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Trip Food Account: Turkey, Vegetarian

ashwinb | Apr 24, 2014 08:48 AM

I know this is going to be a disappointment for all carnivores out here. I had been to Turkey in May 2013, the trip was fabulous, and food turned out to be he biggest surprise, it was brilliant!! I was expecting food which will "passable" but it turns out, Turkey is among the best place for a vegetarian with it's endless variety of food(after India ofcourse).
You can have a look at pictures on my blog page on Turkish food: http://ashwinbahulkar.wordpress.com/m...
So here's my list:
Istanbul:
1. Osman/Usman Cig koftesi, amazing Turkish vegetarian(surprise) kofte made of bulgur wheat.
It's between Cemberlitas and tram station and Beyazit, it's on the side of the Grand Bazar.
2. Kursufaliye, a beans and rice Turkish dish, to be had near Sulemaniye mosque, there are about 3-4 outlets there, all are good. I saw a lot of locals having kebab and all.
3. Makarna Sarayi, near Cemberlitas, amazing falafel(not turkish but I haven't had better falafels even in the middle east), the sauce is tasty and fresh. The kadayif(desert) is brilliant.
4. Elif cafe, a steam table kind of place right next to the Arasta Bazar entrance, good mezzes.
5. Doy doy restaurant, a touristy place, yet serving excellent food, have the pides(turkish pizzas here).
6. Kumpir: A big baked potato with thousands of mediterranean toppings, best had at Ortakoy sea front.
7. Manti: Turkish ravioli, I had the vegetarian version at Neyzade restaurant. They also serve an amazing walnut-tomato-garlic sauce with bread.
8. Baklava: Karakoy Gulluoglu's the best , less syrup and more nuts.

Selcuk(a gateway to the Graeco-Roman ruins of Ephesus):
1. Ejder Restaurant: Excellent mezzes.
2. Any of the local pide shops, the pide here too is unbelievably good.
3. There was his farmside place I came across on the way to Ephesus, I had dolma/sarma(grape vines stuffed with spicy rice), I think these are the best you could get anywhere in the world.

Cappadocia best picks:
1. Nazar Borek(in Gorme town): Excellent spinach,potato, cheese pastries.
2. Top Deck Restaurant: The best mezze I've had. You need to book here a few days in advance.

Gaziantep: A foodie's paradise, deep in Eastern Turkey. Famous for it's baklava and katmer, a desert made with flour and buffalo cheese. You can have it anywhere in the old town.

Sanliurfa: Excellent kunefe, again a vermicelli and buffalo cheese desert, made very well. Otherwise I usually ate at the homestay(Lizbon Guest house), really good Turkish food.
Places in East Turkey, like Sanliurfa or Gaziantep are famous for their kebabs and meat pizzas(lahmacun). So it's worth making a detour all the way to this area.

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