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The honeyed tones of the landscape and the distinctive shapes of its fairy chimneys and rock-cut dwellings make Turkey’s Cappadocia a magical land. Large-scale tourism is a relatively new phenomenon in the region, making for a buzzing and expanding restaurant scene. Different culinary traditions blend together against the backdrop of marvellous scenery in our pick of Cappadoccia’s 10 best restaurants.
An entrance enclosed in blooming ivy welcomes guests into Dibek, in the centre of Göreme. The traditional atmosphere of the 475-year-old building place is preserved by the low wooden tables around which guests can enjoy typical Turkish food and homemade wine. Dumplings, known locally as manti, are among the highlights of Dibek’s menu, together with testi kebabı, a slow cooked kebab meal prepared (upon reservation) in a sealed terracotta pot which is then broken at the table.
Dibek Restoran, 50180 Göreme/Nevşehir, Turkey, +90 384 271 2209
A distinctive pink sign invites guests into MUTI RESTAURANT. Ottoman and Turkish cuisine, regional and international dishes blend into a variety of elaborate plates on Muti’s menu. Diners can choose from a sensational range of starters, pick a salad, pasta, or meat dish, or try a Turkish or Armenian special such as karnıyarık (stuffed eggplant with chopped meat and tomato sauce) or topik (chickpea paste with an onion, currants, cumin, and tahini filling).
Muti by Prokopia, Cumhuriyet Meydanı 26, Ürgüp, Turkey, +90 384 341 58 08
Set against the backdrop of the rural hamlet of Ayvali, with its whitewashed houses and apricot trees, Aravan is imbued with local tradition. The food at Aravan is caringly prepared by Mrs Yazgans with products grown in the restaurants’ own garden. Guests are welcome to visit the garden and pick ingredients themselves which will then be used in their very traditional meal. The cooking uses a tandir, an earthen cooking pit. The home-style recipes include dishes like bulgur, kuru fasulye, and guveç, to be savored either on the terrace, or at a round low table while sitting on a bed of Oriental carpets.