Where to eat in Turkey? [Istanbul must see and taste Restaurants]
Restaurants in Turkey range from the informal lokanta and kebab houses, found on every street corner, to upscale gourmet restaurants. When you visit Istanbul, and in most major tourist centers, the restaurants cover the vast majority of cuisines, from French to Korean. Restaurants on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts specialized in seafood and dishes, and Cappadocia is famous for its wines and traditional cuisines. A range of exciting local dishes can be found along the black sea coast and in the interior of Anatolia. Every region presents its own culinary; you can sample tickle, clotted cream in Afyon, spicy meatballs in Tekirdag, chewy ice cream in Kahramanmaras, and whole-milk yogurt in distant Erzurum. As you move further away from Istanbul, finding vegetarian options on the menu becomes a little tricky. If you want to find good Restaurants in Turkey, you need to have enough information about what to eat there.
Where to look
The smartest and most expensive restaurants are usually located in upmarket neighborhoods of major cities, often as part of renowned international hotel chains. The main roads and central business districts of most towns have a selection of fast-food eaters, cafes, and inexpensive restaurants where the locals go to eat. Most of these towns also have many cafes, patisseries, and pudding shops which specialize in Muhallebi (traditional sweet milk-puddings).
In the interiors, most restaurants focus on regional food, and the menu caters to locals more than tourists. However, coastal resorts cater to all ages and tastes and offer a wide variety of dishes from across the world.
Types of restaurants in Turkey
The most common type of restaurant in Turkey is the traditional lokanta. These establishments serve a variety of dishes, often listed on a board near the entrance. They offer hazir yemek, usually consisting of hot meat and vegetable dishes that are displayed in a steam table. Other dishes on the menu may be sulu yemek (stews) and izgara (Grilled meat and kebab).
Equality popular eating joints include the Kebapci or Ocakbasi (Kebab House). Most kebab houses also serve the popular lahmacun, a thin dough base topped with fried onions, minced meat, and tomato sauce- this dish is a Turkish version of pizza.
Some also serve pide, a flat-bread base with various toppings such as eggs, cheese, and cured meat. If you have had too much to drink, you may need a bowl of Iskembe (Trip soup), the traditional Turkish cure for a hangover, before going to bed. Iskembe restaurants stay open until the early hours of the morning.
What to expect in a Turkish Restaurants
In Turkey, a meal is always an occasion and, for special meals, it is best to book ahead. In large centers, a vegetarian can enjoy variety, but the options become scarcer as you travel further east. When choosing a place to eat, remember that many of the cheaper restaurants in Turkey and kebab houses do not serve alcohol. Alcoholic drinks are generally expensive due to high-taxes; this can double the cost of the overall bill. The most conservative places may have a separate section for families or women. These are designated by a sign with words aile salonu (family room), and single men do not enter.
Turks are proud of their hospitality and services. Excellent service is always found in the upmarket restaurants in Turkey with well-trained, professional waiters and kitchen staff, and the same level of attentive service is also presenting at cheaper eateries. It is natural for Turks to call a waiter by saying, Bakar misiniz (service please).
Turks eat when they are hungry, without looking at the clock and simply drop in at the most convenient place around. Restaurants and kebab houses are generally open at 11 a.m. and stay open for the business until the last customer leaves in the evening. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Consequently, restaurants in rural turkey remain closed during the day; they may open after sunset. Restaurants in many of the tourist resorts grind to a halt by the end of October to re-open in March or April when the weather improves. Therefore, you should pay attention when you plan a Turkey itinerary.