If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you’ll know that besides food, my biggest passion is travel. When the two intersect, I’m in heaven. So it’s natural that when I travel, I search out recommendations for the best food I can find, be it street food, restaurants, or markets. Likewise, I thought I’d share some of my favorite experiences here in case any of you should find yourselves traveling to some of the same places. Even if you have no plans for a visit, it’s always interesting to see how people eat in other cultures.
In April, my husband and I went to Turkey for 8 days, spending the bulk of our time in Istanbul and also visiting the Roman ruins of Ephesus. There are fantastic fresh markets all over Istanbul; these are photos from but two of them. If you are interested in markets other than those for food, you might want to check out the post on my travel blog about Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, and market streets (tip; shop where the locals do for the best souvenirs).
First up is the Kadikoy Market which is on the Asian side of the city. No, that’s not an ethnic enclave, Istanbul is the only city in the world which straddles two continents. That’s right, in a short half an hour ferry ride you can go from Europe to Asia, for about a dollar, and without having to take out your passport. Once there, exit the ferry building and head to your right up Sogutlu Cesme Caddesi a few blocks and turn right, into an area of pedestrian only streets filled with food shops, produce and fish stalls and restaurants.
Olives! Need I say more? Any culture with that many different olive choices you know has to have good food, right? And look closely at the giant blocks of cheese in the back.
I’m not sure what this guy had in his basket, but he was a character.
The photo below shows dried eggplant skins and dried peppers. Both are rehydrated and then stuffed with a vegetable, rice and sometimes meat mixture.
The photo below is of a shop which sell herbs, spices and organic goods. We saw lots of shops like this in Istanbul. This is the place we bought 2 kilos of handmade soap (see the baskets below right). The soap is great and came in three “flavors”; olive oil, laurel and pistachio. The shop, Timsahli, is on Yasa Cadessi, opposite a Greek Orthodox church.
In a later post I’ll share the wonderful place we ate lunch, Ciya Sofrasi, while walking around the area and more on Turkish food in general.
Galeta Bridge Fish Market
The other market we’ll visit virtually today is the one at the base of the Galeta Bridge on the Beyoglu side. As you walk away from Sultanhamet and across the bridge toward the Galeta tower, on the far side of the bridge, below and to the left sits this fish market.
Of course there are plenty of places to eat here, from sit down restaurants, to fried fish sellers, to guys who have set up simple grills to make tasty fish sandwiches.
We bought a sandwich from this guy (above), though the more “famous” fish sandwich vendors are across the bridge selling sandwiches from rocking boats. Our sandwich was fantastic and came with this view: