More often than not, I have returned from travel to a question I should have been able to answer. When you return from Turkey, have a response to the questions, “Did you have Turkish Kahvalti and what did you think?”

Turkish, kahvalti, travel
Turkish Kahvalti.
Photo courtesy of

The title says almost all, but it is missing two words at the end.  Let me edit the title here, In Search of the Best Turkish Kahvalti FOR ME. It’s how I am wired, not to think my best is your best.  We all have different tastes, so I base this on mine.

What is Turkish Kahvalti? Translated it means Turkish breakfast, but that’s where the translation and meaning diverge. Turkish Kahvalti is a breakfast experience that is like combining brunch with Spanish tapas, but only if you find a great spot.  

Unfortunately,  most hotel Turkish Kahvalti is the equivalent of fast food.  Edible, gets the job done, but lacks in presentation and is a far cry from a memorable food experience.  The honey and jams are single serve plastics and they prepare the food in bulk.  I assure you there is better.  

My girlfriend and I have a ranking system for Turkish Kahvalti broken down to four parts: location, presentation, quality and quantity and bread.  We have found many 9s and only one 10 with a slew of 6,7 and 8s in our search for our best Turkish Kahvalti.  

Artisan Turkish pide out of a stone oven.
Artisan Turkish pide out of a stone oven.
Photo by @Appel-und-n-Ei at

Turkish Kahvalti should be a dining experience. Like brunch, it can last for a few hours and the delightful spots are in or are bordering nature. The food itself is simple with many different olives, cheeses, breads, fruits and meats served in various small dishes and Cay, Turkish tea.

Here are some tips on what to look for to find YOUR best Turkish Kahvalti:

  1. When opening a business they say it’s all about location, location, location.  Well, with Turkish Kahvalti, I agree.  They immerse many of the better kahvalti spots to border or in nature.  You have a gazebo or sitting area on a rug or table that lets you spread out a bit, and like France, once you have the table, there is no rush for you to leave.
  2. Next is the presentation of the Turkish Kahvalti.  Many places use simple white standard dishes. The 10s always seem to have their own touch to it.  Some Turkish Kahvalti spots will put all the dishes on a tiered rack, which looks elegant. Others will use handmade ceramic dishes that add personality to the Turkish Kahvalti.
  3. Now the main course.  Turkish Kahvalti at a 9 or better is a handmade family affair.  The location is beautiful.  The presentation is attractive and enticing you to eat.  The ingredients are almost all homemade in Turkey by Turks.  Homemade seasonal jams.  Cheeses and egg dishes from the family farm.  Just cured olives and meats, all specific to the family that owns the Turkish Kahvalti restaurant. 
  4. And then there is the bread. One of my favorite smells in the world is fresh baked bread, and I consider myself lucky to live in a country in which I can get it regularly.  Turkey, like many countries, has a normal white baked bread.  it’s good like a French baguette but there is better.  When you get fresh hot pide, pizza without toppings, simit, Turkish bagels, or a homemade artisan bread out of a stone oven then the kahvalti is raised to a ten.

When the Turkish Kahvalti comprises a mountain, river or sea view with a space to relax and call your own and food so fresh it tastes all like it was made just for you with an artisan Turkish bread, you have found a place to return to over and over again.

Turkish Kahvalti is a communal dining pleasure that leaves you full and satiated and relaxed.  It is my favorite Turkish food and lucky me; I get to eat a level 6 or 7 daily in my home.  

So my suggestion is that on your next trip to Turkey you forgo the hotel breakfast, ask the hotel clerk where there are a few Turkish Kahvalti spots and drive off in search of your very own perfect Turkish Kahvalti spot and a culinary memory.

Would you like to try Turkish Kahvalti? Do you agree with this system of finding the best Kahvalti? Have you been to Turkey? Let us know in the comments down below!

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