Be Ready to Taste the Local Delicacies of Izmir – Smyrna

Izmir, which is known as Smyrna in antique, is a big city located on the Aegean coast of Turkey. Thanks to the history which is dated B.C. 3000, Izmir has significant historic and cultural aspects. These aspects have affected the food culture, too. From boyoz to kumru, Izmir has various local delicacies. Also, besides the Turkish names, natives of Izmir call some foods with names special to Izmir. With both historic structure and idiosyncratic tastes, Izmir is a wonderful choice to make comprehensive travel. In this article, you can see the worth seeing and tasting local restaurants but before that, if you want to create a trip plan which is most enable to you, you can use The Traveller Evalution Form which is prepared for you by HeyTripster and you learn the best plan for what to do in Izmir. Here, the best delicacies to taste Izmir cuisine, best places in Izmir and what you need to know about them according to 2021: 

1. Dostlar Fırını – Boyoz

The first local delicacy that comes to mind when Izmir cuisine is mentioned is boyoz. For the natives of Izmir, boyoz is the best choice to start the day. Boyoz which is made with unleavened dough is a pastry containing a lot of oil. It has included the Izmir Cuisine by the Sephardic Jews who were located in Turkey in 1492. The word boyoz is derived from the word “bollos”, which means “small loaves” in Spanish. There are many varieties of boyoz such as spinach, chocolate, cheese and so on. You can find it in almost every bakery in Izmir but the most famous bakery is Dostlar Fırını. It is possible to taste different varieties of boyoz that you have not tried before, in this sweet and small bakery located in Alsancak. It is also possible to buy the frozen version of this product, which is not traded or sold much outside of Izmir, from here.

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Open Hours: Monday-Saturday: 06.30 – 19.00 / Sunday: Open for 24 hours
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0232) 421 92 02
Instagram: Visit

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2. Zeynel Ergin Gevrek Bakery – Gevrek

Known as “simit”, this pastry with plenty of sesame seeds and indispensable for breakfast is known as “gevrek” in Izmir. Unlike the simit of Istanbul, this pastry, which is cooked for a long time to make it more crispy, is one of the foods consumed by the people of Izmir at all hours of the day. Gevrek, which has survived from Ottoman cuisine and has gained a valuable place in Izmir cuisine, is also known as Turkish Bagel in the USA. The name of the simit, which takes its name from the Arabic word “samīd”, seems to always remain “gevrek” for the people of Izmir. You can see it on the street, on the beach, in almost every bakery, and it will allow you to have a pleasant time with tea or ayran. If you want to eat gevrek without forgetting the historical atmosphere of Izmir, I recommend you to go to Zeynel Ergin Gevrek Bakery, which is the first bakery of Alsancak with its 140 years of history. You can be a part of the Zeynel Ergin tradition with the gevrek cooked in the black oven.

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Open Hours: 06:30 – 19:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0232) 403 40 04
Instagram: Visit

3. Meşhur Hisar Söğüşçüsü – Söğüş

Offal occupies an important place in Izmir cuisine. The most famous offal known to be unique to Izmir is known as “söğüş”. Kelle söğüş, which dates back to the 1890s, is a mixture of offal made from the meat of lamb’s head. It is possible to find many places that make söğüş in different parts of Izmir. However, Meşhur Hisar Söğüşçüsü is known as the place that natives of Izmir visit the most to eat cold cuts. Here, söğüş is made from tongue, cheek, and brain. It is finely chopped into the lavash and served as a wrap, with onions, parsley, and tomatoes, along with spices. The famous Hisar Söğüşçüsü has been operating since 1975.

More Information

Open Hours: Monday-Saturday: 09:00 – 19:00
Sunday: 12:00 – 19:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0232) 445 19 75

4. Kumrucu Ömür – Kumru

 

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Another food that comes to mind when Izmir is mentioned, which was widely consumed by the people of Izmir in the 19th century, is kumru. Kumru, which is made by adding ingredients such as salami, sausage, cheese, pickles, tomatoes, ketchup, and mayonnaise for its unique sesame bread, is especially famous in Çeşme. Kumru sandwiches are not made from fresh kumru bread. Fresh dove is kept in refrigerators for at least 14 hours after cooling. Then it is ready to be eaten. For those who wish not to eat with its ingredients, some bakeries also sell plain sesame kumru bread. The taste of the kumru, which is sold in many parts of Turkey today, is different in Izmir. The beauty of eating food on the spot is undeniable. Do not leave Izmir without eating this kumru, which is indispensable for locals and tourists both in holiday destinations and on the streets. Kumrucu Ömür is one of Izmir’s most famous places. I recommend you to try this amazing delicacy of Izmir cuisine at Kumrucu Ömür, which has been in service since 1962.

