Old Cappadocia Restaurant: Amazing Food on a Budget
During my five days in Cappadocia, I was of course excited about experiencing the hot air balloon ride at sunrise. But like every new city, I was also excited to see what great food they have to offer! There are many great places in which to dine on the higher end, but I was looking for a combination of great food at budget friendly prices. The 4:1 exchange rate with the Turkish lira was also helpful. I was lucky to have found a great place called Old Cappadocia Restaurant which exceeded my expectations in every way. They provided some of the best food I tried in all of Turkey, along with excellent service staff who remembered me and they have a nice but casual atmosphere. I continued to try other places in the area, but just kept coming back to Old Cappadocia Restaurant. Let me show you why.
Güveç: Pronounced geh-vetz, this dish includes aubergine (eggplant), tomatoes, peppers, and your choice of a meat stewed in a clay pot. At the recommendation of our server, we ordered it with etli (beef) for $4.75.
Restaurant staff explained that cooking in clay pots is a central Turkey specialty. Many of the other clay pot dishes are completely enclosed so they are prepared through braising. This leaves them thoroughly juicy and they’re served similar to a thick soup or stew. For the güveç, the absence of a pot lid allowed for a loss of some liquid but resulted in a crispy texture on top which I enjoyed. The dish was rich and flavorful. It was one of my favorites.
Bread: The fresh breads in Turkey are fantastic. Here is was served with olive oil and sumac, a common seasoning in the Middle East.
Saç Tava: Prepared in its own dish, similar to a wok, this was another personal favorite. Diced meat, tomato, bell peppers and garlic are cooked together and then rice is added in the center. The dish is served still sizzling. The peppers added a nice acidic note to the savory meat and seasonings. A must-try for only $6.25.
Ezme: Made with minced tomatoes, seasoning, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice, this is a great appetizer with the bread or as an accompaniment to many of the entrees. At $2 it was one of my favorites.
Brick Oven: Old Cappadocia has a large oven they use to bake their clay pot meats as well as pita and fresh bread.
Kiymali: Similar to lahmacun, this pita is prepared with minced meat, tomatoes, peppers and seasoning. The only difference is that it is prepared in a thicker pita style instead of a very thin dough. Priced at only $2.50.
Pita: Prepared here with a blend of cheese and beef sausage, this was strongly recommended by our server and I’m happy I asked. The cheese and meat were excellent and it was cooked in the brick oven perfectly. I can’t believe this goes for a mere $3. Fantastic dish.
Hummus: Many are familiar with this blend of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), tahini, garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. The consistency and texture is different from other parts of the world but it packs a lot of flavor. For $2.25, this is well worth trying.
Fries: I may have been feeling a bit homesick but I was in need of some fries. Many places tend to under-cook or under-season their fries in Turkey but this place does a great job for $1.75.
Where to Find Old Cappadocia Restaurant
Address: İçeridere Sk., 50180 Nevşehir Merkez, Turkey
Phone: +90 384 271 2858
Hours: 11am – 10:30pm daily
One of each of my favorite dishes at Old Cappadocia Restaurant above could feed about 4 people, for a mere $22.50. Bottled water and alcoholic drinks were also priced very fairly. This allowed my friends and I to enjoy many great meals at this restaurant.
Old Cappadocia is a must for anyone heading to the area, whether you’re visiting for a hot air balloon ride or any other reason. The class of food they offer, service and atmosphere brings a lot to the table. Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed.
For more information on the city, check out budget tips for Cappadocia & Hot Air Balloon Rides.
Sherefe! (Cheers in Turkish)
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