Three weeks ago I was in beautiful Istanbul and Cappadokia and I really loved my stay there. Besides the stunning buildings, friendly people and unique landscape, I really loved all the delicious meals my boyfriend and I enjoyed. As some of you might already know from my previous Food Diaries (click here to check them out) I am vegetarian, but most of the time, I follow a vegan diet/lifestyle mainly because of ethical and health reasons. With this post I wanna share my favourite vegetarian and vegan meals you can enjoy during your stay in Turkey.
First of all, traditional turkish food is mainly based on meat. However, there are several typical vegetarian and also vegan dishes and otherwise you can always ask if they can leave out the meat or cheese. In every restaurant you get fresh bread and spicey dips made of eggplant for free.
Another typical dish is pide. It is like a turkish pizza, which you can order with meat or just with vegetables, what we did. If you want to have it vegan, then just ask if they can leave out the cheese (we never had a problem with it).
My favourite meal was the vegetarian casserole which is served in a bowl made out of stone. Normally, it comes fresh out of the oven and is often served with rice. As a side dish I can recommend eggplant fritters or a couscous salad, often topped with different kind of nuts.
I have tried stuffed wine leaves once in a greek restaurant but I did not liked them that much. However, when I tried them in nice restaurant in Istanbul I loved them and now I really want to try to make them by myself soon.
I guess most you have already tried the typical vegan dessert Baklava. Although, it is not vegan as dairy and eggs are used, if you do not follow a strict vegan diet, you will get it basically around every corner in Turkey. The typical one is made with nuts and honey, but they also have sorts made out of chocolate or fruits.
Another dessert is a cold rice pudding. It is also not vegan but really good!
If you crave something sweet but vegan, I can recommend you to go to a bazaar and buy some delicious dates or other dried fruits. To be honest, I have never tried such delicious dates before and luckily, I could take some home with me.
For sure, you should also try turkish delight. They offer it in many different sorts and yes, some of them are also vegan (but you should always ask the seller for detail information).
Whatever you decide to eat, you have to try turkish tea. Most of the time you will get it for free after dinner and eventhough, it is quite bitter first, it gets better and better, so make sure to give it a try.
I hope you liked this food diary, eventhough I did not recommend any restaurants this time. All in all, I am convinced that Turkey is a really great place to find delicious vegetarian and vegan options. If you plan to visit Turkey, maybe you want to check out my travel diary about my stay in Istanbul and Cappadokia (click the link here).
Love & Light,