Eating out in Cappadocia (Best Places to Eat & Drink + Advice)

For travelers looking to explore the unique flavors of Cappadocia cuisine while eating out in Cappadocia, there is no shortage of exciting dishes to sample. Cappadocia offers variety of dining opportunities to its visitors from traditional tastes of central Anatolia such as lamb dinner (testi kebab) served at the popular cave restaurants in very authentic ambiance to Turkish, International, Mediterranean & Indian cuisine.

Cappadocia has managed to be honored not only by its magnificent postcard-like fairy tale land but also by its local dishes. In this epicurean hub, you can find countless deliciously harmonized culinary cultures blended in the most beautiful way possible.

Suppose you’re a first-time visitor looking for culinary comparisons and wondering where to eat. In that case, we must confess that Cappadocia has a unique food style and many restaurants. The eateries that have been around for many decades and new ones are ready to display their endless array of local cuisines with a sit-down or takeaway meal experience.

Mouthwatering plates of food are awaiting you right in Cappadocia, regardless of the season!

Traditional Tastes

While numerous restaurants offer international cuisine, we recommend sampling some dishes from Central Anatolian cuisine, a modern showcase of traditional skill.

Traditional favorites like manti, a type of dumpling filled with spiced beef or lamb, is served with a drizzle of garlic yoghurt sauce and a sprinkle of fresh herbs for extra flavor.

Another popular dish, karniyarik—or “stuffed eggplant”—is bursting with local ingredients such as ground beef, onion, tomato and dried zestandere.

In addition to meat-based dishes, visitors can try a variety of lighter fare that are prepared using fresh vegetables and herbs. In addition to its kebabs, taste the dishes that have not infiltrated the city life, such as stuffed quince, kombe, and sizgit.

From stuffed tomatoes to roasted mushrooms in olive oil and thyme or cottage cheese with honey spoon sweets—there’s something enjoyable for everyone in this vibrant culinary destination.

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

Whether it’s sampling regional specialties or exploring the wide array of freshly-baked breads topped with regional spices–a gastronomic tour through Cappadocia is sure to leave lasting memories of delicious food.

Travelers may also eat fish and mezes at the popular restaurants set on the banks of the Red River (Kizilirmak). The dessert named “Asede”, roasted flour and butter, mixed with sugar and egg and cooked with water or milk on low fire, is a popular traditional dessert in Cappadocia.

Must-Taste Food

You can taste the cuisine of central Anatolia with many restaurants, local bazaars, the cutest cafes, and more dotted around the city. But you must know a few things about it before learning to love it. You don’t need to spend a fortune to enjoy it. Whether you fancy traditional Turkish cuisine or wine, you will find something according to your appetite!

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)!

Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and try unique eats!

Testi Kebab

The traditional lamb dish named“testi kebab”which means“pottery kebab”is the most renown dish in the Cappadocia region. This lamb dish is made with lamb and vegetables like aubergine and potato that are put inside a pot (pot’s mouth is closed with dough) and than cooked about 2 hrs.

The Cappadocia’s rich culture is seen in its delicious slow-cooked testi kebab, the most famous food of Cappadocia, accompanied by vegetables in Avanos pots. It usually takes 2 hours to prepare this yummy testi kebab, which has an excellent presentation. Once the pot is placed on the table, the waiter breaks it and serves it. Remember to experience this dish once you’re there.

Urgup meatballs

The Urgup meatballs are made with potatoes, which is a bit different from the meatballs you may have eaten until now, don’t forget to taste this delicacy!

Kayseri ravioli (manti)

There are loads of great eateries where you can taste the famous tiny ravioli (Kayseri mantis)—one of the local cuisines you must try. You surely won’t be disappointed!

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!

Wanna learn more about the Local Dishes and Flavors of Cappadocia?

Dried Fruits

We recommend you taste and buy from the variety of different types of dried fruits such as pear, mulberry, strawberry, pineapple, pepino and kiwi that are all create a riot of colors and attract guests. You are able to find them at the tourist zones, especially in Uchisar and Ortahisar towns.


Majority of the touristic restaurants in Cappadocia are cave restaurants designed to be carved into the rocks. We recommend you to have a dinner in these restaurants that reflect the authentic structure of the region.

A Cave Restaurant

Find out the best Cappadocia restaurants

Wineries and Wines

Explore Cappadocia’s wines, too, and don’t fly back home without trying the classic local Turasan wines. The local winemakers are waiting for you in the heart of Cappadocia to share with you the secrets of the regional wines with a fantastic wine tasting day out.

Want to know the tidbits about “How is wine tested?” and learn more about its quality with confidence? Then, you’re on the right page! Doing it in the magical Cappadocia area, blended with culture, history, art, and many more perks, will give you unforgettable memories you will carry all your life.

Wanna learn more about wineries in Cappadocia? >>

Wanna learn more about wine tasting for a day in Cappadocia? >>

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Gourmet Tour & Cooking Class for a Day

Through Gourmet Tour & Cooking Class for a Day in Cappadocia, you’ll feel the incredible balance between the fabulous traditional food and the fascinating history of Cappadocia, heading back to your hotel after a unique and unforgettable experience.

This food tour is an authentic opportunity to find out why Cappadocia is so unique in the hearts of its visitors. Like other cities in Turkey, Cappadocia has its ethnic cuisines with exotic flavors. Cappadocia’s kitchen is based on the cuisine prepared in Central Anatolian of Turkey, with legumes, vegetables, and red meat, which will stay on your palate for a long time.

Wanna learn more about gourmet tour & cooking class in Cappadocia? >>

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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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Related Reading

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