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The 10 Dishes You Have to Try in Izmir, Turkey

Konak Square | © Ingo Mehling / WikiCommons
Konak Square | © Ingo Mehling / WikiCommons
Turkey’s ‘Pearl of the Aegean’ has plenty to offer apart from very fresh and delicious seafood. From amazing desserts to Aegean and Turkish classics, here are some dishes you can savor while in Izmir.

Meze

Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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Meze
Meze | © Benreis/Wikimedia Commons
Meze (appetizers) are a classic in Turkish cities bordering the sea and are best enjoyed with rakı and friends. Yengeç is one of the best places to try meze because their menu has a vast amount of options from honey calamarı to grilled eggplant and so much more.
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Sun:
12:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Mon:
12:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Tue:
12:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Wed:
12:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Thu:
12:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Fri:
12:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Sat:
12:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Seafood

Restaurant, Seafood, $$$
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Apart from fresh fish, the Aegean also has a lot of amazing seafood on offer, and Akının Yeri is one of Izmir’s most popular seafood restaurants. The calamari is amazing and comes highly recommended.
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Sun:
12:30 pm - 12:00 am
Mon:
12:30 pm - 12:00 am
Tue:
12:30 pm - 12:00 am
Wed:
12:30 pm - 12:00 am
Thu:
12:30 pm - 12:00 am
Fri:
12:30 pm - 12:00 am
Sat:
12:30 pm - 12:00 am

Gözleme

Gözleme is the ultimate comfort food and is composed of slightly grilled sheets of dough with various fillings. Izmir’s Gözlemecim has more than 700 kinds of delicious gözleme and is, therefore, quite popular.

Gözlemecim, Konak Mahallesi, 897. Sk., Konak, Izmir, Turkey, +90 536 685 86 85

Grilled fish

Restaurant, Seafood
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Grilled Seabass
Grilled Seabass | © Benreis / WikiCommons
No trip to the Aegean would be complete without some fresh fish, and Deniz Restaurant is one of the best places to get the catch of the day grilled to perfection.
More Info
Sun:
9:00 am - 11:30 pm
Mon:
9:00 am - 11:30 pm
Tue:
9:00 am - 11:30 pm
Wed:
9:00 am - 11:30 pm
Thu:
9:00 am - 11:30 pm
Fri:
9:00 am - 11:30 pm
Sat:
9:00 am - 11:30 pm

Katmer

Urla is about a half an hour drive from Izmir city and is famous for both its wine and katmer. The puffy and buttery pastry is filled with cheese and parsley or minced meat, and visitors should definitely try it at Ege’nin Lale Katmercisi.

Ege’nin Lale Katmercisi, Malgaca Pazari No:23 Urla, Izmir, Turkey, +90 232 754 52 79

Grilled octopus

Restaurant, Turkish, Seafood, $$$
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Grilled Octopus
Grilled Octopus | © Klearchos Kapoutsis/Wikimedia Commons
Mavra Restaurant is one of Izmir’s most frequented seafood restaurants serving classic meze and fish. However, the house specialty is the grilled octopus, which has become a favorite among regulars.
More Info
Sun - Mon:
11:00 am - 1:00 am
Mon - Tue:
11:00 am - 1:00 am
Tue - Wed:
11:00 am - 1:00 am
Wed - Thu:
11:00 am - 1:00 am
Thu - Fri:
11:00 am - 1:00 am
Fri - Sat:
11:00 am - 1:00 am
Sat - Sun:
11:00 am - 1:00 am

Şambalı

Şambalı is made from baked semolina, yogurt, and sugar and topped with sugar and almonds. Izmir’s Meşhur Hisarönü Şambalıcısı has been making this dessert since 1942 and serves it with a side of clotted cream. It’s heavenly.

Meşhur Hisarönü Şambalıcısı, Konak Mahallesi, 901. Sk 13/A, 35250 Konak, Izmir, Turkey, +90 507 655 57 67

Profiteroles

A delightful dessert, profiteroles are composed of crispy pastry balls filled with cream and topped with a thick chocolate sauce. In Izmir, Reyhan Pastanesi is the best place to get a taste of this amazing saccharine wonder.

Reyhan Pastanesi, Kültür Mahallesi, Dr. Mustafa Enver Bey Cd. No:24, Konak, Izmir, Turkey, +90 444 7 946

Lor Tatlısı

Izmir has a lot of excellent bakeries and patisseries, and Şortan Pastanesi is known for its amazing Lor Tatlısı. These sweet pastries, made with lor cheese, are moist due to a sweet sherbet.

Şortan Pastanesi, Ülkü Mahallesi, Mithat Paşa Cad. 835/A, 35240 Konak, Izmir, Turkey, +90 232 285 50 33

Grilled meat

If all that seafood has you yearning for some meat, then Tavacı Recep Usta is the best place to go in Izmir. You’ll find plenty of kebab varieties as well as grilled lamb chops or liver shish.

Tavacı Recep Usta, Ulus, Atatürk Cd. No:364, 34537 Alsancak, Izmir, Turkey, +90 232 463 87 97