Top 3 best Turkish breakfast in Istanbul

Turkish breakfast in Istanbul

Turkish people have an ardent passion for food, and they hold a special reverence for breakfast, which they consider to be the most crucial meal of the day. This deep appreciation for morning nourishment is beautifully showcased in the form of a classic Turkish breakfast, lovingly referred to as “kahvalti.” When it comes to a traditional Turkish breakfast, expect an exquisite assortment of bite-sized delights that will captivate your senses. The heart of this extraordinary culinary experience lies in the harmonious combination of various ingredients. Picture a table adorned with a vibrant array of black and green olives, refreshing cucumbers, flavorful cured meats, an assortment of tantalizing dips and sauces, perfectly prepared eggs, a selection of fresh cheeses, ripe tomatoes bursting with juiciness, freshly-baked bread with its inviting aroma, luscious fruit preserves and jams, golden honey, delectable pastries, and sumptuous sweet butter.

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Top 3 best Turkish breakfast in Istanbul 

No Turkish breakfast is complete with plenty of freshly brewed black tea. And although there are some regional differences in the menu, all the Turkish regions have five elements in common: bread, spreads, cheese, eggs, and black tea. 

In Turkish culture, breakfast is more than just a meal—it is a daily ritual, a sumptuous morning feast that serves as the cornerstone of a fruitful day. The Turks firmly believe in the pivotal role of breakfast in energizing and nourishing both the body and soul. With an abundance of flavors and an array of dishes, breakfast in Turkey is a grand affair that resonates with indulgence. It is a time for families and friends to come together, savoring an exquisite spread of culinary delights. 

1.Olives and Cheese: A Match Made in Breakfast Heaven 

Olives and cheese form the cornerstone of a Turkish breakfast table. The country boasts a rich variety of olives, from green to black, stuffed or plain, each offering its own distinct taste profile. Accompanying the olives are an assortment of cheeses, ranging from tangy feta to creamy beyaz peynir. The combination of olives and cheese creates a harmonious symphony of flavors, complemented by freshly baked bread.

2.Menemen: The Scrambled Delight 

Menemen is a classic Turkish dish that adds a burst of flavor to the breakfast spread. This hearty and wholesome dish consists of eggs scrambled with sautéed peppers, tomatoes, onions, and an array of aromatic herbs and spices. The result is a tantalizing blend of colors and flavors that excite the taste buds and awaken the senses. 

3.Börek: Layers of Flaky Goodness 

Börek is a beloved pastry in Turkish cuisine, and it holds a prominent place on the breakfast table. This delightful treat is made by layering thin sheets of pastry dough with various fillings such as cheese, spinach, or minced meat. The layers are then baked to perfection, resulting in a golden, flaky pastry that is a delight to bite into. 

The Story behind Turkish Food 

Turkish cuisine owes its inspiration to the rich culinary heritage of the Ottoman Empire. Renowned for its delightful flavors and diverse range of dishes, Turkish food exhibits regional variations. While certain regions boast their own unique delicacies, there are numerous instances where similar dishes are prepared using distinct ingredients or cooking techniques across different parts of the country. An intriguing aspect of Turkish culture that captivates many is the Turkish breakfast. Unlike many other civilizations, the Turks regard breakfast as a lavish affair akin to supper. Each morning, they indulge in a sumptuous spread served with grandeur, firmly believing that a hearty breakfast sets the foundation for a great day ahead. 

What you need to know about Turk Breakfast 

Breakfast holds paramount importance in Turkish culture, signifying a cherished tradition that brings families together. It is a time when every member of the family gathers around the table, ensuring their presence for this significant meal. As the table is meticulously set, an array of delectable dishes awaits. The bread is expertly sliced, and with the preparation of hot Turkish tea, the breakfast ritual commences. Turkish breakfast encompasses a delightful blend of flavors, encompassing elements of sweetness, spiciness, and saltiness. Typically, the salty and spicy foods take precedence, titillating the taste buds. The indulgence then transitions to the sweet offerings, leaving behind a lingering and delightful sensation. Following the meal, the tradition of sipping tea continues, fostering conversations and prolonging the enjoyment of the breakfast experience. Even after the plates have been cleared, the Turks prefer to remain seated, relishing their tea and engaging in conversation, for breakfast is a time to be savored and cherished. Moreover, on holidays, weekends, and special occasions, the breakfast spread evolves, featuring new and specially prepared items that enhance the festive atmosphere. 

Bonus Turkish Breakfast 

Simit: The Quintessential Turkish Bread 

No Turkish breakfast is complete without simit, the iconic circular bread encrusted with sesame seeds. Served fresh and warm, simit offers a delightful crunch with every bite. It is often enjoyed with a spread of cheese, jam, or simply on its own. The popularity of simit extends beyond breakfast, as it is a beloved street food enjoyed throughout the day 

Selection of the best breakfast places in Istanbul 

Here are some of the best place to have breakfast in Turkey 

Sütiş Emirgan 

One of the most exceptional breakfast spots in Istanbul can be found nestled on the picturesque shores of the Bosphorus, in the vibrant Emirgan district, adjacent to the renowned Sakip Sabancı Museum (for more details, refer to our article on the must-see museums in Istanbul). This charming establishment exudes excellence on all fronts, offering a delightful dining experience that never fails to impress, despite its perennial popularity. Whether you opt to start your day with a taxi ride in the morning or choose to embark on a leisurely journey aboard the Hop-on & Hop-off boat in the afternoon, you will soon find yourself at this remarkable destination. Situated at Emirgan Mah. Sakıp Sabancı Cad. No:1/3 Emirgan Sarıyer, İstanbul, it guarantees a memorable breakfast experience amidst captivating surroundings.

Van Kahvalti Cihangir 

Situated in the trendy and artistic neighborhood of Cihangir, within Istanbul’s vibrant Beyoğlu district, lies a beloved breakfast spot that has garnered immense popularity. This charming restaurant is owned by a native of Van, a city renowned for its exquisite breakfast traditions in Eastern Turkey. Stepping into this establishment, guests are greeted by a delightful ambiance, complemented by a menu that boasts an array of delectable offerings. The culinary delights presented here never fail to impress, with each dish prepared to perfection. While weekends tend to draw crowds, it is advisable to plan a visit during the weekdays to fully savor the experience. You can find this delightful eatery at Kılıçali Paşa Mh., Defterdar Yokuşu No:52, Beyoğlu, İstanbul. 


To embark on an unforgettable breakfast experience, we highly recommend making your way to this specialized breakfast haven, often referred to as a “kahvaltıcı,” nestled along the Bosphorus, between the two bridges on the European side. While the décor may exude simplicity, the true star of the show lies in the exceptional cuisine served here. Prepare to be delighted by ordering the “serpme kahvaltısı,” a sumptuous feast that offers a delectable assortment of specialty dishes. Following your delightful breakfast, indulge in a leisurely stroll along the captivating Bosphorus and seize the opportunity to visit the historic Rumeli Hisari fortress. Constructed by the esteemed Ottoman sultan Mehmed the Conqueror between 1451 and 1452, prior to his triumph in capturing Constantinople, this fortress stands as a testament to rich history. You can find this remarkable establishment at Yahya Kemal Caddesi No: 16, Rumelihisari, İstanbul.

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