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.
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.
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.