Vegan Guide to Ankara, Turkey’s Capital

Veganka

Vegan Burger and Fresh Salad

Once upon a time, there was a place called Veganka. It was a colorful, lively place where veggie burgers were served and friends were made. Being one of the few places where veganism was understood and honored from soup to salad and appetizers to desserts, my family retreated there often. Unfortunately, due to zoning regulations, this hub for Ankara’s vegan community was closed. It’s rumored to open again soon, but in the meantime, we’ve been looking for a substitute. Instead of finding a singular replacement, we have found pieces of our dietary puzzle scattered all over the city. Some places are home-based vegan businesses, vegetarian eateries, and veg-friendly restaurants and cafes, but in their totality, they feed us when we want a break from feeding ourselves.

VEGAN RESTAURANTS

Saf LifeCo Ankara

Sprouted Buckwheat and Quinoa Wrap

Saf Restaurant at LifeCo Ankara

Located at a Turkish-owned well-being support and detox center, Saf restaurant serves high-quality raw foods, fresh juices, and vegan fare. Their dining area is modest in size but their menu is impressively varied. Reservations are not necessary but preferred for in-house dining. Alternatively, they deliver meals through their Saf Kitchen service.

Vegisso

Vegan Izmir Köfte with Bulgur Pilau and Salad

Vegisso Restaurant

Yesin’s home-based cafe hosts pop-up events, workshops, and serves some of the best seitan I’ve had in a long-time. If you don’t mind the cozy living room-turned-dining room, you can enjoy affordable yet tasty fare in the owner’s own home.

VEGAN BUSINESSES

Kuuk Cooking

Falafel Wrap

Kuuk Cooking

Alev, a former chef at Veganka, now operates independently and hosts vegan events in the city. Her sandwiches are made sensational by homemade vegan mayonnaise and are best followed by one of her delicious desserts.

Vegan Orange Cake with Lentil and Eggplant Börek

Ev Yapımı Vegan Lezzetler

Manti is a traditional Turkish dish of tiny dumplings, usually served with yogurt and a tomato-based sauce. Çisem, the owner and cook of Ev Yapımı Vegan Lezzetler, has mastered the vegan version and ships it, along with her vegan seitan sausage, all over Turkey. For local diners, you can directly order her savory pastries and cakes or find them at Padam Coffee Shop.

Vegan İşleri

Tabbouleh Salad with Walnuts

Vegan İşleri

Gülen and Pınar add a refreshingly light and healthy spin to the local vegan scene. Beyond being dairy and animal-free, their catered dishes and desserts are beautifully presented and aim for a high standard of health and well-being.

VEGETARIAN RESTAURANTS

Vegihi

Vegihi

This new addition to Ankara’s dining scene caters to both vegan and vegetarian diners in a lovely Victorian dining hall or an inviting outdoor garden. This is a great place to dine with omnivores or veg-curious friends alike.

Vegihi Restaurant

Sprouted Quinoa, Lentil and Bulgur Salad with Saffron and Cranberries

VEGAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS

Ege Günlüğü

Lentil Salad, Green Beans, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Stuffed Zucchini, Black Eyed Peas, Greens, Celery Root and Lentil and Bulgur Köfte

Ege Günlüğü

Serving classical Aegean cuisine, Ege Günlüğü’s appeal  revolves around their cold-bar of traditionally prepared plant-based foods simmered in cold-pressed olive oil. The few dishes containing yogurt are easily identified and therefore are easily avoided for vegan diners. They have two locations: Armada Mall and Kentpark Shopping Center.

Wuyang Restaurant

Vegetable and Tofu Stir-Fry

Wuyang Chinese Restaurant

As the city’s top Chinese restaurant, the expectations are quite high but they are met without fail every time. They make tofu in-house in a variety of delicious dishes, alongside flavorful vegetable entrees as well.

Spice Curry House

Chick Pea Curry, Moong Dal, Naan Bread, and Basmati Rice

Spice Curry House

Though not popular with diners seeking authentic Indian cuisine, Spice Curry House has a handful of bean and vegetable dishes that are quite tasty and filling.

RAW JUICE BARS

Juju Fresh

Juju Fresh

If you’re in downtown Ankara, this is your nearest location for cold-pressed juices but they can be shipped to order as well.

Juice Love

Juice Love

Located in Gordion Mall, Juice Love serves a great variety of cold-pressed juices and peanut butter. Note that some drinks contain propolis and the peanut butter is sweetened with honey.

Detox Market

Detox Market

The most natural snacks you’ll find in Bilkent Center are at Detox Market. In addition to cold-pressed juices, there are gluten-free, nut and seed based snacks. Note that some snacks contain organic eggs and honey.

VEGAN-FRIENDLY CHOCOLATIERS

Chocolat Garden

Dark Chocolate

Chocolat Garden

Not too far from Gordion Mall, Chocolat Garden is run by a passionate chocolatier who makes small daily batches of fresh chocolate, some of which are dark chocolate and vegan.

Nona Brigadeiro

Vegan Dark Chocolate Products

Nona Brigadeiro

This chocolate shop specializes in Brazilian and Belgian chocolates but has several chocolate bars that are exclusively vegan. Other vegan chocolate treats can be made to order.

VEGAN-FRIENDLY BAKERIES

Semotti's Kitchen

Granola and Peanut Butter

Semotti’s Bakery

This gluten-free bakery also makes vegan cakes, crackers, granola, and nut butters to order. Open daily, you’ll be drawn in by the amazing smells of freshly baked breads and granola.

VEGAN-FRIENDLY COFFEE SHOPS

Padam Coffee Shop

Strawberry Milkshakes

Padam Coffee Shop

Just around the corner from Kuğulu Park, Padam is a new coffee shop that sells Federal Coffee brand and keeps dairy-free milks and vegan desserts on hand for customers.

Kakule Kahve

Kakule Kahve

As a third-wave coffee shop, Kakule Kahve vows to remain bike-friendly, pet-friendly, queer-friendly, and vegan-friendly for all visitors. Both soy and almond milk are available, as well as a delicious vegan brownie on the menu.

Fika Ankara

Fika Coffee Shop

Drawing from the Swedish coffee and snack culture, Fika offers a variety of vegan beverage, breakfast, and snack options. It is similarly a pet-friendly space where diners can bring their animal friends for both indoor and outdoor dining.

Fika Ankara

Vegan Sausage, Cheese, and Tofu with Toast, Olives, Tomatoes, and Strawberry Jam

This post was originally published at Vegan Travel.

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