If you’re looking for a taste of the local culture, certainly start with breakfast in Turkey. Traditional Turkish breakfast is known for its abundance with delicious and hearty breakfast dishes that will kickstart your day.
It can include several breakfast foods, such as olives, cheese, eggs with bread, and of course, Turkish tea.
However, in the modern busy day, not everyone has time for that. As such, there are also simple and light options for the typical breakfast in Turkey.
With access to a bunch of natural, local ingredients, Turkish breakfast have a lot to offer the hungry traveler.
Here are some of the most popular foods for breakfast in Turkey, so you can enjoy a traditional Turkish breakfast during your next visit to the country!
The Classic Turkish Breakfast
Kahvalti is THE classic Turkish breakfast consisting primarily of fresh cheeses like feta or cottage cheese; black, and green olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, fruit preserves, sweet butter, and rose jams.
The dishes are served on small plates, making a nice colorful Turkish breakfast platter. You’ll find these items with freshly baked, greasy white bread, cut into slices ready for consumption!
The magnificent meal is served alongside Turkish or black tea and sometimes other brews.
When there are more guests, hosts tend to expand this already grand Turkish breakfast with more middle east delicacies as we will see below. Most of these can even be a full Turkish breakfast themselves.
Pastries for Breakfast in Turkey
Pastries and bread form a big part of the typical Turkish breakfast diet. If you are looking for something simple yet satisfying, breakfast pastries are sure to hit the spot.
These flaky and delicious pastries often come with delicious stuffings. They can be both sweet or savory to satisfy your most important meal of the day. Most importantly, they go well with both coffee and tea!
Börek is a breakfast dish that is popular in Turkey. If you have read about dishes in the Balkans, this appears almost everywhere.
It is a savory pastry that is made with dough and filled with cheese, meats, vegetables, or fruits. The ingredients are usually wrapped in thin sheets of dough and then baked.
You can eat Börek as a main dish or a side dish. Extremely versatile puff pastry that is good for all occasions. Even for breakfast in Turkey.
When it comes to a classic Turkish breakfast in Gaziantep, Turkey’s gastronomic capital, it has to involve the famous Antep pistachios.
Katmer is a specialty originating from the city. It is almost like a sweet börek immersed in the fragrance of the finest pistachios.
It’s made from ingredients such as flour and sugar which are cooked together until solidified into delicate layers.
Fortunately, you can find this delicious treat in various parts of Turkey. Bakeries or cafes open early morning serving it for breakfast alongside tea with milk steamed up fresh every day!
Another popular breakfast dish in Turkey is Gözleme. This is a type of flatbread that is filled with either cheese, vegetables, or meat.
Gözleme is a breakfast dish that is popular in Turkey. It is a flatbread made by rolling a thin dough out on a flat surface, then filling it with cheese, vegetables, or meat.
The dough is then folded over the filling and grilled until cooked. Gözleme can be eaten hot or cold, and makes a great breakfast or snack. It’s a Turkish breakfast favorite if you’re looking for something hearty and satisfying.
Boyoz is a Turkish pastry that is from Sephardic Jewish in Izmir. Therefore, this is more popular as a traditional Turkish breakfast in Izmir, where they still prepare Boyoz with the original recipe.
It is a type of pastry that is made with flour, sunflower oil, and tahini. Boyoz can be filled with different things such as cheese, meat, or vegetables.
Boyoz is a bit on the oily side and thus goes better with a nice cup of Turkish tea or coffee to douse it down.
Pide is a type of Turkish flatbread that is popular for breakfast in Turkey. It is made with flour, salt, and water, and can be topped with various ingredients such as meats, vegetables, or cheeses.
Pide can be eaten plain or with a variety of toppings, and it is often served with black tea or coffee. Pide is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed at any time of the day, but it is most commonly eaten for breakfast in Turkey.
Bazlama is a typical Turkish breakfast pastry that is made out of dough. The dough is usually made out of flour, yeast, water, salt, and olive oil.
It can also include other ingredients such as cheese, eggs, or meat. Regardless, you want to spread butter on the top to make it way more sinful but tasty.
