When I did my first draft for this post about Alacati’s delicious highlights I was like “Let me keep this short today because words can’t express the beauty of Alacati but pictures can”. That is still true but I want to add a few words to give my story a personal touch.
I won’t start talking politics on my blog (or Instagram) because this space is not meant for it. However I’d like to quickly talk about the attempted coup in Turkey a few weeks ago. And the impact it had on my inner life. After the coup happened, I felt tired, unmotivated and without any energy. Everything in Istanbul reminded me of that weekend. The country itself was still in shock and the city’s streets were crowded as usual but quiet. The atmosphere was overwhelming and almost depressing. In times like these you need to be careful not get stuck in a black hole. It’s easier to see only the drawbacks of a place when everything around it is surrounded by so much negativity.
And this is when Alacati in Cesme came to our heads. We’ve been wanting to go to that magical town that everyone is talking about since we moved to Istanbul. We knew the sea breeze, colorful alleys and highly recommended food would take off our minds from…well everything bad. It’s also always a good idea to escape Istanbul’s summer heat and change your summer dress with swimwear.
And so we hopped on a plane on Thursday morning for an extended weekend trip to Alacati. Alacati is pretty unknown to international tourists but a popular destinations for Turkish people who want to escape more touristy areas like Antalya. Maybe that’s the reason it still feels very authentic and charming. Cobbled streets lined with cozy cafes and hip restaurants,the crystal blue sea and its warm hospitality make this Aegean town one of my favorite places in Turkey. We could not have asked for a better weekend and we returned all relaxed and energized to Istanbul. But let’s go back to Alacati for a moment and let me share my personal food highlights with you. Here is a quick guide to 5 delicious highlights of Alacati.
5 Delicious Hightlights of Alacati, Turkey
Breakfast and Afternoon Tea at Taş Otel
We booked ourselves into the beautiful Tas Otel, a real gem and relaxing oasis in the middle of Alacati. I published a separate post about our stay at Tas Otel here but today’s post would’t feel complete without its breakfast and afternoon tea. It isn’t an empty phrase when I say that Tas Otel serves the most heartening and cheerful breakfast. The ingredients are fresh, the jam selection with more than 10 different flavors is beyond delicious and the attention to seasonal and local foods won my heart….and stomach. The complimentary afternoon tea was the icing of the cake. Every afternoon Emine the cook baked a homemade cake, filling the hotel with the most delightful smell. It was then served with Turkish tea by the pool at 5 pm. Absolutely blissful and a true food heaven.
32, Yeni Mecidiye, Kemalpaşa Cd., 35950 Alaçatı/Çeşme/İzmir
Homemade Meze from Asma Yaprağı’s kitchen
You might have seen me raving on Instagram about Asma Yapragi. I still believe it’s the best Turkish meze one can find in Turkey. Hidden in one of the many alleyways of Alacati, Asma Yapragi is not an insider tipp. So make sure to book a table in advance. Luckily we were able to get a table without a reservation on a Friday night. That’s the good thing about living in Turkey as a German. Germans tend to eat earlier (around 7-8 pm) than Turkish folks (around 10 pm), so the restaurant could squeeze us in before a late reservation.
The moment we sat down and looked at others people tables we knew that this would be a tasty evening. Shortly after our waiter invited us to the kitchen where the food was laid out and ready for us to pick as many (in our case too many) mezes and main dishes as we desired. One member of the staff enthusiastically explained every dish while the chefs kept on preparing and arranging more food around us. The atmosphere is super cozy and it feels like being invited to a big family where homemade Turkish food is served.
Alaçatı mahallesi, 1005 Sok. No:50, Çeşme/İzmir
Rooftop dining at Kırmızı Ev
On our first night in Alacati we stumbled upon Kırmızı Ev more or less by accident. We were the first guests and found the perfect table on its rooftop terrace with a nice view over and into Alacati. I have to say that I wasn’t impressed at first when we realized they didn’t have an English menu. We even thought about leaving for a second but in hindsight I’m so happy we just went with the flow and trusted the staff’s recommendations.
We started our flavorful evening with mouth-watering black-eyed pea hummus and stuffed zucchini blossoms that were seasoned to perfection. The grilled haloumi wrapped in vine leaves and served with a sweet and sour sauce as well as the baked mushrooms and the milky fish all exceeded our expectations. Eating delicious food, drinking a glass of crisp white wine from the region and watching a beautiful sunset over Alacati, made this a very good first evening in Alacati.
No:, 2011. Sk. No:7, 35937 Çeşme/İzmir
Almost healthy ice cream from Yomumu Frozen Yogurt
I don’t know about you but when it’s hot outside I need ice cream. Unfortunately Turkey can’t keep up with Italian gelatto. And so you mostly find neon blue “The smurf” or oversweet fruit ice cream in Alacati. With a few exceptions and one is Yomumu Frozen Yogurt. The concept of frozen yoghurt is probably not new to you. However I still wanted to share this shop in case you find yourself craving a cold (and not so sweet or artificially coloured) scoop on a hot day in Alacati. Yomumu only serves one flavour, the natural yoghurt flavour. Yet the toppings are various ranging from chocolaty ingredients to fresh fruits.
Tokoğlu Mahallesi, Kemalpaşa Caddesi, Çeşme
Light lunch and people watching at Köşe Kahve
Köşe Kahve is a great spot to have a light lunch, drink a cocktail in the evening or start your day with its very popular breakfast. On our last day in Alacati when I didn’t overeat as much during breakfast as the days before I actually got hungry during lunch time. Most of the restaurants are only open in the evening and all the others serve mainly Turkish food. My appetite didn’t want meze on this hot day. So I was happy to see that Köse Kahve had many salads and light dishes on its menu. I went for the roasted beetroot and goat cheese salad. The portion was generous but the quality of food outstanding.
Tokoğlu, Kemalpaşa Cd., 35930 Alaçatı/Çeşme/İzmir