Turkish Menemen + Istanbul Notes

We don’t have a car and we don’t intend to, for as long as possible. Not because we’ve waged war on materialism and carbon dioxide outlets, though. We simply prefer to spend our money travelling the World. Admittedly, it would definitely make a few things a lot easier if we had a car. E.g. when we go visit our families who live far away, or when it’s raining like hell and we have to bike to work. But when we travel and our hearts and minds are filled with new experiences and memories, all the irritation over hour-long train rides, and biking in bad weather, goes away. So for now we’ll manage without a car and go travel some more!

We recently returned home from Istanbul and we almost can’t wait to go back again. It’s such an exciting city with tons of history, culture, and inspiring food. Pinced right between Europe and Asia, former capital of the Roman Empire, and once the final stop on the ancient Silk Route, this city has been influenced by so many different cultures, religions, customs, royal entrigues, crazy emperors, and merchants from afar. Needless to say, some interesting food has evolved in this melting pot that is Istanbul.


One of our favourite dishes from Istanbul is the Turkish breakfast called Menemen. It’s a hot and rich and somewhat resembles scrambled eggs. It is cooked with lots of tomato and warm spices, and the taste is deep, intense and filling; everything you need for a full day of touring around the narrow streets of the bazaar or strolls along the Bosphorus. See the recipe for our version of Menemen below!

istanbul-menemen-2611   istanbul  istanbul2

But don’t go to Istanbul just for the breakfast (even though it’s tempting); The Istanbulites also know how to slice a killer kebab, pour a proper cup of tea, and rethink old classics in new settings. We’ve collected a few of our favourite places below:

Places we visited and loved

Van Kahvalti Evi Defterdar Yokusu No. 52 A, Cihangir
Delicious breakfast. Try the Menemen, and Turkish potato pancakes. We went twice 🙂

Durumzade – Topcenkenler Sokagi No. 1, Beyoglu
This small joint serves one of the best kebabs in town. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. 

Dem KaraKöy – Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mh., Hoca Tahsin Sk No. 17, Karaköy
Cozy tea house in a really cool area. Go here for a relaxing cup of tea, or delicious breakfast.

Karabatak – Kemankeş Kara Mustafa Paşa Mh., Kara Ali Kaptan Sk No. 7, Karaköy
Cool coffee bar.

Maya Lokanta – Kemankeş Caddesi No. 35, Karaköy
Restaurant serving old classics in new and cool ways. Truly delicious. Make sure to book in advance!

istanbul3  istanbul4 istanbul-menemen-3275

Turkish Menemen w. Fennel

(Makes 4 servings)

1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 fennel, chopped

400 ml canned tomatoes

1 red pepper, chopped

4 eggs

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

3 cm ginger, grated

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

For serving
A dollop of Turkish yoghurtFresh parsley, finely chopped Rye bread

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a big pan and fry onion, garlic, and fennel until lightly brown.

Add fennel seeds, cumin, chili, mustard seeds, and ginger. Stir a few times. Add the red pepper. When it starts to soften add canned tomatoes. Let it simmer until the excess water has evaporated.

Crack the eggs in a bowl. Make a hole in the middle of the tomato sauce and pour the eggs into the hole. Mix the egg into the tomato sauce like scrambled eggs. Cook until the eggs are set.

Serve with a dollop of Turkish yoghurt, lots of fresh parsley, and rye bread.


  • Heidi - Apples Under My Bed
    9. November 2014 at 21:08

    Istanbul is easy to fall in love with. The colours, textures & flavours! You captured them beautiful in pictures, this recipe & your wonderful video x

    • Blueberry Tales
      10. November 2014 at 10:09

      Thanks a lot 🙂 You are so right – we definitely have to revisit very soon!/ Camilla

  • Date & Apple Bites + Tel Aviv Notes |
    13. April 2015 at 21:47

    […] fact that our next adventure abroad wasn’t going to happen before the end of May. Our trip to Istanbul back in October seemed like ages ago, and being in February the Sun surely had no intentions to […]


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