The Bazlama breakfast dish varies in shape and size but it is mostly round or oval-shaped. It can vary in range of thickness and has a crispy texture on the outside once it is cooked.
If you’re looking for a classic Turkish breakfast option while in Turkey, look no further than Simit.
This breakfast classic is a type of bagel with sesame seeds, that is toasted and then coated in molasses. It is basically turkey’s version of a bagel.
You can eat it solo or use it as a bagel sandwich. Enjoy it with cheese, black and green olives, fresh tomatoes, or cucumbers, whatever you like. This makes for a delicious and filling meal to start your day.
Açma is a breakfast dish in Turkish cuisine. It is made of thin, crispy dough that is twisted and baked or deep-fried.
The dough can be topped with cheese, za’atar, sesame seeds or honey before baking. Therefore, you get both sweet and savory options.
Açma is traditional breakfast for the Turkish people and common during Ramadan breakfast feast.
In modern Turkey, it’s eaten as a breakfast food by people who just want something light for breakfast such as daytime working professionals and students.
Poğaça is a quick breakfast option in Turkey for many Turkish people. It is a small pastry that has different fillings such as meat, feta cheese, potatoes, etc.
You will find this on sale in all pastry shops because it is that much of a typical Turkish breakfast option.
Each one is bite-size and easy to just eat on the go. You can sometimes find larger ones on offer too. As with any pastries, these taste best right out of the oven.
Savory Turkish Breakfast
If you are looking for more filling options, here are some dishes you can find in restaurants to enjoy an energizing Turkish breakfast before starting your day of exploration.
Mercimek çorbası is a lentil soup that is often eaten as breakfast in Turkey. It is a healthy and filling soup that is easy to make and can be enjoyed hot or cold.
The lentils are packed with nutrients and fiber, making it a great way to start the day. The soup can be spiced up with some chili peppers for added flavor, or served with some crusty bread for dipping.
Çilbir is an egg dish that consists of poached eggs mixed into creamy yogurt sauce, that includes garlic, paprika, and spices. If you are a fan of garlic flavored yogurt, this dish will make a nice and full Turkish breakfast.
Çilbir often served with bread slices and chopped tomatoes with lettuce leaves arranged around the edge of the plate. This is a classic in Turkish breakfast recipes.
Kıymalı Yumurta consists of fried eggs and ground minced meat cooked together in a pan and then topped off with tomato sauce, pepper paste, olive oil, and parsley.
This dish goes well with Turkish bread as it has some carbs for breakfast but not too much protein which could make you feel sluggish or full when eating breakfast in Turkey.
The spices from this traditional Turkish breakfast can give you a strong perk-me-up too!
Pastirma Yumurta is a dish that is popularly served in restaurants and cafes for breakfast in turkey.
It is a dish that combines two very popular breakfast items into one: eggs and pastrami to create a full Turkish breakfast.
The eggs are cooked to order and then the pastrami is added on top of it. The pastrami can be either grilled or fried, depending on your preference.
Some people also like to add feta cheese, tomatoes, or onions onto their Turkish breakfast plate for extra flavor.
Sucuklu Yumurta is a popular breakfast dish in Turkey. It is made with Sucuk, a type of Turkish sausage and eggs.
Sucuks are commonly ground beef meat spiced with various spices and half-dried. Therefore, the sausage is usually spicy.
The eggs are cooked together with the sausage, sucking up the same flavors. This breakfast dish is very hearty and filling, and it provides plenty of protein to start your day.
This is made in a pan on the stove, and it is usually served with some bread on the side to make a full meal.
Another breakfast favorite in Turkey is Boiled Eggs. These are simple and perfect if you’re looking for a light breakfast option. But this is sometimes too simple for foodies that like strong tastes.
So then you have Kızarmış Yumurta, fried boiled eggs. How can an egg be both fried and boiled at the same time?
This dish is essentially hard-boiled eggs that are then fried in a sauce of butter and select spices, that can include red pepper, thyme, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, or garlic.
