Food, Inglorious Food

Bussed in boys have bumped up Bodrum’s population and hustle season is in full swing. The cheap youths in cheap shirts have such impossibly thin waists; you wonder where their vital organs are stored. Tediously, every year these likely lads need retraining not to hassle us as we run the gauntlet of the identikit restaurants along the promenade. It hardly matters which eatery you choose, the fare is the same – a service plate of chips, rice and a compost of shredded limp greenery accompanying kebabs or plain grilled fish. Bodrum is not well-blessed with exquisite Ottoman gastronomy and delicious regional cuisine is hard to find. This may explain why restaurants with an international flavour are so popular, particularly amongst the Turkish yachting fraternity and emigreys alike.

If it’s an ample grill you’re after, avoid the over-priced joints anywhere near the water front. Just one or two streets behind bring better quality at half the price. I would recommend a small family run establishment called Yeni Bodrum Ocakbaşı which is located along Atatürk Caddesi (the street that runs parallel to Bar Street), opposite the Istanköy Hotel. This relaxed and unpretentious lokanta is popular with the locals and serves up a plentiful menu of fresh fare, including pide (Turkish pizza). Their service plate is a superior brand featuring spiced bulgar wheat (instead of plain rice) and a crisp salad of many colours. And, they don’t try to drag the punters in by the scruff of the neck.

Next post: The Istankoy Hötel

13 thoughts on “Food, Inglorious Food

  1. Just look out for the Turkish chap who is wearing a jacket and tie, drinking raki and smoking at the table. he knows ALL the best restaurants everywhere in Turkey.


  2. That plate of pide looks like the leftovers at a party that not even after a few drinks can tempt anyone. I got so tired of the cuisine in Turkey and although I have gained some weight back in Blighty I thank you Jack for posting that picture ,the joy of eating in or out here is worth it.


    1. It can be a bit samey at times but we’ve developed some good eating habits – less red meat, more veg, home cooking – that we’re hoping to import back to Blighty to keeps those pounds off the hips!


  3. On our first trip to Bodrum we stayed at the Istankoy, and had a fun time meandering the back streets looking for off the beaten track dining locations. Just along Ataturk Cad., by the Kumbahce Mosque, head away from the bay, on Uckuyular Cad. Just before the road opens up into the small park area, there’s a small local eatery on the left hand side, where Uckuyular Cad. and Fabrika Sk. meet. They have a couple of tables outside, and a few inside. Not much English is spoken, and it has a limited menu – but everything we’ve eaten there, has been delicious. The kitchen is open plan, and you can was the chef at work, whilst you eat your meal. Don’t know the name of the place, but each time we head back to Bodrum, we stop off for a snack here.


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