Ultimate Guide To The 17 Best Gaziantep Foods To Try (With Video)

Gaziantep Foods to Try

Heading to Turkey’s culinary capital but don’t know what foods to try? Or not sure whether Gaziantep’s food is reason enough to visit this UNESCO City of Gastronomy? After spending 7 days in this southeastern Turkish city, we can tell you that Gaziantep foods stand in a league of their own. From deliciously spiced kebabs to the most decadent baklava, all the incredible foods definitely make this city worth a visit.

While few tourists venture to eastern Turkey, Gaziantep’s reputation as an epic foodie destination is growing thanks to social media promoting its absurdly delicious foods. Gaziantep’s iconic foods are amazing in their diversity and modesty. Don’t worry about finding celebrity-chef-owned restaurants. Just dive into the local spots that have perfected their dishes over generations and settle in with the friendly locals.

Gaziantep’s world-class dishes are so incredibly spiced, yet always perfectly balanced. Almost everything we tried was a complete culinary experience. Gaziantep’s delicious food set the bar way too high for the rest of our adventures through Turkey. Ready to check-out Gaziantep’s best dishes? Keep reading to discover 17 must-try Gaziantep foods! As a bonus, we include some of the best things to do in Gaziantep when you’re waiting for your next meal!

Estimated reading time: 29 minutes

Hungry To Discover 17 Must Try Gaziantep Foods?

Must try Gaziantep foods

17 Best Gaziantep Foods To Try During Your Visit

1. Baklava

Ultimate Guide For The Best Gaziantep Foods To Try - Baklava
  • WOTW Rating: 5/5

Of course baklava is at the top of the list of Gaziantep foods to try! Baklava is Gaziantep’s most iconic food, and it is taken very seriously around here. I mean, just look at those layers!!! These delicious works of art are almost too pretty to eat. Almost…

We have a confession. Neither of us was a huge fan of baklava before trying Gaziantep’s version. When we would tell anyone in Turkey that we were going to Gaziantep, baklava was the food they would get most excited about. But we felt terrible because we were like…’we don’t even really like baklava’!

Well, that changed. We are now baklava snobs! Trying it in Gaziantep was almost like a religious experience. What makes it so special are the pistachios. Gaziantep is world-famous for its pistachios. They even have pistachio sculptures around the city! To make the world’s best baklava, the pistachios are picked young when they are at their most flavorful stage.

  • Where to try Baklava in Gaziantep? There’s literally a baklava shop in every corner of Gaziantep. Our favorite was at Koçak Baklava. Enjoy it with a cup of çai (tea). It’s said to be the best baklava in the world! Really. We think it’s true.
  • We also had amazing baklava at İmam Çağdaş Kebap and it was delicious! But the place that we both would go back to is Koçak Baklava. Maybe try both and let us know which one you liked better 😉

2. Katmer

Ultimate Guide For The Best Gaziantep Foods To Try - Katmer
  • WOTW Rating: 5/5

Katmer is one of Gaziantep’s most popular breakfast dishes. Impossibly-thin dough is filled with clotted cream and sugar and dusted with delicious pieces of Gaziantep pistachios. The katmer is then baked for exactly 7 minutes.

This perfectly sweet and savory breakfast dish also comes served with the most delicious milk we’ve ever had! The milk is totally part of the experience and it really helps balance some of the katmer’s sweetness.

Don’t be afraid to pop your head into the kitchen the watch how katmer is prepared. It’s amazing to watch how the dough is stretched into unbelievably thin sheets. And the chefs are never shy to invite you into the kitchen to showcase their skills.

  • Where to try Katmer in Gaziantep? Try it at Katmerci Zekeriya Usta. It was delicious and they were the nicest people. It was such a fun experience to eat there.

We loved this blog post for many other Gaziantep foods recommendations.

3. Kunefe

Kunefe Gaziantep Dessert To Try
Image Source: CANVA
  • WOTW Rating: 4/5

Kunefe is a glorious cheese dessert that again beautifully combines sweet and savory flavors. Besides being beautiful, this syrup-soaked cheese pastry is also a delicious addition to the list of must-try Gaziantep foods. Combining crunchy kadayif noodles with melted cheese also creates a beautiful contrast in textures.

