From Sütlü Kahve To Menemen: Turkish Breakfast Food & Drinks To Try

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From Sütlü Kahve To Menemen: Turkish Breakfast Food & Drinks To Try

Are you a breakfast lover? Do you enjoy trying new dishes and drinks from different cultures? Then get ready to be transported to Türkiye, where breakfast is not just the most important meal of the day but also an art form.

In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to some must-try Turkish breakfast food and drinks that will tantalize your taste buds and leave you wanting more. From rich, creamy Sütlü Kahve (Turkish coffee with milk) to savory Menemen (scrambled eggs with tomatoes), brace yourself for a mouth-watering culinary journey through Türkiye’s vibrant breakfast culture.

So please grab a cup of tea and join us on this delicious breakfast in Turkey adventure!


Turkey Travel Blog_Turkish Breakfast Food & Drink To Try


Introduction To Breakfast In Turkey

Turkish breakfast table.

Turkish breakfast, called kahvaltı, is a leisurely affair usually enjoyed on weekends by Turks – but you can eat it daily while on vacation in Türkiye. Breakfast in Turkey often consists of a spread of meze (appetizers), cheeses, eggs, olives, bread, and pastries.

Ohh, and of course, no Turkish breakfast is complete without a cup of strong coffee or tea.

Here are some of our favorite kahvaltı table items to tantalize your tastebuds:

  • Sütlü Kahve: This creamy Turkish coffee is made with equal parts ground coffee, water, and lots of sugar and milk. It’s traditionally served in small cups with no handles.
  • Simit: These sesame-covered bread rings are common on street corners in Türkiye. They’re often eaten for breakfast with cheese or jam.
  • Menemen: This dish of scrambled eggs, tomatoes, peppers, and onions is commonly served for breakfast in Turkey. It’s often made with çaylak cheese, which is similar to feta.
  • Beyaz Peynir: This white cheese made from sheep’s milk is a staple of the Turkish breakfast table. It’s often eaten with honey or jam.
  • Kaymak: This rich clotted cream is made from buffalo milk and is commonly served on bread or pancakes for breakfast in Türkiye.

Must-Try Foods For Breakfast In Turkey

Breakfast in Istanbul - Delicious traditional turkish breakfast

Breakfast in Turkey is a feast for the senses, with an array of colors, textures, and flavors to enjoy. The most common dish is called menemen, a traditional egg and tomato scramble that is often spiced with peppers and you’ll find it on all breakfast buffets in Turkey waiting for you. Start your day off right with one of these must-try Turkish breakfast foods...

Sütlü Kahve (Turkish Coffee)

Ordering Coffee in Greece - All you need to know

Turkish coffee, or sütlü kahve, is a traditional coffee drink made with finely ground coffee beans, water, and sugar. The coffee grounds are cooked in a pot with boiling water, and then the mixture is strained through a cloth filter. The coffee is served in small cups with the grounds still in them.

Turkish coffee is typically enjoyed with breakfast or after dinner. If you want to try something new for breakfast or add a little variety to your morning routine, try Turkish coffee! It’s a popular drink to enjoy while visiting Türkiye, and many tourists bring home boxes of Turkish coffee as souvenirs… well, I know at least we did. 

Menemen (Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes, Green Peppers, and Onion)

Traditional turkish food menemen made by eggs and tomatoes

Menemen is one of Turkey’s most popular breakfast dishes, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a delicious combination of scrambled eggs, tomatoes, green peppers, and onion, all cooked in a lightly spiced tomato sauce. It’s the perfect way to start your day or enjoy a light lunch or dinner.

If you’re visiting Türkiye, be sure to try menemen at least once. You can find it on menus nationwide, but it’s especially popular in Istanbul. And if you’re looking for the ultimate Turkish breakfast experience, order menemen with a side of bread and some strong Turkish coffee.

Gözleme (Traditional Thin Crêpe Filled With Spinach, Cheese Or Meat)

Gözleme is a traditional Turkish breakfast dish made with thin crêpes filled with cheese or meat. The dish is believed to have originated in the Central Anatolian region of Turkey and is now popular throughout the country.

The dough for gözleme is made with flour, water, salt, and baking powder. It is then rolled out into thin sheets and cooked on a griddle. The fillings are typically made with feta cheese, spinach, or ground beef, and onion.

Gözleme is typically served with yogurt or kaymak (a type of clotted cream) and fresh herbs such as mint or parsley. It can also be enjoyed with a cup of Turkish coffee or tea.

Simit (Sesame Seed Bagel)

Turkish breakfast simit with cheese

Simit is a type of Turkish bagel that is covered in sesame seeds. It is often eaten for breakfast with honey or pekmezi (see below). Simit can also be served filled with cheese or meat like a sandwich.

Kızarmış Yumurta (Fried Eggs)

A Turkish breakfast wouldn’t be complete without kızarmış yumurta or fried eggs. These are usually served with a dollop of kaymak (clotted cream) and a sprinkling of pul biber (red pepper flakes). Another popular option is to add sucuk (Turkish sausage) or pastırma (cured beef) to the dish.

Sucuklu Yumurta (Sausage & Eggs)

Turkish Food - Turkish Sausage (sucuk) and egg

One of the most popular items on the breakfast table is sucuklu yumurta, a dish made with eggs and spicy Turkish sausage.

