Being vegan in Turkey

Even though Turkish cuisine is popular with meat products, there is a generous amount of coincidentally vegan dishes in this cuisine. Cold dishes cooked with olive oil are mostly vegan, as well as veggie balls, fried vegetables, some pastries, desserts and other dishes. Particularly the Aegean cuisine is very vegan friendly. These dishes and relevant food products can be found at many restaurants and at the supermarkets ? ?

As the recent years have seen a huge increase in veganism worldwide, vegan cafes and restaurants have also started popping up around some cities in Turkey, mostly based in Istanbul. It is now possible to eat great vegan döner kebabs, lahmacuns, pides and drink some vegan ayran at these locations. Details on all vegan cafes and restaurants with delicious and creative options can be found here or on Happy Cow.

Apart from vegan food stops, you can easily find the popular çiğ köfte shops anywhere for a quick vegan bite. An Ev yemekleri lokantası (home cooking restaurants) or Esnaf lokantası (workers restaurants) with cooked food on display will usually have some vegan friendly dishes. Zeytinyağlılar (cold dishes cooked with olive oil), kızartmalar (fried veggies), mercimek köftesi, patates köftesi (lentil balls, potato balls) are some typical examples. Unlike the ones abroad, döner kebab shops in Turkey will never have the vegan options like falafel, however recently there has been an increase in falafel shops around and some restaurants have started serving them too. Gözleme also come with options like potatoes or spinach. does not have a vegan Turkish food section in English. Google could be a better help for more information in English or another language. However, if you are interested in having a bit of an idea about what vegan products are available at the supermarkets or online, the google translated version of the supermarket shopping page of is slightly intelligible ?
It is worth noting that Vegan Dükkan in Cihangir, Istanbul, is the small but useful 100% vegan store where you can find most of the available vegan products – English spoken.
0212 243 2383 · Soğancı Sk. no:8 Cihangir, Beyoğlu ·

On the English language newspapers:

An article on veganism on Hürriyet Daily News by the famous news presenter Nevşin Mengü – she is known to be vegan herself: Vegans in the Kebab Belt

An article on veganism on pro-government Daily Sabah by Gülşah Dark: Going vegan: An emerging lifestyle in the Turkish market

Some blog articles on veganism in Turkey:
Health Room: Guide to vegan food in Turkey
VeganWorldTrekker: My Vegan Journey to Istanbul

Facebook groups in English

Here are some facebook groups about being vegan in Turkey: The Vegan Habit · Being Vegan in Turkey · Vegan in Turkey!

Latest update: 19 September 2017 ·