We avoided kunefe for a while because we thought a cheese dessert would be too heavy after indulging in Gaziantep’s famous kebabs. But we were surprised by how balanced this dish was. Gaziantep’s foods rarely overwhelm by being too rich or too sweet, and kunefe was a delicious revelation for us.

We Tried The Best Gaziantep Foods On A DIY Food Tour! Check-out The Video To See Turkey’s Most Delicious Foods!

4. Beyran

Ultimate Guide For The Best Gaziantep Foods To Try - Beyran
  • WOTW Rating: 5/5

Beyran is a spicy lamb soup that’s very popular for breakfast during the cooler months. While this traditional Turkish soup can be found in some other parts of the country, it is especially popular and delicious in Gaziantep. Beyran combines a spicy lamb broth with roasted lamb and rice. The total preparation takes a lot of love, as it can take up to 12 hours to cook the lamb properly.

Beyran’s base starts with shredded lamb and rice. Next, lamb fat, garlic, red pepper, and black pepper are added to an aluminum or copper bowl. A direct flame is used to torch the metal bowl and render the lamb fat into a deliciously rich broth. A spicy lamb-broth soup might sound a little intense for the first meal of the day, but trust me, it is phenomenal!

  • Where to try Beyran in Gaziantep? Go to Metanet Lokantası. You have to be there before 10 am (earlier if it’s the weekend), or it might be sold out. It’s that popular!

You may also like…

5. Mercimek

Ultimate Guide For The Best Gaziantep Foods To Try - Mercimek
  • WOTW Rating: 5/5

We never got tired of eating mercimek. This delicious lentil soup is traditionally served for breakfast, and it can be hard to find after lunch hours. Lentil soup (aka mercimek çorbasi in Turkish) sounds simple, but it is so full of flavor!

With its velvety texture and rich flavors, mercimek is perfect for a chilly day when all you want is a comforting bowl of hot soup. It can be topped with spices, fresh lemon juice, and dried mint. The soup is sometimes topped with clarified butter with spices. And, of course, it is always served with a lot of fresh bread. We enjoyed Mercimek at least 30 times during our three month Turkish adventure! It was total comfort food for us. And it is now one of the dishes we miss the most!

  • Where to try mercimek in Gaziantep? We don’t think there’s a specific place famous for these, but we recommend ordering every time you see it on a menu. It is served in most restaurants.

Guess what? We also wrote about the best foods to try in Istanbul! Check it out if you’re curious about iconic dishes to try in Turkey’s most popular city and where to try them! And don’t forget to watch our DIY Istanbul food tour!

6. Ezogelin

Image Source: CANVA
  • WOTW Rating: 5/5

Ezogelin is another classic Turkish lentil soup that is even more delicious in Gaziantep. Unlike mercimek, ezogelin is traditionally easy to find for lunch or dinner. Ezogelin blends red lentils, tomato, bulgur, and rice with pepper and dried mint into a thick and delicious soup.

  • Where to try ezogelin in Gaziantep? You can find ezogelin in many types of restaurants around Gaziantep. If you are arriving for dinner, chances are that mercimek is no longer available. But you always count on ezogelin being there to warm up your soul.

7. Menengic Coffee

  • WOTW Rating: 3.5/5

Menengic coffee is one of Gaziantep’s most famous beverages. But this hot beverage is actually not coffee at all. Menengic coffee is made from roasted and ground terebinth fruits (similar to pistachios). It’s also known as pistachio coffee.

It has a nutty, sweet flavor, and it doesn’t contain caffeine. It is called coffee because the roasting process is similar to that of coffee beans. To be honest, we were not huge fans of this unique coffee. But it was still a cool experience to try something completely new. Menengic coffee has a unique flavor that was not bad tasting, but it just didn’t totally live up to the hype for us.

  • Where to try menengic coffee in Gaziantep? We went to Tahmis Kahvesi, the most famous place to give this popular drink a try. This 400-year-old institution is a borderline must-visit establishment in Gaziantep, even if the menengic coffee isn’t life-changing.

