At the end of May I went on holiday to Kalkan, on the south coast of Turkey. Kalkan is an old fishing town that’s become a very popular tourist destination amongst the British, and it’s not hard to see why when you try the food.
Almost everywhere I ate in Kalkan was incredible, there was lots of fresh fish, grilled simply with lemon and rosemary but bursting with flavour, juicy meats skewered and barbecued over coals and fluffy flat-breads baked in front of my eyes and accompanied by homemade olive and chilli dips.
One of my favourite elements to eating in Kalkan was that every restaurant brought some form of complimentary nibbles before your meal arrived – usually flatbreads with olives and chilli and tomato dipping sauce.
The bread was always freshly made too, which I witnessed when I was dining at my favourite spot Mussakka. A young woman was sat by our table on a pouffe kneading and rolling out the breads. She was baking them in a wok with the smallest flame from a candle beneath the pan. It was remarkable!
Price-wise all the restaurants are excellent value for money too and I found myself ordering the most expensive dishes on the menu almost every time, just because back home it would cost 2-3 times the price.
If you’re planning a holiday to Kalkan anytime soon then here’s my food guide, with the must-gos and the must-not-gos:
Address: Yaliboyu District. İskele Sok. No:41, Kalkan/Kaş/Antalya, Turkey
Phone: +90 242 844 1576
Number one on my list and my absolute must is Mussakka Restaurant. I dined here twice in one week as the food was just that good. If you go for the fresh sea bass, as I did, be sure to order additional sides if this is for dinner, otherwise the dish is a little sparse.
Address: Yaliboyu District. Kalkan Harbour No: 25-27 Kalkan Kaþ Antalya, Turkey
Phone: +90 242 844 3332
A little pricey but a worth while location for a special meal. Aubergine is on the main marina strip with gorgeous views looking out to the sea. When I dined I chose to surf and turf (steak and calamari). The steak was great, but the calamari was slightly overcooked so I wouldn’t say it was worth the upgrade to the surf – just stick with the steak. The champagne cocktails (which are 2-4-1 during happy hour) were fruity and not stingy measures of alcohol either. A platter of delicious and complimentary flat-breads and dips also came with our drinks.
3. Gusto Lounge
Address: Yalıboyu Mah. İskele Sok. No.33, Kalkan, Antalya, Turkey
Phone: +90 555 555 55 55
Another wonderful restaurant on the marina strip with stunning views out to the sea. Gusto has the friendliness staff of all. I dined here on my last evening alone and I was made to feel right at home. After a delicious course of grilled salmon on a bed of spinach mash, I wasn’t hurried off, but invited to relax on the sofas and read my book. I was even offered a complimentary drink to sip whilst I did too which was a lovely touch.
4. Marina Restaurant Kalkan
Address: Mermerli Sokak No 15, Kalkan, Antalya, Turkey
Phone: +90 242 8443384
I was staying at Hotel Pirat during my holiday and several lunchtimes I ordered dishes from the bar, which were brought up from Marina Restaurant Kalkan, just below the hotel on the corner of the marina strip. The lunch prices here were very reasonable and everything I ordered was tasty. The Turkish chicken kebab skewers here were a particular favourite. Staff were also fab and the owner has a very tame tortoise that roams about the place!
Views from Fener Cafe are incredible, its right by the beach and a little sun trap. Food however isn’t too good generally speaking. I had a chicken breast burger for lunch here and wasn’t impressed at all. The meals were really cheap and that was reflected in the quality of the ingredients. However, to be fair, I did have a good breakfast here. I ordered the bacon, eggs and freshly squeezed orange juice – which was heavenly and naturally sweet. If you’re starting to run out of money (as I did by my last day) I’d suggest coming here for a cheap breakfast or an ice cream here, but definitely not lunch or dinner.