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A traditional Turkish breakfast in Goreme’s hidden valley

Breakfast in Turkey takes some beating. This traditional Turkish breakfast in a hidden Goreme, Cappadocia is probably the best and most adventurous breakfast I ever had…

A traditional Turkish breakfast table

A traditional Turkish breakfast table

A traditional Turkish breakfast

If there’s one food you should eat in Turkey it’s a traditional Turkish breakfast. The Turkish for breakfast is kahvaltı, which translates as under-coffee, or food eaten before drinking coffee. Therefore, a traditional Turkish breakfast starts with tea and ends with a cup of coffee. The food in between is an experience in itself.

The feast of Turkish food eaten between the tea and the coffee can include freshly baked bread, butter, olives, salads, yoghurt, cold meats, fruit juice, preserves, honey and eggs. Hungry yet?  All the breakfasts we ate in Turkey were excellent but the traditional Turkish breakfast we enjoyed in King’s Valley was the best. Ever.

Our Alfresco Turkish breakfast

There’s something about eating outdoors under blue sky on a balmy day that makes the food seem twice as tasty. But it was the surprise location of this Turkish breakfast that made it so special.

When we checked in at the Kelebek Hotel in Goreme we were offered breakfast in the organic garden. Always keen to try something a bit different we booked up for the day of our dawn balloon flight.  After a 5am start we knew we’d be especially hungry.

Tractor pulled Ark

Our ride to the top of King’s Valley, Goreme

Our unusual mode of transport arrived – a wooden wagon affair on wheels pulled by a tractor. We hopped in and trundled up the steep, winding lane where there was sometimes only inches between us and the walls.

We passed by hostels and homes built into the volcanic rock and hollowed out fairy chimneys. After about ten minutes we reached the top of the town and stopped to admire this viewpoint with superb views over Goreme’s fairy chimneys and volcanic landscape.

View from top of King's Valley Goreme

Views over Goreme

A traditional Turkish breakfast in King’s Valley

So where was breakfast? I couldn’t see a vegetable garden or anything edible growing at all. Ali led us to the edge of the valley and said ‘welcome to Kral Dresi’. Peering over the edge we saw that steps had been hewn into the rock. Finding our breakfast had just become a bit of an adventure!

Steps down to King's Valley, Goreme

Steps down to King’s Valley, Goreme

We made our way carefully down the steps – it was steep in places and the steps were narrow. On reaching the valley floor we were delighted to see a cool, glade set between the natural walls of rock.

Under the shade of the trees a sturdy wooden table was laden with an assortment of fresh, home-grown, organic food.  A traditional Turkish breakfast in the most delightful of settings.

Sitting down to a Turkish Breakfast

Our Turkish breakfast

A traditional Turkish breakfast

We started our kahvaltı the Turkish way, with aromatic, black cay (tea) before diving into our breakfast feast.

Four types of cheese were set out in rustic platters alongside olives, sun-ripened tomatoes, crisp cucumber and baskets of freshly baked bread, warm and recently retrieved from the nearby wood oven.

Menemen, a dish similar to omelette still simmered in its pottery platter. Made with onions softened in oil, stewed tomatoes and peppers with eggs scrambled in at the end the menemen had been cooked on the wood fire until just set and was served piping hot and delicious.

Home-made fig, apricot and walnut preserves sat side-by-side with creamy yoghurt and honeycomb dripping with golden sweetness.  Grapes, melon and apricots rounded off the feast. And, of course, Turkish coffee.

We relaxed for over an hour beneath the shade of the trees surrounded by the strange volcanic rock shapes and vines hung heavy with dark velvety grapes.

The chat was easy and the food divine. Two women from the village, who’d carefully prepared the food, plied us with seconds and topped up the platters until we were full to bursting. We finished with good, hot Turkish coffee.

Turkish Breakfast in Goreme

I could have sat at that breakfast table all day long but we had plans to visit Derinkuyu Underground city and needed to get back.

A Hike back through the Valley

When it was time to go we left through the other side of the valley on a 20-minute hike back up to the top. A half-marathon would have done justice to all the food we’d just eaten.

Ali picked walnuts from the trees as we passed and pointed out small holes carved into the rock – pigeon lofts. In the past the droppings would be collected and used for fertiliser on farms and orchards. These pigeon houses are found throughout Cappadocia – there is even a valley full of them aptly named ‘Pigeon Valley’.

Pigeon Lifts, Goreme

Pigeon lofts carved into the rock in Goreme

The walk back, King's Valley, Goreme

King’s Valley, Goreme

The walk out of the valley was a gentle incline and not as steep as on arrival. We were soon back at the ark for the drive down to the hotel. I took one last glance into the valley where I had possibly just had the best breakfast ever.

Find out more about this very special Turksih breakfast on the Kelebek Special Cave Hotel website.

Disclosure: Just so you know, all aspects of our Turkey holiday, flights, hotels, food and excursion were paid for by ourselves including our stay at Kelebek Special Cave Hotel and all the activities we enjoyed there. 

traditional Turkish breakfast


Saturday 26th of March 2022

I would prefer a hotel breakfast hands down w/ juices, coffee, bacon, sausages, salads, pastries and a wide variety of food. Compared to the breakfast you just described- tomato, cucumber & olives + cheese ( all salad condiments), honey comb?? Warm bread & butter???


Thursday 30th of June 2022

@Suzanne Jones, I definitely agree! Who wants the same hotel breakfast I can get in my own city?? A huge part of travel is exploring, absorbing and appreciating other cultures which must include cuisine! Thanks for the recommendation!


Saturday 26th of March 2022

@Suzanne Jones, better choice, eat local food is travelling with open mind and spirit

Suzanne Jones

Saturday 26th of March 2022

I prefer to eat local food when I travel to try new foods and cuisines that I wouldn't have at home. The Menemen was delicious.


Wednesday 12th of April 2017

I was lucky enough to enjoy this wonderful breakfast a few times back in September 2012 when they first introduced it and again when I returned in 2014. Truly an unforgettable experience. Wish I could go back right now!

P.S. Ali the "tractor driver" is the owner of the Kelebeck and several other businesses in the area.

Suzanne Jones

Wednesday 12th of April 2017

That breakfast was one of the best I've ever had! I'd go back and do it again in a heartbeat :) Ali is such a nice man and an interesting character - we had a drink with him one evening and a long chat. He's put his heart and soul into his business and it shows.


Sunday 24th of March 2013

Amazing captures. Love the first one... fantastic atmosphere.

The Travelbunny

Sunday 24th of March 2013

Thank you - food was pretty fantastic as well as the atmosphere...

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