Dalaman’s Most Exciting Restaurants
The small agricultural town of Dalaman, on the southwestern coast of Turkey, may not be a place you would expect to find delicious cuisine but its fertile costal landscape provides a delicious bounty certainly worth travelling for. The areas specialties have their roots in traditional Ottoman dishes with plenty of fresh fish, citrus flavors and red meat, all grilled over hot coals.
A short car ride north of central Dalaman, in the lush Akkaya valley, the ‘Akkaya Garden Restaurant’ (+90 252 697 52 75) sits nestled in the trees. This huge venue looks to be straight out of the Jungle Book with tree top seating the proprietors refer to as ‘stalks nests’, cool lily-padded ponds and large tree trunk tables made intimate by living vine drapes. Enjoy a selection of grilled seafood and meats as you gaze from the treetops at some of the most spectacular scenery Turkey has to offer.
For a homely restaurant within walking distance of the town try the ‘Park Sofra Restaurant’ (Merkez Mah. Atatuk Cad. No:18 D:B, Dalaman). This family run eatery provides reasonably priced, hearty meals for lunch and dinner. They specialize in traditional Turkish meals such as a skewered meatball dish, ‘Kofte’, and a flaky sheep’s cheese and spinach pastry referred to as ‘Borek’. Your meal here is not complete without a helping of exotic ‘Dondurma’, a sugary, glutinous, Turkish ice cream made using the root of a purple orchid.
An adventurous, once in a lifetime dining experience can be found on the road going north just out of Dalaman. Next to a small chicken farm, which provides the main menu, and not far from Dalaman State Prison the ‘Pillic Restaurant, with its clinical interior and basic facilities, promises an encounter not for the faint hearted. Inmates from the prison, as part of a rehabilitation scheme, cook, prepare and serve tender and delicious chicken and rice based dishes at the cheapest rate around. Perhaps not the relaxing holiday dinner you might expect in Turkey, but most definitely worth a visit.
Flights to Dalaman international airport land a 6km taxi ride outside of Dalaman Town. The Dalaman Bus Station is around an hours walk from the airport and provides a cheaper alternative.