Akkaya Garden is an outdoor restaurant unique in its seating arrangements. Some of the tables are built in crows nests in the trees. However, even the seating on the ground is magical, begging you to relax and take respite in the warm Turkish sun.
Set deep in a valley, the garden restaurant itself is accented by pine trees, waterfalls, ponds and wildlife. It is a perfect spot for romance. It can also be the perfect memorable spot for a meal with family as children explore a bit whilst parents visit.
Akkaya Garden serves traditional Turkish fare but also has some European items on the menu that will be familiar to visitors. Salads and soups both hot and cold are welcome openers. Most meats are either grilled or Kabob style, the marinades making them juicy and tender. While there is the obligatory ice cream for kids, consider trying the Pumpkin with Tahini for dessert. Akkaya Garden has a wide array of drinks both alcoholic and non along with many imports. Prices begin at £12.
The locally grown food purchased fresh and cooked fresh makes everything taste better. Even the meats are locally sourced. However, it may just be that eating in an outdoor garden, on a hill overlooking Dalaman is what makes the food magical in your mouth.
Cinar is a small family owned restaurant in Dalaman serving up traditional Turkish meals. The owner/host makes it his business to serve guests and has been known to go the extra mile; providing pick up and drop off. This may seem like a lot for a restaurant, but remember it can be quite hot in Turkey, Dalaman is a small town and not many people have cars. Rentals are scarce as well.
The food selections from casseroles to curries to saffron infused rice will have you feeling like you are a guest in a home. In a way, you are. Fresh fish from the sea is grilled daily. As this is a family owned and operated restaurant, don’t expect a full breakdown of your charges. Your tab is calculated by hand. However, like so much else here, the pricing is competitive.
Cinar is almost always seating locals, which is a good indication of how authentic the food is. As the seating is outdoors, remember your repellent.
Safren is situated riverside in Dalaman providing lovely views of the river and wildlife as well as a cool delta breeze.
The menu features traditional family Turkish items as well as some European offerings like Carbonara. Safren strives to appeal to a wide palette. The staff is friendly and helpful. English is not widely spoken, but enough to translate menu items. In any case, food is its own language.
Safren provides a restful calm place to take in a meal and is close enough to the airport to do so during a layover.
Located within a resort in Dalaman, Yuva Eco Holiday Centre is an oasis for vegetarians on this Turkish coast. Serving vegetarian fare with Turkish flavours, this in-house restaurant is worth the trip a bit out of town. Or, consider staying at the Holiday Centre.
The grounds are lovely providing many walking paths and if you are going up for lunch, plan to stay the whole day to make the most of your time. If it’s summer take earplugs because the cicadas are quite loud. If you are taking the bus and are unused to packed bus travel, be patient, you will get there.
If one is missing home on their travels in Turkey, this may be the place to stop. A full British tea Shoppe, this brings comfort food to weary travellers. Pastries and tea are served by English and Turkish speaking staff.
In addition, you can have your cakes and Turkish coffee too! Their Turkish coffee being just the best. Sometimes you get road weary and just need a pick-me-up. Café Charlotte does this.
Simple and excellent Doner’s served at chip prices at Dalaman Doner Salonu. These aren’t the kind you will find in European countries but authentic Doners are meats cooked on a vertical rotisserie. These slowly roast and are cut vertically for service in meals like Gyros.
Dalaman Doner Salonu’s are perfectly seasoned and will leave you sad that you can’t find Doners like this at home.
Guests are treated like family at Home Bar and Restaurant. A quaint establishment specialising in Turkish and Mediterranean dishes.
The open air seating is nice for taking in the sunshine. It’s also covered to keep you cool. You have expansive views of the ocean and Dalaman.
Casseroles and home cooked goodness along with a good selection of bottled beers makes this a great place to stop in and relax.
As with many small towns in Turkey, the best place to find good foods and eat on the cheap is to visit the open air markets. Dalaman has an excellent one and because it is a town with an airport, there are many international speaking people in the community.
Stroll through the market to pick and sample local vegetables and fruits. Vendors sell street food at the market and you can pick up ready made foods for lunch and picnics. Also, many of the area’s meat vendors have stalls there. Fresh cheeses and other dairy items are easy to pick up.
Most vendors are happy to talk with you about how they like to prepare their wares or tell you how others do. The Open Air Market is really an excellent way to get to know the locals and what produce, spices and ingredients are locally sourced.
Also, if like most on holiday you are renting a house or villa, you will need to stock up on food anyway. Take the time to ingratiate yourselves with locals and chat them up and it will pay off in information on all the best places to be and to go.
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