Updated Date : 15.01.2022
Istanbul Dining Guide
Why is the culture of eating and drinking so important for Turks?
They love good home cooking after working all day. Turks like to come home and spend time with the family at the table during the hours. Most importantly, nothing should be missing from the table. We're not talking about cutlery. Think of a table that starts with soup and is lined with appetizers. The main course and dessert will not be missing either. This is the fastest and easiest way to get rid of the tiredness of the day.
Can you experience this while traveling? Mean precisely as a local.
Because a dinner experience is not just about sitting at the family table, it is about adapting to the environment. Therefore, it should be exactly your style when doing this.
Let's take a look; what awaits us in the city tonight?
Choose your way:
First of all, what do you like? Because soon, you will have to choose a place among endless options for Turkish food and drinks. What do you want? To have your meal at a winery, Or to decorate your table while smoking your hookah? Traveling with children? Or have you planned a romantic trip? If you've decided, let's get started then?
Best Restaurants for food:
Here we come to the infinity we talked about. Although there is no Chinatown, you can even find a Chinese restaurant in this city. But when you're exploring a new country, you should think about the local a little. So we recommend you look at the other articles we wrote in the blogs about the restaurant, traditional restaurants, and wine houses recommendations for Turkish food and drinks.
You can also find international cuisines. However, our advice is to choose places that offer Turkish, Ottoman, or Anatolian cuisine. Or you may be interested in local fusion cuisines. The most critical issue when selecting a venue is the restaurant's popularity rate. You ask why? Let's move on to the next part.
Make a reservation
If you're going out to dinner on a Friday or Saturday night, this part is essential. Even if the restaurant you choose is known, it is an important question for every day. Do you have a reservation? In Turkey, in the Chef restaurant culture, people who make the reservation first can get the best tables in the restaurant. In other words, a person who made his reservation two months ago can be given a better table than a person who made his reservation two weeks ago. However, this rule is not generally used in restaurants with more than 30 tables, wine houses, or "lokanta" s (local restaurants). Therefore, if you are going spontaneously, we recommend making a reservation not to wait to stand. We assure you that your reservation will be worth doing for tasting Turkish food.
Being overdressed is what most of us fear. But there is an effortless style that will not let you down in any case and under any circumstance: smart-casual. Whether you go to a doner restaurant or have a romantic dinner, sports-elegant clothing will allocate a chair for you everywhere. So if you're going to a high-end restaurant or your evening will end at the club, don't be afraid of being overdressed. If you're not going to get dressed then, when will you get dressed?
If you are one of those who like to wear white, if you will try street flavors, we recommend that you skip dressing in light colors tonight.
WHAT TO EAT?
Here we come to the most important question. What should we order?
Of course, we do not want you to leave this country without trying a doner, one of the most popular Turkish food to taste. But we don't call Doner food "kebab." Therefore, there is kebab in the first place. If you are not someone who consumes spices in your daily life, order the non-spicy one. We cannot imagine a table without Turkish mezes. You should especially read our article about Turkish "meze" s before ordering. The grape leaf wrapping, called Dolmades by Greeks, is what we call "sarma" (rolled). It is usually served as an appetizer, but the ones with meat are served hot, and if you come across the ones that come in a casserole, they are magnificent. The Turks had a nomad culture and therefore consumed a lot of animal food.
Consequently, lamb meat is one of the most common dishes you can find as the main course. Homemade yogurt is perfect. Of course, grilled meatballs are one of our favorites.
In addition, many restaurants have begun to adapt their menus for their vegan-vegetarian guests.
Save Room for Dessert
No meal should end without dessert. Baklava, kadaif, revani, "kazandibi," and milk pudding are the easiest desserts to find. We recommend that you order tea or black coffee with it so that your sugar does not rise further later on. We say, "Let's eat sweet and talk sweet" in Turkish. We hope you have much good conversation.
The most popular form of travel in the last ten years may be food tours. It is the perfect option for those who want to walk the city and taste local delicacies in the evenings. In a few hours, you can be full and taste more than you expect.
If you need to take a taxi to go to the restaurant from your hotel, we recommend checking the traffic situation online. Otherwise, you will be gone at least half an hour after your reservation time. For the return, you can request a taxi from your restaurant. Or maybe you can enjoy the sparkling evening on your way back on foot. Finally, you can check a complete guide about the Istanbul transportation system.
The Final Word
When asking where to eat, remember that curiosity and desire are the most important things to perfect your trip. Be open to experiences. Let the good smells take over you. Make room for yourself to create memories.