Holidays to Turkey: Eating Out in Istanbul
The most elegant and expensive restaurants in Istanbul are in the entertainment center of Taksim, as well as the shopping districts of Nisantasi, Tesvikiye, Etiler and Levent. The choicest samples of Turkish and world cuisine are served in the restaurants of big hotels. There are various restaurants for tourists and those on a budget in districts such as Beyoglu, Eminonu, Sirkeci and Suita nahmet. The most common type of restaurants in Istanbul is the traditional self-service lokanta. ' The menus are usually of vegetable and meat-based dishes, but some of them have grilled food and kebab. Kebapcis are places where every kind of meat is grilled or cooked in various ways. 'Lahmacun' and 'pide' are among the original Turkish soul-food found in those places.
FISH RESTAURANTS AND BARS
Fish restaurants and bars have a large place in the dining culture of Istanbul. They usually have a warm and sincere atmosphere. Fish restaurants are found mostly along the Bosphorus and Kumkapi, on Marmara Sea shore. The variety of fish, which is seasonal, is exhibited so that customers can choose what fish they wish to see in their dish. Fish is usually served grilled or fried. Plates of 'meze' (appetizers), salads and / or raki, the Turkish national drink, can be chosen with the fish. Prices are based on the kilo, which is determined on a day-to-day basis. Meyhanes may seem to offer the same menus as the fish restaurants, but the 'meze' here are more varied and fresher, whereas grilled meat dishes are also available. Waiters display 'meze' on trays, and customers choose the ones they desire. You do not need to book seats at most of these restaurants located crowded and popular places. If one is full, you will definitely find a place in another.
In Turkey, lunch is served around 12:00 to 14:00 and dinner at about 20:00. Restaurants and kebab shops are usually open between 11: 00-23: 00. Fish restaurants are open throughout day and keep their doors open until late at night. Restaurants serving from world cuisine menus are usually open between 15: 00-20: 00, and maybe a bit later. Meyhanes are remain open from 17:00 until late at night. Most the restaurants are open seven days a week, whereas some are closed on Sunday or Monday. Bars are usually open until the wee hours of the morning.
WHAT WILL YOU FIND IN THE RESTAURANTS?
There are restaurants in Istanbul which serve only vegetarian fare. However, many normal restaurants also have vegetable dishes and omelets for vegetarians.Most restaurants have nonsmoking sections. However, there are a few restaurants with high-chairs for infants. Most restaurants are not wheelchair friendly, but unfortunately it does not present a problem as the restaurants are usually on the ground floor. Some traditional restaurants and kebab shops do not serve alcohol and there is no strict jacket and tie dress code to worry about either.
SERVICE AND PAYMENT
Not all employees in these places know foreign languages, but they will try to do their best to help you. Service is usually clean and careful, but it may be slow when the venue is crowded. Credit cards are accepted except with small restaurants and some kebab shops. VAT and service is included in the price. Tipping in common; add about 10% to the bill.