10 Dishes You Need to Try When You're in Ankara, Turkey

Adana Kebab | © Anatolianpride / WikiCommons
Adana Kebab | © Anatolianpride / WikiCommons

As Turkey’s capital city, Ankara has plenty of amazing dishes that need to be devoured with utmost joy when you’re in town. From traditional kebab to utterly sweet desserts, take note of these essential edible experiences for your upcoming trip.

Döner at Süha’nın Yeri

The claim to fame at Süha’nın Yeri is the delicious döner cooked over a wood fire, which imbues the meat with exceptional taste. It’s a great place for a casual lunch where you’ll get an excellent döner sandwich accompanied by an ayran. Süha is very popular with the locals, so you may have to wait a bit to find a seat.

Süha’nın Yeri, Küçükesat Mahallesi, Esat Cd. 33/A, Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey, +90 312 447 42 33

Candy and lokum at Ali Uzun Şekercilik

The last stop on Ankara’s dessert tour leads to Ali Uzun, a truly marvelous candy shop open since 1935, where you’ll find all the classic Turkish candy your heart desires. You’ll find akide şekeri (Turkish hard candy), with hazelnut, mint, strawberry, lemon, or cinnamon, as well as lokum (Turkish delight), helva, pişmaniye (floss candy), and almond paste, just to name a few.

Ali Uzun Şekercilik, Cumhuriyet Mahallesi, Selanik Cd. 15/A, Çankaya/Ankara, Turkey, +90 312 435 44 94

Meze at Kalbur

Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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You’ll have to make a reservation in advance to get a table at this very popular seafood restaurant. In a very meyhane-like atmosphere (tavern), you’ll find amazing seasonal meze dishes at Kalbur, such as şevket-i bostan (thistle), sübyeli çorba (soup with ink fish), or palamut pilaki (horse mackerel with bean stew), among many others.

Kebab at Hacı Arif Bey

Restaurant, Turkish, $$$
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Adana Kebab
Adana Kebab | © Anatolianpride / WikiCommons
Because there is a lot of excellent kebab in Ankara, a second restaurant that also grills up amazing kebab dishes must be mentioned. At Hacı Arif Bey, you’ll find a large selection of kebab that includes everything from the classic Adana to Ali Nazik to Beyti (and everything in between).

Esnaf dishes at Çiçek Lokantası

Restaurant, Turkish
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The esnaf lokantası (tradesmen restaurant) is an essential in Istanbul, but Ankara also has its Çiçek Lokantası for those classic home-cooked Turkish dishes that locals see as comfort food. You’ll find everything from traditional Turkish soups to olive oil dishes, meat and vegetable dishes, and desserts.