The Muğla province’s major tourist summer haunts are Marmaris, Bodrum, and Fethiye where dining options are, of course, plentiful. However, for those who are not into the Aegean’s famous fresh seafood, there are plenty of other venues that are vegetarian friendly.
This very laid back restaurant in Marmaris focuses on Turkish home cooking with dishes prepared fresh on a daily basis. You’ll find plenty of vegetarian options such as bean stew and rice, green beans cooked in olive oil with bulgur, stuffed peppers, zucchini fritters, stuffed grape vines or cabbage leaves, and artichoke cooked in olive oil. With a cafeteria style display, you can decide what you want to eat before you even sit down and if you’re not in the mood for the daily dishes you can always order the other house specialty: gözleme (thin griddled dough with fillings such as cheese, spinach, potatoes, or herbs).
The LifeCo Bodrum is a very popular hotel that focuses on well-being, detox, and a vegan lifestyle. The juice-fasting detox retreat where guests undergo a tailor made program with yoga, meditation, colon cleansing, steam room, infrared sauna, and guidance talks, is located in Türkbükü, one of Bodrum’s most beautiful bays. LifeCo also runs a restaurant called Saf Kitchen, where non-guests of the hotel can also enjoy their healthy products that are vegan and vegetarian friendly. Here you can buy delicious wraps, salads, juices, and snacks that are raw and very healthy without the inclusion of any animal products.
Fethiye’s best vegetarian restaurant is a lovely family run restaurant that focuses on specialties from southeast Turkey, mainly Hatay and its historic roots to Ottoman, Arabic, Armenian, and French cuisine. Located in a beautiful garden with traditional Turkish hand crafted mosaic lights and lanters, Mozaik Bahçe is quite the little haven away from the main street. Definitely try their meze platter with humus, tarator, pepper and walnut salad, olives and fresh thyme salad, aubergine salad, and grilled peppers with yogurt accompanied by warm lavaş bread. On a hot summer day, Mozaik’s homemade lemonade also comes highly recommended as well as the very famous Hatay specialty: künefe (shredded pastry with a thick layer of melted cheese in between and soaked with sugar syrup).
Another great purveyor of Turkish home cooking, this time in Bodrum’s city center, Canan doesn’t seem like much from the outside, but the daily prepared meals are both delicious and vegetarian friendly. Start your day with menemen (eggs with chopped peppers and tomatoes), or go for lunch and choose from lentil or tomato soup, pasta with tomato sauce, or various salads. If you’d rather try out the Turkish home cooking enjoy vegetarian dishes such as eggplant ragout, cooked green beans in a tomato sauce, or white bean stew alongside white rice or bulgur. Canan also has a delicious mushroom casserole as well as many great desserts.