Monday, August 11, 2014

Alaçatı 2014: Where I Ate: Casual & Cafe Style

Dear readers,

In my previous post about my trip to Alaçatı, I wrote about the fine dining restaurants I visited... I hope you had a chance to read it and more importantly, if visiting Alaçatı, I hope you get a chance to try these very good restaurants.

In this post, I will share the restaurants I went to that are more casual and moderately priced for your outings with your friends or family. Once again, all of these restaurants and cafes are in Alaçatı... for some reason, in the two weeks I was there, I didn't get a chance to venture out of Alaçatı to visit other restaurants in the Çeşme peninsula.

Happy dining and bon apetit!


Kaptan'ın Yeri
I must have passed in front of this restaurant (Sea Captain's Place in English) countless times on my trip to Alaçatı in the past 15 years, but this is the first time I tried it out! 

This modest seafood restaurant is always packed and has tables on both sides of the pedestrian walk that leads to Kemalpaşa Street... the popular pedestrian only street lined with street vendors, restaurants, cafes and boutiques.  

The prices are incredibly modest and the food extraordinarily good! Don't expect much on ambiance or excellent service, but you are definitely bound to have a good meal!

I went for dinner with my sister and brother-in-law and we started out with typical Turkish meze (appetizers) to include melon and white cheese (beyaz peynir), mixed Mediterranean greens salad and eggplant salad prepared with olive oil...

Next up, we ordered fish!

I ordered grilled sea bream (only 15 TL! ... okay it was farm fed, but I honestly couldn't tell the difference because it was cooked to perfection); my sister had fried sardines (12 TL) and my brother-in-law had fried red mullet (since this was fresh sea fish it was 50 TL) and we shared an order of the best fried calamari (20 TL) I had in a long time!

The restaurant only serves one brand of wine (in single serving bottle by a Turkish winemaker at 15 TL), beer and rakı and a selection of soft drinks. 

So, if you want to have a quick dinner (not a place for a long leisurely dinner), I can say this is a good choice... but be prepared to wait for a table as it is always packed and reservations are not accepted.


Kydonia, with a branch in Istanbul for the past several years (on the 2nd floor of Incirli Şaraphane), is a wonderful wonderful seafood restaurant at the Port Alaçatı Marina.

Located on the waters edge at the Marina, this spacious restaurant has the most incredible selection of scrumptious hot and cold meze, that we totally went to town and ordered an incredible amount of meze! 
Kydonia /Port Alaçatı Marina
I went to Kydonia with my friends Mehmet and Mark who live in NYC and who were visiting Alaçatı for the first time (and they loved it!) and two friends they met on this trip... and it was their last night in town before going back home!

First, we visited the expansive display that showcased over 30 types of cold meze! They all looked so good and we ordered a bunch of different Aegean style treats, but only one portion of each and decided to re-order if necessary (and it was). Then we ordered a few different kinds of hot appetizers at the suggestion of our waiter...

Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the food we ate only because there wasn't sufficient lighting and I don't like to post food photographs that are not as 'appetizing' to the eye as their tastes!

I cannot begin to tell you how much we ate, but we for some reason, we still had room to share one fish... a grilled red sea bream which was absolutely divine! And... maybe hard to believe, but we also ordered dessert and fresh fruit!

typical Turkish desserts at Kydonia 
Add to this 2 bottles of wine, extra wine by the glass and coffee... we paid 150 TL each (before tip!)... talk about a modest bill!

I highly recommend Kydonia and from now on, I will go there more often on my trips to Alaçatı... unfortunately until this visit, I hadn't gone in over 3 years! Talk about a major mistake!!!

Those familiar with Istanbul must have heard about a very popular restaurant called Banyan (Asian fusion) overlooking the Bosphorus in Ortaköy... Kydonia is also owned by the same group that owns Banyan. Besides these 2 popular spots, they also own Incirli Şaraphane and (see my post on this winehouse) and La Mancha Restaurant - all located in Istanbul.

I highly recommend a night out at Kydonia with your family or friends. You definitely won't be disappointed. The food, service and ambiance is excellent. I suggest you make reservations, especially on weekends. 

Tel: (0232) 716 07 65

Sailors Meydan (Square) is one of the most popular places in Alaçatı to go to for breakfast,all day casual dining or even for just drinks or beverages.

