My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Food and Drinks of Istanbul

on January 29, 2013

Dec. 2012-Jan. 2013

While on vacations, we try to eat as much local food as possible, but at times must admit that we miss some of our favorites from home.

IMG_2391 trays of food, red peppers, a yogurt dish etc. you picked what you wanted.
IMG_2392 veggies, grape leaves wrapping rice etc.

We had read a lot about the food in Turkey and we were excited to try many of the dishes.  One of the things we read, but did not sink in until we actually were eating it is that food is served luke warm to cold.

There are different kinds of places to eat in Turkey, small little specialty types (kebab’s, pizza boats, crepes), cafeteria-style places and then sit down restaurants.

The best kabob I had was the first one we tried.  It was a chicken one, with some veggies and then some yummy red (tomato?) sauce on it, then put in a griddle to crisp up the pita.  After that one, I found most kabobs dry and not nearly as good as the ones in Greece.  There was not tzatziki sauce or any type of yogurt sauce to put on them, OR if there was we did not know how to ask for it.  One other thing about the kabobs is that they were always stuffed with greasy semi cold french fries, we learned quickly to ask for them without fries.

We ate most often at the cafeteria-style places. You walked in, grabbed a tray and pointed to what you wanted.  Often times chicken stew type dishes that were good and warmer than most dishes.  There were a lot of eggplant dishes that for the most part were sadly cold, but always tasty.  Easily the best dishes at any of these places were the lentil soup and the beans.  Lentil soup was hot J and so were the beans.  The beans were typically cooked down with a tomato based sauce.  Yummy.  We could eat, including drinks for about $12 total.210

IMG_2313 samples of our dinners
IMG_2177 I called these boat pizzas. That is a fried egg, not cheese on the top of one of them.

I loved the bakeries that had spinach stuffed pastry that was a great thing to eat mid day.  Sometimes they had cheese, other times not.    I also loved the pizza boats.  These came in a variety of sizes and an equally large variety of toppings.  They typically had an olive oil base, some cheese and then different toppings, including meats, veggies, or even eggs.  Cost about $2-4 a piece depending on size.IMG_2595 IMG_2596 IMG_2685

IMG_2232 spinach wrapped in filo dough, my favorite daytime snack

The grilled mackerel sandwiches that we got at the base of the bridge were also a favorite.  We had these a few times.  They cooked the fish right in front of you, opened up a rustic roll in which the fish was placed and finally topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and some great seasoning.  These ran about $2.50 a piece!

IMG_2306 Our ‘friend’ was happy to see us come back for more. He liked practicing his English, as we found very common in Istanbul.

IMG_2307 IMG_2308

IMG_2546 fried cheese with syrup over it!

By far the best food in Turkey were the desserts!  An unusual but yummy treat was a grated cheese that was grilled over fire, once grilled syrup was poured over the dish and then it was topped with copped pistachios.  Of course there was also a lot of baklava displayed in a variety of ways! It was fantastic, especially when it was warm.  Cost, $2-$3. IMG_2547

IMG_2312 tower of baklava


Lastly, my favorite food: the deep friend anchovies.  We’d seen people eating these during our nights near the bridge, and finally decided to get a tin; we were NOT disappointed, though the tin was plenty for the 2 of us… you can’t eat too many at once.   Total cost $3.

IMG_2550 anchovies! YUMMMMMY


While walking through town we’d occasionally get some snacks from street vendors including roasted chestnuts, and yummy rolls.  We really grew fond of the drinks that we could buy from street vendors, including fresh squeezed orange OR pomegranate juice.  But the biggest surprise was the Sahlep.  It is a hot drink that is made from milk, flour, honey, vanilla, and cinnamon as well as other ‘special spices’.  It is a thick drink that is served HOT.

IMG_8966 Sahlep was sold by street vendors!

IMG_9321IMG_2140IMG_2309 IMG_2310 IMG_2311 IMG_8964

funny things also included bright sugary candy that was rolled onto a stick and the fact that McDonalds AND Burger King delivered (NO we never ate at one of them OR had them delivered). IMG_9316 IMG_9284IMG_2697IMG_2599

One response to “Food and Drinks of Istanbul

  1. kathy grisinger says:

    We love your vacation. Love the food. Can’t wait to try some of the local stuff when we go this summer.


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