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Open Hours: Open for 24 hours
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0232) 330 60 66
Instagram: Visit

5. Çelebi Unlu Mamülleri – Bomba

Bomba, which is one of the important tastes of Izmir cuisine, is a wonderful dessert that is perfect for a chocolate crisis with its liquid chocolate and thin dough membrane. This flavor, which belongs to Izmir cuisine, is a dessert that carries its reputation not only with Izmir but also throughout the country. It is possible to find the bomb, which is eaten as soon as it comes out of the oven and conquers hearts with its liquid chocolate, in various bakeries of Izmir. Çelebi Unlu Mamülleri is the most famous address of this dessert, which has become very popular lately and has quickly become one of the traditional flavors of Izmir. In this bakery located in Izmir Konak, it is possible to eat different kinds of bomba as well as chocolate. Therefore, while you’re here, I suggest you try all kinds of bombs. Bon appetit for this unique taste that you can’t stop once you start!

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Open Hours: 05:30 – 02:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0232) 465 33 01
Instagram: Visit

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6. Izmir Girit Restaurant – Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

Stuffing vegetables is one of the indispensable dishes of Turkish cuisine. Stuffing, which is made by stuffing many vegetables, has a very important place in Izmir cuisine, too. In fact, the stuffing is made from zucchini flowers in Izmir cuisine. Stuffed zucchini flowers, which meet with a delicious stuffing, are made from fresh zucchini flowers collected in the first hours of the morning. This dish, which is unique to Izmir cuisine, is both light and delicious and is one of the flavors that must be eaten when you come to Izmir. One of the local and famous addresses where you can eat this delicious stuffing is Izmir Girit Restaurant. This restaurant, which serves delicious home-cooked meals as well as important delicacies from Izmir cuisine, is one of the most ideal places to taste stuffed zucchini flowers.

More Information

Open Hours: 09:00 – 23:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0232) 250 07 31
Instagram: Visit

7. Hisarönü Şambalicisi – Şambali

Another dessert unique to Izmir cuisine is şambali. Şambali, a famous Izmir’s street dessert, is sold by peddlers in various parts of Izmir. A desert şambali formed by this historical integration of Izmir, which has hosted many nationalities. Inspired by the recipes of the Balkan dessert revani and Yemen’s Halep dessert, şambali began to be sold on the streets in the first years of the republic. The price of this dessert, which has quite a lot of ingredients, is affordable. I can say that it is a dessert that must be tasted while walking around the streets of Izmir. Of course, there is a famous place where this dessert should be eaten. The famous Hisarönü Şambalicisi is waiting to reign in your heart. This restaurant, which also delivers by courier, serves its şambili dessert by putting clotted cream with milk in it. Bon Appetit!

More Information

Open Hours: Monday-Saturday: 08:30 – 19:30
Sunday: 12:00 – 19:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0507) 655 57 67
Instagram: Visit

8. Beğendik Abi – Artichoke Stuffing

Next, there is a vegetable dish that is very famous in Izmir and is not known all over Turkey. Stuffed artichokes with olive oil is one of the famous dishes of Izmir cuisine. There is even an artichoke festival held in Izmir every year. This vegetable, which is grown in the Karaburun, Urla and Mordoğan districts of Izmir, is the main ingredient in olive oil dishes. Stuffed artichokes, which are made by preparing a mortar with rice and dill and stuffing them, are a very good option, especially for those who like olive oil dishes. If you happen to be in Urla, I recommend you to taste this delicious dish. The place called Beğendik Abi is a sweet place where delicious olive oil dishes of Izmir cuisine are prepared. Stuffed artichokes will be a very nice choice for the meal. If you want to eat fresh artichokes, especially in summer, this is the place for you.

More Information

Open Hours: 10:00 – 20:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0232) 754 20 71
Instagram: Visit

9. Köfteci Mehmet Irmak – İzmir Meatballs

Another famous meat dish of Izmir cuisine is Izmir Meatballs. The first address of this famous dish, which you can come across all over Turkey, is of course Izmir. This delicious dish, which can be given as an answer to those who think that Izmir’s cuisine consists of vegetables, is first fried in oil and then cooked in the oven with potatoes and onions. The history of Izmir meatballs, which took its final form as of the early 1900s, dates back to Central Asia and Mesopotamia. It is possible to find these historical and delicious Izmir Meatballs in various restaurants in our country. If you are wondering where to eat in Izmir, I recommend Köfteci Mehmet Irmak, which has been serving since 1975. Thus, you can taste the original and delicious version of Izmir meatballs.

More Information

Open Hours: 09:00 – 22:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0232) 441 79 55
Instagram: Visit

10. Karataş Peynir – Tulum Cheese

Tulum cheese, which is famous in various parts of Turkey, has also found a unique place in Izmir cuisine. Unlike other Tulum cheeses, Izmir Tulum is made from sheep’s milk only. Having an important place in the breakfasts of the locals of Izmir, Izmir Tulum is one of the main foods to be eaten when you go to Izmir. It is possible to find this Izmir baguette, whose homeland is Bergama, in all parts of Izmir, but I recommend you to eat it in Bergama, which is the real place of Izmir Tulum cheese, while you are in Izmir. If you are in the center of Izmir, there is a place where you can both taste this Tulum cheese and buy gifts for your loved ones. You can shop from Karataş Cheese both by going there or online.

