Turkey’s cities pulse with energy and urban flair. The country is vibrant, modern and, yes, the economy is enjoying an unprecedented growth spurt. Whether you are coming to Cappadocia for the freaky landscapes, the fascinating history, and/or the culinary delights, you will not be disappointed. We moved here in 2011 and have only touched the surface of what this region has to offer. Of course, most people are not able to hang out indefinitely so let me give you the must-do activities and share some of our favorite dining experiences.

by Duke Dillard (Cappadocia Blogger for


Between all those activities you will have to eat. The biggest dilemma will be choosing what and where. I can give you some advice but the truth is, it is hard to go wrong. The most famous local dish is the Testi Kebap, cooked in a testi which is a pear-shaped pot.

Avanos is the pottery hub due to the red clay found near the Kızıl Irmak (Red River). For centuries, the locals have been using various locally made pots to cook their daily meals. All of these dishes are available in the local restaurants but the Testi Kebap (see the video!) is the most popular with a mix of beef chunks, vegetables, and spices locked in the testi and cooked for over 2 hours. Served hot and delicious with salad, rice, and pide bread, it is a delight.

But this is just the first course of dishes to try in Cappadocia. For the gourmets out there, Ziggy's and Muti in Ürgüp and Seten in Göreme are the creme de la creme. For a unique experience Fat Boys in Göreme with their Australian-Turkish fusion and the House of Dreams in Uçhisar with the serenading chef are reasonably priced and tasty. If you are looking for a good cup of specialty coffee or a nice lunch try Nazar Börek, Cafe Şafak, or Mydonose in Göreme as well. For an authentic village experience, make reservations at the Babayan Village House in Ibrahimpaşa- unforgettable. And if you want to act like an insider, ask for the Prenses Kebap (not on the menu) at Kapadokya Sofrası in Avanos.

To close out your time in the region, you should try the Sultan Honey Bread at Lale Pide & Kebap in Avanos. According to the owner, nobody else in Turkey makes it. And of course, you cannot leave Cappadocia without locally grown and prepared Kuruyemiş (go to Yörem) as well as a bottle of local wine (Turasan and Kocabağ are both excellent) both found in Ürgüp.  These experiences should satisfy every taste and allow you to leave Cappadocia a few pounds heavier than when you arrived!

This article and the video are parts of a contribution by Duke Dillard, and “Captivating Cappadocia” website and the photograph is a contribution by the Turkish Tourism Office and were published with permission. Like all work on Foods of Turkey web site, the content is under copyright protection. 

We thank Duke for his efforts in introducing the wonders of this region to the world. Keep up the good work and thanks!