balik_1

The greatest variety of fish I have ever seen in one place has been in Istanbul. It is, after all, a city of 16-20 million (estimates vary) built on three bodies of water: the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus, and the Sea of Marmara. We can throw in the Black Sea, too, since a huge amount of fish from there is sold and consumed in Istanbul. The city’s long Bosphorus coast is where Istanbullus head to eat fish at balık (fish) restaurants. A favorite destination of locals in Yeniköy, where I recently joined my friends Zeynep and Emre, Istanbul natives and die hard foodies, for a proper balık binge. Add a generous amount of rakı to any such feast and you’ve got yourself a meal.