A guide to the best local eats in Bodrum

Taste the peninsula and live like a local as you gorge on authentic Turkish cuisine. Tucked around the castle, hidden down cobbled alleyways and dotted along the sparkling marina, the seaside city of Bodrum is packed full of eateries to satisfy even the harshest of critics. Here’s five of the best places to eat like a local when you visit Bodrum. 

1. Memedof – Neyzen Tevfik Cad. No. 176

iStock denizunlusu

Sitting right on the edge of the waterfront, Memedof is a favourite among the natives and after one bite of their mezze, you’ll understand why. Far from its pretentious counter-parts lining the rest of the area, this fishy hotspot with its white tables and friendly waitstaff, serves an extensive menu of both hot and cold dishes for you to choose from. Indulge in plates of oily smoked mackerel fillets, samphire as well as artichokes and do as the locals do by ordering a hot bowl of the daily catch. Feeding the city since 2001, this is definitely one to add to the list of where to eat out in Bodrum. 

2. Bodrum Market – Kulcu Sokak

iStock Delipixar

Set in an unmistakably plain white building, the market is the beating heart of the inner city every Friday when it delivers stall after stall of fresh fruit and veg. Come here to buy fresh oranges, pomegranates, figs and peaches and skirt around the outer section of the market for some more savoury pickings. Lined with cheap stalls selling traditional Turkish snacks, prepare to loosen your belt as you try sesame simit, a cross between a bagel and pretzel as well as peynirli borek, made out of layers of flaky pastry filled with spinach and cheese. If you’re after something with a bit more heart, grab yourself some kumpir, Turkey’s take on the jacket potato topped with mixtures of olives with yoghurt. Whether you have space or not, be sure to squeeze in some dessert and gorge on some local sweet deep fried dough balls drenched in syrup. 

3. Nazik Ana – Eski Hukumet Sokak 5

via Facebook Nazikana Restaurant Bodrum

Hidden down a back alley, Nazik Ana offers a truly traditional dining experience with its canteen -style counters and communal seating arrangements. With its rustic, folksy décor and bustling local clientele, this is the perfect place to come to try some Turkish dishes. Choose from the lokanta viewable counter and munch on pides, Turkish style pizza, and kofte meatballs as you join in on the local lunchtime catch ups around large wooden tables. Located in the courtyard of an old stone house in the old government mansion of the city, you can’t help but feel the ancient ambiance that fills the air. Prepared with one hundred percent natural, local ingredients the food here speaks for itself and definitely deserves a place on the list of the best local restaurants in Bodrum. 

4. Sirin Doner – Cumhuriyet Cd. No. 113

iStock tolgaildun

No trip to Turkey is complete without a kebab from the shop that started it all, Sirin Doner. Home to the vegetable rotary since 1989, this 24 hour joint is never not busy with starving locals looking for some greasy goodness to fill their stomachs. Order the sebzeli doner, a specialty of the town and tuck into the skewered meat lined with rows of potato and vegetables on your choice of pitta, bread roll or wrap. Adding a little something extra to the mix, Sirin puts its own spin on the doner with its famous iskender – meat and veggies piled high onto pitta croutons soaked in a thick, rich tomato sauce. Sitting on the corner of the street abuzz with local fans, this spot will change your perceptions of kebabs with just one mouthful. 

5. Limon Gumusluk – Kardak Caddesi 10

via Facebook @limongumusluk

Regularly recommended as one of the most beautiful and romantic restaurants in the city, Limon and its panoramic vantage point is a real sight for sore eyes. Vintage tables spread across a large, open green space creates the ultimate setting for a sundown drink and delicious dinner for two. Take in views of the Aegean Sea, the ancient city of Myndos and the Kardak islands whilst tucking into some of the best kabak cicegi dolmasi (stuffed squash blossoms) in the city. Offering vegetarian options, raw desserts and an experience you’re unlikely to forget, this is without doubt one of the best places for local eats in Bodrum.


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- Lucy Norris