Turkish Breakfast

Turkish Breakfast

Turkish breakfast is not just a meal, it is an experience. The Turkish breakfast was conceived as a convivial, shared and enjoyed Turkish breakfast and consists of many small sweet and savory plates, accompanied by bread and endless cups of tea. Usually a Turkish breakfast includes eggs, either fried or with tomatoes (sahanda yumurta or menemen). Cucumbers and tomatoes are just as much a part of breakfast as olives, a plate of local cheese, honey, and kayak, a dairy product that resembles curdled cream. Often there is also jam, butter, a red pepper paste called Acılı Ezme, sausages and Börek, a puff pastry that can be filled with cheese, spinach or meat.

Serpme kahvaltı is a very traditional way of enjoying breakfast for long hours. The Turks go out on the weekend to have breakfast on the Bosphorus with breathtaking views, of the countryside, in popular cafes and restaurants etc. The concept of serpme kahvaltı consists of small plates with different products and flavors such as a cheese platter, a tomato and cucumber platter, herbs, jams, tahini and grape molasses, butter, kayak and honey, different types of olives, olive oil with spices, spicy tomato paste, eggs , Omelette, bread and simit, peppers and Turkish pastries.

The meaning of serpme kahvaltı is to share the food that is literally spread all over the table and enjoy the experience with family, friends, neighbors, loved ones or anyone who is hungry! Breakfast usually starts with a cup of Turkish tea and ends with Turkish coffee to aid digestion. Turkish coffee is usually served in the traditional way with a lokum (Turkish delight).

Since breakfast lasts long hours and is enough to fill you, the other meals of the day could be skipped or a light dinner would do.

Aegean Türkiye regional breakfast

Breakfast in the Aegean is rich in lush greens. Herbs and olives from the region, paired with fresh feta cheese and the doughy treat, Boyoz, make for an incredible meal. You can find all kinds of jams here, mostly homemade and containing fresh ingredients like apricots, berries, roses, citrus fruits, figs, quinces, eggplants, pomegranates, herbs, walnuts, mastic and even tangerine peel!

Turkish cuisine has an extraordinary jam culture that has been around since the time of the Ottoman Empire until today.

Jam was a luxurious and indispensable food of the Ottoman era. Part of the kitchen was reserved for making jam, and that’s where the cooks made jams all day.

Jam was also considered a remedy in Ottoman cuisine. Sugar was first used by pharmacists in Ottoman times. It was around this time that the health benefits of fruit tree flowers were identified by Ottoman doctors.

In Ottoman cuisine, jam is made from many plants: melons, watermelons, eggplants, green lemons, almonds, hazelnuts, erguvan flowers (Judas tree), lotus flowers, etc. Special gardens were created for the cultivation of products that were used for jams . For rose jam, known as the “Sultan of Jams”, special roses were grown in the garden of the Edirne Palace.

The way the jam was presented was very important. There were special jam jars and the guests were given jam before they were served Turkish coffee.

After a grand banquet in the palace, jam was served. The stylish and sparkling jam jars imported from Europe stood out at these presentations.

Turkish breakfast
Turkish breakfast

Gazianteps regional breakfast

Gaziantep, known worldwide for its cuisine, offers a very special breakfast. Beyran soup, one of the most popular and popular breakfast products in the region, is accompanied by katmer dessert, chickpea wrap, liver wrap, sahan cream, muhammara, egg piyaz, etc.

Vans regional breakfast

Vans breakfast spread is the richest in Türkiye. Van and breakfast are indeed synonymous with Türkiye, and in Istanbul and Ankara, van-style breakfast restaurants have opened to fans. These restaurants serve regional delicacies such as the famous Otlu Peynir, a slightly crumbly, strong cheese that is mixed with a herb called sirmo, which is locally known as “wild garlic”. Traditional van çöreği (a special type of pastry), murtuğa (eggs with flour and butter) and kavut (a very old recipe from halva) are also served for breakfast.

And while some of these establishments represent the city well, to truly experience the famous breakfast you have to travel to the source!

Regional breakfast on the Black Sea

It is difficult to describe the Black Sea breakfast from one province to another. The Black Sea breakfast offers different delicious and natural products in each province: Mıhlama, Turşu Tavalı (cucumber pan), Mısır Ekmeği (corn bread) and a variety of pide’s. The breakfast that you enjoy in the company of the unique air and lush nature of the Black Sea will probably be one of the best breakfasts of your life.

