Introducing a new series: Foodie Cheat Sheets
Each week I’ll be featuring a different international culinary destination and five distinct food adventures designed to appeal to every taste. Drawing from personal travel experience, I’m breaking down my favorite foodie spots around the world in Cliffs Notes format. These are my best answers to that burning travel question, “where should we eat?” for every food personality, whether you’re a street food snackster or Michelin-starred maven. So, print out your Foodie Cheat Sheet and pick your next culinary adventure.
If there’s one thing I love most about Turkish food, it’s meze: small plates of hot and cold appetizers. Imagine garlicky dips, meat-filled pastries and endless combinations of fresh vegetables. Out of the traditional meze, I live for the combination of beyaz peynir (white cheese), green melon and raki. Raki is Turkey’s national drink, an anise-flavored liquor so popular that on a warm summer’s night you can smell it wafting on the breeze. The mix of these three flavors results in a food alchemy so extraordinary it has to be magic. Read more
If you’re wondering where to eat breakfast in Istanbul, a terrific (some even say “the best”) traditional Turkish breakfast experience is found at Çakmak Kahvaltı Salonu, literally “Çakmak breakfast saloon”. Tucked into the buzzing streets of Istanbul’s Beşiktaş neighborhood, this tiny restaurant is continuously packed with a stream of satisfied customers. Apparently everyone comes here for weekend breakfast, including one local couple we sat next to the previous night, in a totally unrelated streetside restaurant, blocks away. We recognized one another and laughed at our chance second meeting. It only confirms to me, according to the laws of travel serendipity, that Çakmak is the place to be. Read more
There are food tours, and then there are food tours. I’m not exaggerating when I say the seven (yes, seven!) hours I spent trekking the streets of Beyoğlu with Istanbul Eats are ranked among my favorite foodie moments of all time. Read more