The sausage, or sucuk, is first fried in olive oil until it is nicely crisped. Then, eggs are added to the pan and cooked until they reach your desired level of doneness. The yolks and whites should be well combined before adding salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste. Sucuklu yumurta is often served with crusty bread for dipping!

Ispanakli Yumurta (Eggs With Spinach)

Ispanakli yumurta, or spinach and egg, is a classic Turkish breakfast dish. The eggs are cooked with spinach, onions, and garlic and are often served with bread on the side. This dish is hearty and filling and makes a great start to the day.

Poğaça (Fried Pastry)

Poğaça is a savory fried pastry that is popular in Türkiye. It is typically made with a mixture of flour, water, salt, and yeast and then filled with either cheese or meat. Poğaça can be served as a main dish or as a side dish and is often eaten for breakfast and also for lunch

Su Boregi (Pastry Filled With Cheese)

Turkish Su Boregi / Tabla borek or burek

Su Boregi is a type of breakfast pastry that is made with phyllo dough and filled with a variety of different cheeses. The most common fillings are feta cheese, kasseri cheese, and white cheese. Other common ingredients include eggs, parsley, dill, and black pepper. The pastries are typically baked in the oven until they are golden brown.

Turkish Su Boregi is a delicious breakfast option for those who want something savory and cheesy. The flaky phyllo dough pairs perfectly with the creamy filling, making for a light and satisfying meal. Whether you enjoy them on their own or with a cup of coffee, Turkish Su Boregi are sure to start your day off right!

Zeytin Ezmesi (Olive Spread)

Women eating Traditional Turkish Village Breakfast served in restaurant. Meze

There are loads of pastes and spreads on offer at breakfast in Turkey, but Zeytin ezmesi was our favorite. It’s a preadable olive paste that is a staple of Turkish breakfast. It is typically made with green olives but can also be made with black olives. Zeytin ezmesi is often served with fresh bread and can also be used as a dip for vegetables or crackers.

Pekmezi (Molassses – Kind Of Jam-Like)

Turkish pekmez is a molasses-like syrup made from boiled grape juice, and it’s a popular breakfast condiment in Türkiye. Pekmez has a deep, rich flavor and is often used to sweeten coffee or tea. It’s also delicious on pancakes or waffles. Our favorite was the mulberry pekmezi.

Beyaz Peynir

Beyaz peynir is a type of white cheese that is commonly used in Turkish breakfast dishes. It has a mild and slightly salty flavor and is often used as a spread on bread or as an ingredient in savory dishes such as menemen (a type of omelet).

Turkish Ayran Yogurt Drink

Drinks in Turkey - Roko drinking Ayran

Ayran is a Turkish yogurt drink that is traditionally made with water, yogurt, and salt. It is a refreshing and healthy drink that is perfect with your eggs.

 Note: Turkish Ayran is also drunk on hot summer days and served up with kebabs or köfte at lunch.

Turkish Tea & Coffee

What To Eat In Turkey - Menemen

Turkish coffee and tea are two of the most popular breakfast drinks in Turkey. Turkish coffee is made by brewing finely ground coffee beans with water and sugar. The resulting coffee is thick and strong, making it a perfect drink to start the day. On the other hand, Turkish tea is made by steeping black tea leaves in hot water. It is typically served with lemon and honey, making it a refreshing and healthy beverage.


How To Make Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee is a type of coffee that is brewed using very fine grinds of coffee beans. The grinds are so fine they resemble powder. This type of coffee is usually served in small cups with the grounds still in the cup.

When making Turkish coffee, it’s important to use cold water. Bring the water to a boil and then remove it from the heat. Add two heaping tablespoons of ground coffee per cup of water. Stir well and return to heat. Bring the mixture just to a boil and then remove from heat again. Let the mixture sit for a minute so the grounds can settle to the bottom of the pot.

Pour the coffee into small cups, being careful not to include any of the grounds that have settled at the bottom of the pot. Enjoy your Turkish coffee!

How To Make Turkish Tea

Turkish tea is one of the most popular drinks in Turkey and has a long history dating back to the Ottoman Empire. Tea is typically brewed with black tea leaves and served with sugar, milk, or lemon. It is common to find Turkish tea stalls serving tea in traditional glass cups called “finjan.”

Brewing Turkish tea is an art form, and there are specific instructions on how to do it correctly. First, the teapot must be rinsed with boiling water to warm it up. Then, boiling water and two heaping spoonfuls of black tea leaves are added to the teapot. The pot is then covered and steeped for 3-5 minutes before being poured into small glasses.

Sugar and milk are added according to taste. Turkish tea is typically drunk throughout the day and often accompanied by conversation and snacks.

Regional Differences Türkiye For Breakfast Options

Traditional Izmir Pastry Boyoz
Turkish breakfast pastry boyoz

There are regional variations in what is served for breakfast. For example, cornbread is a popular option in the Black Sea region. In the Aegean region, types of seafood can be served for breakfast. And in the southeastern Anatolia region, köfte (meatballs) are a popular choice.

One cool regional breakfast food in Turkey we discovered was Boyoz.  This pastry is of Sephardic Jewish origin, associated with Izmir, Turkey – and makes the perfect breakfast on the run while sightseeing.

Before we headed out for a day of sightseeing while in Turkey, we always made sure to have a big and delicious breakfast. We loved starting our day with a hearty meal that would give us the energy we needed to explore all the amazing sights and sounds of Turkey

No matter what region you’re in, there’s always a delicious Turkish breakfast dish to try! 


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