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Gaziantep Cuisine

The way to explore Gaziantep properly is through the city’s incomparable cuisine. The food of Antep enchanted the “king of travelers”, Evliya Çelebi, who declared the city the “capital of gourmets”. Although Gaziantep cuisine is famous for kebabs, its real wealth and variety lie in dishes cooked at home.  There are many different kinds of soup, all amazingly tasty; the dishes with yoghurt are wonderful; and those with a little meat and lots of vegetables are nutricious and healthy. The dolmas made with dried peppers and aubergines, and the stuffed vine leaves are packed with flavor. As for yuvarlama (a soup made with chickpeas and meatballs), this is indescribably delicious, and an essential dish during Ramazan Bayramı (Eid al-Fitr).

Gaziantep’s rich history and geographic location make it one of the most important cities in the country, and the unique culture expressed in the variety of its dishes enrich Turkish cuisine as a whole. Gaziantep cuisine has something to please almost every palate, and the secret of its taste lies not only in the skill and experience of those who cook the dishes. The heightened aroma and full flavor of the animal and vegetable products raised and grown locally under natural conditions also contribute. The main characteristics of Gaziantep cuisine are as follows:  

1- A wide variety of herbs and spices are used, for example, saffron or mint in yoghurt dishes, tarragon in some soups and other dishes, cumin in liver kebab, fennel in the sweet dish of mixed grains and pulses called aşure, and cinnamon in rice pudding. 

2 – While one or two types of ekşi (tart seasoning) are used in other regions, there are seven different kinds in Gaziantep, each used in specific dishes. Seasonings used to impart a little sharpness are lemon juice, citric acid, unripe grapes and a syrup made from them, sumac and sumac syrup, and pomegranate syrup. 

3 – Fresh garlic- delicious, and with appetite-whetting and healthful properties- is widely used, in fact there is even a dish where garlic is the main ingredient, and another in which it is combined half-and half with broad beans.

Here are some restaurants where you can sample a full range of local specialities: 

Acıoğlu Lokantası Tel.: 342 338 51 11 Pancarlı Mahallesi Ali Şir Nevai Caddesi No: 24 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP 

Aşina Restoran Tel.: 342 220 49 49 İncilipınar Mahallesi Kıbrıs Caddesi No: 46 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Bayazhan Restaurant Tel.: 342 221 02 12 Akyol Mahallesi Atatürk Bulvarı No: 119 Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Çağdaş Restaurant Tel.: 342 220 45 45 Hamdi Kutlar Caddesi Uzun Çarşı No: 49 Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Çınarlı Yöresel Ev Yemekleri Tel.: 342 221 21 55 Bey Mahallesi Çınarlı Sokak No: 6/B Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Gelincik Yöresel Ev Yemekleri Tel.: 342 325 01 04 Mücahitler Mahallesi Gazimuhtarpaşa Bulvarı No: 24 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Göl Cafe Restaurant Tel.: 530 148 60 50 Dülük Tabiat Parkı Biyolojik Gölet Karşısı Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Kırkayak Gaziantep Evi Tel.: 342 232 15 00 Kemal Köker Caddesi Kırkayak Parkı İçi Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Sahan Restaurant Tel.: 342 220 46 46 Eski Belediye Caddesi Şirehanı No: 1 Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Şirvan Kebap ve Baklava Tel.: 342 324 25 26 Ali Fuat Cebesoy Bulvarı No: 33 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

 

KEBABS

One should never leave Gaziantep without trying a kebab. The varieties vary according to season. In springtime, look for the ‘Keme Kebabı’ made with a type of truffle, and don’t miss the ‘Yeni Dünya’ (with loquats) and the ‘Sarımsak’ (garlic) kebabs.  The ‘Sebzeli Kebap’ (vegetable kebab) with fresh garlic and parsely is especially delicious. In summer, tomatoes and aubergine come to the fore. ‘Alinazik’ makes the most of aubergine, while ‘Ezmeli Kebap’ features full-flavoured summer tomatoes. When the sun loses its heat, the ‘Soğan Kebabı’- onion kebab is a great comfort food to keep you warm in winter. The most famous of all is the Cağırtlak Kebabı with liver, which is a favourite in almost all weather. It is a popular breakfast dish, especially at the pre-dawn meal during the month of Ramazan. 

