Click here and here to learn about 20 other Cappadocia restaurants.
As with the other lists, these are Cappadocia restaurants that I go to and am eager to recommend. I have no commercial relationship with any of them, i.e. I get nothing for recommending these Cappadocia restaurants here.
1. Ziggy Cafe & Restaurant (Ürgüp)
I agree with many of my friends who say this is the best restaurant in Cappadocia. The Ember Grilled Aubergines (eggplant for you Americans) are blow your head off good. The Shepherd’s Salad (pictured above) was both beautiful and delicious and the Beef Tortellini was dynamite. We enjoyed everything we tasted. If this was all, Ziggys would be at the top of the list, but when you add the cozy atmosphere with exquisite settings and unique decorations along with the eclectic gift shop, this is an experience worth having. If you order wine, expect to spend 40-50TL per person.
Address: Yunak Mahallesi
Tevfik Fikret Cad. #24
2. Fat Boys Bar & Cafe Restaurant (Göreme)
Going from the sublime to the deliciously ridiculous, we head to the center of Göreme directly behind the bus station for Turkish – Australian cuisine (the owner, Yilmaz, is a local Turkish man and Angela is his Australian wife) and a game of pool. During the warmer months you can enjoy your meal outside lounging on cushions, but during the cold seasons you must sit in the darker bar-like confines facing the big screen TV, the bar, or the pool table. While you are waiting you can play one of the board games readily available on different tables. But do not let any of this give you the mistazken impression that the food is not important. From sausage rolls to cheese and mushroom rolls, from nachos to more traditional Turkish dishes and even vegemite for you homesick Australians, you will find something you enjoy here. Expect to spend 15-30TL per person.
3. Di Monza (Nevşehir)
This is a favorite date night destination for Laurie and I. If you are near the Forum Mall in Nevşehir and looking for something a step removed from the normal Turkish dishes, I heartily recommend Di Monza. We love the steak wraps and the quesadillas, and as you can see, this is a place we go when we need to break out of the Turkish routine. If you are only here for a couple of days, you probably want to stick with more traditional places. However, if you have been traveling for a couple of weeks and need something a bit more familiar, Di Monza would be a good choice. One last note, do not order the waffle dessert as it does not resemble the picture in the menu in the least. Expect to spend 20-30 TL per person.
4. Saray Simit (Aksaray)
An hour southwest of Nevşehir on the Ankara road you are in the nondescript city of Aksaray. Although considered part of Cappadocia, most of Aksaray’s historical sites (like the Ihlara Valley) are quite removed from the town. Personally, I enjoy the town and recommend a visit if only to see what a smaller (non-touristy) Turkish city is like. If you do make it to the center of town, I recommend the Saray Simit. A nice modern feel with excellent service, this bakery offers a wide selection of Turkish breads and pastries at reasonable prices. I have not found a similar bakery in all of Cappadocia.
5. Şark Köşesi (Kirşehir)
Head an hour north and you hit Kirşehir, a town similar to Aksaray, except with a noticeable lack of curiosity. Kirşehir is the only smaller city I have visited in Turkey in which the local people showed no interest in the fact that a foreigner was there. Normally people at least look at me and often want to practice the few words of English (or German) they know but not in Kirşehir. I could not have been less noticed if I was invisible. In spite of that (or maybe because of it) I recommend a visit to this historic town. My favorite part of the town is the ancient Madrassa in the center of town with signs indicating that the pointy corner towers showed that the architect predicted rockets would one day enter outer space. But if you walk across the street from this 800 year old place of worship and education you can enter one of the coolest cafes in Cappadocia. Go through the glass door and downstairs and you will be transported back 100 years. Sit in one of the sofa-like seats, play backgammon, drink tea and eat some out-of-this-world Gözleme, which is similar to a quesadilla except with white cheese and your choice of potatoes, spinach, eggplant, ground beef or a combination. All of this including the lavaş, think huge tortilla, are homemade right in front of you by two women who sit by the fire all day rolling out the flat bread (see woman in photo below). This is a truly unique Turkish experience and one that is definitely worth the hour drive. I have been a few times and it is always packed. Expect to spend 10-15TL per person.
Mini Çarşı Altı Akbank Yanı
6. Sofra Restaurant (Zelve Hotel)(Avanos)
In the center of Avanos facing the town hall sits the Zelve Hotel and Sofra Restaurant. I eat breakfast here with two friends every Friday morning and am pleased with the food and service. They serve a traditional Turkish menu (all three meals) and even have cool place mats if you know some Turkish. I recommend the Sofra Kebab, which is basically a chicken Testi Kebab. They describe it as “Chicken, tomato, mushroom, pepper, and cheese in a clay pot”. If you are looking for a nice Turkish meal in Avanos, the Sofra Restaurant is a good choice. Expect to spend 15 – 25TL per person.
7. Nazar Börek Cafe (Göreme)
Turkish börek is one of those dishes that you either love or hate; I love it. White cheese stuffed between paper thin pastry sheets, either wet or dry, and baked. This cafe serves different kinds of börek along with a long list of salads, soups, and sandwiches. If you are looking for a good lunch in Göreme, you will be hard pressed to find a better one. Expect to spend about 10TL per person.
8. Mado (Avanos)
This newly opened “hip” franchise sits on the river bank with a wonderful view of Avanos and its towering mosque. This is the perfect place for soups, salads, sandwiches, sweet treats, and expensive ice cream. This is a great place to take a break, eat lunch or a treat and watch life go by in Avanos. The service is excellent, the view is beautiful, the food is tasty- add a good friend, and you will not find a better spot in Avanos. Expect to spend 10-20TL per person if you order food and not just ice cream.
Avanos (on the river)
9. Pideci (Nevşehir)
When I was young and with my family on vacation in Florida, my dad’s main rule for restaurants was, “Go where the locals go.” We would scan for crowds as we drove down the avenues looking for the local hangouts. If that is your motto, then the Pideci on the main drag between the Ziraat Bank and the Municipality building is the place for you. I was in Nevşehir for some business the other day at lunchtime and saw this place. I went in to order a pide and was surprised to see that half the city had the same idea. The service was quick, the pide was excellent, and the price was local (4TL instead of 6TL or 8TL at the touristy places). Check it out if you are in Nevşehir and looking for a local hangout. When my dad visits, I will definitely take him there. Expect to spend 5-7TL per person.
10. Merkez Pastaneleri (Ürgüp)
Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, and you are in Ürgüp, than the place to go is this sit down sweet shop right across the street from the Bim market. Baklava, eclaires, cookies, chocolate bananas, ice cream and more, plus they serve a nice Turkish breakfast. I have been here a couple of times and have not been disappointed.
Which of these Cappadocia restaurants interests you the most?
P.S. Did I use the keyword “Cappadocia restaurant” too many times? I hope it was not too obnoxious! I am still learning how to master this SEO thing.
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