This gives the boiled eggs a total facelift, transforming into a hard-hitting dish that goes well with vegetables and bread.
Dips and Spreads for Turkish Breakfast
Remember that traditional Turkish breakfast is an abundance of food items? Spreads and dips make up part of the equation for a full Turkish breakfast. I’m a huge fan of just having something to dunk into.
We already know eggs are kind of a popular food for breakfast in Turkey. How about an egg spread/dip. When it comes to food, there is nothing like the traditional Turkish spread known as Menemen.
This savory dish can be made with many different ingredients and versions. However, it will always contain a tomatoes sauce base mixed together with scrambled eggs and spices such as pepper or garlic!
It’s usually served as breakfast or brunch in Turkey. The most popular way to enjoy this rich turkish breakfast plate however comes without any accompaniment.
Simply scoop up all those tasty ingredients using pieces bread which has been liberally doused in olive oil at your table before eating them off together so you don’t miss even one drop.
Zeytin Ezmmesi is a breakfast staple in Turkish breakfast. This is essentially a black olive spread.
Zeytin Ezmmesi can be served with the bread as the main dish for breakfast, or it can be spread on toasted bread and served alongside other typical breakfast dishes such as fresh cheeses and eggs.
Zeytin Ezmmesi is good for you because it contains healthy fats from the black olives.
The traditional way to make Zeytin Ezmmesi is to use a mortar and pestle to mash the black olives into a paste, but you can also find it already made in stores.
If you want to make your breakfast more interesting, you can add different spices or herbs to the olive paste such as thyme.
A common breakfast option in the Black Sea region, Kuymak, is a traditional Turkish dish made from cornmeal and aged cheeses such as Trabzon or Kashar. It needs to be prepared and served warm.
The cheese is grated and added into the hot cornmeal, creating a gooey mess of yummy goodness. Almost like a melted cheese fondue.
The dish is usually topped with butter and Kayamak to enhance the taste. If you like cheesy, buttery stuff, this would be paradise.
You can also season it with cumin and red chili to give an extra kick, creating a different flavor profile.
One traditional Turkish breakfast dish which is also very popular in the modern world is Bal Kaymak. This is a side dish that is good for spreading unto bread or as a complement to other breakfast foods.
Kaymak is a clotted cream similar to butter but richer and denser due to its higher content of saturated fats and because it has not been churned before use. This is generously doused with Turkish honey to create Bal Kaymak a delicious side dish, and spread.
Some like to top it with pistachio crumbs and eat it individually like dessert.
Drinks in Turkish Breakfast
Turkish tea is a black tea that is popular in Turkey. It is made with leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant. The tea is often served with breakfast in Turkey.
The tea is prepared by boiling water and adding leaves to it. The leaves are then allowed to steep for a few minutes before being removed. The tea is then poured into glasses and often served with sugar and milk.
The tea is popular in Turkey because it is flavorful and versatile. It can be served hot or cold, and with or without sugar and milk.
Turkish coffee is a type of coffee that is popular in Turkey. It is made with coffee beans that are roasted and then ground. The coffee is boiled with water and sugar, and then served in a cup.
Turkish coffee is popular for breakfast in Turkey because it is flavorful and strong. The coffee beans are roasted and then ground to a fine powder, which gives the coffee its intense flavor. The sugar is also boiled with the coffee, which makes it sweet and syrupy.
Enjoying your breakfast in Turkey
Traditionally, breakfast in Turkey is not just a meal, it is a time for family members to sit down and enjoy the start of the day together with food.
Typical Turkish breakfast is a very diverse affair, it can be anything from a simple Börek to a plate full of Sucuklu Yumurta. It all depends on the region you are in and what your preferences are for breakfast.
If you are a morning person, you are definitely in for a treat with the food options you have for breakfast in Turkey.
No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re sure to find a delicious breakfast meal in Turkey that will start your day off right! So, next time you’re planning a trip to Turkey, prepare to eat some amazing food.
Remember not to blow all your appetite on breakfast. There is still much to be discovered from other amazing dishes in Turkish cuisine for lunch and dinner.