Eating Our Way Through Istanbul, Turkey

We enjoyed several wonderful meals during our time in Istanbul and even took a food tour where we ate food in both the European and Asian sections of Istanbul. In addition to the food, we also had a local drink called Raki as well as several local beers and wines. One of the most popular dinner choices are the dinners cooked in clay pots over an extremely hot, open fire. They bring the fire pit next to your table and put on quite an extravagant show as they cook your meal and then crack the pot open and pour the contents onto a plate for you to enjoy.

One of Our Dinners
Food Galore During Our Food Tour
Turkish Raki
Dinner and a Show
The Meal Cooked in the Clay Pot

Coffee and tea is also quite popular and we even tried an orange tea made with fresh orange rinds. We love taking food tours as they provide you the opportunity to try many different varieties of dishes, but it is also way more food than the two of us could possibly eat. We started our tour with breakfast, which is not something that we normally eat, but it was a really enjoyable way to start our day. We ended our tour in the shopping district of Istanbul and then took the ferry back to the area near our hotel.

Stuffed Mussels
Honey and Cheese
Local Beer
Orange Tea
Fresh Fish

You will find street carts with stuffed mussels near many of the attractions and in shopping areas and it is definitely worth trying as they are very tasty. Overall, we couldn’t say that one meal was better than another as we found each of them to be completely interesting with unique tastes. What we can say is that the staff at every restaurant where we ate were extremely friendly and very proud of the cuisine that they had to offer. At some point we’ll try to replicate some of the meals that we had, but obviously we’re not going to be cooking in a clay pot over an open flame.

Workers Getting Lunch
So Much Food
Making Sandwiches
Roasted Lamb
Cloche Being Delivered to Our Table
Unique Dinner

Some of Our Favorite Pub Experiences

It is quite common for us to grab a glass of wine or a beer in a casual pub when we are traveling. We often use the time to people watch and relax our legs after spending the day visiting all of the various sites. There have been a few occasions where visiting a pub was more than just a place to grab a quick drink, but was part of the experience of visiting the location. Having a drink with locals is always an interesting experience, but here are some of our favorite memories of going to pubs while traveling.

Eclectic Decorations
Upstairs in Szimpla Kert

Going to a Ruin Pub in Budapest, Hungary – Ruin Pubs are bars that have been opened up in dilapidated buildings that were partially destroyed during WWII. They are usually decorated with random furniture and decorations that have been gathered from anywhere that they can find them. The decorations are colorful, whimsical, and don’t follow any particular themes other than uniqueness. Because of their popularity, they can be quite busy, noisy, and sometimes a little rowdy. We went late afternoon to early evening and stayed away from the late night crowds.

Enjoying a Pint in Brazen Head
Inside of The Brazen Head

Brazen Head Pub in Dublin, Ireland – This is officially Ireland’s oldest pub. The pub itself has the feel that you would expect from the oldest pub in Ireland, stone walls and a dark atmosphere, but over time the pub has grown into a full restaurant and hotel with many floors of rooms to serve eager guests. We preferred the atmosphere of the old pub, but could certainly see the beer garden being a lively spot during a warmer time of year. No visit to Dublin is complete without visiting this famous spot, especially if you are a fan of historic pubs as we are.

View from the Pub
Sitting in the Booth of One of Our Favorite Pubs in Frankfurt

Alten Limpurg in Frankfurt, Germany – Located in the old town area of Frankfurt, this historic pub became our favorite watering hole while we were living in Frankfurt. We became friends with all of the staff and enjoyed talking about the behavior of the “tourists” who would visit the bar and often were rude to the staff. The bar itself has been in operation since 1495 and is small, but very welcoming. There is no doubt that we have very fond memories of this location and if you are in Frankfurt, stop in and say hello to the staff for us.

The Local Pub
Irish Pub

These aren’t the only places where we’ve enjoyed a pint in an interesting location, but these are our favorite memories. Some other locations that we enjoyed finding a local pub were in Reykjavik, Gibraltar, and Lima. There is something very comfortable about going to these casual locations that serve cold drinks and often some of the best local foods as well.

Fest Des Federweissen (Fall Wine Festival) in Frankfurt, Germany

It is hard to believe that it has been four years since we sold our home and moved to Frankfurt, Germany. It was a wonderful experience that gave us the opportunity to see many different cities and countries. During our first week in Frankfurt, we enjoyed the first of many festivals that we would get to see during our time there. The Fest Des Federweissen is a celebration of the wine harvest and specifically in Frankfurt it is about the Apfelwein. Traditionally Apfelwein is served in a pretty little jug called a Bembel and we actually received one from one our favorite restaurants as a gift before moving back to the United States.

Wine and Beer at the Festival
Our First, But Definitely Not Our Last, Glasses of Apfelwein (Bembel in the Background)
People at the Potato House
Popcorn and Other Sweets

Although wine is the star of the festival, it wouldn’t be a German festival without many varieties of food stalls, especially those selling sausages (wurst). The festival was located between Frankfurt’s busy shopping district and the old town (Altstadt) square. Although we would later go to many different Christmas markets throughout Europe, this little festival was just a small taste of what we would get to enjoy. With this year being the way it has with very little opportunities to explore places, we are definitely missing the time we spent living in Germany.

Where We Tried Our First Apfelwein
More Food to Choose From
Wine is Definitely the Star of the Festival
Starting to Get Busy