Anorexia nervosa often begins in adolescence, and there is a growing body of quantitative literature looking at the efficacy of treatment for adolescents. However, qualitative research has a valuable contribution to make to the understanding of treatment and recovery. This paper aims to review qualitative studies on the experience of treatment and recovery for adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Key themes from the 11 studies identified the role of family, peers and professionals, family therapy, the inpatient setting, emphasis on physical versus psychological and conceptualisation of recovery. Future studies would benefit from relating their findings to adolescent theory and considering reflexivity. Implications for clinical practice are also discussed. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.