumpkin seeds from some of the local bazaars there.

Pumpkin Seed Noodles

Noodles are one of the delicacies eaten as a side dish in Nevşehir, especially in the winter. Go ahead and have some.

Aside Dessert

Aside Dessert is among the famous and most practical tastes of Göreme, and it is originally from Kayseri.

This light dessert is prepared with flour, butter, and molasses, in pudding texture and consistency. Don’t forget to add this dessert to your food bucket list, and eat as much as you want, as it has no sugar!

Bulamac Dessert

Bulamaç Dessert, or Bulamac Tatlısı. To make your visit more enjoyable, we recommend having a bite of this exceptional flavor.

It’s prepared with water, flour, sugar, and butter. Afterward, oil and molasses are heated in a pan, and poured over it to provide an exquisite taste. Walnuts are added to the dessert after it’s cooled. Did you know that walnuts and molasses create an excellent taste together?

What better way to experience a culinary adventure in the region than a meal at one of the best restaurants in Cappadocia?

Book Your Balloon Ride

Below you can find our recommendations. Each company directly operates the hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia with their team of experts. So you will book your flight directly from the company. No men in the middle.

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Local Recommendations from Cappadocia4U team

If youʻre visiting Cappadocia for the first time, we have you covered. Below are some of the top recommendations, tours and experiences!

Some useful info

  • Cappadocia is the name of the region situated in the middle of Turkey. It is mostly known by the three popular towns of Goreme, Urgup and Uchisar but actually it is the name of the very big region spread through the cities of Nevsehir, Kirsehir, Nigde, Aksaray and Kayseri.
  • If you are first-time visitor, want to get familiar, please read our Cappadocia for first timers guide.
  • If you are not sure how to travel, please read our Traveling to Cappadocia guide.
  • If you don't know where to stay, please read our Where to Stay in Cappadocia guide for regions, and Accommodation guide for hotels.
  • If it is hard to plan your days, please read our Ideal 3-Days Cappadocia itinerary.

Top Attractions & Sights

There are 6 must do and see in Cappadocia that you won't want to miss!

  1. Hot Air Balloon Rides (the most exciting attractions in the world)
  2. Goreme Open Air Museum (some best-preserved examples of Byzantine rock-cut architecture and frescoes in the world)
  3. Pasabag Monks Valley (one of the most popular fairy chimneys areas)
  4. Uchisar Castle (highest point, the biggest fairy chimney)
  5. Derinkuyu Underground City (one of the largest underground cities in the world, 8th century BC)
  6. Ihlara Valley (fantastic canyon with a depth of about 100 mt. and 14 km. length)

Tip-1: One of the best ways to explore Cappadocia is by taking a sightseeing tour, so that you can cover all the top sights. Three main sightseeing tours available: Red Tour (covers the highlights of the region), Green Tour (best of natural and historical sites), and Blue Tour (lesser-known sights, off-the-beaten-path experience)

Tip-2: Private Tours are also good choice within a well-planned and custom itinerary along with a private vehicle, driver and professional guide. Great for those who don't have a car or don't know the region well.

For leisure activities we'd recommend 2 must-take attractions! Don't miss! Wine Tasting and Photo Shooting