I don’t know about you, but one of the highlights of traveling for me is trying the local food – and the more, the better! Something that I always keep in mind when selecting a restaurant in a new country is how busy it is and how many locals are eating there.
I’ve been in Istanbul a few times and although their food is similar to Lebanese food, they also have several of their own specialities, such as the pretezel-bread combination called Simit that you’ll find everywhere. Different parts of the huge metropolis have their own specialities and ways of preparing a similar dish. Meat and fish are a big part of the cuisine so being a vegetarian in Turkey is a bit difficult – unless someone invents a veggie kebab, I guess!
One book I found that helps tremendously in finding the kind of food you’re craving while in Istanbul is “Istanbul Eats: Exploring the Culinary Backstreets“. Full of photographs and a personal review of different restaurants to cater to every taste bud by the authors, you really can’t go wrong.
Order yourself a copy and read daily culinary updates from the Turkish capital on their website: Istanbul Eats. I also found this interesting interview with one of the authors, Yigal Schleifer, to “get your mouth watering and your tummy grumbling” (and it worked).