The Central and Southern Aegean Coast Restaurants

Dining out along the Aegean coast is a pleasure, especially if you enjoy seafood and fresh produce. There are countless seafood restaurants at all price ranges. A typical meal includes an assortment of hot and cold meze (appetizers), a mixed salad, and the catch of the day, capped off with a Turkish dessert. To make it authentic, accompany your meal with rakı (a spirit similar in taste to oúzo). Some of the more common fish you'll find along the Aegean coast are levrek (sea bass), çipura (sea bream), barbunya (red mullet), and lahos (grouper), as well as tasty smaller fish like sardalya (sardines). Note that most fish restaurants charge per kilogram for whole fish, and the prices often aren't listed; ask before ordering to avoid receiving an unexpectedly large bill at the end of an otherwise pleasant meal. Of course, there are plenty of meat and kebab restaurants around, too, if that’s what you’re craving.

For dessert, try local dondurma (Turkish ice cream, often thickened with orchid root or mastic resin), as well as milk puddings and baklava. It’s often better to avoid hotel restaurants at lunch and dinner—you can frequently find better and less expensive food a short walk away—but luxury and boutique hotels might be an exception as they are often firm favorites on the local restaurant scene. And don’t forget street snacks! In season, you can grab fat local Smyrna figs; a cup of icy, dark berry şerbet (think of it as Ottoman Gatorade); or a sesame-studded feta-and-tomato sandwich, each for less than a dollar in central İzmir. Simit, the classic Turkish bagel-like street snack, is called gevrek in the İzmir region, and often purchased along with a piece of tulum peyniri (goat's milk cheese) and a hard-boiled egg, following an old Sephardic culinary custom.

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  • 1. Agrilia Restaurant

    $$$ | Italian

    This Italian-Argentinian restaurant in the garden courtyard of an old Greek house, now the TashMahal Hotel, was around long before the rest...Read More

  • 2. Dalyan Restaurant "Cevat'ın Yeri"

    $$$ | Seafood

    This outdoor terrace overlooking the waterfront is an ideal spot in Dalyanköy for a splurgy seafood dinner. Everything here is prepared with...Read More

  • 3. Avrasya Ev Yemekleri

    $$ | Turkish

    Hearty traditional Turkish soups, stews, and meat and vegetable dishes are arrayed buffet-style at this cheery lokanta, which is always bustling...Read More

  • 4. Babushka Alaçatı

    $$ | Turkish

    A vine-covered garden is the romantic setting for one of Alaçatı’s newest culinary offerings, an intimate restaurant with a farm-to-table approach...Read More

  • 5. Dost Pide & Pizza

    $$ | Turkish

    Stopping here for pide (Turkish-style pizza or calzones, piled with a variety of ingredients that can include cheese, spinach, meat, or...Read More

  • 6. Furun Café & Patisserie

    $ | Bakery

    A group of siblings has turned this 100-year-old bakery into a charming patisserie, with selections like jasmine-flavored cheesecake and blueberry...Read More

  • 7. Hanimeli Restaurant

    $ | Turkish

    This home-style restaurant just off the main street in downtown Çeşme may look a little uninviting from the front. Butthere's a lush garden...Read More

  • 8. Karina

    $$$ | Seafood

    Tables spill out of the small courtyard into the cobblestone alley at this fish and meze restaurant in central Alaçatı. The service is on the...Read More

  • 9. Kumrucu Şevki

    $ | Turkish

    Ilıca is known for kumru— Turkish-style panini prepared with special sesame-seed rolls and stuffed with salami, sucuk (beef spicy sausage...Read More

  • 10. Mi Casa Trattoria

    $$$ | Italian

    Although not far removed from the hub of the nightlife in Alaçatı, this comfortable bar and romantic dining room is tucked away on a secluded...Read More

  • 11. Tuval Restaurant

    $$$ | Turkish

    Opened in 2010, this seafood and grill restaurant at Çeşme Marina is a branch of one of Alaçatı's most beloved restaurants (also called Tuval...Read More

  • 12. Beatrice

    $$ | Italian

    A limited menu of delicious choices, prepared by Italian owner and chef Beatrice, is served in a soothing atmosphere, accented with attentive...Read More

  • 13. Kydonia

    $$ | Eclectic

    In this spacious and casual waterfront dining room, the emphasis is on splendid hot and cold meze (appetizers)—more than 70 types are on offer...Read More

  • 14. L'Apero

    $ | Turkish

    This hilltop café is a perfect place to enjoy an aperitif while watching the sun set over Dalyan harbor. You might find yourself back at this...Read More

  • 15. Sahil

    $ | Turkish

    This waterfront restauarnt across from the Ertan Hotel serves fresh, tasty appetizers and typical Turkish dishes like lamb kebabs and grilled...Read More

  • 16. Sevim Café

    $ | Turkish

    The location on a busy corner is less than appealing, but such dishes as the mantı (meat-filled ravioli topped with garlicky yogurt) are delicious...Read More

  • 17. Yıldız Restaurant

    $ | Turkish

    Yıldız is a good option for a good and reasonably priced lunch in Alaçatı, where prices are skyrocketing. The family-owned spot serves homemade...Read More

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