A traditional Turkish breakfast is the ultimate way to start the day. While offerings vary, dishes are always plentiful and meant to be shared, ensuring that the occasion is enjoyed with the right amount of luxurious leisure.
Top 7 must-try dishes
Beyaz peynir, semi-hard, mixed-milk, brine-washed cheese is a Turkish staple. A proper Turkish breakfast cannot be contemplated without it.
Like cheese, a Turkish breakfast without olives is considered incomplete. As Turkey is in the top 10 olive producers in the world, there are dozens of different kinds to choose from.
Bal and kaymak—honey and rich, clotted cream—is the definitive, and irresistible Turkish breakfast treat. This gooey delight spread on bread is a divine way to start the day. Click to learn more about kaymak, Turkey’s crème de la crème.
Menemen is a Turkish breakfast classic made with scrambled eggs, red and green peppers, tomatoes, and onions.
Rather than bacon, Turks prefer slices of sucuk—a garlicky beef sausage, flavored with spices, served grilled or fried, often as a breakfast accompaniment with fried eggs.
Reduction of fruits into pekmez—rich, dark, sticky molasses—is predominantly an Eastern Mediterranean practice, and a luscious way to conclude a breakfast.
A kind of yeasted flatbread, bazlama is served on the breakfast table instead of, or alongside, traditional bread. You can either cut this puffy, single-layered bread in half and stuff it with breakfast essentials, or dip it into dishes such as menemen.
Top 7 Turkish breakfast places in Istanbul
Just a short walk from Galata Tower, Bakkal goes above and beyond the Turkish breakfast basics. With discreet outdoor tables, and a setting keeping you away from the neighborhood’s hustle and bustle, it stays ahead of its local competitors. İlk Belediye Caddesi No.4, Beyoğlu; T: 0532 337 55 33
Originating in the coastal town of Çeşme, Bazlama Kahvaltı in Nişantaşı is one of those popular spots where no one ever complaints about the queue. The opulence of fresh, homemade items is well worth the wait. Reservations not accepted. Osman F. Seden Sokak No.8, Teşvikiye, and Ahmet Fetgari Sokak No. 40A; T: 0541 229 52 62
Emirgan Sütiş has been a local breakfast trademark since 1953, offering traditional dishes alongside a view of the Bosphorus in the background. Sakıp Sabancı Caddesi No.46, Emirgan; T: (0212) 323 50 30; or find other branches on sutis.com.tr
Naga Putrika is a secluded, cozy place which is great for weekend breakfastsin , serving six different breakfast spread options daily until 5pm. Moda Caddesi No. 161/A, Moda; T: (0216) 337 99 62
Namlı Gurme in Karaköy is a local classic and a great place to start your affair with Turkish breakfasts. You can prepare your own spread, filled with anything your heart desires. Rıhtım Caddesi No.1/1, Karaköy; T: (0212) 293 68 80
Kale Café & Restaurant stands out among similar joints in the popular breakfast area of Rumeli Hisarı with a rich selection of olives, cheeses, eggs, pastries, and gözleme, among other delights. Yahya Kemal Caddesi No.10, Rumeli Hisarı; T: (0212) 265 00 97
Cihangir’s best-known breakfast spot, Van Kahvaltı Evi offers local and regional specialties from Van, a city in the east of Turkey particularly renowned for its breakfasts. Defterdar Yokuşu No.52/A, Cihangir; T: (0212) 293 64 37