To try the dishes mentioned above, we recommend the following venues:

Antep Küşleme Et Lokantası Tel.: 342 337 20 25 Organize Sanayi Bölgesi Girişi Başpınar/GAZİANTEP

Ciğerci Ali Haydar Usta Seferpaşa Mahallesi Köprübaşı Sokak Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Ciğerci Mustafa Tel.: 342 230 91 82 Gaziler Cd. Bayramoğlu Sokak No: 1/B Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Çavuşoğlu Kebap Tel.: 342 231 30 69 Eski Saray Caddesi No: 11/B Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Çulcuoğlu Et Lokantası Tel.: 342 231 02 41 Şahinbey Mahallesi Kalender Sokak No: 6/A Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

İmam Usta Lokantası Tel.: 342 321 21 62 Fevzi Çakmak Bulvarı Ömer Asım Aksoy Caddesi No: 2 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

İncikçinin Yeri Nur Ocakbaşı Tel.: 342 326 04 39 Kayaönü Mahallesi 50 Nolu Sokak No: 15 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Kasap Halil Usta Et Lokantası Tel.: 342 320 09 00 Fatih Mahallesi 24 Nolu Sokak No:9/E Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Kebapcı Halil Usta Tel.: 342 323 16 16 Mithat Paşa Mahallesi Tekel Caddesi No: 6 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Kebapçı Mustafa Tel.: 342 323 50 50 Karşıyaka Şoför Ali Caddesi No: 72 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Köşem Kebap Tel.: 342 321 89 44 Ali Nadi Ünler Bulvarı Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP 

Köşk Kebap Salonu Tel.: 342 232 02 15 Yaprak Mahallesi Kepkep Sokak No:30/C Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Mehmet Usta Kebap Salonu Tel.: 342 231 20 00 Kemal Köker Caddesi No:19 Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Turan Kasap Restaurant Tel.: 342 341 77 97 Batıkent Mahallesi Anneler Parkı İçi Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Üçler Restaurant Tel.: 342 215 44 44 Nail Bilen Caddesi Kantar İş Merkezi No: 4 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

 

BEYRAN

A piece of lamb on the bone is boiled for 12 hours, then removed from the bone and shredded. Rice is boiled with a little butter. The rice and meat are put in a copper pan with some red pepper flakes, and cooked together on high heat. Meat stock is gradually added to the pan.

This tasty dish is called Beyran, and is a breakfast time favourite of Gaziantep people.

Acıoğlu Lokantası Tel.: 342 338 51 11 Pancarlı Mahallesi Ali Şir Nevai Caddesi No: 24 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Kelebek Paça-Beyran ve Kebap Salonu Tel.: 342 230 96 33 Kemal Köker Caddesi 65/A Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Metanet Lokantası Tel.: 342 231 46 66 Kozluca Mahallesi Kozluca Caddesi No: 11 Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Sakıp Usta Kelle Paça Tel.: 342 220 18 19 Alleben Mahallesi Kemal Kükrer Caddesi Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Üçler Restaurant Tel.: 342 215 44 44 Nail Bilen Caddesi Kantar İş Merkezi No: 4 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

 

BAKLAVA

Evliya Çelebi said of Antep, “Because all its people eat desserts, they speak sweetly”. With baklava available on every corner, Antep is truly a paradise for those with a sweet tooth. 

Besides baklava, other popular sweets in Antep are şöbiyet (with cream), bülbülyuvası (literally “nightingale’s nest, due to its shape) and the emerald green dolama. 

There are many fine points that play a role in achieving good baklava, such as deciding how thin to roll the dough and how to prepare the butter, the degree of humidity in the environment, the effect of a breeze, the quality of the flour, the type of wood charcoal used in the oven, and the skill of the chef. However, the chefs who make true Antep baklava are undoubtedly those who continue to make baklava in the same way it has been done for a century, keeping alive this traditional skill. That is why the name Gaziantep  is so strongly identified with good baklava.

