What Does a Typical Turkish Breakfast Look Like?

A typical Turkish breakfast plate in Istanbul, Turkey

by Erlend Geerts

in Practical Information, Restaurants

Turks love eating. And since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they know how to extend and add variety to it. Covering a not so small amount of land, we can see some local differences in for instance the type of the cheese, olives or even the bread. Yet all regions have one or more things in common.

Basic Elements of a Turkish Breakfast

For starters a well prepared tea is a must. Turkish coffee has its name from this nation, but when it comes to breakfast, Turks are definitely tea people.

The most common type of bread is white bread. However, in an attempt to eat healthier, different kinds of grain breads like rye became widespread.

The rest of the ingredients are white cheese (similar to feta), old cheese (kaşar peyniri), black and/or green olives (zeytin), butter, honey, jam, an omlette or boiled eggs (yumurta), sliced tomatoes and/or cucumbers.

A pan of sucuklu yumurta at a Turkish breakfast

A pan of sucuklu yumurta.

Spice It Up With Sucuklu Yumurta

For the ones who like to spice it up, a Turkish breakfast favorite is sucuk cooked on a pan mostly with eggs (sucuklu yumurta). Sucuk is dried sausage made of ground beef with garlic and a variety of spices like red pepper, cumin and sumac. It may be somewhat spicy and fatty, but it sure is awfully delicious.

Order a Turkish Breakfast Plate

You can enjoy a Turkish breakfast almost everywhere in Istanbul. From cafes to pastry shops as well as most of the restaurants serve breakfast. Either on a breakfast plate (kahvaltı tabağı) or as a buffet meal with more variety added to the items listed above.

Some people also serve börek on the side. Börek which is made of thin sheets of dough, filled with cheese, minced meat and/or vegetables, wrapped and baked or cooked.

The word for breakfast in Turkish is kahvaltı. It can be translated as kahvealtı being under-coffee, meaning the food you eat before drinking coffee. So a nice long Turkish breakfast should of course end with a cup of well-made Turkish coffee.

Photo Sources [1] [2]

What's Next

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

shannon December 9, 2013 at 12:34 pm



Michael November 15, 2014 at 7:54 am

Hello Erlend,
How about the price of the breakfast?



Erlend Geerts November 17, 2014 at 7:14 am

Hi Michael,

You should be able to find a full breakfast for about 20 TL per person.

Kind regards,


Sonia March 8, 2015 at 10:44 pm

Hi Erlend,
Great info dude!
By any chance do u know any Bakery courses in Istanbul?



Erlend Geerts March 9, 2015 at 8:30 pm

Hi Sonia,

I’m sorry, not off the top of my head.

Kind regards,


Ekram April 8, 2015 at 6:51 am

We in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Palestine have the same breakfast contents. Bearing in mind our traditions might be a little bit different. In Jordan people like to be more generous with guests. They offer big plates and more food to them. People there, like to have fresh bread from the oven. Therefore, if you are lucky with some villagers, you would enjoy the ultimate taste of fresh bread with “Zait & Zaatar”. Enjoy your trips anywhere you go and big simile


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: