I just got back from a trip to Turkey and wanted to share some photos of the markets and foods I had there. This picture above is of an apple cut into a spiral. It was pretty crazy to watch. This guy used this wierd machine to skin and spiral the apple in just a few seconds – definitely worthy of an infomercial!

During this trip, I spent some time in Istanbul and then drove around the countryside with my friend Marissa. We visited a small hill town called Selçuk and made our way to the Ephesus ruins, which were incredible.

The Spice Bazaar
If you go to Istanbul, you have to visit the Spice Bazaar. The vendors can be a bit overwhelming, but there is so much to see here from dried fruits and nuts, to teas, spices, cheeses, etc.

nuts and dried fruits

dried vegetables (included eggplants and okra which I had never seen before)


Turkish delight (not my fav)

Kasari cheese is popular in Turkey. Its made from sheep’s milk and has a sharp, nice flavor. Kind of reminded me of provolone.

so many olives

We took a ferry over to the Asian side of Istanbul to visit Kadıköy. I really liked this part of the city. There were so many small markets, clothing shops, cafes and bookstores.

vegetable market in Kadıköy

I had my favorite meal in Turkey in Kadıköy at Çiya (pictures below), where they serve regional cooking that is not typically found in Turkish restaurants. In this restaurant, they have a ton of sides (all vegetarian) and you just load up your plate with them and then everyday they are cooking a number of dishes and you just point to a few and they are brought to your table. I especially loved this place because, like me, they love to put yogurt on everything!

all the sides I pigged out on at Çiya

rice and spinach with yogurt

red lentil dumplings with yogurt

While driving to the Ephesus ruins, we visited Selçuk, a little picturesque town on the very top of a big hill. We stopped at an outdoor restaurant on the road and this nice lady below made me an otlu peynirli (kind of like a Turkish quesadilla). It is made with a dough that is rolled out very thin with different ingredients inside. Mine had cheese and spinach. It is folded up and then put on a hot skillet in a chimney. So good!

otlu peynirli was folded and then put on skillet in chimney on left

spinach and cheese otlu peynirli

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  • Vince

    Wow! Those hills of spices look like different shades of orange crayons sticking out of a crayon box. You’ve definitely been to the mecca of spices. :)

    I wonder what the turkish delights were like…

  • kavitha Janardhan


  • kim

    Yay! I’m so glad you made it to Ciya. I told you the story of our trek over to Kadikoy, right? How we ended up eating at the Ciya Kebab place next door, not knowing that we were in the wrong place until we departed?! It was a real bummer, especially now that I see all the tasty treats you indulged in!