As I’m no longer in Dalyan I can look back and rate the restaurants and cafes in and around the town to be some of the best – many people will say it’s hard to get a bad meal in Dalyan. So I’ve knocked up a list of my favourite 20 (more difficult than I thought it would be) based on the following criteria: price, quality, service, staff, choice, food, location, cleanliness, views, toilet facilities and if able to eat a gluten free meal. I’ve not put them in any particular order as it would be impossible to rank these amazing places.
1. Lukka Bar – this place is great for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It has various event evenings throughout the year which I enjoyed and the staff are very helpful. The bar is clean and the toilet facilities up to scratch. This place is everything you need whether you’re a local, expat or holiday maker.
2. Soul Kitchen – one of my absolute favourites for breakfast or a pre-dinner drink. Such a great welcoming cafe style eatery in a perfect location for a sunset. I cannot fault this place.
3. Ekin – an ideal place for breakfast by the water with lots of photo opportunities. It’s a car/taxi journey out of Dalyan but is worth the short journey. Service is quick and the food quality top notch.
4. Jiks – the lady who cooks here is fantastic, simple food made with love and always consistently good at great prices. Open all year too and ideal for any meal or drink.
5. Rendezvous – this place serves my all time favourite dish of crispy belly pork, has an excellent chef who will cater for dietary requirements and has a clean modern look that is welcoming. It’s also open all year round too and is ideal for dinner.
6. River House – I discovered this to be one of the best places this year as it’s a new one. The risotto is fantastic, the staff friendly, service excellent and they do a lovely carafe of wine. Open all year round and with views of the river it gets my vote!
7. Kordon – the owner here will go out of his way to meet dietary requirements for any meal and is really welcoming. The food is superb and choice vast, my favourites are the steak, chicken shish and the side of beetroot. The location by the river is great and it’s also open all year round.
8. Yakamoz – the location of eating by the river with views of the tombs takes some beating. The steak and salads are of the best I’ve eaten in Dalyan and I love the relaxed way of the staff there. The toilets are good and the food quality and choice is high. My favourite for a lunch or early dinner during the spring and summer season.
9. Backyard No9 – this amazed me and has probably the best WC in Dalyan. While the food has limited gluten free choices the drinks and location make up for it. It has a relaxing garden for warm days and nights or a small cozy indoor restaurant for colder months. The staff are lovely too.
10. Bistro Blue – a firm favourite for our whole family we visit this place for breakfast, lunch, dinner, just drinks or to throw some shapes to the fab music. The owners and staff are warm and welcoming and the cocktails and food choices are of the best in town.
11. Ramazan Han – in my opinion this is the best place in Dalyan for steak! I also love their garlic king prawns and the aubergine dishes. Choice is plentiful, it gets busy in summer so book for dinner or get in early.
12. Bistro Clou – ideal for lunch and while the location is next to a carpark the delicious food soon makes you forget the view. I love the mezzes here and the specials board usually has good, reasonably priced options on.
13. Adilan – ideal for lunch or dinner and the owner’s recommendations for food or drinks are always spot on. The jacket potato which accompanies some dishes is fantastic and the prices here are reasonable for good quality. Always a favourite of mine and not open in the winter.
14. Serendip – if you would like to try something a bit different then this cafe is a welcome addition to Dalyan. The homemade vegetarian menu is amazing and the wine is excellent. I was very impressed with the mixed mezze plate and the cheeseboard.
15. Okyanus – this year I think this place has improved so much. It’s a great location, next to the river and its traditional Turkish food is delicious. Ideal for lunch time drinks with friends too.
16. Yummy’s – the owner has a really great way about her and is passionate about what is served to your plate. I liked the breakfasts and the salads the best but be warned, the portions are big!
17. Caunos Antic – I only got to try this place once before it closed but the dinner we had with family was excellent. Ideal for dinner and the starters were particularly tasty as well as the staff being really efficient and attentive.
18. M-Eatery – this is not the cheapest place in town but you certainly get what you pay for. The food choice and quality is good, allergies can be accommodated easily and they have funky crockery too. The toilet is great and the wine list ideal.
19. Yener’s Place – the best gluten free pizza in town! Nothing is too much trouble for dietary requirements and they will be very thorough with your order. All of the food is good and the service excellent.
20. Bakery No10 – this place has been my saviour this year. The only decent gluten free bread I have ever had in Turkey!! The owner is an amazing baker and her cakes are out of this world delicious. She also does normal homemade bread and cakes too.
Of course these are just my top 20, I could go on but I won’t. This year I had a list which I didn’t even finish in 4 months (and I eat out a lot) so maybe take a chance and try some you’ve not been to before.