Ayıntap Baklava Tel.: 342 215 22 02 Gazi Muhtarpaşa Bulvarı No: 32 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Burhan İnal Tel.: 342 231 32 26 İsmetpaşa Mahallesi Tuz Pazarı No: 5 Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Çağdaş Baklava Tel.: 342 220 45 45 Hamdi Kutlar Caddesi Uzun Çarşı No: 49 Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Çelebioğulları Tel.: 342 220 41 05 Gazi Muhtarpaşa Bulvarı No: 25/C Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Güllüoğlu Baklavaları (Efkan Güllü) Tel.: 342 323 05 55 Nail Bilen Caddesi Uğur Plaza No: 5/A Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Güllüoğlu Baklavaları (Halit Güllü Oğulları) Tel.: 342 231 22 82 Suburcu Caddesi No: 20 Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Güllüoğlu Baklavaları (Mahmut Güllü) Tel.: 342 231 21 05 Elmacı Pazarı No: 4 Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Güllüoğlu Baklavaları (Ömer Güllü) Tel.: 342 250 87 77 İnönü Caddesi No: 64 Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Koçak Baklava Tel.: 342 215 00 12 Gazi Muhtarpaşa Bulvarı No: 29/G Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Seç Baklavaları Tel.: 342 328 98 98 Yeni Otogar Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Seç Baklavaları (Şube) Tel.: 342 215 45 45 Buhara İş Merkezi Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Seç Baklavaları (Şube) Tel.: 342 336 21 21 Sanko Park AVM Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Zeki İnal Tel.: 342 231 20 69 Atatürk Bulvarı No: 38/B Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP 

 

KATMER

Dough rolled out very finely, filled with clotted cream, lots of pistachios and some sugar, and then folded into an envelope and cooked in the oven-this is katmer, a delicious treat which is hard to find anywhere but Antep.

If you would like to try it, you should definitely visit one of the places listed to the side.

Fatih Katmer Tel: 342 322 44 38  Batıkent Mahallesi Kürşat Tüzmen Bulvarı No: 5 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Katmerci Abdo Usta Tel: 342 230 14 30  Düğmeci Mahallesi Ömeriye Camii Sokak No: 29 Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Katmerci Murat Tel: 342 230 59 06  Akyol Mahallesi Atatürk Bulvarı No: 11 Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Katmerci Zekeriya Usta Tel: 342 230 09 71  Çukur Mahallesi Körükçü Sokak No: 16/C-D Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Orkide Pastanesi Tel: 342 215 15 00  Gazi Muhtar Paşa Bulvarı No: 17 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Orkide Pastanesi (Şube) Tel: 342 322 25 51  Kürşat Tüzmen Bulvarı No: 13 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Orkide Pastanesi (Bahçe) Tel: 342 322 80 15  Güvenevler Mahallesi Masal Parkı Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Önder Pastanesi Tel.: 342 336 41 67 Sarıgüllük Mahallesi Zübeyde Hanım Bulvarı Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

 

KAHKE

There is one more speciality in Gaziantep, but you have to wait 11 months of each year to sample it. It is worth going to Gaziantep during Ramazan, because even the people of Antep have to wait until then to enjoy this. This treat is Ramazan kâhkesi, a kind of sweetish, delicious-smelling bun. Its aroma wafts through the streets at the hour of the iftar – the evening meal during Ramzan, summoning all the people of Antep to prepare to break their fast. Lines form in front of the kâhke bakeries, and rows of kâhke are arranged on street stands stands in the blink of an eye. The smell of the Ramazan kâhkesi has a unique appeal- the sourish, hot, yeasty smell and the sweetish aroma of the mahaleb cherry, mouthwatering among that of other beguiling spices.

Regular kâhke is available all year round, however, and is a kind of crispy cookie or cracker that can be either sweet- like the cookies made with tahin (sesame paste), or savoury like the simit with sesame. One of the most unusual and delightful is definitely the köylü kâhkesi which is made with lots of spices. This “village-style” kahke is not very sweet, containing grape molasses in place of sugar; nigella sativa and fennel seeds add a pleasant crunchiness, and these and other spices impart a really interesting taste. 

