There are plenty of restaurants in the old town of Bodrum, most of which close in the dead of winter. Not so the family run Sünger Pizza café. Literally translated as "sponge diver" this busy, informal restaurant makes perfect thin-crust pizzas, but is more famous with the locals for its seafood.
Up on the roof in the summer is for tourists, where the fast and efficient waiters are quick to deliver your meal. The fish soup is to die for and the köfte (Turkish meat balls) is the best in Bodrum. Downstairs you'll rub shoulders with the local cognoscenti at any time of the year. Squashed together among the tables of the two dining rooms, or outside on the pavement on the shared benches, have a few glasses of rakı and you could end up talking about the state of the mausoleum (one of the ancient seven wonders) with local archaeologists, or swapping Mark Twain quotes with the resident sail maker. Ex pats from all over the world live in the marina opposite and use the restaurant as their dining room, so there's always a fishy tale to be told. It's open every day of the year and is rammed to the rafters with atmosphere.
Unspoilt Gümüşlük, stubbornly refusing to allow any concrete tourist developments within its tiny bay, is the prettiest fishing village on the Bodrum peninsular. And just a short walk away, hidden along the road towards Yalıkavak, is Limon Café, the region's most picturesque restaurant. From the road you walk through an unprepossessing series of shacks, past the art shop and kitchen through to the outside bar and terraced garden. Under the sky an assortment of wooden tables, chairs and sofas sit higgledy-piggledy, lit with candles or low lights, and decorated with home-made ceramics. Oversized cushions artfully tumble down the hill, inviting you to lounge and admire the view across the ruins of ancient Myndos. The food, often flavoured with lemons, is predictably fresh, scrumptious and authentic. Try the home-made lemonade or lemon cocktails before you eat. It is all made just that bit more magical by the nightly spectacular sunsets over the Aegean.
Limon is one of the most amazing and bohemian restaurants in Gumusluk and only about eight minutes walk from the harbour/beach. We booked a few days in advance to reserve our favourite antique sofa in the meadow, from where we sipped cocktails, nibbled on freshly-made stuffed marrow flowers and watched the last few rays of sun. Our food was brought over to the sofa and we stayed there all evening listening to live music and generally feeling at one with nature. It was a 10 minute stroll back to Villa Myndos, a little further on up the hill. Booking essential
Yali Mevki no.1, Gumusluk, Bodrum, 48400
This is an excellent restaurant at the very eastern end of the main harbourfront street in Bodrum. Go past all the crappy "Irish" pubs. It's a little restaurant at the end, filled with locals and the best seafood I've ever had. Friendly service. We ate there both nights we were in Bodrum.
Cumhuriyet Caddesi 167
Send your feedback or queries to firstname.lastname@example.org