It’s always a good idea to eat dessert first – and whether you decide to follow that guideline or save it for its traditional place at the end of the meal, go to Sadik Kunefe to make the most of the moment. The gold-tinged decor will make you feel like a high roller, and that’s even before you decide what to eat. Try their namesake kunefe, a sweet cheese pastry that was typical during the time of the Ottoman Empire, or the similar kadayif – both will be the perfect sweet finish (or start) to your day, and you’ll find yourself coming back every day you’re there to have more.
Sadik Kunefe, Samanyolu Apt. No. 1, Mardin, Turkey, +90 482 213 3161
If there’s one culinary item that the international public connects with Turkey, it’s kebaps. And if there’s one kebap you have to try in Mardin, it’s the kebap from Ridonun Yeri. The restaurant is very informal, to the point of looking like a bit of a hole in the wall, but don’t be fooled – that’s where you get the best, most truly local tastes. There are two types of spice level for the meat – the ‘Sade kebap‘ that is just savory and the ‘Acili kebap,’ which is hot and spicy – so you can definitely justify coming twice.
A beautiful old home, an amazing view, delicious food, and one of best hotels in town – it seems as though there’s nothing that Erdoba Evleri doesn’t have. For a really special experience, have dinner or a drink on their terrace and watch the city around you. The food is all cooked fresh from the best ingredients around, and while you really can’t go wrong on their menu, the lahmacun (a Turkish take on pizza) and babaghanoush come highly recommended. Don’t forget to save room for dessert! They have a delicious Mayhirma, which is a dish made with figs and grape juice.
Erdoba Evleri, Sai 1. Cad. No. 135, Mardin, Turkey, +90 482 213 7787
Mardin has no shortages of restaurants in gorgeous old palaces, and Cercis Murat Konagi even manages to stand out among that exclusive crowd. They’ve got a beautiful view out onto the plains that once made up Mesopotamia, a perfect addition to any dining experience. If that doesn’t charm you enough, wait until the end of the meal, when they will actually wash your hands with rose water. Touches like this are just part of what will make the meal memorable – the food, of course, is still the main event.
Cercis Murat Konagi, Diyarbakir Kapi 1, Cad. No. 517, Mardin, Turkey, +90 507 989 4132
Maridin Restaurant does an excellent job of combining a beautifully decorated interior and fancy styling with a warm, home-like feeling. A lot of this has to do with the service; the employees here will bend over backward to make sure that you have the ideal experience. Their kebaps are excellent, and at least one person in your party should definitely try a pide, a boat-shaped dish that is somewhat similar to a very hearty pizza. They will often have lovely live music to add to the general good spirit of the place.
Maridin Restaurant, Diyarbakir Kapi 1, Cad. No. 455, Mardin, Turkey, +90 482 213 0306