With Olu Deniz's photogenic coast, dining may not be your first priority when travelling to the Dalaman region. But it should be, because the food is delicious whether you're after fabulous Turkish cuisine or international favourites. And the venues are just as impressive, choose between relaxed beachside lounge bars for snacks and cocktails, family orientated hangouts with gardens or romantic spots with river views.
The Dalaman region has some recognisable signature dishes including pide, a type of Turkish pizza, and kofte, Turkish meatballs. You could also try tasty options such as coban kavurma, diced lamb with baby onions, tomato and peppers or kus yuvasi which consists of chopped beef, mushrooms, onions and potato.
Street food is incredibly popular here too. So don't be surprised if you find travellers feasting on kebabs and salads –perfect for quick eats while on cheap holidays to the Dalaman region. There's also lokma, Turkey's version of sugared doughnuts loaded with syrup and cinnamon, which are eaten from cones of paper as you wander through the streets. You'll also find just as many gorgeous sit-down settings as you'll find food carts, set along the waterfront or propped up in the hills.
There's a lot more on offer here than just good times – a chic atmosphere and beach views, to name a few. The food isn't bad either, with decadent desserts, seafood pasta and mezze platters. It's a top spot for a cocktail along the beach, and there's a line of sunloungers to choose from. Some of the cocktails here are rainbow coloured and topped with hoards of fresh fruit and funky straws, so the drinks alone will make your visit worthwhile.
Despite the fact Kumsal Pide takes you away from the main beach hub, the peaceful vibes this restaurant offers will be worth it. It's a strange little building, tucked amid trees with a rooftop terrace that stares all the way out to sea. Turkish food is on offer here, made from the freshest ingredients and amazingly affordable, especially the pide. Shisha pipes are also available and if you're a big vino fan, it comes in a mind-blowingly huge wine glasses.
While steeped in green, the Akkaya Garden Restaurant takes you up into the trees – literally. You'll walk on drawbridge-like pathways before climbing towards the treetops and dining in thatched pods or a main stone building. This makes Akkaya Garden a great spot to visit on your Dalaman holiday. The food at Akkaya is largely Turkish, with mezze plates, lamb, chips and peppercorn steak on offer.
Orfoz swaps the usual beach views for river ones – and if the tide is low, you can sit at tables and chairs on the Azmak River shoreline. Even if the tide isn't low, you can take a seat there, as long as you don't mind getting your feet wet. Seafood is the name of the game here, with calamari and octopus starters as well as snapper and prawn casserole for mains. As you dine, you can watch boats glide down the river accompanied by local wildlife.
It's hard not to swoon at the sight of Begonville – with its wooden decks and flower-drenched surroundings, this dining spot comes with a peaceful air that's easy to enjoy. The food at Begonville is all made from scratch and right before your eyes at the outdoor kitchen at the end of the deck. Great care is taken to ensure everything is cooked to perfection. Here, you can expect dishes like Turkish ravioli, burgers and freshly-made hummus, plus a selection of delectable desserts such as pancakes and homemade sorbet.