Turkey: Where and What I Ate in Cappadocia | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Dec 14, 2015

Turkey: Where and What I Ate in Cappadocia


Whenever we travel, deciding where to eat is just as important as choosing which tourist attraction to visit and to skip. It may be too obsessive-compulsive, but it pays to do a little research on food especially if you're too keen on your travel budget, or if you're simply a foodie who doesn't want to miss the town's specialty.

With only three days to eat my way around the town of Goreme, I wrote down two restaurants to tick off on my travel list and the rest of the meals I left for some surprises along the road. Here are the foodie spots I discovered in Cappadocia:    

My Foodie Destinations in Cappadocia
My Foodie Destinations in Cappadocia

   
Keyif Cafe and Restaurant
Ed and I could easily pick a restaurant in the town center on our first night in Goreme, but we chose to walk in the dimly lit path to a little cafe known for traditional pottery kebabs. Cafe Keyif caught my attention at my go-to travel site, Tripadvisor. It's currently #3 out of 91 restaurants in Goreme.

As recommended by most travelers, Ed had the beef pottery kebab - a piping hot and deliciously good Turkish stew, cooked and served in a clay pot. I had a chicken doner kebab - a plate of flavorful chicken meat slices, generous portion of salad on the side and tiny cup of pilav (Turkish rice dish). 

The service was wonderful; friendly and surprisingly fast as only two people manned the restaurant that night. An extra cup of rice was offered when we said the serving is too little for our Asian stomachs. We NEED rice! Hahah! And an assistance was given when we needed directions to our hotel. 

Price? Very reasonable. Dinner of two at Cafe Keyif only took 50 Turkish Lira off our travel budget.

Cafe Keyif Testi Kebab
Cafe Keyif's best selling Testi Kebab
traditional Turkish stew in a clay pot
traditional Turkish stew in a clay pot
Cafe Keyif Doner Kebab
generous serving of chicken doner kebab


Topdeck Cave Restaurant
Topdeck is the restaurant on top of everyone's list. It is so popular that prior reservation is much needed, and prior means a couple of days before! We placed our dinner reservation on our first day in Cappadocia, but only managed to secure a table on our last night.

During our dinner, Ed and I were the first guests to arrive at Topdeck Cave Restaurant. We were actually 15 minutes ahead of our reservation, but we tried our luck as we had a night bus to catch. It is a small cozy restaurant inside a cave. It is family-run, hence service is polite and very friendly. 

Menu is not extensive as the chef only prepares four main dishes (beef, chicken, lamb, vegetarian) for the day. We were not spoilt for choice in this restaurant, but were treated to a warm and authentic local cuisine. Ed and I shared a medium plate of mix mezze; I personally loved the stuffed vine leaves and the eggplant dishes. We also shared a beef main dish and a rice pudding for dessert. 

Sharing is the key at Topdeck as portions are sufficient for two. Thus, we only spent 70 Turkish Lira for a three-course dinner. 

Topdeck Cave Restaurant
Topdeck Cave Restaurant
Topdeck Cave Restaurant mix mezze
medium plate mix mezze, wine for Ed, apple tea for me 
Topdeck's beef main dish for the day
Topdeck's beef main dish for the day 
inside Topdeck Cave Restaurant
Topdeck Cave Restaurant at 5:30 pm - all tables topped with RESERVED sign


Cappadocia Pide House
We stumbled across Cappadocia Pide House when we were searching for a place to have a quick bite before we hiked to Sunset Point. I haven't heard nor read about the restaurant before, but we gave it a go when we saw a few of diners. Compared to other restaurants which were empty that afternoon, I guess it was the safest choice. 

Prices are affordable, most food items are below 15 Turkish Lira. We had a light and healthy Aubergine Salad and a filling Cheese with Mushroom Pide. All these along with two glasses of Apple tea costed us only 26 Turkish Lira. Cappadocia Pide House is not really remarkable, but certainly a good option.

Cappadocia Pide House
Cappadocia Pide House
Aubergine Salad
Aubergine Salad
Cheese and Mushroom Pide
Cheese and Mushroom Pide


Kelebek Special Cave Restaurant
The moment we saw how beautiful the restaurant is at our cave hotel, Ed and I made a pact that we should have a meal other than breakfast in its cozy nook. So, one night, we decided to have our dinner in the lovely restaurant which is conveniently less than a hundred steps away from our cave room.

Complimentary bread with three types of mezze and two glasses of apple tea were served promptly. Ed ordered Shish Tawook, and I, knowing how massive the serving size would be chose Circassian chicken from the list of mezze. We both loved the shish tawook; it's perfectly marinated and grilled. The Circassian chicken, on the other hand, turned out to be strange for us. It's actually a wholesome dish made of chicken and walnut, but for first timers, it's simply exotic for our tastebuds.

As guests at Kelebek Special Cave Hotel, we only paid 40 Turkish Lira for our dinner. Apple tea and coffee are offered to hotel guests for free at anytime of the day.       

Kelebek Special Cave Hotel restaurant
Kelebek Special Cave Hotel restaurant
Lady at Kelebek restaurant
complimentary bread, mezze and apple tea
the tasty Shish Tawook
the tasty Shish Tawook
Circassian Chicken at Kelebek
Circassian Chicken

For more foodie travel tales, check out the breakfast that we had at Kelebek's Hidden Kings Valley and our lunch at Soganli Valley which was a part of our Cappadocia Undiscovered Tour. 




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