A meter of pizza in Istanbul

I am in Istanbul just long enough to catch a morning flight to Cyprus, not enough time to head into the city, what with most sights closing early during winter. I am staying at the Radisson Blu Conference & Airport Hotel, Istanbul, and per my standard policy, I was not going to dine at the hotel restaurant.

Down the hill was a brightly lit, cavernous place packed with families. A microcosm of my preconception of Turkish society, about 2/3 of the tables had women with uncovered heads, about 1/3 had scarves, and only one table, that of 20-somethings, had a mix of women with heads uncovered and covered. Coincidentally the International Herald Tribune today leads with a piece on the furor over the proposed new, conservative uniforms for Turkish Airlines flight attendants.

I studied what everyone was ordering and with some input from the waiter, he actually recommended some cheaper options than what I was considering, I had a delicious creamy lentil soup, baked cheese appetizer, yogurt, and a meter of pizza. Sumptuous, and yes, I confess, I ate the whole thing.

Meter of Pizza Istanbul

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  • JoC

    Yum….I will be staying there in May because of an early flight. Can you give me the directions of the restaurant from the hotel, and if it’s safe to walk in the evening to there.

  • Aptraveler

    Thanks for the write up and picture. I might visit that Pizza place when I return to IST in May!

  • Is this really a Pizza or its middle-eastern counterpart, the Lahambajin?

  • rk

    That is Pide, not pizza. @Kalboz, Turkey also has Lahmacun, which it sounds like you are referring to, but it is almost always round and has thinner crust.

    Glad you made it out of the hotel. It’d be a real pity to eat there, especially in Turkey which has such good cheap food available.

  • @rk – thanks for the info, I shall henceforth know it is pide rather than “I’ll have what they’re having.”

    @JoC – the hotel is on a major high-traffic road acros from the airport, at first it looks like nothing is nearby, but going out and going left (downhill) this is the first and only, you come upon it in about 2-3 minute walk. Going right (uphill) there is a kabob place and then if you walk the backstreets behind the hotel, also going uphill, you will find a residential community with lots of little places, early this morning the bakeries were hopping.

    Note that the hotel is not walkable from the airport, the shuttle runs on the half-hour from the airport and on the hour from the hotel, pick-up by international terminal entrance A, no sign unlike other hotels. Shuttle is I think 5 am – 1 am.

  • LarryInNYC

    That does not look like a pide (which is closer to pizza, incorporating melted cheese, but in form is what we in New York would call a calzone). It looks like a really long, oddly shaped lamachun.