The 8 Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in Izmir, Turkey

Mediterranean diet
Mediterranean diet | © Moyan Brenn / Flickr
Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

Since Izmir is on the Aegean coast, it’s quite easy to find vegetarian-friendly food because of the region’s culinary focus on healthy and vegetable-and-herb-based dishes. From great meze varieties to specific vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants, check out these great venues for a meal sans meat.

1. Yaya Raw

Cafe, Turkish, American, Vegan, Vegetarian

Focusing on a very healthy lifestyle through the consumption of raw food (specifically fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains), Yaya Raw is the best place to get your hands on this very vegetarian- and vegan-friendly diet in Izmir. You’ll find cold pressed juices and smoothies, original dishes such as zucchini pasta with avocado pesto, and amazing desserts, including the raw vegan cake made with cacao and lemon.

2. Yaşam Vegan Cafe

Cafe, Turkish, Vegan, Vegetarian

One of the first of its kind to open in Izmir, Yaşam is a completely vegan-friendly restaurant that has a very creative menu. From vegan sucuk (Turkish sausage) to vegan mantı (Turkish-style ravioli), there’s plenty on the menu for a very Turkish spin on vegan cuisine.

3. Guna Mutfak

Cafe, Turkish, Vegan, Vegetarian

A beautiful café with a modern décor and colorful potted flowers, Guna’s focus is on healthy cuisine including many Aegean vegetable dishes. Featuring seasonal ingredients in their regularly changing menu, you’ll find lots of vegetarian-friendly options such as artichoke soup or purslane cooked with olive oil.

4. Karşıyaka Meze Evi

Restaurant, Turkish, Vegetarian

One of the best places in Izmir to try out Aegean meze varieties, Karşıyaka Meze Evi has an impressive assortment of vegetarian dishes. From the lahana sarması (cabbage roll filled with rice) to the kuru patlıcan (dried aubergine) with pomegranate syrup, you might end up trying a little bit of everything.

5. Café Eli

Cafe, Turkish, Vegan, Vegetarian

You’ll definitely recognize this laid-back restaurant because of all the colorful graffiti on the walls. Vegan- and vegetarian-friendly, Café Eli has great dishes such as the favorite vegan iskender and köfte, two classic Turkish dishes usually made with döner or minced meat.

6. Vejeteryan Sakız Lokantası

Restaurant, Turkish, Vegetarian

This restaurant focuses solely on Mediterranean and Aegean cuisine, and apart from the meat and fish options, there are lots of vegetarian-friendly dishes. Try one of the many Aegean mezes, such as the local cibes herb roasted, broad bean purée, or braised aubergine (among many others).

7. Gözlemecim

Restaurant, Turkish, Vegetarian

One of the best places to get gözleme in town, at Gözlemecim, you can ask for the thin hand-rolled pastry cooked on a griddle with a vegetarian-friendly filling. You’ll also have a lot to choose from, by the way, because the restaurant is known for having 700 different kinds of gözleme.

8. Vegetables FOOD

Restaurant, Turkish, American, Vegetarian

Vegetables FOOD is a fast food restaurant for vegetarians who like to stray from their healthy diets once in a while. On their menu, you’ll find vegan burgers, vegan lahmacun, vegetarian pizzas, falafel and lots of fries and onion rings on the side.

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