As Turkey’s capital and its second largest city, Ankara is the heart of the country’s international affairs as well as a thriving cultural center. Thanks to its mix of ancient history and modern, metropolitan character, the city offers a varied dining scene, with choices ranging from typical Turkish haunts to a number of exclusive fine dining options. Read on to find out about the top ten restaurants in Ankara.
In the middle of the Anatolian plateau, hundreds of kilometers away from the sea, very few people would expect to feast on delicious fish. Yet a meal at Trilye is defined by many as one of the best dining experiences in Ankara. Decorated with blue lights, a large canopy covers the central courtyard with its apricot and cherry trees, while the indoor dining hall overlooks the green space with its wide windows. Early in the night, chef and owner Süreyya Üzmez often entertains his guests, before disappearing into the kitchen. On browsing through the menu, diners will be spoiled for choice; shellfish, dentex, swordfish and sea bass cross paths with surprises like octopus stew and semolina halva ice-cream.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
An old Ottoman mansion house turned restaurant, Boyacizade Konağı is accessible via a stone-paved courtyard where some of the tables are set for guests to enjoy the fresh air and views of Ankara Kalesi. As traditional in the interior decor as it is in its menu, the restaurant serves fish alongside the classic dishes of Turkish cuisine in an environment that bears the charm of bygone times. Persian-style rugs, Ottoman paraphernalia, old pictures and spices infuse the place with a charismatic style, as do the delicate notes of fasil, a traditional Turkish music genre played live at the restaurant.
Hayyami Şarap Evi
‘A book of verses underneath the bough, a jug of wine, a loaf of bread — and thou.’ This quote defines paradise in the words of Sufi philosopher and poet Ömer Hayyam, to whom Hayyami Şarap Evi owes its name. Dim lighting, barrels, stone, and a lowered location for the dining room create a romantic atmosphere here, enhanced by the selection of local and international dishes on the menu. Large cheese platters to go with one of the 240 wines on offer, and a local dish of barbecued sausages, salçalı sosis, are among the favorites.
Once a caravanserai, the Çengelhan was built in 1523 to host traders and travelers spending the night in the Ankara Citadel. Nowadays the building is home to the Çengelhan Rahmi M. Koç Müzesi, the city’s museum for transport and communication. Under the glass ceiling of its inner courtyard is Çengelhan Brasserie. Surrounded by arcades, the restaurant offers a fascinating dining experience, with its tables ensconced among old cars on display and biplanes hanging from the ceiling. Combining the flavors of Ottoman tradition with contemporary international flavors, the menu includes dishes like the Ankara tavası, a local lamb casserole, or the ballı dana kaburga, a dish of veal ribs with honey, as well as Wiener schnitzel or shrimp and mushroom casseroles.
Leman Kültür is named after a satirical Turkish comic book series. One of a bunch of branches spread across Turkey, this trendy establishment is surrounded by the buzzing ambiance of Konur Sokak. The interior decor is inspired by the comic strips, giving the place a unique style and a boisterous vibe. Leman Kültür caters for a diverse crowd, serving a menu of Chinese egg rolls, tortellini, chicken fajitas and many other options. The popular köfteli sandviç is a highlight; served with a cheese, eggplant and garlic sauce, this sandwich gives an unexpected twist to the typical taste of köfte meatballs.
Zenger Paşa Konaği
Located on the Ulus hill, and within the walls of the Ankara Kalesi, Zenger Paşa is housed in an 18th-century mansion. The rustic interiors and variety of Ottoman artifacts displayed on the ground floor infuse the place with a museum-like feel. Climbing up the staircase will lead guests to a panoramic view of the city, which is in itself worth the effort. The pleasurable sight provides the backdrop to a traditionally prepared meal. Cooked in an original Ottoman oven, pide and bazlama flatbreads are accompanied by a selection of meze and grills. Saç kavurma, a meat dish fried on an iron plate, is flamed directly at the table.
Ankara Yelken Kulübü
Anakara’s seafood dining is unexpectedly impressive, and an overview of it should not omit Ankara Yelken Kulübü Lounge & Restaurant (AYK), the city’s own Yacht Club restaurant. Located off the beaten track, AYK sits south of Çankaya, the central metropolitan district home to Ankara’s presidential compound. Set in a modern and fashionable environment, the restaurant at AYK presents its guests with a plentiful selection of fish dishes, prepared with recipes from a variety of cuisines, from Turkish to Greek, Italian and French. Great care is given to the presentation of the dishes, which come set in elaborate compositions.
Polished wooden floors, tall glass walls and warm red tones make for a refined and charming atmosphere at Fige. A colorful, blossoming garden will please those who enjoy al fresco dining. Located in the administrative district of Çankaya, home to many embassies and government departments, the restaurant allows views of the Atakule Tower, a sight that is especially beautiful at night-time. The menu at Fige offers a rich combination of Turkish, Asian and international dishes, where manti and böregi are served alongside a selection of salads, pasta and meat dishes. Fige also hosts a jazz club, where live music performances are offered on most nights.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.