Food in Fethiye
Locals, expats, and travellers always know that the Fethiye restaurant scene never displeases. Being a thriving Mediterranean city and a region with smaller coastal resorts on Turkey's southwest coast, Fethiye is well known for its delicious eateries, cafes, inns, terrace bars and restaurants. With stunning agricultural land in one direction, organic produce is as fresh to the plate as chicken and beef. In contrast, beaches and the Mediterranean-sea in the other direction make fish and seafood a regional speciality. If you want to buy property here or already own a home, know every favourite dish is sold in resorts like Oludeniz, Hisaronu, Ovacik and Calis Beach. Our top ten restaurants in Fethiye are also easy to reach from your very own property!
1) “Balık Pazarı” - Fethiye’s Famous Fish Market
Fethiye Fish Market, a famous tourist attraction, is popular at nights and as a lunching spot for locals. In the old part of town, seafood lovers enjoy the market because they smell it before they see it. Set in an off-road courtyard surrounded by shops and restaurants, vendors stock their market stalls daily with seasonal treats such as hamsi (anchovies) and barbun (Mediterranean red snapper), but pretty much any kind of seafood is sold including oysters, king prawns and octopus!
The wonderful Balık Pazarı was once just a simple market selling fish. Still, several years ago, the forward-thinking mayor had a relatively bright idea to surround the market stalls with restaurants who offer the opportunity to eat fresh food right there and then. Of course, take your fish home with you if you want to, but for a few Turkish Lira, chefs cook your fish ready to eat. Order bread, meze, and salad to complement while watching the hustle and bustle of this world-famous market. In high season, listen to musicians who entertain while you eat your delicious meal.
Some fishmongers may point you toward their friend's restaurant, but you are under no obligation to follow his recommendation and may choose any surrounding restaurant. There is not much to distinguish them from each other, with prices being the same across the board; however, we recommend family-owned 'Hilmi et Balık Restaurant' for beautiful mezes with your cooked fish. A meal at the Fethiye Fish Market is a must-do activity to experience.
2) Cezayir Usta Döner
For quick fast-food fixes, don't be distracted by McDonald's golden arches. Instead, choose a local establishment! American fast-food joints like McDonald's, Burger King and even a Domino's Pizza exist. But healthier and more exciting options are at this kebab restaurant at the Fish Market. Swap burgers for döner kebap and pizza for pide to contribute to Fethiye's economy rather than an American corporation and you get more meat and flavour for your lira and much fresher food!
The menu at Cezayir Usta Döner will not disappoint with several delicious options for meat lovers, fish eaters, and vegetarians. Locals love the ultimate fast-food choice of the kebab, the döner (chicken, beef or lamb cooked on a vertical rotisserie) but get there early before they run out! Other fantastic options for kebabs include the Adana kebab (minced meat with chilli cooked on a skewer), Iskender kebab (grilled lamb and tomato sauce) and the mouth-watering Köfte Ekmek, meatballs and salad in bread.
For vegetarians, tasty sweet corn is boiled or grilled and most likely picked from fields that morning. For the choice of a savoury or sweet treat, why not try some home-made gözleme (pancakes), cooked in front of you with a selection of fillings. If you have bought market fish, ask the chef to cook it up for you and serve it in some crusty bread to make the freshest balık ekmek (fish sandwich) of your life. Or if pizza was on your radar, opt for the Turkish version, pide. Choose between a meat option, a cheese option, or combine the two.
3) Mozaik Bahçe
This fabulous restaurant within walking distance of the fish market, behind Domino's Pizza, is named so because of its eclectic menu, which combines many culture's cuisines from eastern Turkey. The chef draws inspiration from Turkey's Hatay region, which celebrates a mixture of cultures and religions, Muslim, Christian and Jewish; therefore, the food from Hatay offers a great deal of variety. The owner describes his menu as a mosaic of dishes!
Selling all standard meze dishes, the chef also throws in a few extras no other restaurant in Fethiye serves; significant food from Hatay. Traditional food from eastern Turkey is always a little spicier and adds a wonderful kick to any mealtime. Chef Doğan and his team also specialise in regional bread to accompany their mixed meze platters.
Mozaik Bahçe is the perfect choice for something a bit different. Set off the main track but still in downtown Fethiye, this attractive small restaurant has a shady garden for alfresco style dining in summer. A big lure about this place is the enthusiastic chef who would happily talk all night about the food of Hatay and the dishes you have eaten.
4) Ada Restaurant - Sovalye Island
Secluded Sovalye Island, just a short water taxi ride from Fethiye and with no roads or vehicles on the island, offers visitors the experience of spending some time on an exclusive private island. Sovalye is home to impressive villas and the Ada Restaurant and Beachfront Club where you can relax, eat, and drink by day or by night. If only venturing over there for dinner, the restaurant offers a complimentary boat service which picks up from Şat Peninsula and drops off at Ada's private harbour. The romantic setting is boosted by the idyllic rooftop terrace, which offers panoramic views of Fethiye Çaliş Beach and Red Island. It is the perfect spot to watch a sunset with excellent food.
5) Eat at Arena Restaurant
For some mouth-watering fresh fish and an alternative setting, look no further than Arena Restaurant. While the market may have the quirk of being able to buy your fish, seaside Arena Restaurant offers fantastic views over Fethiye's yacht Marina and across to Palm Island. The establishment's upper open terrace boasts of stunning views to offset meals while the main indoors dining room suits chilly evenings. The menu offers beautiful fresh seafood, meat, and poultry in traditional and international styles.