Sailors Meydan/Alaçatı
Located on a corner on Kemalpaşa Street, Sailors is also a boutique hotel. Tge cafe is usually full, but it is easier getting a spot under the awning away from the hit midday. I happen to be in town to visit a friend and stopped by for a quick lunch afterwards at around 2:30pm. 

I have been to Sailors many times and have tried the typical Turkish breakfast with all the fixings, but this was the first time I was ordering from their cafe menu. 

I'm skeptical about ordering salads at most cafes... I'm usually not happy with the quality of the greens, dressing or other ingredients used, but I took a risk and ordered a "Beef Tenderloin Salad"...

Beef Tenderloin Salad @ Sailors Meydan
and... it was excellent! Everything was just right! The greens and tomatoes were very fresh... the dressing just right (didn't have to add anything) and the beef tenderloin very tasty!

As I mentioned earlier, during the peak hours (early morning, late afternoon and evening) it's not easy getting a table at Sailors Meydan... so be prepared to wait for a table and I hope you like animals... because you might have to share your space with our friendly 4-legged friends! 

4-legged friends at Sailors Meydan
Kemalpaşa Caddesi No. 66 Alaçatı
Tel: (0232) 716 87 65


Surf Point/Taos Beach Cafe

This is one place I would not have "discovered" if it wasn't for my nephew Arman.

Nephew Arman, brother-in-law Ibrahim, me and sis Meltem (left to right)

Surf Point, as you might have gathered is a Windsurf School in Alaçatı and literally a 5 minute drive from my hotel and steps from the Port Alaçatı Marina as well.

My nephew loves all sorts of watersports and decided that after a 2 year-break he wanted to take up windsurfing again. So, we took him to the school to sign him up for a 2-week group class and at the same time, he took a class that very day with a private trainer to brush up before starting his classes.

So, while waiting for him, we sat at Taos Cafe on the waterfront. It was around lunchtime and we would hungry, so we asked to see the menu.

We were pleasantly surprised that the quality of the food was much better than we would have expected at such a "no frills" cafe at a windsurf school.

Taos Beach Cafe @ Surfpoint/Alaçatı
I ordered a grilled white cheese sandwich, while my sister, brother-in-law and nephew ordered fried sardines (forgot to take photo) followed by chocolate cake for my nephew... all were very very good and the prices very modest. 

A popular Turkish "street" food is stuffed mussels and you will notice street vendors like the person above selling these delectable delights at beaches throughout the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. As if we didn't eat enough food, after tasting this vendor's delicacies, we decided to treat ourselves by ordering a couple of dozen!

Don't feel you need to be a "windsurfer" to visit Taos... you can also sunbathe on the chaises in front of the sea or take a dip in the crystal clear waters - of course, away from the windsurfers!

Taşköy Restaurant

This newcomer is located in the Hacımemiş District in Alaçatı and is right next door to the popular Taşköy pastry shop... both eateries, as well as Taşköy Hotel are owned and managed by my 2nd cousin Sevim Ertan! 

A retired MD, and as if her plate wasn't full enough with the hotel and pastry shop, Sevim took over the restaurant next door... changed the name and menu and got into the restaurant business this year!

I ate at Taşköy twice - first time with my sister and brother-in-law and really enjoyed the food and modest prices... we ordered a few appetizers and I ordered grill shrimp as my main course...

Then Sevim invited us to dinner where we had a little "family reunion" with my other 2nd cousin Ayla and her husband Metin....

Sevim Ertan, Metin, brother-in-law Ibrahim, sis Meltem, cousin Ayla & me (left to right)
We left the ordering to Sevim and after starting off with wine & cheese, our meal consisted of a variety of appetizers and main courses... and I'm not saying this because it's my cousin's place... but everything was delicious and the quality of the ingredients very very good!

appetizers @ Taşköy Restaurant

Main courses @ Taşköy Restaurant
I'm sure if you try Taşköy Restaurant, you will enjoy it as much as we did... we already sent some of our friends to try it out and they too enjoyed their evening in casual surroundings!

I recommend that you make reservations, especially on weekends...

GSM: (0532) 242 47 40

My next and final post on my trip to Alaçatı this year will be about the beach clubs I went too... but I won't be able to post this article for awhile as I'm off on another vacation! This time to Bodrum... another wonderful coastal town along the Aegean Sea ... and of course, I will also be sharing my recommendations on Bodrum with you as well!

Stay well,

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