They say you can’t go to Gaziantep and leave without having a kebap and some baklava, and the same is definitely true of kâhke. In fact, don’t just eat it here- it stays fresh for a long time, so be sure to take some packets home for friends and family.

Akşam Simit Tel.: 342 215 44 33 Nail Bilen Caddesi Kantar İş Merkezi No: 6 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Akşam Simit Tel.: 342 324 81 61 Ali Fuat Cebesoy Bulvarı No: 34/C Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Kahkeci Tel.: 342 215 08 00 Gazimuhtarpaşa Bulvarı 11 Nolu Sokak No:16 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Kahkeci Tel.: 342 341 74 00 Batıkent Mahallesi Kürşat Tüzmen Bulvarı No: 13 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Önder Pastaneleri Tel.: 342 336 41 67 Sarıgüllük Mahallesi Zübeyde Hanım Bulvarı Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

 

SHOPPING

Having tasted Gaziantep’s delicious dishes, you will surely want to buy some local food to take home. Top recommendations are the Antep cheese that comes in little balls, tomato and pepper pastes, pomegranate-sumac syrup, and tarragon.  At the Wheat Bazaar you will find mung beans, black lentils, green wheat, pounded wheat, cracked wheat, ring-shaped sesame bun, cake flour and more. Firik has a unique, lightly smoked taste, and is made by roasting the  immature green wheat in the field. 

A little further up, you can find old and new copper utensils, dolma taşı – earthenware covers used when cooking stuffed vine leaves, special molds for shaping the pistachio cookies called kerebiç, and skewers.  At the Elmacı Bazaar there are all manner of sweets, such as cevizli sucuk – a walnut and grape molasses “sausage”, and varieties of dried fruit rollups called pestil and bastık. The most suitable type of pistachio for cooking- especially for desserts, is the type known as “bird droppings”, that is, the immature, bright green kind.

You will not easily find these special blends of herbs and spices for meatballs elsewhere. The spice mix for dolma – stuffed vegetables, and cumin are of very good quality.  You really must try the spice mix called zahter, and the drink called menengiç kahvesi too.

Good quality spice products may be purchased at the following places:

Akın Bulgur Tel: 342 322 27 02 Fatih Mahallesi Ali Nadi Ünler Bulvarı Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Almacı Pazarı/Merkez Tel: 342 231 32 64 İsmetpaşa Mahallesi Gaziler Caddesi Tuz Pazarı No: 2B Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Almacı Pazarı/Şube Tel: 342 321 12 13 Budak Mahallesi Ali Fuat Cebesoy Bulvarı No: 58 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Baharoğlu Gıda Tel: 342 321 12 22 Budak Mahallesi Ali Fuat Cebesoy Bulvarı 54/C Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

İpekçioğlu Tel: 342 218 05 55 Eskisaray Caddesi No: 2/Z Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Küsbeoğlu Şarküteri Tel: 342 322 70 10 Emek Mahallesi Gazi Ali Düşün Caddesi No: 45/B Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Kuzucular Tel: 342 321 99 92 Abdulkadir Kadir Aksu Bulvarı 39 Nolu Caddesi No: 53 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Morey Gıda Pazarı/Merkez Tel: 342 220 73 28 Elmacı Pazarı No: 2/E Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP

Morey Gıda Pazarı/Şube Tel: 342 341 62 61 Batıkent Mahallesi Kürşat Tüzmen Bulvarı. No: 8 Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

Saçıbeyaz Gıda/Merkez Tel: 342 231 49 07 Karatarla Mahallesi Elmacı Pazarı No: 11 Şahinbey/GAZİANTEP 

Saçıbeyaz Gıda/Şube Tel: 342 338 99 50 Sarıgüllük Mahallesi Zübeyde Hanım Bulvarı Şehitkamil/GAZİANTEP

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The contents of this publication, which has been prepared by the 2013 Economic Development Financial Support Programme of the Silk Road Development Agency does not represent the views of the Silk Road Development Agency and/or the Ministry of Development. Sole responsibility for the content lies with Neva Bilgi Teknolojileri Medya ve Danışmanlık Hizmetleri San. Tic. Ltd. Şti.

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