8. Dibek Coffee

  • WOTW Rating: 1/5

Two different coffees served in the same cup? As great as that sounds, dibek coffee was another sad miss for us. We were so excited to give dibek coffee a try because we love coffee! And just look how cool the presentation is! Oh well, I guess our palates are not that refined to enjoy a two-in-one cup of coffee.

Even though the dibek coffee wasn’t our favorite, we still recommend visiting Seddar Bey for the experience. They also serve more traditional coffees inside a beautiful old building with a charming and peaceful little patio. It’s worth visiting to take a short break while recovering from the many food comas you will find yourself in.

  • Where to try dibek coffee in Gaziantep? Seddar Bey is the only place that serves it.

9. Sutlaç (Turkish Rice Pudding)

Ultimate Guide For The Best Gaziantep Foods To Try - Sutlac
Image Source: CANVA
  • WOTW Rating: 5/5

Ummm…more sutlaç, please! This is another dessert where we weren’t quite sure what to expect. But once we tried sutlaç, we knew that we would need more of it in our lives.

This light dessert is perfect after eating one of Gaziantep’s many heavily-spiced entrees. A simple yet heavenly mix of milk, rice, saffron, sugar, and topped with the most delicious hazelnuts! Sutlaç has been enjoyed in Turkey for over 400 years. And we definitely think you will enjoy it, too!

  • Where to try sutlaç in Gaziantep? Considering that it is pretty simple to make, many restaurants will offer sutlaç as a staple dessert. It is also common at popular ‘sofrasi’ restaurants which provide more home-style Turkish dishes.

More Gaziantep Foods to Try: The Kebaps

10. Patlican

Ultimate Guide For The Best Gaziantep Foods To Try - Patlican
  • WOTW Rating: 4/5

Patlican is one of Gaziantep’s most famous kebabs. It’s consists of perfectly grilled and spiced ground lamb meat, sandwiched by smoky eggplant. When we first tried it, we were impressed with the soft yet firm texture of the eggplant and just how expertly cooked everything was. The flavors of the spiced lamb with the smoky eggplant were the perfect pairing!

  • Where to try Patlican Kebap in Gaziantep? This dish is served in a lot of restaurants, but we tried a delicious version at İmam Çağdaş Kebap. This restaurant is very famous in the city, and we think it’s a great place to try some of Gaziantep’s most iconic kebabs and baklava!

WOTW Tip: order Ayran with your meals (in Gaziantep and in Turkey in general!). Ayran is a yogurt-based drink that perfectly compliments the spiced kebabs and other Gaziantep foods. Bonus points if you find home-made Ayran!

11. Kusleme

  • WOTW Rating: 2/5

Let us explain this poor review. We think that we may not have been served the best cut of meat.

Kusleme is meant to be very soft and tender, but soft and tender were not the words that came to mind when we tried it. Kusleme is non-marinated lamb meat made from lamb tenderloin. They cook it on charcoal and serve it in small portions because this particular cut of lamb is small and only provides a limited amount of meat.

We probably would need to try kusleme again to judge it fairly. But with so many amazing Gaziantep foods to try, we didn’t want to risk it!

  • Where to try kusleme kebap in Gaziantep? We ate at ‘Kuslemeci Mehmet Usta‘. Again, I don’t know if we actually didn’t like it or if we went to the wrong place, but our experience trying this popular dish was disappointing.

Interested in Receiving More Useful Travel Posts? Sign Up To Receive One Weekly Email From Us!

12. Ali Nazik

Ultimate Guide For The Best Gaziantep Foods To Try - Ali Nazik
  • WOTW Rating: 5/5

One of our absolute favorite Gaziantep foods is the Ali Nazik kebap! This delicious kebab is made with ground lamb meat seasoned with garlic and spices. The kebab is then served on a smoked eggplant puree and a garlicky yogurt. It’s a mix we’ve never heard of, but we definitely will not forget. Ali Nazik is very rich in flavor, so it’s not an everyday thing. But it is without a doubt one of the best dishes we tried in Turkey!

