As promised, this week will cover parts of my culinary journey and the search for the best cafes through Istanbul. I place great emphasis on some as there are too many choices (95% of them great) to pick from. Eating and cooking is a big part of the Turkish culture. You will often see restaurants packed from hours as soon as work hours are done, on weekdays, and over-crowded cafes on weekends. Though Istanbul is slowly resembling Laptopistan (a recent term I came across for countries, especially in North America, where an increasing number of customers are choosing to bring laptops to restaurants and cafes), Istanbul still manages to maintain its’ roots. Most people are seen out with groups of friends. You will often only see two people at a restaurant if they’re in a relationship – otherwise, it’s groups of three or more. Turkey is very much a collectivistic culture – meaning that a sense of community and belonging is very important to the citizens. I really appreciate this about Turkey and this may be why I also truly value my relationships.
I have had too many great dishes, many prepared by my relatives or parents, but of course the most buttery and savoury of them, consumed outside of the home. Some of my favourite dishes are midye dolma (stuffed mussels), various types of kebab, mucver (zucchini patty), and many other olive-oil based dishes. I can guarantee 100% that Turkey would have great food options for any type of diet, except maybe those who are lactose intolerant because we consume a lot of dairy products. Below are a collection of images of some of my favourite locations and food from all over Istanbul. I hope you enjoy the photos and I would love to answer any questions you have regarding the post! Next week, my plan is to place the spotlight on my travels in Italy. Haven’t decided on which city yet so I’ll keep the mystery alive for now!