Turkish tea culture

Every breakfast in Türkiye is adorned with çay and the traditional tulip-shaped cups. Although it was late to become an integral part of Turkish life, tea has a 5,000-year history and has now become an indispensable part of Turkish culture. Turkish brewing techniques and presentations contribute significantly to this success. Tea is consumed at any time of the day and is a must for breakfast. All you need is a nice cup of Turkish tea to complete your incredible morning feast. Make sure to drink tea made from tea leaves collected in the Black Sea region.


Butter is made from two different materials in Türkiye, cream and yogurt. The butter made from fresh yogurt or tulum yogurt (a yogurt made from cow, goat or sheep milk) is called yayık tereyağı (yayık butter) and has been traditionally made in Türkiye for centuries.

A traditional butter called Vakfıkebir tereyağı (Vakfıkebir butter) is also made in the Black Sea region. It is obtained by processing pure milk cream of the highest quality using traditional methods. With its unique natural yellow color, unique smell and completely natural ingredients, it has an incomparable taste.

Kaymak is a creamy thick dairy product with a rich taste. The traditional method of making kayak is to slowly boil the milk and then simmer it over very low heat for two hours. After switching off the heat source, the cream is skimmed off and allowed to cool for a few hours or days (and ferment slightly). Kaymak has a very high percentage of milk fat – around 60%.

Turkish breakfast is the best way to start your day anywhere in the world. It fills up and gives you the energy you need but easily so that you don’t get weighed down all day like another popular breakfast we might call (* cough * full english breakfast * cough *). There’s tons of variety so the picky eaters among us can choose what they like and what they don’t. It’s bio-friendly, vegetarian (but still has some nice meats for the carnivores among us), and even vegan. In short, there is something for everyone and the perfect way to start the day. So what’s inside Let’s find out!

Note: The regional differences are big and different things are served in different places. This is your average Turkish breakfast. Various locations add a local flair to the base listed below.

Start your day with a freshly brewed Turkish tea

In Türkiye, more tea is consumed than in any other country in the world, and it starts with breakfast. Black tea is much more common than any other type of tea, and in Türkiye it is made in what is known as çaydanlık, which separates a concentrated form of tea and boiled water. It’s strong but never bitter, and studies have shown that Turkish tea regulates blood vessels and the heart, reducing the chances of having a stroke or heart attack. It is served in beautiful fluted glass cups, which adds to the aesthetics of the breakfast.


Bell peppers are often added, but tomatoes and cucumbers are essential to any Turkish breakfast, especially Çengelköy cucumbers, which are smaller and tastier than regular cucumbers. Obviously, salad is usually served with a dash of olive oil and a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor.


White cheese is a must have with any breakfast, and there are usually a variety of 1-4 different types of cheese. Aged kasar, çeçil, tulum, lor, and other cheeses are common, although white cheese (similar to feta) is the only cheese that is more or less needed.


Both black and green olives are usually served. Be prepared that Turkish olives are better and tastier than any other you’ve ever had before! 😉


At almost every Turkish breakfast you will find eggs that have been cooked in some form. However, the route may vary. Perhaps the most common is the dish cooked in a traditional pan called a menemen made from eggs, tomatoes, green peppers, and spices with salt and oregano. Cheese or meat can be added – it’s sweet and tasty no matter how you have it!

If that’s not to your taste, boiled eggs, omelets, and fried eggs with beef sausage (called sujuk) are also very common on a Turkish breakfast table.


Bread is another important part of the Turkish breakfast. Standard Turkish white bread, called ekmek, with a crispy crust and a slightly fluffy interior is always hot and freshly baked. Almost every Turkish breakfast comes with a sesame bagel-like bread called simit. From there, açma and poğaça breakfast rolls are usually served, which are often filled with cheese, meat, and olive paste. The bread is used to eat with the salad and soak up any juices from a menemen, olive oil or some of the other delicious dips on the breakfast menu …

Bal Kaymak – honey and clotted cream

This is a luxury at most, but an absolute must. Kayak curdled cream is as good as anywhere in the world, and Turkish honey is considered one of the best with hundreds of different varieties. The variety depends on the flowers that pollinate them, and all of the honey is 100% natural. In fact, honey straight from the comb is very common in Türkiye as locals go to the store and buy a whole honeycomb instead of a jar.


