Bursa Restaurants and Dining
Turkish dining for many brings to mind doner kebabs (kebaps) served inside pockets of 'pide' bread (like pita bread) and huge hunks of lamb. However, there really is much more on offer at Bursa's restaurants and eateries than just this rather stereotypical cuisine.
Restaurants in Bursa pride themselves on using only the freshest of ingredients and many local specialities have evolved. Those dining out in the city can expect to enjoy a very leisurely Turkish breakfast (kahvalti), which often consists of olives, cucumber, tomatoes and freshly made bread (ekmek).
Lunch in Bursa restaurants usually starts with a soup (corba), such as tomato soup (domates) or lentil soup (mercimek corbasi), while evening meals are much more of a gourmet affair, taking place in taverns (meyhanes) and consisting of a series of mezes (appetisers) and meat dishes (often beef, lamb and mutton).
What to Eat
Some of the most popular dishes that regularly make an appearance on dining menus include:
- Aubergines with garlic and onions (imam bayildi)
- Stuffed grape vine leaves (yaprak sarma)
- Grilled meatballs (inegol koftesi)
- Marinated meat cooked on skewers (sis kebaps)
- Calamari (kalamar)
- Roast lamb with cubes of bread and a rich tomato sauce (iskender kebap)
- Stuffed vegetables (dolma)
- Baked rice pudding (firin sutlac))
- Chicken-breast pudding (tavuk gogsu kazandibi)
- Pasty with chopped nuts and honey (baklava)
Where to Eat
Restaurants in Bursa are to be found in good numbers along the Ataturk Caddesi, with dining options including cafes and inexpensive eateries overlooking Heykel. The Cekirge Caddesi is also known for its eateries, with the Bursa Hakimevi being a particular favourite amongst locals and standing next to the Culture Park (Kulturpark)
For dining with a lot of Turkish history, pay a visit to the Kebapci Iskender kebab shop on the Unlu Caddesi, which dates as far back as the 1860s. The Sakarya Caddesi is also home to some very old family run restaurants and this part of Bursa was actually once the city's Jewish quarter, with fish often being a speciality here.