Mersin's local speciality is tantuni kebap – chopped beef sautéed with onions, garlic and peppers, wrapped in pitta-like lavaş ekmek. To be honest, tantuni, often accompanied by şalgam suyu, a crimson-coloured juice made by boiling turnips and adding vinegar, is not the highest point of Turkish gastronomy.
For something sweet try cezerye, a semigelatinous confection made from carrots and packed with walnuts. For a cheap seafood fix, try the floating fish restaurants around the harbour. Fish sandwiches (balik ekmek) can be had for around ₺6.