Vegetarian Turkish Food

When one thinks about Turkish Food, meat usually is the first thing that comes to our mind. They are famous for their kebabs, doners… but Turkish food is much more than that and I believe it is a paradise for vegetarians. Here are the most common Meatless and Fishless dishes.

Breakfast and Snacks

Kahvalti: Turkish Breakfast consists in several bread spreads, cheeses, jams, vegetables… it may come with a bit of ham but you don’t need to eat that. It’s also normal to have borek and eggs. And tea, lots of tea.

Simit and pastries: Most bakeries offer a wide range of simple pastries or stuffed versions. Usually the fillings are cheese (kaşar), potato or meat (et).

Menemen: the equivalent of a scrambled egg casserole baked with onion, tomato, and green pepper. Melting cheese on top is always a bonus. Normally eaten for breakfast.


Zeytinyagli Dolma (Stuffed Grape Leaves): grape leaves stuffed with rice that has been seasoned with olive oil and herbs. Be careful- these frequently contain meat, so make sure to request them without when ordering them.

Çiğ köfte: is typically served as a vegetarian appetizer in restaurants. If you order the double amount it easily becomes an incredibly filling meal. This is one of the ultimate favorite Turkish Foods Gözleme: the Turkish version of a savory crepe. We recommend spinach, cheese, or (even better) spinach AND cheese. Potato is sometimes available, as well.

Kumpir: the ultimate loaded baked potato. You can choose as many toppings as you want from a diverse buffet. Ortakoy is the best place to have one.


Freshly Squeezed Pomegranate Juice: street vendors press the juice of three full pomegranates into a cup, giving you a tart, yet refreshing, beverage for only 3 lira.

Pickle Juice: extremely acidic liquid used in the pickling of vegetables, NOT to be confused with sweet pickle juice. Don’t let the alluring bright pink appearance fool you: it has a very intense and in-your-face flavor that is definitely an acquired taste. If you are brave enough, try it.