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What am I thinking picking 10 Cappadocia restaurants out of the hundreds of possibilities? I have been accused of arrogance in my day, but not even I will go so far as to claim these are the best 10 eating establishments in Cappadocia. Consider this the first of many Cappadocia restaurant posts.
So what is the point of this post? I am glad you asked. Below you will find 10 central Cappadocia restaurants in the serving a variety of foods covering most price ranges. I have divided them into three categories. “Fancy” are nicer and more expensive, the kind of places I would go on a nice date with my wife. “Family” places are medium range in terms of price and would be more comfortable for children. The “fast food” places are cheap and easy for eating in or taking out. Think Turkish food, not Burger King.
Hopefully you will have proper expectations from my description, and I guarantee that nine out of 10 times you will be happy with the experience at each of these places. How’s that?
1. Seten Restaurant: Anatolian Cuisine – (Göreme) Definitely the nicest spot on the list in terms of atmosphere and mood. Enjoy gourmet dishes with wonderful service. Expect to pay 20-30TL or more for an entree plus around 10TL for salads and the same for an appetizer. A glass of wine will be about 12TL. To arrive here you must go through Göreme and up the hill past the Kelebek Hotel.
Aydınlı Mahç Aydınlı Sokak No 42
2. Bizim Ev – (Avanos) Cross the bridge into Avanos and go straight up the hill. A unique, museum-like atmosphere with only a few tables. The food is reasonably priced and delicious. I highly recommend the Patlican (eggplant/aubergine) salad. An interesting twist from the normal Turkish salad. It was a joy to my taste buds. Expect to pay 20-30TL per person, more if you get wine.
Orta Mah. Baklacı Sk #1
3. Old Greek House – (Mustafapaşa) Go through the center of Mustafapaşa, stay on the road to the left, follow the signs, and you will come to this beautiful, old house. The architecture is striking, and you should ask for a tour if Süleyman, the owner, is around. The four course set menus at 30-40TL are a good value. I could not finish my meal. The side dishes were unique and delicious. I highly recommend the Old Greek House for a nice evening out.
4. Aydede – (Göreme & Avanos) Two locations: One in Göreme on the left as you head out of town towards Avanos and the second on the left as you approach Avanos at the traffic circle across from the MOil gas station. Expect a nice atmosphere with a set four course menu that runs 25-30TL. Choose between chicken, beef and fish. The appetizers are delightful; the dessert leaves a little to be desired, but I am not a big fan of Turkish desserts (although I love the baked delicacies which are usually not available at restaurants).
Avcılar Mah. Bilal Eroğlu Cd #33
5. Dayının Yeri - (Avanos) On the other side of the bridge in Avanos you will find one of our family favorites. Comfortable seating with friendly waiters in a good location. The appetizers are wonderful but be sure to ask the price, if you care, as we have found the experience to be a bit confusing. They bring out a bunch of plates and start setting them on the table as if they are all part of the meal. Only later do you find out that you are paying 50TL more than you expected. Forewarned is forearmed so now you can fully enjoy your meal. Their grilled onions and garlic covered in pomegranate sauce is “blow your head” off good and our kids are always asking about the mushrooms covered in melted cheese. Expect to pay around 10TL for an entree, give or take a few TL.
Taş Köprü Başı (head of the stone bridge)
6. Sofra Restaurant – (Ürgüp) Right next to the Yapı Kredi bank in Ürgüp, this cafe serves good Turkish food at reasonable prices. It is very basic and not the most memorable place, but we were pleased with our meal. If you are in Ürgüp and looking for something simple and tasty, check it out. Again expect to pay 8-10TL for an entree.
Kayseri Cad. #25 (next to Yapi Kredi Bank)
7. World of Kebab - (Çavuşin) Full disclosure: This belongs to the family of our landlords. Regardless, this renovated cave restaurant is run by nice folks who serve delicious kebab and salads in a unique environment. From the outside you could never guess what you will find upon entering the former cave/barn. It is located directly past the main square in Çavuşin on the left. Expect to pay 10-12TL for an entree.
8. Lale Pide - (Avanos) Located right in the center of Avanos, they serve kebab and soup as well as what my friend says is the best pide in Cappadocia. The feel is very local, the atmosphere is simple and your meal will not empty your wallet. Expect to pay 8-12TL for your meal.
Avanos (center of town)
9. Seten pide – (Ortahısar) A little off the main square in Ortahısar, these brothers serve scrumptuous pide (Turkish pizza) at a reasonable price. If you are looking for a place that does not cater to tourists, this is the one. The prices are 25% – 50% of the normal Cappadocia pide cafe. (Note: This is not related to the Seten Restaurant listed above.)
Selimbey Cad. #29
10. Köşem Döner – (Avanos) Diagonally across from the big mosque on the corner you will find the least expensive meal from two of the nicest men in Cappadocia. The deliciously filling chicken döner wrapped in a tortilla is only 2TL- my favorite Turkish fast food. Hasan and his partner (ask him about getting married at age 15) have great stories to tell and know a little English. If you are looking for fast, cheap, and tasty, with good conversation thrown in, you will have trouble finding something better than this.
Merkez Camii Karşısı (across from the central mosque)
Enjoy and let us know what you think.
What is your favorite restaurant in Cappadocia?
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