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Restaurants in Çeşme & Alaçatı

Last Updated on May 15, 2024

The Çeşme Peninsula is one of the famous tourist destinations in Turkey. While the peninsula has amazing beaches, the  Aegean Sea, and historical and natural wonders, it is also famous for its hotels, bars, cafes, and restaurants. 

 

Restaurants in the Çeşme Peninsula are known for their excellent service and extraordinary dishes representing Aegean Cuisine.

Cuisine in Cesme & Alacati

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Local culinary specialties in Çeşme include kumru, a sandwich made with a long sesame seed-sprinkled bread roll stuffed with Turkish sausage (sucuk), melted cheese, and tomatoes, served hot. (One such sandwich packs about a million calories.)

 

Çeşme was an important center for the production of damla sakız, or "mastic," which is unique gum added to ice cream, Turkish coffee, and other foods in a nostalgic nod to the days when the abundant local pine gum resin was a substitute for chewing gum. Sakız is the same stuff that Greek retsina wine is flavored with. damla sakız is mainly found in a dessert called "damla sakızlı kurabiye" (Mastic Cookie), and it is sold everywhere around Çeşme and Alaçatı.

 

Local herbs and spices (ot) are also favored, and Alaçatı has an Herb Festival (Ot Festivali) on a weekend in late April when local folks scour the budding hillsides for their favorite scents and spices. Local cooks, both amateur and professional, offer their wares for tasting and purchase in Alaçatı's bazaar. There are also jazz and classical music concerts. Moreover, numerous herbs are exhibited during the festival, and famous chefs of the world participate in the festival contests as a jury. There is always a main theme for the festival.

 

Alaçatı Restaurants

As a major destination for day trips and weekend visitors from İzmir, Istanbul, and beyond, Alaçatı has a surprisingly large number of good cafés and restaurants along its few main streets.

 

As with many vacation/holiday destinations with lots of visiting diners but much smaller local customers, chefs and management at local restaurants may change with the seasons. Nevertheless, here are some suggestions:

Café Agrilia

Café Agrilia, in the Bey Evi Hotel, Alaçatı (map), is among the more accomplished places, with an internationally experienced chef and a pleasant, very typical Alaçatı, relaxed atmosphere.

 

Yusuf Usta Ev Yemekleri

Yusuf Usta Ev Yemekleri (map) is the place to go for traditional Turkish "home cooking:" soups, kebaps, ready to serve (hazir yemek) dishes, rotisserie chicken, pide (Turkish pizza) at surprisingly good prices. It's efficient, with indoor & shady outdoor seating and no background music—a beautiful canary instead.

Turkish Döner Kebab among other traditional Turkish meals
irmik helvası

Imren Helva & Tatlı Evi

Imren Helva & Tatlı Evi (map) is perfect for a snack, pastry, ice cream, or Alaçatı's famous sakızlı muhallebi (bland white pudding flavored with sakız—mastic gum). The main dishes are extremely delicious with the long historical quality of Imren. You should try their famous and meticulously prepared helva if you go there. 

Çeşme Restaurants

Çeşme has lots of pleasant waterfront restaurants off the main square and many more restaurants of all types along the old main street inland, which is now Çeşme's major pedestrian strolling and shopping street. You will most likely listen to street performers or restaurant music that will liven up your night.

Biz Bize Restaurant

I had a good lunch at Biz Bize Restaurant (map), at the beginning of the shopping street near the main square. The İmren Lokantası, a bit farther along on the same (right) side, is good and certainly reliable, having been in this same spot since 1960, serving Rumeli (Thracian) cuisine.

Ertürk Unlu Mamüller

Ertürk Unlu Mamüller (map) is a great spot for taking some rest after strolling around the shopping street. You can try their tasty damla sakızlı türk kahvesi ( Mastic flavored Turkish coffee) there, and they sell Izmir boyoz (a flaky, round pastry with many rich layers). There is a cafe called Çınaraltı Cafe & Breakfast right next to Ertürk Unlu Mamüller that sells delicious damla sakızlı kurabiye (Mastic Cookie).

Tarihi Eminönü Balık Ekmekçisi

Tarihi Eminönü Balık Ekmekçisi (map) under a boutique hotel, has several fish-based foods and appetizers. As it is seen from their signboard, the restaurant is famous for its tasty balık ekmek (fish sandwich).

Bizim Ev Restaurant

Bizim Ev Restaurant (map) is at the main shopping and strolling street and has a few delicious appetizers worth trying. The restaurant is famous for its delicious cheese & rocket salad.

Kumrucu Şevki, Çeşme, Izmir.

Kumrucu Şevki

Kumrucu Şevki (map) is famous for kumru (a hot sandwich made of a long sesame seed sprinkled bread roll loaded with Turkish sausage (sucuk), melted cheese, and tomatoes.) You can try their yengen kumru sandwich if you like various toppings.

Dine in Çeşme & Alaçatı

The Çeşme Peninsula is one of the top destinations in Turkey. While relaxing on the beaches of the pristine clear Aegean Sea, you can also explore what Çeşme & Alaçatı have to offer to visitors. There is always something new to do in Çeşme.

-by Tom Brosnahan, updated by Duru Nemutlu.

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