Should you visit Bursa for its architectural marvels, spa hotels, and the Turkish Mt Olympus, do not omit to visit either of these restaurants. Bursa or Iskender kebab is served throughout Turkey, and while döner kebab served atop pide with yoghurt, tomato sauce and browned butter should not insuperably challenge a chef anywhere, the dish is only good, in fact excellent, at these two restaurants in Bursa. They serve almost nothing else, and one orders by size—bir, bir buçuk, dublé—and one-and-a-half is plenty.
Kukla Kebab, a diplomat's favorite outside the Foreign Ministry in Ankara, does a credible version, but really, one should only eat it here.
They're in all the guidebooks. The dish was originated at Iskenderoğlu; Hacı Baba provides competitive edge.
This restaurant, open only for lunch, is one of the loveliest in Istanbul.
It is situated inside the northern wall of the Spice Bazaar, and is entered via a stone stairway just inside the gate.
Remarkably quiet, decorated with lovely Iznik tiles, Pandeli is famous for its vegetables, and though it is always said that the food is not as good as it was in its fabulous heyday, one can still find subtle evocations of Ottoman cuisine.
Sample the meze, try the hünkar beğendi. A wonderfully civilised place in which to pass part of an afternoon.
Spice bazaar, inside the gate facing the water.
If you're visiting Cappadocia, this town is an easy side trip from the main tourist sites. Much as Konya is the historic centre of the Mevlevi, or whirling dervishes, so Hacıbektaş is to the Bektashi, and if such things interest you it is definitely worth a visit. Less touristed than Konya, simple piety is the behavioral mode. The museum complex contains the tomb of the founder, Hacı Bektaş, and the saints of the order. The Bektashi promulgated the study of the sciences, the pictorial arts, and the equality of women. The architecture of the compound is extraordinary, almost as if an Anatolian Frank Lloyd Wright had dropped by, so ideally does it suit the landscape. In summer, Bektashi dances are demonstrated in the courtyard a few afternoons a week, and there is a Bektashi Festival at the end of July or the beginning of August.
There are a very few hotels, but the local food is good. A pideci on the way out of town on the Nevşehir road makes some of the best pizza I've had anywhere, and provides an ideal lunch.
North of town there is a ceremonial hill commanding a fine view of the volcano Mt. Erciyes and the steppes east.
North on the road out of Nevşehir past Gülşehir and on the the way to Ankara.
It's only a simple cafe in the Grand Bazaar, but the tables on the "street" provide a lovely, inexpensive spot to sit and watch the world go by. You'll find it at a junction just north of the musical instrument section, not far off the goldsellers' street.
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