Deciphering What Is On the Menu – Turkish Language for Tourists

by Istanbul Trails

in Basic Turkish for Tourists, City Trip

The Turkish menus often have English translations to make the life of the tourists easier. Unfortunately, a fair share of the restaurants in Istanbul either didn’t put much effort in the translations or didn’t have enough money to hire a professional.

Although some of these translations are hilarious, if you want to be sure what kind of food you are ordering, then you’ll find this last post in the Turkish Language for Tourists series very convenient.

Eating out

bill hesap
bottle şişe
bowl kase
breakfast kahvaltı
chef şef
cup fincan
dessert tatlı
dinner akşam yemeği
enjoy your meal afiyet olsun
food yemek
fork çatal
glass bardak
knife bıçak
lunch öğle yemeği
main course ana yemek
menu yemek listesi / menü
plate tabak
rare (cooked) az pişmiş
serviette peçete
spoon kaşık
starter meze
sugar şeker
table masa
tip bahşiş
waiter / waitress garson
well done iyi pişmiş
wine list şarap listesi

Menu Decoder

alabalık trout
ançüez anchovies
armut pear
aşure dessert with wheat grains, nuts and dried fruit
ayran yoghurt drink
badem almonds
baklava dessert, pastry filled with nuts and syrup
bal honey
balık fish
beyaz peynir white cheese
beyaz şarap white wine
biber peppers
biber dolması stuffed green peppers
biftek steak
bira beer
bonfile fillet steak
böbrek kidneys
börek layered pastry with cheese/meat/spinach filling
buz ice
ceviz walnuts
ciğer liver
çay tea
çiğ köfte raw spicy meatballs
çikolata chocolate
çilek strawberry
çipura bream
çorba soup
dana eti veal
dana rozbif roast veal
dolma vegetables stuffed with rice (and meat)
domates tomatoes
dondurma ice cream
döner kebap lamb grilled on a spit and served in thin slices
ekmek bread
elma apple
elma suyu apple juice
enginar artichokes
et meat
etli with meat
ezme purée
fasulye beans
fındık hazelnuts
fırın baked
füme smoked
gazoz fizzy drink
greyfurt grapefruit
güveç meat and vegetable stew
hamsi anchovy
hardal mustard
havuç carrot
helva sweet made from cereal, nuts, sesame oil and honey
hindi turkey
ıspanak spinach
ıstakoz lobster
ızgara grilled
içecek beverage
içki alcoholic drink
jambon ham
kabak courgettes
kahve coffee
kakao cocoa
kalkan turbot
kara biber black pepper
karışık mixed
karides prawns
karnıbahar cauliflower
karnıyarık split aubergines with meat filling
karpuz water melon
kavun honey-dew melon
kaz goose
kebap roast meat
kek cake
kereviz celery
kestane chestnuts
kılıç balığı swordfish
kırmızı biber paprika
kırmızı şarap red wine
kıyma minced meat
kıymalı with minced meat
kiraz cherries
kokoreç lambs’ intestines grilled on a spit
köfte meatballs
krema cream
kuru dried
kuşbaşı small pieces of casseroled meat
kuzu eti lamb
lahmacun pancakes with spicy meat filling
levrek sea bass
likör liqueur
limon lemon
makarna pasta
mantar mushroom
mantı type of ravioli
marmelat jam
mercimek lentil
meze starter
mısır corn
midye mussel
muz banana
nane mint
nar pomegranate
omlet omelets
ördek duck
pasta dessert
patates potatoes
patlıcan aubergines
peynir cheese
peynirli with cheese
pide pita bread
pilav rice
piliç chicken
pirinç rice
portakal oranges
portakal suyu orange juice
püre purée
rakı Turkish national anise-flavored spirit
reçel jam
rosto roasted
sade plain
salata salad
salatalık cucumber
sandviç sandwich
sardalya sardines
sarımsak garlic
sebze vegetables
soğan onions
sos sauce
sosis sausage
su water
sucuk Turkish sausage with spices and garlic
süt milk
sütlü with milk
şarap wine
şeftali peach
şeker sugar
şiş cooked on a skewer
tatlı sweet, dessert
tavşan rabbit
tavuk chicken
taze fresh
tereyağı butter
tost toast
tuz salt
üzüm grape
vanilya vanilla
viski whisky
votka vodka
yağ oil, fat
yoğurt yoghurt
yumurta egg
zeytin olive

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