BURSA : Bursa has been home to numerous civilizations throughout its history and as a result, it has an incredible culinary culture and heritage one needs to explore
Although Bursa is winning when it comes to historical trips with its unbelievably rich texture, it truly conquers hearts with its culinary heritage that provides a feast for your eyes and your stomach. So, get ready to taste great flavors at every meal of the day in Bursa with meat dishes, pastries and desserts. The answer to the question, “what to eat in Bursa” is quite long. If you’re ready, let’s start.
I think going to Bursa and waiting in line to eat Iskender kebab is a must for those traveling to this historic city. Especially in Bursa, there are a few places where whenever you go, there are long lines waiting for you. You can eat Bursa’s most delicious Iskender kebab in the tiny shops that are passed down from father to son and even from grandfather to grandchild. A few that come to mind are Mavi Dükkan, Kebapçı Hüseyin and Kebapçı Iskender Efendi Mansion.
It would be an injustice to Iskender if you think, “It’s only a döner kebab, I’m not waiting in a line for that.” Because Iskender is not merely a döner, it’s the seasoning, it’s the amount of lamb or beef it is made from, the proportion of the meat with the pita and tomato sauce underneath, the butter poured on top and yogurt next to it. Visit Bursa and wait in long line if you have to for the Iskender kebab and enjoy this wonderful burst of flavors.
Meatballs with pita
Although it is not a popular opinion, but we can never compare meatballs with pita and Iskender. Unlike Iskender kebab, this dish is prepared by adding meatballs, not meat, on pita with tomato sauce.
You can have the best pita meatballs at Kayhan Bazaar, Kebapçı Idris and Yeşil Pita Meatballs. The most important feature of pita meatballs is that the meatballs are less spicy. Pita meatballs, which are served with diced pita at the bottom, round meatballs after that, tomato sauce, butter sauce poured on the top and yogurt on the side, is one delicacy you can devour at lunch or dinner.
Şıra is a non-carbonated, nonalcoholic drink made from slightly fermented grape juice that you can drink alongside Iskender, or sometimes with pita meatballs. The history of şıra, a refreshing and energizing drink, dates back to Ottoman cuisine.
The drink, which has been the subject of writings of many historians and travelers in the past, has now become one of the registered flavors of the region and has received a geographical indication from the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office.
Cantık is one delicacy that is served at weddings, mawlids and special occasions in Bursa. When you go to Kayhan Bazaar to eat meatballs with pita, don’t come back without eating cantık.
Cantık is a type of pastry made by adding certain ingredients to round or boat-shaped dough. Although the original is with minced meat, nowadays it is also made with cheese or regular meat. Acı Dayı Pidecisi and Kardeşler Pide are some places where you can enjoy the best cantık.
Tahini pita, which the people of Bursa call pide with tahini, is a flavor that must be eaten in this city. Tahini is a condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds. Of course, there are historical places in Bursa to eat pita with tahini. The Historical Abdal Bakery and the Historical Inanç Bakery are two of them.
Chestnut candy is one of the most important flavors that come to mind when Bursa is mentioned. In fact, it is the symbol of the city. This wonderful dessert made with chestnuts collected from the chestnut trees at the foot of Uludağ is one of the best treats after enjoying kebabs and meatballs in Bursa.
In Bursa, different flavors, other than just candies, are made with these local chestnuts. You should definitely try the chestnut cake, chestnut chocolate and other chestnut desserts. In my opinion, every dish and dessert with chestnuts is better off with them than without. You can find chestnut candies and other things made from chestnuts all over Bursa, and I think wherever you buy them, they will be delicious.
Kemalpaşa dessert, which gets its name from the Mustafakemalpaşa district of Bursa, is also known as the “cheese dessert.” You can eat this sherbet dessert in Bursa, but I also highly recommend you try it in Mustafakemalpaşa.
Made with a special cheese produced specifically for the dessert, this sweet flavor is served with top cream in winter and ice cream in summer. If you want to eat this dessert at home, you can buy it prepared and boil it in syrup.
As the name suggests, the origin of Inegöl meatballs is the Inegöl district of Bursa, but you will see Inegöl meatballs in many parts of the province. Meatballs, which are prepared with a mixture of lamb and beef with no seasoning, are usually served with tomatoes and peppers on the side. Despite its plain, non-spicy flavor, it will be an unforgettable experience for your palate.
This milky dessert, which stands out with its lightness, is usually found in all dessert shops in Bursa. In addition, you will definitely see it in the dessert menu of the restaurants you eat at.
Walnut Turkish delight
Walnut Turkish delight, which you will come across in many patisseries of Bursa, is a treat you can eat as a snack. Walnut Turkish delight, which pairs well with tea, is also an item that is served on special occasions in Bursa.
After so many delicious dishes, I think you are already indecisive about which one to start with when you go to Bursa. Iskender kebab and meatballs with pita can be your main course. You can try different flavors as you embark on your journey to Bursa.