  • Where to try Ali Nazik Kebap in Gaziantep? Most serious kebab restaurants serve Ali Nazik, and we tried it at Köşk Kebap. It’s a smaller place that we stumbled upon randomly. We were heading somewhere more ‘famous’ but saw this place filled with locals and decided to pop in. And it was so good! We had delicious mercimek (lentil soup) there, too!

13. Simit Kebap

Ultimate Guide For The Best Gaziantep Foods To Try - Limit Kebap
  • WOTW Rating: 5/5

Have you noticed most of these dishes are made with lamb? Have I mentioned that I never ate lamb before going to Gaziantep? But even I loved Gaziantep’s famous lamb kebabs. That’s how good the food is in this city!

Simit kebap was the first lamb dish I tried (that I knew of) – ever! It’s made with ground lamb, bulgur, cumin, red pepper flakes, pistachios, mint, and lamb-tail fat. These ingredients come together for one of the most flavorful kebabs we tried. It is absolutely delicious!!

  • Where to try simit kebap in Gaziantep? Also served in a lot of restaurants around Gaziantep, but we tried it at İmam Çağdaş Kebap, and it was delicious. We had quite the feast at this restaurant, as you can tell by now!

Other Delicious Gaziantep Foods to Try

14. Içli Kofte

  • WOTW Rating: 5/5

We tried this delicious dish for the first time in Fethiye. It was love at first taste when our lovely Airbnb host, Mensure, offered us her homemade version! Içli kofte is minced meat with spices wrapped in a delicious bulgur flour mix that’s deep-fried to perfection. The inside can include pistachios, pine nuts, or walnuts. It’s crispy, juicy, and so flavorful!

We only saw içli kofte as we started heading east in Turkey. We were lucky to try it in Fethiye because our Airbnb host was from Eastern Turkey. When you see it, order it. It’s the best appetizer! It was hard for me not to have 10 of these for dinner every time.

  • Where to try içli kofte in Gaziantep? It is served in a lot of restaurants as an appetizer. As far as we know, there’s no specific place that is famous for içli kofte.

15. Lahmacun

  • WOTW Rating: 5/5

Oh Lahmacun… How I miss lahmacun!

Similar in appearance to pizza, lahmacun is a thin and flaky bread topped with spiced ground beef (sometimes lamb) and veggies. The lahmacun is tossed into a wood-fired stone oven for several minutes, and the end result is one of the best dishes in Gaziantep.

Lahmacun is very similar to Turkish pide. But in our opinion, it is even better! You can add other veggies on top (onions, parsley, lemon juice, and yogurt) and then roll it up. It’s a popular fast-food item in this part of the country, and it’s absolutely delicious. Try it everywhere you can! It’s perfect for a quick bite.

  • Where to try lahmacun in Gaziantep? Because lahmacun is a quintessential food in Gaziantep, you will find it in many places. Locals often eat one or two lahmacun as an appetizer, so don’t be shy to order it ahead of your kebabs. Otherwise, it is excellent for an addicting and affordable snack.

16. Chicken Şiş

  • WOTW Rating: 5/5

Chicken doesn’t get enough credit in this city. In my opinion, it should be high on the list of the best Gaziantep foods to try!! It’s always spiced and cooked to perfection. Simply delicious! Trust me, you will need a break in-between all the lamb dishes, which are delicious but definitely on the heavier side!

  • Where to try chicken şiş in Gaziantep? We had it in many different places, and it was always fantastic. Again, wherever you see locals eating, eat there!

17. Chicken Doner

  • WOTW Rating: 5/5

Trust me, we had our fair share of chicken doner during our three months in Turkey. But none of them were even close to matching the flavor of Istanbul Doner in Gaziantep. We ate at this place at least 5 different times! The chicken was spiced and cooked to perfection. The bread was always so fresh, light, and delicious. And they even added an addicting tomato sauce to the doner to take it to another level.

