Planning Istanbul Trip

I will be spending two weeks in Istanbul in September-October, with possible side trips to Ankara and Izmir. I will be fortunate to spend time with a Turkish- speaking friend who knows the city, but am looking for tips on cooking classes and anything related to food, ingredients to bring home, quirky or classic shops (culinary and otherwise), eateries, books, private guides, etc. I know the Istanbul Eats blog and have their book and will surely partake in some of their offerings. Also hoping to get to Babushka Table on the Aegean coast, named after the blog written by Olga Irez (formerly Delicious Istanbul). But the bulk of my time will be in Istanbul. Any thoughts much appreciated!



Maedl May 20, 2016
I took a very short class at the Istanbul Culinary Institute and absolutely loved it. The staff was not only highly skilled, but friendly and helpful in pointing me toward other food-related things to do in the city. Their restaurant looked excellent, too, but I didn’t have a meal there.

Istanbul Eats is a good source for restaurant recommendations. I took one of their walks through the Spice Bazaar, and again, would love to do more with them. The guide took us into many places I would not have seen had I been alone. He also found out that I was particularly interested in sahlep and took me to a shop above the Spice Bazaar that sold sahlep in its raw state.

Be sure to go to the open air market in Kadikoy and walk around Moda--where you’ll find some good restaurants. Within the market area is one of my favorite places to eat--Ciya. The owner is from Gazientep and has collected recipes from home cooks around Turkey. You choose what you’d like to eat from a huge variety of foods that changes daily.

When I went to Istanbul I stayed for 10 days. I was worried I had scheduled too much time there, but by the time I left, I wished I could stay longer. Enjoy!
calendargirl May 20, 2016
Thanks so much, Maedl! I read the comments you posted to a similar question four years ago and wanted to be in touch. Ciya sounds terrific, and the Kadikoy market is definitely on my list. Especially happy to read about the satisfactions of having a longer time in Istanbul, and not just a couple of days.
TH May 19, 2016
calendargirl - I'm so happy you like it! One of my favorite foods that I remember from my trip to Turkey is lahmacun, get some if you get the chance, you won't be sorry. Have a wonderful trip!
TH May 19, 2016
Sounds like a wonderful trip! I'd recommend perusing Robyn Eckhardt's blog, Eating Asia Robyn's a former New York Times food writer (I believe) who travels Asia with her photographer husband Dave Hagerman. Recently she's spent a lot of time in Turkey researching her new cookbook. I find her articles on food and travel to be extremely well researched and used her tips and suggestions when planning my travel to Georgetown, Malaysia. I had the pleasure of travelling to Istanbul almost 20 years ago and had a fabulous time eating delicious food. Have a wonderful visit!
calendargirl May 19, 2016
Thank you so much, Trena! I just checked out Robyn Eckhardt's blog and it's terrific. I look forward to her book.
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