Food in Icmeler is either extremely good or disappointing. The good part is the very fresh organic produce which taste much better than its cultured counterpart. Fruit and vegetables are extremely cheap and if you are on a self catering holiday, you will have no problem here. There are lots of small grocery shops and large supermarket. English is not well catered for in the shops, the vast majority of items are Turkish and sometimes you are not sure what you are buying. Take a Turkish friend with you for advice.

As for eating out, the worst thing to do is to try and eat as you would at home. While many small restaurants and cafes will try to cater to European palates the results are usually uninspired.

There are, of course, exceptions to this (see the restaurants recommended by Restaurants) trend but on the whole eating 'International Cuisine' means paying too much for something that may look right but probably doesn't taste the way you thought it would.

If you get off the beaten track then you're going to be eating Turkish food Most of the time this is a good thing. Many guide books will tell you that Turkey has one of the world's 3 great cuisines. This is probably true but it's unlikely that you'll get to sample much of it for yourself. The great dishes of Ottoman tradition tend to rely on a house full of women at home all day with nothing to do but prepare intricate and subtle dishes. You'll probably only sample Turkish cuisine at this level if you're prepared to pay for it, or, if you're invited into peoples homes.


What you will find however is enough variety to keep you interested for a couple of weeks. Turkey has some great street food and if you find a good restaurant then you'll enjoy the freshest of ingredients prepared with care.

A quick run down of the forms of eating available might be helpful:


  • This covers the majority of kebaps (Turkish for kebab), lahmacun, pide (Turkish for pizza) and an assortment of burgers and sandwiches. Things you can eat quickly and cheaply and available wherever 2 or more are gathered together.

  • Lokantas
    Usually cheap Turkish restaurants serving pre-cooked food kept warm over burners. Most night bus stopovers carry dishes of this type and although they may not look great they're often pretty good.

  • Iskembe joints
    Iskembe is a tripe based soup that claims to prevent hangovers as long as you eat it at 3:00am. Ask a local where to find this traditional corba (soup)

  • Restaurants
    In all the areas frequented by tourists you'll find general purpose restaurants serving Turkish food and dishes influenced by European and American tastes. It will probably be worth your while to seek out the more authentic places. Not necessarily very easy in places like Marmaris or Kusadasi. You're going to be petitioned by waiters as you walk past anyway and this doesn't make it any easier to take your time. Anywhere selling food has to post a price list, by law, check your bill and ask the price on items that say per kilo before you order.

In Icmeler you'll find some very good fish restaurants. The general idea is that you start with hot or cold Meze (starters) and then move on to a plate of fish. Not cheap, especially compared to the street price of fish, but usually pretty good.