Home Trip ideas Gourmet Culinary routes: Dining in Gaziantep, Hatay and Adana

    Culinary routes: Dining in Gaziantep, Hatay and Adana

    Take off for southeastern Anatolia and prepare to feast! It’s autumn – and while both temperatures and leaves are dropping elsewhere, there’s no need for melancholy: the southeast is warm, colorful and hospitable and, perhaps, beautiful music is playing in the background – maybe “Antep’in hamamları” or “Adanalım”, a folk song. For a wonderful fall holiday, check out these Gaziantep, Hatay and Adana culinary routes.

    Turkish Airlines Blog
    Yazar ekibimiz tarafından yönetilen bu hesapla, seyahat tutkunları ve keşif meraklılarının keyif alacağı blog içerikleri üretiyoruz. Özenle hazırladığımız içeriklerimiz aracılığıyla ilham vermeyi, bilgilendirmeyi, heyecanlandırmayı, eğlendirmeyi ve küçük ipuçları ile yolculuğunuzu kolaylaştırmayı amaçlıyoruz. Aynı zamanda yola çıkmanın yenileyici ve özgürleştiriciliğini sizlere tekrar hatırlatmak istiyoruz. Çünkü Tolstoy'un dediği gibi: “Tüm muhteşem hikayeler iki şekilde başlar; Ya bir insan bir yolculuğa çıkar ya da şehre bir yabancı gelir...”

    Where to start?

    Lao Tzu famously said that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. If we take this literally, then the first step in this gastronomic exploration is reading this blog. The next step, where to begin, is easily determined. We have chosen two routes, both of which start in cities with easily accessible flights. From each city, you may opt to rent a car for a few days. (At this point, we remind you that additional fees may be incurred if you return the rental vehicle to a location other than where it was picked up). For accommodation options, you can take a look here. Have a safe trip! 

    Gaziantep-Hatay-Adana or Adana-Hatay-Gaziantep

    There are frequent flights to Gaziantep and Adana from Istanbul and Ankara; most depart in the early morning or during the day. For more information, please see the flight ticket page. If you are impatient to experience the legendary Gaziantep breakfast – which can include katmer, a fried and layered bread, as well as beyran soup – then the Gaziantep-Hatay-Adana route is best for you. Spend a full day in Gaziantep and head to Hatay early the next morning. Hatay is 180 kilometers from Gaziantep, about a two-hour drive, and offers historical sites along with amazing food. Next stop is Adana, approximately 180 kilometers from Hatay. You can extend the two-hour trip with a visit to Iskenderun to see the beach or the Iskenderun Naval Museum. Arriving in Adana, you can feast on liver, sıkma or Adana böreği, or check out some other suggestions.

    What and where to eat in Gaziantep

    Gaziantep is renowned for the diversity and quality of its cuisine. Local breakfast specialties include pastry made with katmer, a fried, layered bread, along with liver, beyran soup and the distinctive Antep cheese. Lunchtime delivers even more deliciousness: kuşbaşı (cubed meat dishes), alinazik kebab (made with cubed lamb and smoked, spiced, pureed aubergine), simit kebab or küşleme (prime lamb cut). There’s also lahmacun, (a thin disc of dough with minced vegetables, meat and herbs) and various mezes. In the evening, you can choose from homestyle dishes such as yuvalama (a soup of chickpeas, meatballs and yoghurt), onion or garlic kebab, or firik pilavi (a bulgur dish). We also strongly recommend that you sample Gaziantep baklava, which is some of the best in the world. Work up an appetite between meals with visits to the Zeugma Mosaic Museum, Antep Castle and the Coppersmiths Bazaar. To ensure that you don’t miss any of Gaziantep’s great eateries, we’ve listed them below. Bon Appetit!


