Typical Turkish Breakfast (Kahvaltı)

Ready to learn the secrets of a delicious & Traditional Turkish Breakfast?

This post is to help you understand what goes into a typical Turkish so that you know what to expect when you arrive in and also how to make it when you get back home!

The Turkish word for Breakfast is Kahvaltı which is derived from the word , meaning and Altı meaning before. This put together translates literally to “before ” which is pretty interesting for a nation that drinks so much (Çay)!. This is in contrast to the UK’s “Breakfast” which means to Break the nights Fast etc. I find it quite interesting to see the meaning of each nations word for Breakfast! Anyway I digress..

Staples of a typical Turkish Breakfast

  • Tea (Çay)
  • Bread (Ekmek)
  • Olives (Zeytin)
  • Jams (Reçel)
  • Cheese (Peynir)
  • Basic Salad (Tomatoes/Cucumber)
  • Eggs (Yumurta)
  • Turkish Coffee ( Türk Kahvesi) (for consumption after your breakfast)

Below are photos of Breakfast we have had in various locations in .

Below are a few photos from a breakfast we had at a Vegan Cafe which can be found throughout Istanbul. This particular Vegan Cafe is called “Bi Nevi Deli”.

Çay (Tea)

Çay is the Turkish word for Tea and it is quite different to English tea in that is brewed in a çay pot which will look similar to the picture below:

Large tea leaf, called Orthodox leaf is placed in the top pot with water and boiling water sits in the bottom portion of the pot. This is placed on a stove and heated for around 15 minutes. The end result is a very dark infused liquor on the top which is poured first and then hot water on the bottom to add after to balance the strength of the brew! Turkish tea is typically served with sugar but unlike English tea never served with milk! The main brands in Turkey are Lipton and Caykur (the Turkish Governments Tea variant).

Read more about Turkish Tea by reading here.


Ekmek (Bread)

Ekmek is the Turkish word for bread and is consumed with just about any food in Turkey, and breakfast is no exception!




The bread you see above is the most commonly eaten in Turkey and can be bought in local bakeries or shops. In Turkey Bakeries are seen everywhere and if there isnt a Bakery nearby then a local shop will stock this kind of bread which they will get from a bakery slightly further away. Fresh bread every day

Peynir (Cheese)

Cheese is heavily featured in Turkish breakfast with the most common being Beyaz Peynir (White cheese)

This cheese is most similar to Feta and has a crumbly texture that goes great with bread!

Slightly more exotic breakfast items

These items are not staples but are still commonly served for the first meal of the day

  • Bal Kaymak (Honey & Clotted Cream) – Delicious together on bread!
  • Sucuk Yumurta (Spicy sausage with eggs)
  • Gözleme! (white cheese in flat bread grilled) – One of my favourite items!

If you haven’t already I highly recommend you trying the Besiktas Breakfast!