Primal eating in Istanbul?
May 9, 2011 8:56 AM   Subscribe

What are some primal/slow-carb/low-carb dishes I can find in restaurants in Istanbul, Turkey?

It'd be especially great if you could recommend some restaurants around Taksim Square where I could find these dishes. Thanks!
posted by jacob to Food & Drink (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I just came back from Istanbul last night. It was my first time there so I am by no means an expert. But! Menemen is a great egg dish, sort of scrambled eggs with tomatoes, peppers and optional cheese and sausage. AFAI can understand, it's a breakfast dish, but many places you can get it all day. It's traditionally eaten scooped up with bread, but still great with just a fork. There is also a lot of different fried fish (is that low carb?) and I had sea bass wrapped in vine leaves several times. A lot of the mezes (sort of appetizers) are also low carb without the accompanying bread - beans, hummus, ezme (tomato/chili spread), different yoghurt dips and roasted aubergine dip. A lot of the different types of kebabs you can also get as a plate serving with bread on the side instead of wrapped like a dürüm. (TLDR: Ignore the mountains of white bread you will be served to anything you order.) I didn't come across many salads, but I managed to find a parsley salad and tomato/cucumber salad that were both good.

As far as restaurants go, around Taksim I liked the chicken soup (but with noodles) and menemen I had at Lades 2 (map) and breakfast at Kahvalti Evi. My absolute best meal was at Sidika (the aforementioned meze and seabass) (map) (Istanbul Eats review). It's in Besiktas, so not around Taksim Square, but the area is really nice and great with an accompanying evening walk, and you can easily take the bus to/from there.
posted by coraline at 9:40 AM on May 9, 2011

I was just in Istanbul last month and am already eager to return. I was eating low carb and pescetarian, so slightly different challenges. I ate a lot of yogurt and cheese, for example, and no meat. I found the mezes very helpful and would order a bunch of little dishes of hummus and eggplant and so on and just eat them straight with a spoon or fork, rather than using the bread. I also ate a lot of salads, often with tuna or cheese. Meat dishes, especially kebabs, were plentiful everywhere I went, although I can't give you any advice. I did have some utterly delicious grilled octopus.

The only place I ate near Taksim was one of the touristy restaurants in the Flower Market on Istilkal Street. It was fine, but better for the location than the food.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:47 AM on May 9, 2011

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