As you can see from the photo, we went there so often that we got the tomato sauce on the side! #VIP. Also, you have to add those pickled spicy peppers to every single bite! I’m drooling now…

We noticed in Gaziantep that many places serve just a single dish. And they do it right! Whenever you see a restaurant packed with locals selling just one dish, we recommend you go in and order their specialty (it will most likely be locals because there are very few international tourists in Gaziantep). All the attention to making one food the best it can be makes these types of restaurants the best!

  • Where to try chicken doner in Gaziantep? Our beloved Istanbul Doner was directly next to our hotel near the center of Gaziantep.

Other Things To Do In Gaziantep Besides Food

Of course, eating is not the only thing you’ll do in Gaziantep! You do need to fill your time in between meals, after all.

If we are being perfectly honest, there’s not a ton to do in Gaziantep. This city is famous mainly for its food, but it is still worth exploring for several days. Here are some of the things we did in Gaziantep in-between meals:

Visit The Zeugma Mosaic Museum

  • WOTW Rating: 5/5
  • Cost: 40 TL ($4 US)

Even though the idea of a mosaic museum may not get your blood pumping, the Zeugma Mosaic Museum is world-class and definitely worth a visit. The different sections are very well organized, and the museum is a nice manageable size, ensuring that you aren’t just going through the motions towards the end of your visit.

The Greek and Roman-era mosaics are in excellent condition, and they are presented with enough interesting context to make you appreciate what you are looking at. The star of the mosaic show is the Gypsy Girl, though our favorite was the large mosaic with Poseidon and different sea creatures.

Get Lost Walking Through The Copper Bazaar

  • WOTW Rating: 5/5
  • Cost: Free!

While definitely appealing to visitors, Gaziantep’s Copper Bazar is still used mostly by locals shopping for homewares. Once you get close, you can hear the tinkering of the tradesman working on their beautifully-detailed crafts. If you peek inside the shops, you might also see people melting their copper or using giant blow torches on giant copper pieces. ‘Safety first’ doesn’t seem to be the motto here. But it is very entertaining to watch!

We purchased a few things at the Bazar, and they were surprisingly affordable! We had constantly been told to haggle in Turkey, but the prices were very modest more often than not. So we rarely bothered to negotiate.

Visit The Gaziantep Castle

  • WOTW Rating: 4/5
  • Cost: 30 TL ($1.50 US)

The Gaziantep Castle was constructed during Roman rule in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. A visit here does not allow for too much exploration through the old castle walls, but you can access the top of the castle and take in the views of the sprawling city.

The highlight of our visit to the Gaziantep Castle is the museum that tells the story of Turkey’s independence following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Gaziantep is an important city for the history of Turkish independence, as the region fought bravely against the French during the Turkish War of Independence. The information at the museum was the most comprehensive that we found on Turkish independence during our travels.

Final Thoughts On Gaziantep Foods

After spending a week eating the best Gaziantep foods, it’s safe to say that we reached Turkey’s culinary mountaintop. There was no going up from here. And after visiting Istanbul, we can say that even their incredibly wonderful food did not match the flavor, quality, and passion that defines the food here. It was THAT GOOD!

While writing this I told G that there were so many Gaziantep foods we didn’t get to try. So I guess that means we are going back! Even though Gaziantep was chaotic and loud, we really enjoyed our time there. We would go back in a heartbeat! Gaziantep’s people were so incredibly kind and welcoming. And well, there’s the food too. We dream of baklava.

I hope you decide to give Gaziantep a visit and let it blow your mind with its unique culinary offerings. You won’t eat like this anywhere else in the world!

Thanks so much for reading!



Are you ready to explore Turkey’s culinary capital? Have any questions about Gaziantep’s delicious foods? Share your questions or thoughts in the comments or DM us on Instagram!

Planning A Trip To Turkey? Read These Posts Next:

Tired of reading? We have an entire Turkey travel series on YouTube. Don’t forget to subscribe while you’re there to following along with the adventures 🙂

Save These Delicious Gaziantep Foods To Your Pinterest!

*This post contains affiliate links. We receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us to stay on the road to keep producing useful travel content for free!

Home » Food » Ultimate Guide To The 17 Best Gaziantep Foods To Try (With Video)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *