What’s a Turkish Breakfast? The Must Try 20+ Plate Spread!

Turkish Breakfast

After spending two weeks traveling through the Turkish Riviera there was one meal that we knew we couldn’t leave without getting! Seeing a traditional Turkish breakfast spread out as you pass a restaurant will make you stop in your tracks. Every inch of the table is full of sweet, savory, and mouthwatering dishes. Here’s our experience with Kahvalti in the coastal town of Fethiye and what makes breakfast in Turkey so unique!

What’s a Turkish Breakfast?​

Otherwise known as Kahvalti, breakfast in Turkey is considered the most important meal of the day. Yet, just know this isn’t your average morning meal. A traditional Turkish Breakfast can vary by region but it always seems to include the same staples. Bread, cheese, fruit spreads, eggs, and tea. 

Being American, we’re used to a quick breakfast or even grabbing something on the go. Well, a Turkey breakfast is the complete opposite of this… And in the very best way possible! 

It’s a time to enjoy a variety of local specialties with family and essential to the start of your day. Depending on where you go, it can often be a lavish arrangement with multiple servers filling the table. 

The flavors which are inspired by the Ottoman Empire will impress even the most seasoned of travelers. 

What's a Turkish Breakfast

Finding the Perfect Turkish Breakfast 

By now you know that a traditional Turkish breakfast is an experience not to miss. So how did our first breakfast in Turkey go?

We had been staying in the fun coastal city of Fethiye and already had some great local meals. After visiting the famous Tuesday Market and grabbing an epic dinner at the Fish Market, we knew there was still one thing missing. 

On our final morning we went walking walking down the long seaside promenade on the lookout for our first ever Turkish breakfast. While traveling through Turkey, all the hotels we had stayed at included their own small morning meal which was a mix bread, meats, and cheeses.

However, nothing compared to ordering traditional Turkish breakfast at a restaurant! When we finally decided on the perfect Turkey breakfast spot we sat down and ordered a Kahvalti for two.

First, we were brought Turkish black tea which we had grown accustomed to drinking at every meal. After relaxing and soaking in the morning sun, we certainly didn’t expect what happened next.

Turkish Breakfast Guide

Our Wild & Amazing Turkish Breakfast 

Before we knew it, two waiters suddenly appeared and wheeled out a huge cart of food. It was filled with countless plates with everything from fruit preserves to olives, and an assortment of cheeses and meats.

A few of the Turkish breakfast food items we didn’t even recognize so we had to ask what they were. Preparing the table took a few minutes as they unloaded everything while moving around plates to make room.

We had an oversized table for just two people, but they still managed to fill the entire table. This was truly going to be a full Turkish breakfast!

Amazing Turkish Breakfast 

Digging Into Our Breakfast in Turkey

By the time they left us to ourselves we looked around shocked by how much food filled the table. The other crazy thing was the price of our Turkish breakfast. Can you believe this entire meal only cost 5 Euros each?? 

It was almost as if we had a breakfast buffet laid out just for us. There were dozens of small plates that offered a taste of the different flavors.

We started by sipping our tea and dipping into the different bread spreads. They ranged from spicy to sweet, and the apricot jam was especially delicious. From there, we tried the eggs, cheeses, and different meats. 

It may be overwhelming at first, just know that you can take your time! One of the best parts about a typical breakfast in Turkey is that it’s a long and enjoyable process. 

Turkish cuisine quickly became one of our favorites while traveling through the country, and the typical Turkish breakfast highlights the fresh and local ingredients.

While we only tried the Turkish breakfast on the touristy Turquoise Coast, know that there are regional differences. What you are served will vary depending on what part of the country you are in.  Still, you can count it being a similar concept everywhere. 

Beginners Guide to Food in Turkey: 25 Delicious Dishes & Drinks to Try

What's a Turkish Breakfast Guide

What Was in Our Turkish Breakfast?

Every breakfast lover should try this amazing meal on their trip to the country! So what exactly was on our Turkish breakfast table?

  • Mixed bread & Turkish bagel
  • Black olives and green olives
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Turkish cheeses
  • Green peppers
  • Black olive spread
  • Hazelnut spread
  • Hard cheese & Feta cheese 
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Fig, apricot & rose petal jam
  • Sweet pastries 
  • Turkish coffee & tea
  • Egg dishes
  • Creamy yogurt

Best Traditional Turkish breakfast

Would We Get A Traditional Turkish Breakfast Again?

Yes, absolutely! We spent the next hour slowly sipping our Turkish tea and wondering how we got all this food for 10 Euros total.

The different types of cheeses, hazelnut spreads, white cheese, and bread with fresh herbs were soooo good. Actually, there wasn’t a single thing on our table that we didn’t love. 

Honestly, we wouldn’t be able to eat this every day and still have the energy to go out and do things. It must be an acquired skill by Turkish people!

This was definitely one of the best mornings of our entire trip. After experiencing it for the first time, we now have some Turkish breakfast ideas we are excited to try and recreate it at home. 

Traditional Turkish breakfast

Have any questions about or want to share your own memories from breakfast in Turkey? Let us know in the comments below!

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

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Turkey breakfast

Turkey Travel Planning 

 Flights: We always find deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we got flights from Thailand to Siem Reap Cambodia for under $50 USD!

Rental Car: Discover Cars is our company of choice when abroad. It is especially popular to rent a car and explore the famous Turquoise Coast.

To pre-book long distance buses check Omio for the best routes all over the country. 

Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for fun activities all over Turkey. You can book everything from a Hot Air Balloon ride in Cappadocia to a Turkish Dance show in Istanbul and even take a Full-Day Jeep Safari in Kusadasi to the National Park! 

 Travel Insurance: Never travel internationally without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Here’s all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists! Including electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials. 

Turkey Travel

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