Food – for one of us just an energy to survive, for others it’s pleasure. Food in İzmir and in all Turkey is very various. So what to try and enjoy – it’s Your choice.
But if You are looking for some advises, You can ask local people. Or actually sometimes is better to ask people who are living in Izmir longer than You, but are not locals. They already learned what is different than in their country or other countries around.
Street food is the most popular in Turkey. From midye to kokoreç. Of course the ones who don’t like sea food or vegetarians also gonna be able to try different street food. Turkey maybe looks like very oriented in meat but Turks are making so much vegetables in different ways, that it’s vegetarian friendly country (or at least more friendly than some other countries). Plus vegetables and fruits in general always fresh and not too expensive.
Breakfast in Turkey is a big thing. Usually tables are full of different cheese, eggs, sausages, olives and other small plates of delicious food. Izmir is very popular with it’s olives – don’t get surprise of various kind of olives here. But if You are not breakfast person, You also can find other ways. For example, You can start each morning with different pastry. Some people like kumru (simple sandwich with cheese and tomato, extra pepper if You like) and fresh just made juice from juice bar. Others like other kind a buns – salty or sweet with cup of Turkish coffee or tea.
Talking about sweets – Turkish people and foreigners living here love sweets. It’s so easy to gain weight in this country. But sweets are amazing. If You are in Izmir You need to try “bomba” – cookie/bun full of chocolate. Also some locals gonna suggest You to try boyos or other nice sweets: lokum, trılece or aşure. The last one is seasonal and for some people kind a religious food but You need to try it.
Other seasonal food is keştane – cooked chestnuts, usually You can find them in the streets, people are selling them in food carts. Or you can buy fresh in each shop and cook or boil at home. Also You can try Salep and Boza. They’re more like drink but worth to try. All of them more like autumn or winter food. In summer You an try special maraş ice-cream. Usually nicely flavored and person who is selling them dress up with special clothes and playing a game with You. But when You finally getting Your ice-cream, it’s worth it.
EVS people coming in PI YOUTH ASSOCIATION of other organizations are provided with food or food money. Of course before coming here, they are checking the things they can’t live without, maybe they can’t find in Izmir or in all Turkey. For example, people coming from north countries usually missing black bread. You can find it in here, but price is more than 10 times higher than simple white bread (ekmek). Of course, Turkey is one of countries living without eating pork meat. So get ready pay a lot for it or change it with local food. People coming to Turkey usually ready to adapt, but being ready and prepared is a big plus.
And as mentioned before, food is not that expensive in Turkey. So You can eat in local food places or cook at home. People learning how to cook from goods found in local shops or markets.
Afiyet olsun !