"Memorable meals" Turkey Restaurant Tip by Tijavi

Turkey Restaurants: 224 reviews and 241 photos

  Drinking buddies in Amasra
by Tijavi
  • Drinking buddies in Amasra - Turkey
      Drinking buddies in Amasra
    by Tijavi
  • Safranbolu's omelette couple - Turkey
      Safranbolu's omelette couple
    by Tijavi

While Istanbul is not lacking in fancy restaurants where one could splurge, the most memorable meals for me during my three-week travel were those involving basic dishes served by hospitable locals.

But connecting with the locals is not an easy feat considering the language issue. The more you move eastwards, the more you need to learn Turkish. Ironically, it's in the east where travelers could experience the best of Turkish hospitality and sample basic, yet whole heartedly-prepared meals. Two meals come out as most memorable:

1) Late night supper of tuna omelette with raki (local spirits) with a group of university students in Safranbolu. I was invited to their flat at the modern part of the village where the lady of the house (gf of one of the guys) prepared a simple meal of tuna omelette and lots of ekmek (bread) washed down with raki, which was a devil of a drink and not advisable for those with weak stomachs and low alcohol tolerance.

2) Beer and canned tuna session with another group of university students in Amasra, while struggling to chat (with my pathetic Turkish and their basic English) about almost everything that characterizes Turkish life and culture - religion (it was a eclectic mix of agnostics, aetheists and devout Muslims), football, Attaturk (still very popular) and yes, their reservations on Turkey's desire to join the EU (or is it EU's desire to bring in Turkey?). It was a defining evening for Turkish hospitality - despite their limited resources, they vigorously turned down any attempt on my part to contribute to our beer kitty. One even had to forego his bottle just so I could have his share.

Directions: Learn basic Turkish, connect with the locals and get numerous invitations for a meal to their homes.
Rating: 5
Theme: Local

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 2, 2007
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