The Turkish Riveria offers a seemingly endless number of small coastal towns and secret beaches. In recent years, Alaçatı has emerged as a favorite amongst Turkey’s creative class, and although the tourists are starting to catch on, there’s still a lot of reasons to visit this Aegean beach town.
We did a day trip to Alaçatı with our friends Funk Travels during a recent trip to Izmir and these were a few highlights.
The spread at Asma Yaprağı is the stuff dreams are made of. This is the Turkish food I crave. The sort of place worth taking a flight from Istanbul just to eat lunch.
Diners are invited into the kitchen to go over the daily offerings, an ever changing array of meze, small plates designed to be shared with the entire table. Our selection included a spicey squash puree, eggplant and rice, pumpkin with clotted cream, and an array of other flavors that surprised and delighted. The food alone makes Asma Yaprağı a destination, but the incredible garden seating, shaded by pomegranate and fig trees, completes the experience.
It seems that every Izmir coffee roaster or Nişantaşı fashion boutique has an Alaçatı outpost these days, and Istanbul ice creamery Dondurmino is no exception. Rather than the chewy, goat milk dondurma you can expect most places in Turkey (which we also love), Dondurmino makes Italian-style gelato, as the name suggests. Trust me, in doesn’t take much exploring in the summer sun before you’ll want to circle back and have another cup.
The Crystal-clear Aegean
Turkey is surround by four different seas, and though the Mediterranean is the most popular with foreign tourists, the Aegean is our favorite for a lot of reason. Sure, it can be ice-cold, even in the heat of summer, but once you get over that initial shock, it’s refreshing and crystal clear.