Istanbul, Turkey: vegetarian cuisine

Al fresco dining all along the streets

Grilled vegetables with rice and yogurt sauce

View from the terrace

View of the Blue Mosque from the terrace

Lentil soup with fresh pide (Turkish pita)

Front: tomato and cucumber salad. Behind: roasted vegetable stew

I’ll admit that the one negative aspect of being in Istanbul was the lack of vegetarian menu options. Everywhere we turned there were giant skewers of meat turning in restaurant windows. Sure, we did find some good grilled vegetables, fish (technically we are pescatarian), some stuffed eggplant, and hummus, but there just wasn’t a great variety. Finally we turned to our guide manual for a recommendation and found Doy Doy. The restaurant was five floors, with a gorgeous terrace where we chose to dine. From our table we had beautiful views of the city and the surrounding waters. Adjacent to the grand Blue Mosque, we listened to the sounds of afternoon prayer and watched the birds soar between the minarets. The food was delicious. Jeremiah and I shared a comforting bowl of lentil soup and a fresh cucumber and tomato salad, dressed simply with olive oil and lemon. Next we ordered a dish called “vegetable tiles.” It was a hot stew of tomatoes, carrots, onions, eggplant, and potatoes, seasoned with Turkish spices and served with lots of freshly baked “pide”, or pita. It was the most perfect lunch in the most pleasant atmosphere. If we ever get back to Istanbul, Doy Doy will be the first place we eat.

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