This varies from region to region, but some form of tomato paste and nuts, often walnuts and spices, are part of breakfasts across the country. It often has a little kick, so watch out! 😊

Jams and marmalades

After all, Turkish jams are famous, in large part because Turkish fruits are so wonderful. Most regions have a wide variety of jams for which they are best known. So you can find different locally made products everywhere, all 100% natural and delicious. Often not even sugar is added, so the taste of the fruit stays to itself!

Back by popular request, MORE incredibly aromatic Turkish cheese for your tasting pleasure!

Çökelek cheese along the Mediterranean

Çökelek cheese is an unsalted and light cheese made from yogurt and comes from different parts of the Mediterranean from Türkiye. It is excellent in pastries and is often seasoned to add a bit more flavor. When it’s on its own, it’s often served with a dash of olive oil and black cumin.

After the cheese is made, it is usually aged for many months to bring out its flavor, making it rich and creamy – so much so that it is also served with meat dishes. After it has matured it is dried out to harden and is really one of the best cheeses in Türkiye.

Kargı Tulum cheese from Çorum

Tulum cheese, made in Kargı in the Çorum province on the Black Sea, is a bit more conventional than Bergama Tulum. It can be made from cow, sheep, or goat’s milk (or more often a mixture of them) and isn’t as salted as Bergama-Tulum, meaning it’s a little more crumbly and a little hotter.

It’s mellow and goes great with a large, flavorful dinner. It’s often sold in either sheepskin or goatskin, and sometimes has a buttery consistency to match its pungent taste. It’s usually matured for around 6 months and goes wonderfully with walnuts and freshly baked bread.

Otlu Peynir (herb cheese) from Van

As the name suggests, the cheese with Van Herbal Cheese doesn’t do all the work! The cheese itself is usually made from either sheep or cow milk and is semi-hard with a salty taste. However, most of the flavor comes from the incredible number of herbs, many of which are local and endemic to the Van region of Türkiye.

20 to 25 herbs are added, most commonly varieties from the genera Allium, Thymus, Silene and Ferula. But every village around Van has its own local herbs that they add (or don’t) add, and as the cheese itself grows in popularity, the varieties it comes in are also growing in popularity. The herbs added are often wild, such as: B. wild garlic (sirmo in Turkish), which gives the cheese a distinctive aroma.

The cheese itself was developed for medicinal purposes when medicinal herbs needed to be consumed in large quantities, especially due to the lack of scientific knowledge about which herbs in particular were most beneficial for health. So the cheese was made to create a tasty way to consume many different wild herbs known only to local doctors. The herbs are pickled before adding to the cheese, which adds to the salty taste of the cheese. The cheese is usually aged for around 6 months to bring out the flavor. The end product is a yellowish, semi-hard cheese with a garlic aroma and a good scent of fresh thyme.

Otlu Peynir is often grated with omelets and also goes well with sauces or is simply eaten as a meze starter with some bread and butter.

Koleti cheese from Trabzon

Koleti cheese comes from the Black Sea region of Türkiye and is particularly known for its use in the bowl of Mıhlama. Koleti is made from unpasteurized milk. When the milk turns into cheese, boiling water is poured over it and allowed to cool before slicing and maturing for at least 3 months.

Mıhlama is made by mixing cornmeal and either butter or cream with the cheese to create an incredibly rich, cheesy dish that is slowly cooked so that the cheese is stringy and melted and served hot.

Kaşar cheese from Kars

Kaşar cheese, or Eski Kaşar (literally old Kaşar) as the matured version is called, is perhaps the cheese that is most commonly used in food compared to eating it alone. It has a buttery and tangy taste that makes it suitable with any meal. At more than 6 months of age, as is usually the case in the northeastern region of Kars, it develops peppery notes that go incredibly well with almost anything. It can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, although cow’s milk is the most common. It often accompanies white cheese for breakfast as a completely different taste.

Kaşar cheese is smoother and lighter before aging. It melts very well and is used as the primary processed cheese in Turkish dishes, although it is also great for slicing or grating. It is used in pizzas, sandwiches, or most commonly in grilled cheese sandwiches, which are simply called “tost” (toast) in Turkish.

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