Confession: I love the food in this town. The selection is extraordinary, and as long as you avoid the Four Seasons Hotel and other high-end choices, you can get by on a pittance. With only 29 minutes till the start of my course, and 10 minutes’ walk away, I had lunch in this nondescript self-service cafeteria off Taksim Square.
Even with the bottle of water the bill came to less than $4. They would’ve thrown in a complimentary cup of tea when I finished, but I was pressed for time. The nice young gentleman who took my picture bussed trays.
But a visit to Istanbul wouldn’t be complete without a rich meal of döner kebab and french fries, at least for all you meat eaters. I saw a TV program on how these babies are made. Meat pieces straight from the slaughterhouse including veal, lamb and beef are layered on top of each other with sauces slathered on and plenty of spices. There’s a place like this seemingly on every corner. Messy, but delicious, and as cheap as my veggie meal.
I haven’t repeated a restaurant once in 10 days, but I was tempted to return to this vegan/vegetarian restaurant, just because there were so many other things I wanted to try. Well, I have three days left.
Meatless options can be found in just about every restaurant, although this is clearly a meat loving culture.
Every fish lover would be happy in Istanbul as well. The fish is fresh, and served hot off the broiler or grill, usually with a few lettuce leaves and a slice of lemon. Side dishes are extra, but there are dozens of choices. If you don’t crave atmosphere in your restaurant, and avoid Starbucks, you can eat plenty for $20 to $25 a person per day.
A resident of Switzerland, Fred has worked as a teacher, language school manager and school owner. He has three boys and two cats and recently had to learn how to operate both washing machine and dryer. He makes frequent trips back to his native Chicago.
When not writing or doing the washing, Fred can be found walking along the banks of the Rhine River, sitting in a local cafe, or visiting all the local pubs in search of his lost umbrella.