Dining out is a special experience in Turkey, whether at a backstreet lokanta or a fine restaurant, and you can always be sure of a warm welcome.
On arrival, your waiter may welcome you with Hoş geldiniz! to which you reply Hoşbulduk.
Then he will ask what you would like to drink: Ne içersiniz?
You might choose from these:
su water kola cola meyve suyu fruit juice
bira beer şarap wine ayran yogurt drink
Next, what you will find on the sofra or yemek masası dining table:
tuz salt biber, karabiber pepper
mönü (or yemek listesi) menu
How do you ask for what you want? You can choose from the following phrases:
_____________ alabilirmiyim lutfen? Can I have ___________ please?
______________ rica ederim. (this is already polite so there is no need to add please or thank you)
If you want to know whether they have a certain item, you can say:
______________ var mi acaba? I wonder if you have _____________ / if there is any _______.
It is a good idea to start with a selection of meze, appetisers. These are mostly cold dishes, and there is something to suit everyone, from creamy smoked aubergine puree to spicy meatballs, all accompanied with fresh crusty bread.
Next time, we’ll look at some food vocabulary.
Until then, Afiyet olsun! (Enjoy your food!)