Home to Turkey's best cooks                Population: 5,000

menfestFestival fun in MengenMarket day: Saturday

Mengen Cooks and Tourism Festival: Late September

Mengen, 58km northeast of Bolu along a winding wooded road, is known throughout Turkey for its great chefs who train at the Mengen Meslek Yüksekokulu (Vocational High School), a part of Abant İzzet Baysal University.

Every September it also hosts a cookery festival. This is great fun although the food served at it was typical pilav günü (rice day) fare rather than the palace cuisine for which the town was once known. Indeed, the largest number of assembled chefs appeared to be dishing up packeted mashed potato!

Not surprisingly there's a statue in front of the otogar showing chefs in tall hats wielding ladles. 

menrice"The world's largest Mengen risotto"Despite all this excitement there are not actually that many interesting restaurants in Mengen itself since most of the people trained in the cookery school head straight out for jobs in İstanbul hotels. 

Transport info

There are regular buses from Ankara to Mengen as well as minibuses from Bolu. These leave from in front of the Women and Children's Hospital, across the Anıt Parkı (Monument Park) from the Valilik or from the otogar.

Day trip destinations



Yedigöller NP


menhouseMengen houses once had lovely wooden verandahs like this. There's a much better surviving example in nearby Gökcesu.

Events Calendar

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