If you would like to experience different kinds of exotic food, Istanbul is a great place to go. I’ve been trying out different kinds of food (street food, coffee-house, restaurants), the longer I stay the more I love the food. The basic philosophy is try it out ! Here are things that I found out during my trip.
– Turkish waiters might snatch your plates away before you finish it. I had it few times, and so I told them always when I’m not done. Normally they are very friendly and they would recommend you to take your time.
– Breakfast: you might want to try “simit” (the bread ring) with jam, black or green olives, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. Well, I don’t really enjoy the coffee from the hotel much. The taste is awful.
– Enjoy a cup of tea (classic black tea) or a cup of Turkish coffee. If you are a coffee lover, i recommend you to take one. It is a thick dark powerful coffee.
– “cok sekerli” are important words if you want to have your coffee very sweet.
– You can read the future from the grounds in the bottom of your cup. Believe it or not ???
– You can find Nescafe everywhere in Sultanahmet and Beyoglu area. They certainly have latte machiato, cappucion, espresso. In the tourist area you might spend 4-6 TYL for a cup of cappucino/latte machiato.
– Tea is not commonly drinked with milk. So they might be confused if you ask milk. However, you can get milk in every hotel.
– The local famous brank of beer is “EFES”, it’s everywhere.
– “Raki” is served in long thin glass. It’s clear white liquid. I don’t really like the taste of this alcohol, but you can try it. Maybe you would like it 🙂
– “Balik restaurant” is a very important term, the restaurant serves fish. You can find normally along the Bosphorus. You have to ask the waiter about the fish and check it if the fish is fresh. You might get old fish in a dodgy restaurant.
– “Borek”: I have eaten different kinds of borek before I come to Istanbul. It is stuffed with cheese/meat/spinach.
– Soup is very fabulous. If you like lentils (linsen), you can try their lentil soup. Very recommended !
– Salad is very standart, you can find any kinds of salad everywhere. If you like aubergine (eggplants), try out eggplant salad. You can eat it with the Turkish bread.
– Dolma : grape leaves stuffed with rice or meat. It’s one of my favorite !
– Last but not least, Turks have different kinds of Kebab. You probably have to read the menu thoroughly before you order them. Doner Kebap: compressed meat (normally lamb), thin sliced. Iskender Kebap: kebap meat served on a pide (bread), they put youghurt and tomato and peperoni. Very tasty !
– In the restaurant, you might find “meze”, sort of finger food. they normally serve meze before the main menu. there are lots of variations: calamari, anchovy, different kinds of vegies with youghurt base, different kind of cheese. Just try them out !
– Don’t forget to try out “Lokum”, the famous turkish delights.You can get the good quality at Ali Muhiddin Had Bekir at Taksim (Istiklal Cad.).
Last but not least, cullinary is part of getting to know the city and the characteristics of the people.
“Gutten Appetite !”