Izmir Restaurants and Dining
The warm year-round climate of the Izmir region and definite Aegean and Mediterranean influences mean that some rather tropical local produce is in abundance. Many of the city restaurants regularly make use of the plentiful melons and other fruit grown nearby. Those choosing to self-cater over fine dining will find that Izmir's covered market on the Anafartalar Caddesi is an excellent source of fruit and vegetables, along with savoury pastries and freshly baked bread.
There is a definite cluster of bars and eateries located within the Alsancak area of Izmir and these are often to be found within historical Greek and Turkish houses. This is also a good place for dining out, with a number of very atmospheric restaurants residing within Alsancak, such as the highly recommended 1453 Sokak.
What to Eat
Seafood is often a speciality at the city's eateries and menus regularly include sea bass and sole, which tend to be served grilled.
A number of very popular seafood restaurants stand on the Ataturk Caddesi, serving dishes such as 'tuza balik' - a fish baked in a large block of salt, served at the table. Shish kebabs (kebaps) are also extremely notable in Izmir and can be found all over the city.
Also worth looking out for are traditional Turkish 'koftes' (meatballs), 'piyas' (white beans with onion and lemon juice), 'keskek' (boiled meat and wheat) and 'tarhana' soup (made with sun-dried tomatoes and yoghurt).
Apart from tasty kebabs, other quick snacks in Izmir include 'boyoz' pasties, and 'kumru' sandwiches, the latter of which is favoured within the Cesme district and features cheese, sausage and tomatoes.
Where to Eat
Alsancak's seaside area of Kordon is perhaps the most desirable place for dining in the city and restaurants here make the very most of the sea views, often featuring outdoor tables overlooking the bay itself.
This really is the number one spot to eat out on a balmy summer's evening, although the stunning location is usually rather reflected in the price. Cheaper dining options in Izmir are never far from the train station, the city centre, the Sokak and the Kemeralti.