More Information

Open Hours: 07:00 – 21:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0232) 445 21 56
Instagram: Visit

11. Saka Fish House – Gopez with Yogurt

Gopez with Yoghurt is a famous dish from the Foça district of Izmir. It is generally known that yogurt and fish are not consumed together. However, Foça is destroying this perception with Yogurtlu Gopez. It is possible to come across Gopez with Yoghurt in many fish restaurants in Foça. This dish, which has an unusual taste, is made from trophy fish. First, the fish is fried, then yogurt is poured on it. If you go to Foça, I definitely recommend you to eat this flavor, which is served with plenty of walnuts and heated oil. It is not possible to find this flavor, which is completely unique to Izmir cuisine, anywhere else. Saka Fish House is one of the restaurants that make Yoghurt Gopez in Foça. If you want to meet a different flavor other than the fish you always eat, this is the place for you!

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Open Hours: 12:00 – 00:30
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0554) 269 11 47

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12. Sevinç Bakery – Lokma

One of the famous and delicious desserts of Izmir cuisine is lokma dessert. It can also be known as one of the street foods of Izmir. This lokma dessert, which has survived from the Ottoman period, is a dessert belonging to the Izmir region. However, today it is possible to come across lokma desserts all over Turkey; The taste of lokma dessert did not remain only within the borders of Izmir. Lokma, a traditional dessert, is made at weddings, funerals, and charitable occasions and distributed to all. Those who make vows also make lokma desserts to acknowledge their intentions. This dessert, which is prepared by frying in oil and pouring cinnamon and sherbet on it, is worth tasting with its Izmir flavor. It is possible to find Lokma dessert in most bakeries and dessert shops of Izmir. If you come across a bakery or dessert shop while you are visiting Izmir, I definitely recommend you to taste the lokma dessert. Let me remind you that lokma dessert, the traditional dessert of Izmir cuisine, can be found on the streets, in front of mosques, or in unexpected streets. One of the best places in Izmir to eat lokma is Sevinç Bakery. Besides the lokma, you can find vegetarian choices here. If you want to taste lokma with good service, you can visit Sevinç Bakery.

More Information

Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0232) 700 19 57

13. Ezmecizade Elgani – Almond Paste (Marzipan)

Let’s continue with a local dessert of Izmir cuisine. Almond Paste is a dessert that is best found in Izmir and is rarely seen in other parts of Turkey. Almond paste, which is usually sold in shops passed down from generation to generation, brings the historical atmosphere of Izmir with it. These shops, which sell peanut and walnut paste as well as almond paste, are worth visiting. It is known that the root of almond paste, also known as marzipan, belongs to Arab and Persian cultures. It is said that the marzipan, which is also frequently found in France and Italy, was brought to the West by the Turks. Ezmecizade Elgani can be a nice option for you if you want to taste this delicious dessert and bring gifts to your loved ones. Located in the center of Izmir, this sweet shop has been running this business for 5 generations since 1853. Also, I would like you to remember that this dessert is vegan.

More Information

Open Hours: Monday-Saturday: 09:00 – 18:45
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0555) 863 68 65
Instagram: Visit

14. Salepcioğlu Helvaları – Bergama Halva

Bergama, a historical district of Izmir that has hosted many civilizations, also has its own dessert. Bergama Halva is an Arabian dessert that bears the traces of different civilizations. This dessert is also known as Ramadan halva. This halva, which belongs entirely to Bergama, is only eaten during Ramadan. The feature that distinguishes this halva from other halvah is that it is made of dough. After this dough is made, it is expected to rise until the morning. It is then fried and dipped in honey and then sherbet. It is not possible to find this dessert, which is made only in Ramadan, in places other than Bergama. Therefore, if you are in Izmir during Ramadan, I recommend you not to miss the Bergama halva. You can find Bergama halva at Salepcioğlu Halvaları, one of the famous dessert shops of Bergama. However, I would like to remind you that you may have to wait in long queues.

More Information

Open Hours: 08:30 – 20:30
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0543) 412 91 87

15. Restaurant Boğaziçi – Herb Roast

Finally, I would like to talk about roasting herbs, which is one of the indispensable foods of the Aegean and of course Izmir. As you know, growing beautiful and different herbs in Izmir. Of course, in this case, it is inevitable that different herbs will have an important place in Izmir cuisine. A delicious flavor comes out when herbs such as tangerine, chicory, arugula, radicchio, nettle, purslane, cibez, poppy, hibiscus are mixed and roasted with an olive texture. This herb roast, which is usually served with garlic yogurt on top, is one of the indispensable flavors of Aegean and Izmir cuisine. If you happen to be in Izmir, I would say don’t come back without eating herb roast. As you know, Alaçatı Herb Festival is held every year in the Alaçatı district of Izmir. If you come across the dates of the festival, you can also find the chance to taste the most beautiful herbs. Restaurant Boğaziçi in Karşıyaka is one of the nice places where you can taste roasted herbs. Bon Appetit!

More Information

Open Hours: 12:00 – 00:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0850) 850 0 850
Instagram: Visit

 

🌳🌏 HeyTripster donated a sapling on behalf of Ayşe Vuslat Erdoğan for sharing this blog post with us.

 

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