The most important tip I can give you on Azerbaijan local food, and the only one that will make you elevate from being a tourist to becoming a real traveler immersed in the local culture, is “Stay away from McDonalds“. When visiting Azerbaijan, there is awesome local food to try. Head to the local eateries too, and go where the locals go. For me, the food, wine and and even the water is part of the travel experience.
What to Eat in
Cabbage, grape leaves, and eggplant wrapped meat (kelem, yarpaq, badimjan – dolmasi), kabab (kebab), rice with different variety of toppings (plov – It is said that plov is the king of Azerbaijani cuisine), gutabs and meatballs (kufta) are some of the several specialties of Azerbaijan.
Bread is a staple, and is quite revered by the people of Azerbaijan. Georgian food, in particular kajpuri (a cheese-filled bread), along with some Russian staples (borsh, creps) have become common throughout Azerbaijan. Other cuisines such as Turkish, Italian, Asian, Western & fast food, along with Asian food can be found in Baku.
What to Drink in Azerbaijan
Some local drinks include ayran (a yogurt drink based on sour milk) and sherbet (made from rose petals or saffron). There are also different sorts of quite decent wines produced from local grapes and a wide array of mineral waters from natural springs. In some areas of Azerbaijan the markets offer lemonades (limonat/dushes) made from pears or taragon.
Other local foods, or drinks that you recommend? Please add and comment.