Eat & Drink
Originally published on Friday, 13th November 2009
Eating Istanbul in 21 Days: Live like a local - Food Markets
While eating out is all fine and good - if you really want to go local, rent yourself an apartment (link) or splash out a few lira for a portable Turkish barbecue and you’ll have all the tools you need to explore the local markets. Here are some of the better ones:
Kasimpaşa Kastamonu Pazari
A chef friend in Istanbul tipped me off on this early Sunday morning market which has to be one of the most unique in Istanbul. A group of farmers from the province of Kastamonu in the Black Sea region fill their trucks with fresh picked fruit and vegetables, wild mushrooms, homemade cheeses and jams, and ornate loaves of stone baked bread and load it into their vans to sell at this weekly market. A great chance to rub elbows with some of the city’s top chefs and enthusiastic foodies who gather at the market’s start at 5AM to pick through the best products.
Fatih Çarşamba Market
An enormous, rough and tumble market selling clothing, household gadgets, seasonal fruit, vegetables, eggs and nuts. This market is so huge that it the council employs 16 garbage trucks to clean up afterwards. Almost completely free of tourists, this is great opportunity to enjoy the feel of a bustling, weekly Istanbul market. The surrounding streets are filled with delis and butchers selling cured salamis, pastşrma, cheese, yoghurts and honey. Ignore the vendors claiming ‘indirim yok’ (no discounts) and haggle away.
Galatasaray Balik Pazari
An admittedly touristy and overpriced market whose main purpose is to sell farmed seabass and defrosted calamari rings to clueless tourists in its myriad of restaurants, there are still a few old school fishmongers among the crowds. Scout hard and you’ll unearth wild seabass and turbot from the Black Sea and gilt-head bream from the Aegean, all at a fraction of London prices. The fishmongers will be a little shocked to see you buying anything so catch them off-guard and net yourself a bargain.
More Eating Istanbul in 21 Days:
Jennifer Klinec from Eat Drink Talk has kindly agreed to provide Urban Junkies readers with mouthwatering recipes and foodtips.
To learn more, classes at Eat Drink Talk are held in Jennifer's beautiful loft in Clerkenwell, packed with information and useful tips, and you'll get to sample all of the delicious dishes prepared during class.