We’ve been in Istanbul for 5 nights and we’re having a fantastic time. This morning I was so overcome by the fabulousness of the food that I felt the urge to write a post sharing the joy of eating in Istanbul. If you’re hungry, you’d better go read something else, some delicious pictures coming.
We’ve stayed in two quite different hotels so far, the wonderful Hotel Alilass ( which I posted about here) and the larger, more traditional, Armada Hotel, Old City ( which I’ll post about soon), both in the beautiful Sultanahmet area, old Istanbul.
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Both hotels have been clean, comfortable and luxurious and both have fed us so well in the mornings.
At Alilass hotel we dined in their garden room and discovered new Turkish specialities like borek (above). Borek’s sharp cheese and potato filling was a winner with the family.
Nuts, figs, olives, breads and cheeses are star players on the breakfast menu here, we’re all feeling simultaneously indulgent and healthy.
This morning we sampled the breakfast buffet at Armada Hotel and just…wow!
This is a larger, more expensive hotel and the size of the buffet reflects this. Armada’s slogan is Preserve, Reserve, Serve and it hits these three targets admirably. Decor, service and design here reflect the old Istanbul and that splendid era can be seen in the buffet. Anyway, enough about hotels, let’s talk food!
Everything about the Turkish breakfast buffets shouts abundance and most of the focus is on natural foods. By that I mean, good, clean, healthy, locally produced products, not mass-produced processed nonsense as we so often see in the west.
Yoghurt is a big player in this part of the world and we’ve seen it served at dinner with savoury dishes and on the breakfast buffet, where my boys like to add fresh, natural honey from the comb.
The cooked dishes we have seen include borek, with potato or spinach fillings, breads and pastries.
Turkey has a well-deserved reputation for delicious sweet treats. These have made it to the breakfast menu too, Turkish delight and baklava are wonderful with coffee at any time of the day.
We enjoyed a couple of dishes that I’ve never come across before, plum leather and cezerye, a carrot based sweet dish with nuts, both were excellent.
Aside from breakfast, we’ve mostly been eating street food, breads, roast chestnuts or corn, juices and ayran. You can find these everywhere and they are easy to grab when you’re busy exploring. We’re looking forward to trying a few more Turkish dishes while we’re here. I had no idea food in Turkey was this good, it’s been a great surprise. I need to add Turkey to my round-up post on breakfasts around the world. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, what’s yours?