We love Turkish food. There are so many great options! Our kids also really enjoy it and this post will focus on some of the most kid friendly food options (at least according to our two kids–ages 4 and 6). Their favorite foods are mostly meat based and you will find it is a strong meat society here. But you can find some vegetarian options too. Döner and pide are both very easy to find, especially on road trips and at food courts.
Large pieces of meat cooked on a spit and thin-sliced before wrapping in a tortilla-like bread. French fries (patates kızartması), onion (soğan), and tomato slices (domates) are a common addition, but different places add different options. You can also request it plain. “Et” means meat and is typically beef or lamb–a red meat. “Tavuk” is chicken. My daughter’s favorite is the “et” version.
Lots of great bread, the one pictured below often comes with meals. Yum!
Pilav üstü et döner
Both my kids LOVE this meat! It is the same meat as in the wrap above, but served on a bed of rice instead. The rice (pilav) is buttery and rich. Also comes in a chicken (tavuk) version. You can also get just the pilav as a side. Some places include chickpeas in the rice.
Thin bread with a seasoned ground meat with a bit of chopped tomatoes and greens. It is then folded over and grilled. It also comes in various other versions with different fillers, such as cheese.
May come in acılı (spicy) or acısız (not spicy) versions.
This is my 4 year old’s favorite Turkish food. He calls it Turkish Pizza! Thin bread with melted cheese on top–like cheese pizza minus the tomato sauce. Pide comes in many versions, including with sausage (sucuk), cheese (kaşarlı), spinach and cheese (Ispanaklı pide), mixed meat (karışık pide), and minced meat (kıymalı pide).
Sometimes it is served round and cut into triangles like a pizza and sometimes it is served on long bread and cut into large pieces like below.
Marinated chicken pieces grilled on skewers. Very similar to Shish Tawook or chicken skewers. Mild and tender. Often served with rice.
Köfte (might be called Izgara Köfte)
Grilled meatballs. Ground meat, formed into spheres or cylinders. Extremely similar to a meatball.
Soups! Turkish soups are delicious! Tomato (domate) and lentil (mercimek) are my daughter’s favorites, but they are all good.