A vegan in Turkey

In Turkey they love meat but also have great vegetarian options. It’s easy to find diverse, affordable and rich treats anywhere, once they eat many dishes that are meat-free. Sometimes you just need to ask for a meat free option and they will sort that out for you.

They have amazing markets, street stalls, food stores with great veggies, fruits, fresh juices, nuts, sweet cubes of lokum (Turkish delight),  dates, tea, coffee, spices (literally piles), dried fruit, lentils, bulgur, rice, beans, bread, olives and cheese.

What I recommend:

Vegan Gözleme – it’s kind of  a Mexican quesadilla. Thin dough filled with cheese, spinach and onion cooked on a griddle.  •  Dried Fruit and Nuts.  •  Pide – Turkish pizza, no tomato sauce, made from dough and various toppings.  •  Lahmacun – other kind of  Turkish pizza but with a thinner, crispier base and is eaten rolled up. It’s usually made with meat, but they will do with a vegetariam topping.  •  Kısır – bulgur salad with pepper, tomato paste, parsley, onion, garlic, pomegranate molasses, or lemon, lettuce, cucumber, spices and herbs.  •  Şakşuka –  Aubergine and tomatoes.  •  Mercimek Köftesi – red lentils and bulgur with spices.  •  Mücver –  grated zucchini, courgette, potatoes, egg, onion, dill, cheese and flour.  •  Vegetarian Kebab.  •  Meat Free Meze.  •  Freshly Squeezed Pomegranate Juice.  •  Turkish coffee. 

35 thoughts on “A vegan in Turkey

  1. doingbeingbecoming

    Great post. Thanks for sharing. I remember a guidebook recommend a “vegetarian” bean dish, but when I ordered it there was meat floating in it! Then the waiter got all sniffy because I didn’t eat it 🙈

  2. Leah

    Your market pictures are fantastic! Such rich colours. I can almost feel the buzz of the shoppers around me. Markets are such great places to learn about local foods and how to prepare them. My partner and I are off to the Sunday market in Rotorua, New Zealand in a few minutes. I wonder what treasures we will bring home with us!

    • cook the beans

      Markets are by far one of my favourite places to visit when I’m travelling, I can’t get enough of it.. 🙂
      I never been to New Zeland, but I imagine that has great fresh veggies and fruit…

      • Leah

        There is a great variety of fresh produce here, especially since we are now just enterring autumn.

        Sadly, the market was cancelled due to rain. Next week!!

      • carolinehelbig

        It was a long time ago (’94…gasp!) Long before I had ever heard the word blog or even spent much time on a computer. Perhaps one of these days when I have lots of time I will pull something together.

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