Cruise Port Atlas | Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey Restaurants | Food

Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey Cuisine | Where to Eat

Popular Local Cuisine: Turkish cuisine is descendent from Ottoman foods with strong Middle Eastern and Greek influences. If you are familiar with Greek food, the names may be familiar (hummus, dolmas) while other items such cacik (tzatziki) and doner (gyro) have Turkish names. Vegetables and rice (sometimes bulgur wheat) are the dominant ingredients of traditional Turkish food, with meat taking a decidedly secondary place. Many dishes that have meat contain small portions of ground meat blended with vegetables. Typical of this are dolmas - vegetables stuffed with a meat and grain (rice or bulgur) flavored with spices and vegetables. The term dolma means stuffed and can refer to a wide variety of vegetables including peppers, cabbage, eggplant, zucchini and chard. Sarma is the term often used when meat is not included. Yoghurt which originated nearby is a favorite in Turkey and is used in the cold cucumber soup, cacik.

Lamb is the most common meat and is often used in kabobs of various kinds, along with chicken, goat and some beef. Various cuts of meat, spiced or marinated in different ways and cooked using different methods (mostly grilled, but not always) to distinguish the different kabobs. Doner kabobs are a common and inexpensive street food, often served with pide bread and yoghurt sauce. Organ meats are also popular. Pilaf and small pastas are common side dishes and fruits are a common accompaniment to meat dishes. Mussels, squid, sardines, and anchovies are among the most affordable seafood. Fish are fried and grilled most commonly in restaurants. The most famous of all Turkish desserts is baklava, a baked phyllo dough pastry filled with nuts (usually pistachios or walnuts) and drizzled with syrup or honey. Also popular are a variety of custards and puddings.

Efes (named after Ephesus) is Turkey's ubiquitous beer. Raki is a stronger spirit similar to Greek Ouzo, but generally made from grapes. Not all raki is anise-flavored, but that is the most common kind found in Turkey.

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Cruise lines that visit Kusadasi: Voyages to Antiquity, Windstar, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, Oceania, Paul Gauguin, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Viking River Cruises

Recommended Attractions: Ephesus (Terrace Houses, Celsus Library, Amphitheater, Basilica of St. John), Ladies Beach, Aquafantasy, Adaland, House of the Virgin Mary, Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Dilek National Park, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, Sirince

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Photo of Turkish Meze plate by CruisePortAtlas