Did you come here today to find some food porn? I HOPE YOU DID! Because that’s what you’re getting. Here are the best photos of the food I ate in Istanbul. All but one is vegetarian, and I’ll try to give the description and restaurant name for each. Here’s a link to my tripadvisor page so you can have the whole list of places I ate at.
This menemen was probably one of my favourite meals. Meant for breakfast, it contains eggs and tomatoes and was perfectly warming without being spicy. Here’s a great recipe for it, but we ate them at Nakka.
Fast food for Turkish people is the simit – a pretzel with sesame seeds on it. The main chain selling these is called Simit Sarayi and actually there’s one in Frankfurt very near to where I live. I love their potato börek and was dying to see what they taste like in Turkey. I’m pleased to say that they tasted exactly the same – so I know that the shop near me is giving me the real deal! OM NOM NOM!
“Dolma” means to stuff, and we had our chance to try a few stuffed vegetable dolma. On the left there’s seasoned rice wrapped in vine leaves and on the right there’s stuffed tomatoes. As expected, the vine leaf version is pretty difficult to make at home (but they are common in supermarkets, I think) but we had these at Fuego.
We liked Nakka so much we went back there for an evening meal too! My meal (the falafel) was pretty awesome but Boyfriend wasn’t so pleased with his pasta. I guess I just choose awesome food (hehehehe!)
Baklava are pretty much one of my favourite things now. Imagine biting into pastry that explodes into gooey honey buttery yumminess in your mouth. That’s a baklava. Luckily I have a Turkish bakery very near where I live so I can get these even in Frankfurt. YAY!
Here’s another kind of baklava – with pistachios sandwiched between the gooey casing. It was SO yummy, and I got it from the spice market.
This is çiğ köfte, which means raw meat in Turkish. And yet it’s vegetarian! How? Why? WELL! They used to use raw mince in this dish but, (as a Turkish friend explained) when Turkey wanted to join the EU they stopped doing it with raw meat and instead used bulgar wheat and ground walnut instead. You can eat it in a lettuce like I did above, or in a wrap. It was SO yummy. It’s vegetarian and vegan friendly, so check it out!
Here are two examples of simple vegetarian food we got from a small fast food shop. Stuffed aubergine, mashed potato, beans, greens and bulgar wheat. Was very good and very cheap!
I usually eat meat or fish once a week. I do it because I don’t want meat and fish to become alien to my body, while I live as a vegetarian most of the time. I had my one weekly non-vegetarian meal at one of these floating kitchens, where they grill freshly caught fish and stick it in a sandwich for you. I chose to eat here because they don’t use boats that go out and overfish, they use fishermen who are stood on the bridge behind, fishing with a rod.
In all honesty, I didn’t like the fish sandwich. The smell was pretty strong and it was a bit too much bread for my liking. There was one other part that coloured how I felt about the meal…
You’re meant to drink it with this pickle juice… Now, I’m a big fan of pickles. I would even eat a gherkin and peanut butter sandwich (no, really. Try it. It’s awesome) but this was way too much. It was like drinking salty sea water.
Needless to say, I regretted wasting my one meat meal a week on this.
So that’s what we ate in Istanbul! I should add that, since we had loads of meze plates, I took lots of gluten free bread with me – that would be my one big tip for any celiacs going to Istanbul. You can tell me that you’ll choose something else from the menu…no. When you see the amazing hummus and dips and stuff you’re going to want to dunk some bread in that mess and eat it all up. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not full allergic, I’m just sensitive so I can eat a little bit. I came back with a bit of a rash next to my nose (from the gluten I ate) but it was nothing compared to what my face was like when I came back from 4 days in Berlin.
Hope that satisfied your food porn needs!