Goreme thrives on tourism and sometimes it’s hard to find an authentic meal in touristy towns like this one. We had very little time in Turkey and I was determined to seek out the best meals I could find while in town. Keep reading for my best Cappadocia restaurant recommendations.. plus one not so good one that somehow still made the list.
Best Food: Dibek Restaurant ($$)
One of Cappadocia’s most popular dishes is the Testi Kebab, also known as pottery kebab. This Anatolian speciality is cooked in a sealed clay pot or a jug for a minimum of 4 hours to let the dish simmer in it’s own juices. When fully cooked, the waiter brings out the clay pot out and cracks it with a hammer front of you before serving the meal.
The majority of restaurants in the area pre-cook the jars and then heat them up when a customer orders the dish. Restaurants that serve authentic pottery kebabs require at least 4 hours notice before you arrive so it’s best to call in advance to make your reservation.
I spent a lot of time researching the best and most authentic pottery kebabs in Goreme, and Dibek kept coming up as the best. I don’t have a basis for comparison but I can say their pottery kebab was delicious. When ordering, you have the option of chicken, beef or a vegetarian mushroom kebab. We went with the house recommendation and ordered beef. The dish is cooked with tomato, pepper, eggplant, potato and garlic, and then served over rice.
Dibek was our favorite Cappadocia Restaurant and the best meal we had in Goreme. It’s set inside of a 475 year old building and offers traditional Turkish style seating (on the floor) which I love. It was also really inexpensive for the amount of food we ordered, and the menu offered a lot of vegetarian options.
50650 Göreme, Turkey
Phone: +90 384 2712209
Best Ambiance: Top Deck Restaurant ($$)
Top Deck Restaurant switches off between being the #1 and #2 highest rated restaurants in Goreme on TripAdvisor, and for good reason. The food was delicious, the service was the best, and it had the coolest vibe out of all the places we ate.
The restaurant is in a small cave which is super cozy and intimate. There are only about 10 tables so I highly recommended that you make a reservation. They weren’t answering our phones so we tried our luck and walked in at 7pm. Luckily for us it was off season, so there was an open table.
Half of the tables offer traditional Turkish seating but there are also few regular tables if you don’t want to sit on the floor. The entrees change every night so there’s no set menu. It was reasonably priced ($8-10 an entree) but this was still the most expensive restaurant we ate at while in Goreme.
Top Deck RestaurantHafiz Abdullah Efendi Sok. No. 15
50180 Göreme, Turkey Phone: +90 384 2712474
Best Budget: Cafe Safak ($)
Cafe Safak is family owned restaurant; Ali runs the business while his mother, Fatma, cooks all the food. We stopped by here for lunch one day while walking through Goreme.
Overall the food was not as good compared to the other restaurants we ate at. However we still enjoyed it and there was this eggplant dip that overshadowed everything. We liked it so much that we actually ended up ordering a few bowls. Cafe Safak is a solid meal if you’re on a budget.
Cafe SafakMüze Cd No:28
50500 Nevşehir, Turkey Phone: +90 384 2712597
Best Patio: Coffeedocia ($$)
I usually avoid super touristy places like this, but sometimes a open air patio and cute decorations have a way of luring me inside..
We stopped in Coffeedocia a few times to take a break with some Turkish tea and hookah. It’s right in the middle of Goreme so the location is perfect. Unfortunately, the hookah was super harsh and I could barely smoke it. We never ate a meal here because I don’t trust restaurants that serve local food and hamburgers. We ordered a Turkish desert called Aside, which we were told is an acquired taste. That was a very true statement.. and we never acquired it. It was also on the more expensive side.
So basically, I don’t know why I’m including Coffeedocia on my recommendations list.
Order a Turkish tea and enjoy the sunny patio?
Terminal Yanı No: 12
50500 Göreme, Turkey Phone: +90 384 2712349
3 More Cappadocia Restaurant Recommendations:
We were only in Goreme for a few days so I didn’t have a chance to eat at all the restaurants on my list. Here are a few other restaurants that I wanted to check out based on reviews and local suggestions:
Pumpkin Goreme Restaurant and Art Gallery is currently the #1 Cappadocia restaurant on TripAdvisor before Top Deck. It looks like it has a great ambiance and it’s centrally located.
Old Cappadocia Cafe and Restaurant was the runner up in my best/authentic pottery kebab search. The presentation seems better as you eat the dish directly out of the broken clay pot. At Dibek, the waiter pours the contents onto a clean plate.
Nostalji Restaurant has a rooftop dining area and a good view which I always look for. Unfortunately they only offer indoor seating in the winter/fall so we decided against going here this time around.
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