We will be in Turkey for about 3 weeks in late October-early November. First 10 days driving throughout Southwest and Central Turkey, the balance of time will be in Istanbul. Would love to get recommendations on places to eat and food dishes to try.
I currently live in Istanbul as an American expat - just celebrated 1 year here. Are you going to Cappadocia? Pamukkale? Antalya? Fetiye? If you give me more details on where you will be outside of Istanbul, I'm happy to help!
New favorite modern restaurant in Istanbul is X Restaurant and Bar. Located near the Sishane metro exit. It has a wonderful rooftop terrace with a view of Sultanahmet and the Golden Horn. Go around sunset! Make a reservation in advance. Some of the staff does speak English. We had an outstanding grilled octopus, tomato and feta appetizer as well as a fried calf's liver appetizer. International food. About 400 TL for 4 people, including 1 bottle of wine.
You can also check out my blog for traveling in Turkey ideas:
Thanks for your reply to my post. There are two of us traveling. We arrive late at night on 19 October and will stay in a hotel near the airport. Following day will pick-up rental car, cross the Marmara to Yalova and then drive SW to Selcuk (have reservation there 21 Oct). Then drive S to Med. Sea and then E toward Tarsus. Arriving in Goreme, Cappadocia 26 & 27 Oct. Have hotel res. - celebrating my birthday there. Back to Istanbul on 30 Oct. and have rented an apt. on Akbiyik Caddesi in Sultanahmet for 10 days. Dept. back to San Francisco on 8 Nov.
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org if that is an easier way to communicate?
Yes, Istanbul Eats is a great resource! I highly recommend it. My copy is has marked pages throughout it!
In Taksim, check out Zübeyir Ocakbaşı. Reasonably priced and good. It always seems to be packed, so walk in and make a reservation early or try waiting for a table.
Ciya in Kadikoy is always good. I've been there twice lately and the food is delicious. The chef is from Gaziantep so the food is different from what you will have elsewhere in the city. I've been meaning to post my photos from those visits. Def. try the "sorbets" at the end. Usually there are 2 daily flavors and they are more like fresh fruit/herb juices to refresh your palate at the end of your meal.
If you have time for a food/market tour, I highly recommend taking Selin's Turkish Flavours tour. It's an all-day stopping/eating event around the Spice Market and the small markets in Kadikoy on the Asian side and includes a special 16-course tasting menu at Ciya as part of it. So the price is really worth it! I went on this in June and can't remember how much I paid - maybe 100 EU? http://www.turkishflavours.com/index.php
David, I'll reply a bit more to you to the email you provided me. I'm certain you will enjoy Turkey. I've fallen in love with it in the year that we've lived here. Cheers!