    • İmam Çağdaş
    • Koçak
    • Elmacıpazarı Güllüoğlu
    • Zeki İnal
    • Çelebioğulları
    • Elit Baklava

    Kebap and Lahmacun

    • İmam Çağdaş
    • Çulcuoğlu
    • Ciğerci Mustafa
    • Üçler
    • Küşlemeci Halil Usta
    • Küşlemeci Mehmet


    • Metanet
    • Beyrancı Mustafa
    • Dukat


    • Orkide Pastanesi
    • Katmerci Zekeriya Usta

    Local dishes

    • Aşina (Firik pilaf, yuvalama, stuffed pepper, stuffed meatballs, onion kebab in winter and garlic kebab in spring)

    Other must-try dishes

    • A wrap made with Gaziantep pide stuffed with chickpeas and fried potatoes (at Fiko’nun yeri)
    • Pistachio ice cream (at Muzaffer Dondurma)
    • Menengiç coffee – a hot, caffeine-free beverage made with terebinth (at Tahmis)
    • Kadayif grilled on charcoal (Erçelebi)
    • Kahke (Akşam simit)
    • Licorice sherbet (great for the digestive system!)  
    • Meatballs with walnuts

    Must visit

    • Zeugma
    • Antep Castle
    • Coppersmiths Bazaar
    • Elmacı Bazaar
    Gaziantep has many delicious local specialties: Yuvalama soup, kahke, chickpea wraps and licorice sherbet are just a few.
    Gaziantep baklava in a tray

    What and where to eat in Hatay

    Welcome to an ancient city. You have just entered the dusty but mysterious pages of history. Stroll through narrow streets that have hosted civilizations for thousands of years and experience the full magnificence of Hatay. Of course, what is civilization and history without a culinary tradition? The many cultures that have existed in Hatay are reflected in its diverse cuisine. Don’t leave the city without sampling tepsi kebab, Hatay-style hummus and künefe (a rich dessert), as well as the many local mezes and other dishes! Take a break from eating with a visit to the Habib-i Neccar Mosque, St. Pierre Church and St. Simeon Monastery. And for suggestions on Hatay-style dining and sightseeing, please see our list below:  


    • Çınaraltı
    • Petek Pastanesi
    • Ferah Künefe


    • Harbiye
    • Humusçu Nedim Usta
    • Humusçu İbrahim Usta
    • Antik Limon Mezeci


    • Pöç
    • Nihat Usta


    • Dönerci Tacettin
    • Abdo

    Local dishes

    • Sultan Sofrası
    • Leban
    • Sveyka
    • Boğaziçi
    • Konak

    Other must-try dishes

    • Lahmacun in the bazaars in the city center
    • Pomegranate (in season in the autumn)
    • Bread with pepper
    • Muhammara
    • Bezirgân kebab
    • İkindi simiti
    • Sürk cheese

    Must visit

    • Habib-i Neccar Mosque
    • Hatay Archeology Museum
    • St. Simeon Monastery
    • St. Pierre Church
    • Titus Tunnel
    When in Hatay, do sample the following specialties: Hatay-style hummus, peppered bread and, in autumn, fresh pomegranate juice.
    Tea, and künefe on a plate

    What and where to eat in Adana

    Welcome to one of the world’s warmest and friendliest cities! Adana is one of those places where two cultures sit easily with each other and this richness shows up in many aspects of the city. The food of Adana, too, will make you smile. Special Adana börek alternatives, the famous Adana kebab and liver, and şırdan (stuffed intestines) are just some of Adana’s local specialties.

    Adana kebab

    • Eco’nun Yeri
    • Kebapçı Mesut
    • Beyzade
    • Elem
    • Cik Cik Ali Usta
    • Yüzevler
    • Onbaşılar


    • Ciğerci Mahmut
    • Birbiçer Ciğer
    • Bedo

    Local dishes

    • Adana Köy Sofrası

    Other must-try dishes 

    • Şırdan
    • Şalgam
    • Sıkma (Zafer Sıkma)
    • Adana böreği

    Must visit

    • Taşköprü
    • Ulu Mosque
    • Bebekli Church
    When in Adana, you must sample the Adana kebab and Adana-style liver. And don’t forget to try Adana börek varieties, as well as the local turnip juice!
    Adana kebab and mezes on the table


    • Arrive at the airport at least one hour before your flight.
    • Check-in 24 hours before your flight, if online check-in is available.
    • Conduct a bit of research on your destinations.
    • Check the weather forecast before you leave!
    • Bring layers. Days may be warm, but the nights can get chilly, depending on the season. 
    • Bring your sunglasses!
    • Create routes for yourself using applications such as Google Maps.
    • Create beautiful photo albums with your phone or camera.
    • Check out local products and specialties – gifts for your loved ones.

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