The food in Istanbul was fantastic. So it gets its own blog post!

Just past the Galata bridge we found several wildly rocking boats selling fish sandwiches (as featured on Rick Steves). Nearby stands were selling glasses of bright red juice with pickles in it, which is apparently just the thing to go with fish. We skipped the pickle juice and stuck to sandwiches.

That night we found a small restaurant and tried several different mezze.

The following day we took a recommendation from Chow Hound and tried a kofte restaurant near the Hagia Sofia. Koftes are like grilled meatballs served with thin, not super spicy peppers. The restaurant was super busy and the koftes were delicious! We think Barack Obama may have also eaten there (any Turkish speakers want to confirm?)

For dinner we went to an amazing kebab restaurant in Beyo─člu. We shared some mezze before we tried some of the many different types of grilled meat. The grilled aubergine (eggplant) with sausagey bits between was fantastic!

We thought it would be really cool to do a food tour, so we found a walking/tasting tour of the Spice Market. We tried so many different things! Real string cheese and cheese made in goat skin. Cured meats, pickled plums, and freshly squeeze pomegranate juice. Spices, pastrami, fried oysters, and halva. We tried more than 20 different things, and then we had lunch!

Lunch was at a restaurant on the Asian side of Istanbul. We took the ferry over and walked through even more markets before arriving. Our tour guide ordered a sampling menu for us based on what dishes the restaurant had that day and what she thought we would like to try.

We ended the meal with various candied vegetables like eggplant, tomato, and pumpkin served with tea made with oregano, which was much better than it sounds.

By that point we were all suffering from the advanced stages of food coma so the ferry ride back was very relaxed. We pulled back into the ferry port and walked out into snow! So much for balmy Mediterranean climates!

For breakfast one morning we decided to try kaymak at Karakoy Ozsut after reading an article raving about it. Served with honey and crusty bread to spread it on it was delightful. We ordered menemen, eggs with tomatoes and peppers, to accompany it. Menemen is like the shakshouka we had in Israel, but with more of an egg emphasis. Delicious!

For our last dinner in Istanbul, we went to a small restaurant we had found a recommendation for online. We had many different mezzes and even tried anchovy kebabs all washed down with raki.

After one last round of Turkish coffee our culinary adventures drew to a close.

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