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Worldwide Gastronomy Habits & Trends

Traditional Turkish Breakfast: Learn How to Prepare

ByDamla Aydin

Jul 18, 2022

Breakfast has a cultural structure all over the world. For Turks, breakfast is more like a ceremony than a meal. Traditional Turkish breakfast is hearty, light and gives you the energy you will need during the day. It is healthy and very diverse. For people with different diets (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, etc.), there would always be many varieties on the table. In short, it can appeal to all tastes. Regionally, the types of dishes on the table may differ, but there are some indispensables for a typical Turkish breakfast. Keep reading to learn more about these.

Mixed Breakfast

Traditional Turkish Breakfast: mixed breakfast

In traditional Turkish breakfast, breakfast is set up on a large table with a wide variety of food on small plates. It is called a mixed breakfast. These foods, which look like appetizers, are shared by everyone sitting at the table.

The mixed breakfast includes many kinds of cheese. The cheese types most preferred by the Turks are feta cheese, cottage cheese, tulum cheese, fresh kasar cheese, aged kasseri and cecil cheese. In mixed breakfast there is a variety of meats that includes sausage, salami and bacon. Black and green olives also take their place in small plates. Vegetables such as tomatoes and cucumbers are washed and chopped, then put on the table. Honey and butter are indispensable for a mixed breakfast. So are the breads. Turks love to eat jam for breakfast. Therefore, there are many kinds of jam such as black mulberry jam, strawberry jam, orange jam, apricot jam and fig jam on the small plates on the table.

Traditional Turkish Breakfast: Eggs

Traditional Turkish Breakfast: eggs

Eggs have an important place in the traditional Turkish breakfast, as it is both hearty and delicious. They take their place on breakfast tables with many different recipes.


Menemen is made with eggs, tomatoes, green peppers, and spices like ground black pepper and red pepper cooked in olive oil. It can be made with onions, but this is a controversial topic and onions are usually used when menemen is served as a main course rather than breakfast.


Omelettes are made from beaten eggs that are cooked in a pan with butter or oil. The omelette is frequently folded around fillings such as vegetables, mushrooms, meat, cheese, onions, or a mixture of all. Turks like to use a lot of spices while preparing omelettes.

Boiled Eggs

Boiled eggs are prepared in their shells, generally by immersing them in boiling hot water. It conquers the hearts of Turks with its under cooked and overcooked options. Recently, it has become widespread in the country to consume them with avocado. It is popular to sprinkle spices such as black pepper and paprika on it.

Traditional Turkish Breakfast: Ankara Bagel

Ankara bagel is a thin, small, dark colored bagel with dense grape molasses. It is usually consumed hot. The dark color of the Ankara Bagel is not due to the burn, but to the browning caused by the molasses, which is made to stick to the dough by mastering the molasses process. It is not common to make at home, it is usually bought from the bakery.


Another chain of tastes that has a special place in Turkish breakfast varieties is pastries. In this chain, where we can include various types of bread, you can taste many types of pastry. Patties with cheese or potatoes are very popular in Turkey. Fried in oil, cheese spring rolls and pişi (kind of a bagel) are among the traditional delicacies. Pastry with meat or cheese filling, savory buns and Turkish pancakes are also indispensable for a traditional Turkish breakfast.

Traditional Turkish Breakfast: Drinks

Traditional Turkish Breakfast: Drinks

Tea is the drink that is usually consumed during breakfast. Turkish tea is an aromatic tea with a reddish color and slightly bitter taste and is served hot. It is poured into a thin glass and optionally mixed with sugar. If you are sitting at a crowded breakfast table, it is preferable to brew the tea in larger teapots such as a samovar.

Parents usually do not allow children to drink tea because it is consumed hot and contains caffeine. It is observed that children and those who do not like to drink tea (which is almost non-existent!) prefer milk, freshly squeezed orange juice or other fruit juices.

Not many people know, but the word breakfast in Turkish (which is “kahvaltı”) is formed by combining the words “coffee” and “before”. Since there is a tradition of drinking coffee after breakfast in Turkish culture, it is a word formed from the words “kahve altı”, which means eaten before coffee. The coffee consumed after breakfast is Turkish coffee. Turkish coffee is a type of coffee made in a cezve with very freshly ground coffee beans that is not filtered. It has a slightly bitter taste, but this can be moderated by the use of appropriate sugar. It is common to consume Turkish delight as a dessert along with Turkish coffee.

Breakfast Tables: How They Differ from Region to Region

Traditional Turkish Breakfast: Regional differences

Consumption of offal for breakfast is common in the Central Anatolia Region. Pastries, sausage, pastrami and fenugreek accompany these delicacies. In Eastern and South-eastern Anatolia Regions, offal is also included in breakfast. Liver pate is frequently preferred flavor in breakfast. In the Black Sea Region, regional delicacies such as corn bread, kuymak-mıhlama, pickle roasted kaygana are consumed for breakfast. Most vegetables are consumed in the Aegean Region. Therefore, many kinds of herbs are eaten for breakfast. Finally, consumption of various kinds of jam for breakfast is quite common in the Mediterranean Region. In addition, tahini-molasses is a frequently preferred couple.

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