So, you have planned a holiday and want to know is Turkey is expensive for food and drink? Well, the answer depends on two factors. First, whereabouts in the country you plan to go to. For example, Istanbul is far more expensive than Fethiye on the Mediterranean coast. Also, when eating and drinking out, it depends on which type of establishments you visit. For example, beachfront bars and restaurants charge higher prices, than their counterparts inland in town centres, because they have higher rents to pay. In this article, we look further at prices and discuss how to save money and eat a hearty meal at the same time.
Is Turkey Expensive for Food and Drink?
Cost of a Meal
Prices in fast food joints like McDonald's and Burger King start at roughly 30 Lira. In international and tourist restaurants, a basic meal such as pasta or pizza starts at 50 Lira. Still, in high profile luxury resorts like Kalkan, these prices will increase to roughly 80 Lira. For meat, lamb and beef are expensive by Turkish standards, so for prime steaks and lamb chops, pay a starting price of roughly 100 Lira. Likewise, seafood like prawns and calamari can be on the hefty side. Remember what we said above, the closer a restaurant is to the beachfront or within a marina, the higher the prices are.
Save Money on Eating Out
As much as we love eating our way around the world in international restaurants, one way to save money is by heading for the traditional Turkish restaurants. Called lokantas, they sell a wide range of appetisers, soups, main meals and puddings that start at roughly 30 Lira. Most serve salad and bread as side dishes that are part of the price, so you never go home hungry. Additionally, street food is big business in Turkey. For example, in Ortakoy, Istanbul, Kumpir avenue makes a roaring trade with locals. Kumpir is baked potatoes filled with a variety of toppings like cheese, onion, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, and much more.
- 26 incredible Turkish food dishes
- Turkish street food for hungry travellers
- Beginners guide to Turkish food and customs
Speak to any Turk, and they will say alcohol is expensive, having undergone dramatic price increases over the past ten years. However, at the Turkish lira's current exchange rate to foreign currencies, foreigners find it within their price range. Buy one bottle of Efes Malt from a local shop and expect to pay 13 Lira. The price will increase in bars and restaurants, starting at 20 Lira in basic restaurants and rising to 70 Lira in high profile restaurants and nightclubs.
You will pay more for imported versions like Gordons Gin and Smirnoff vodka when it comes to spirits. Some restaurants serve the Turkish version, but the taste doesn't measure up. A bottle in a shop ranges from 150 lira for the time-honoured Baileys to 300 Lira for whiskey. Prices in restaurants start at roughly 25 Lira for a single measure, but that doesn't include your soft drink like Coca-Cola. Wine lovers should factor in 40 to 50 Lira if buying a bottle from a shop. Restaurants can charge as much as 100 lira or more for a bottle, but most serve by the glass with prices starting from roughly 25 Lira. Remember, prices vary depending on the type of establishment you visit.
- Read about the vineyards of Turkey producing fine Turkish wine
- Istanbul for wine lovers. Where to go for a good glass.
- Popular non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks in Turkey
Self-Catering Holidays in Turkey
If you book a holiday apartment with a kitchen, there are masses of opportunity to save money. First, find out when and where the local weekly farmers market is. Vendors here sell fruit, vegetables, and dairy products at bargain prices. When it comes to supermarkets, Migros is the most expensive. Brands like Alo 101 and BIM sell items more cheaply. If you do shop in Migros or Carrefour, grab yourself a customer loyalty card, and keep an eye out for unique product promotions where prices drop.
For food delivery, use apps like Tikla Gelsin or Yemek Sepeti, which list restaurants within your area and their current special promotions. Additionally, if you fancy a Domino's Pizza, save money by ordering from their app, rather than visiting them in-store. (Most popular food apps in Turkey.)
Turkish Food Blog: So overall, when asking if Turkey is expensive for food and drink, you can spend little by utilising the many ways to save money or indulge and feast like a king. We wholeheartedly recommend taking your tastebuds on a delicious journey of Turkish food, so find out more about appetisers, soups, desserts, fish, and meat in our blog about Turkey.
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