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Cappadocia’s Best Restaurants

Oh, how I remember the days when you could only get good meals in Cappadocia during the summer.

In summer, chefs and staff would come from larger cities to the towns of Cappadocia and prepare good, if simple, meals. But the rest of the year, Cappadocian towns reverted from tourism to farming, and only the very simplest restaurants stayed open.

Those times are long gone. With Turkey now numbered No. 6 among the world's top ten tourist destinationsCappadocia now boasts some excellent year-round restaurants serving locals and visitors alike.

Here are my favorites:

Cappadocia Steak House

Set on the hillside of the historical Üçhisar Castle, this elegant restaurant not only offers one of the best dining experiences in Cappadocia, but also has an incredible view of the city below. Sitting on the terrace at night overlooking the city lights while sipping a beautiful Cappadocian red is an entirely magical and unique experience. There is both indoor, outdoor, and terrace seating. The atmosphere is calm and welcoming to couples, families, singles, and especially foodies! The menu offers an array of Middle Eastern inspired mezes (appetizers) along with beautiful Cappadocian wines.

Ziggy Café & Shoppe

The perfect place for a light lunch or dinner, an after-dinner drink, and conversation (romantic, or with friends) on an open-air terrace or next to a cozy fire, with cool jazz in the background and views over ÜrgüpMore...

Seten Restaurant

This atmospheric, fine-dining restaurant in the Kelebek Hotelcomplex in Göreme has charming dining rooms, friendly and efficient service, moderate prices, an interesting menu of Turkish specialties, and some of the most delicious food in Cappadocia. More...

Old Greek House

Its name tells you about the building—an authentic, unrestored Ottoman Greek mansion in Mustafapaşa—but not about the cuisine: home cooking, served (if you like) Turkish-style, at a circular table set low on the floor. More...

Orient Restaurant

The Orient Restaurant in Göreme has been serving travelers and locals since 1986. The atmospheric dining room or terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine or, if you're a steak-lover, their large beef bonfile steak is served on a hot marble slab: order your steak az pişmiş (rare) and, if you'd like it cooked a little more, cut a slice and let it cook on the tile for a few more seconds. Their wine list is quite satisfying. More...

Sur Balık Restaurant

Avanos has the region's best seafood restaurant, the local outlet of an Istanbul chain offering polished service in a classy atmosphere in a location overlooking the Kızılırmak River. Fish in landlocked Cappadocia? Here, its good, and the prices are moderate.

Elai Restaurant

Whaddaya mean I'm not in Istanbul? The sophistication of this white-tablecloth place in Uçhisar makes you wonder, but the panoramic view from the terrace could only be CappadociaMore...

Dimrit Café & Restaurant

An old Ürgüp house perched on a rock promontory just downhill from the Esbelli neighborhood has good food, careful service, and spectacular views of the town and countryside. More...

Culture Museum & Restaurant-Café

Set right in Ortahisar's main square, this is a felicitous combination of ethnographic museum and fine restaurantwith both indoor dining rooms and open-air terrace. More...

—by Tom Brosnahan

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