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Sep 13, 2005 11:34 AM

Recent tips on eating in Istanbul and North Aegean Turkey??

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Will be in Istanbul and northwestern Turkish coast (Assos, Foca, Sirince, Ayvacik) in early-mid October. I am hoping for some good eating advice..where to eat, what to order as far as seasonal and local specialties. No fancy hotel dining..just good food. I have read all earlier posts but there is not much, if anything, posted recently. Also seeking tips on what food-related things to bring home from Istanbul.

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  1. Hello,
    I have a pdf file that lists in english all eateries in Istanbul and surrounding areas. Good AND bad.
    Please let me know if you want it forwarding to you.
    Best Wishers,

    5 Replies
    1. re: Mark Green

      I would love to see it but would like even better to hear more personal opinions....who wrote the reviews on the file??

      1. re: erica

        Same here - would love to see the list. We'll be in Turkey mid October to early November. Ramadan, alas, but we'll try to eat as much as possible in the evenings. Will be in Istanbul for a week, then onward. All recommendations gladly accepted.

        1. re: Nyleve

          Ramadan is actually a great time to be in Turkey, bec the mood is very festive. You'll be able to eat during the day -- restaurants are open -- just won't be able to buy a simit to eat on the street. If you are in Istanbul head over to Sulthanahmet near the Blue Mosque in the evening, to sample all the offerings from the "mini Ottoman houses" (food stalls) set up along the sidewalk. Everything is safe to eat, no need to worry.
          In the fall, quince will be in season, as will winter squash -- both are transformed into lovely desserts and look for dishes like quince stuffed with lamb.
          Early Nov -- perhaps too early for olive harvest. At that time vendors set up along roads on the Aegean selling their beautiful dark green oil in unmarked bottles.

          1. re: foodfirst

            Sounds fabulous. We'll be staying in Sultanhamet, actually. I'd heard that the best food is to be found outside that area, however. Any comments about that?

            I LOVE quince. Can't wait.

            1. re: Nyleve

              Definately agree that the best food is found outside of Sulthanahmet, if you're talking restaurants. But the mini Ottoman houses are set up for Turks breaking the fast -- there are many people everynight -- it's a great atmosphere and the food is for Turks not for foreigners, so do join the party and indulge at these places.
              We stayed in Sulthanahmet our first 2 trips to Istanbul, then moved over to Taksim our second 2 trips, bec we found we were heading across the bridge for every meal. Luckily you're walking distance to the ferries and taxis are reasonable. And there are some small eateries around the university on your side, most worth trying. Also a guy sets up grilling/selling "meatball" sandwiches at entrance to university on wknds -- though you can find this elsewhere -- look for a huge flat griddle pan and the flying spatula.

    2. We had a wonderful meal at Rami 2 years ago. They were extremely hospitable. My husband and I did not have cash and only credit cards, as we hadn't had time to exchange money yet. We got up to leave and tell them that we would come back the next day with cash. They wouldn't let us. They told us to sit enjoy our first meal in Turkey and we could come back and pay the next day. I have not experienced this kind of hospitality in a restaurant anywhere in the world. The food was delicious, especially the lamb.

      Rami, Utangac Sokak 6 in Sultanahmet. Try and get a seat on the terrace. Cash only. ph#517 6593

      1. There are so many restaurants in Istanbul that confining yourself to Sultanahmet area will be a big miss, check out this link for best restaurants here;

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