Contrary to popular belief, it is not just propinquity to Syria that influences Hatay cuisine. Specially-prepared olives, liberal use of citrus fruits, and local herbs and spices make it distinctive.
Firik pilav is a special rice dish. Kaytaz böreği is small pizzas topped with meat. Turşu (pickled vegetables) are prominent on the table. The tandır, or underground sealed oven, is used as well.
But the most famous Antakya treat is undoubtedly künefe, (sometimes called peynirli künefe): shredded wheat wrapped around fresh mild cheese, dipped in syrup, sprinkled with crushed walnuts and baked.
Han Restaurant,Hürriyet Caddesi 17/1, is the old faithful of Antakya dining-places, having been in business for decades.
Anadolu Restaurant, Hürriyet Caddesi 30, is fairly refined, serving regional cuisine.
Kule Restaurant inHarbiye (Daphne) is a large white-tablecloth place perched on the hillside with fine views toward the Mediterranean, an impressive list of local dishes, and a pictorial menu to help you choose them.
—by Tom Brosnahan