My Favorite Turkish Food

My Favorite Turkish Food

Last night was one of the best sleep I’ve had in a very long time since arriving in Turkey. The muezzin did wake me up, but I was able to fall right back to sleep. As much as we gripe about the daily 6AM wake up call, Joe and I both agree that it is very soothing and calming to hear it throughout the day. Some are better than others – the one in Antalya gave us both a pause.

Today’s agenda was to hit our favorite food joints one last time. First stop was the super yummy cağ kebap we had on our first day in Istanbul. Şehzade cağ kebap is located close to the spice market. To get there from Taksim meant an hour walk through Istaklal street, across the Galata bridge, and through the spice market. The usual greetings from the shopkeepers included one who greeted us in Mandarin with, “你好, 有開心果⋯⋯” (Hello, have pistachios). These guys are good, even Joe doesn’t know what 開心果 is (he thought it meant dragon fruit).

Cağ kebap. It wasn’t until the last couple of days that we realized çay is free with meals in Turkey. So we’ve been downing those little cups of tea (with cubes of sugar) like it’s going out of style.

Compared to 6 weeks ago, Istanbul is a lot more comfortable weather wise, but we also noticed more people on the streets. The Western tourists have all been replaced by local Turks or Arab tourists. November in Turkey is when it starts to rain more, and we got caught in a little bit of rain as we were headed back across the Galata bridge.

The rain gave us a little pause on the bridge as we took shelter on the lower deck. We got a chance to really take in the view of the city dotted with mosques without any other distractions.
Süleymaniye mosque is probably the most picturesque (the Blue mosque is currently covered in scaffolding)

Once the rain passed, we made our way up to the Beyoğlu area for dessert – another hour walk from Şehzade cağ kebap. We believe that there are certain foods in the world that (most) everyone must try once in their lifetime. For example, Portugal’s Pasteis de Nata, Mexico’s al pastor tacos, American rib eye steak, and now added to the list is Turkey’s sutlaç (rice pudding).

Özkonak probably has the best sutlaç in town. Joe thinks the sutlaç we had in Uzungöl was better – sutlaç is supposedly better in the Black Sea region because it’s milkier.

Back at the hotel, we decided to hit the gym. Two months of eating and no exercise has turned me into a little marshmallow puff.

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