6) The Meğri Chain
Perhaps the closest thing to a chain restaurant, the Meğri team has a couple of restaurants dotted around town. The Meğri Lokantasi, an authentic Lokanta offers fantastic choices of Turkish dishes. Besides a standard menu, pasta dishes and risotto are also available. Just around the corner, the Meğri Restaurant offers a more international flavour in a beautiful garden setting surrounded by plant life and vines. Both establishments are highly respected, and we doubt you could go too wrong at either!
7) Barbella Restaurant, Calis Beach
On the main road through Calis holiday resort which leads down to the beach promenade, tranquil Barbella Restaurant, one of the best eateries offers an extensive and varied menu that is competitively priced. Order anything from kebabs to Mexican chicken and a good chunk of steak. The vegetarian options easily lure in non-meat eaters! When you visit Barbella, choose between a selection of set menus, or order off-menu. Offering fantastic value for money, the set menus cost less than £7 for a three-course meal before drinks. What sets this place apart is the quality and great value for food and excellent service.
8) Fethiye Tours Sunset Moonlight Cruise
Fethiye is part of the Turkish riviera, so sailing is big business. For something a little different, think about a wonderful barbecue cooked in front of you while enjoying picturesque delights that Fethiye Bay offers from a boat. Fethiye Tours offer a fantastic evening blue cruise to go snorkelling and cruise the Turquoise coast, bays, and coves. This casual affair means spending an evening swimming in clear waters while watching Turkey's stunning sunsets. Your host and boat captain cook dinner under the stars while overlooking Fethiye by night before returning to the city for a nightcap in a lively marina bar. This is a quirky twist to the nightlife scene.
9) EJ’s Café, Calis Beach
Other international cuisines offset the overwhelming choice of Turkish restaurants and local dishes. To break away from traditional, head to Calis Beach and a little piece of home called EJ's Café. Owned and run by a Turkish man and his British wife, this little slice of Britain is a massive hit with the expats who have bought apartments here. Find anything you desire on their menu, from burgers and chips to chicken sandwiches and from apple crumble to strawberry cheesecake.
They even offer a full Sunday lunch regularly. A selection of meat and vegetarian pies are often available to eat in or takeaway, freshly made on the day. They also make a delicious selection of cakes each day, including gooey cinnamon rolls, the perfect treat with a nice cup of tea by the beach. EJ's Café also offers a delivery service to spend a night at home but don't have the energy to cook!
10) Gaziantep Ulaşlıoğlu Baklavaları
Surely every sumptuous meal must end with a great dessert and visiting Turkey, do as the Turks do and tuck into delicious baklava with a side serving of dondurma, Turkish ice cream. Those in Fethiye will strike gold at the Gaziantep Ulaşlıoğlu Baklavaları, an ideal place to buy baklava on the Mediterranean coast. Gaziantep is Turkey's gastronomic centre and where baklava was invented, made even more mouth-watering by local recipes using pistachios in their sweet creations. This place is incredibly chic and offers a flavour of southeast Turkey from the moment you enter the front door. The shop is generously decorated with copper pans and leather goods, making you feel as though you had been transported to another world as you order sweet treats. The baklava is made fresh, and it is one of the best Fethiye restaurants to try mastic ice cream, an ingredient which makes it resistant to melting!
Vegan Restaurants in Fethiye
Restaurants do a marvellous job of catering for today's eating habits. Many are also aware of allergies like peanuts or gluten-free. Rather than have one restaurant specialising in vegan food, a lot have a separate menu for these types of dishes. Ask on the door, and they will show you a menu. It may also surprise you to learn that many Turkish foods are vegan. Yes, the stereotype of kebabs is nothing more than that and does not accurately reflect Turkey's reliance on fresh fruit and veg. Read this article about Turkish vegetarian and vegan food for ideas of what to eat.
Fethiye Harbour Restaurants
When in Turkey, it is a favoured habit of both locals, expats, and holidaymakers to spend an evening by the harbour. Traditionally, these would be in seafood restaurants serving mezes, fish, and salads, although the concept has changed and now includes a wide variety of places including coffee shops. The whole point is to enjoy the fresh air of summer evenings and seaside views at night. Fethiye harbour just near the theater is perfect for midday lunch or evening dining. Restaurants that have an excellent reputation and stand out for excellence include…
Zeki: Serving Mediterranean, fast food and Turkish dishes, Zeki also has a BBQ theme. Select your salads from the refrigerator and then watch as the food is Bbq'd at your table.
Samdan: Setting a little back from the harbour front, Samdan specialises in seafood, and Mediterranean dishes while also specialising in vegetarian, vegan, and halal options.
Agora Restaurant and Meyhane: Sitting directly opposite the junction, Agora sometimes hosts live music evenings to add a twist to your romantic evening. It specialises in Seafood, Mediterranean, European, and Turkish dishes.
Address Restaurant and Café: This waterfront establishment doubles up as a restaurant and bar and, with outdoor seating, is perfect for summer nights. Sitting on the outskirts of the harbour district, it serves local cuisine, Mediterranean, European, Turkish, and Vegetarian dishes.
Also of Interest
Turkish Food: For satisfying the palette, local and regional cuisine step up in more areas than one. When you holiday in Turkey, we strongly suggest trying it, even if you are not a culinary expert. The range of dishes from the humble starter to the sweet delight dessert caters for all tastes. So, to ditch the cosmopolitan food and go all out Turkish, what should you try first? In this article, we talk about dishes that will perfectly introduce you to the addictive lures of Turkish cuisine.
Fethiye Area Guide: For the first-time traveller, we have put together a complete region guide that will help you plan your trip to Turkey. Discussing everything from sandy beaches, the old town, Lycian ruins, hillside villages, cruises and ancient cities, this holiday destination easily attracts foreigners from all over the world. The practical hints and tips will also help you plan your itinerary.