Backpacking Food Tip: Eating Where Prices are Lower
I was opposite the Blue Mosque in Istanbul wondering where to go to eat as it was approaching 11 pm. All the places nearby seemed to have similar menu – mainly beer and kebabs, and other Turkish items. It looked and felt completely like a tourist trap. There were no locals and if we went for any of the stops it was likely to cost £30 ($46) which is a lot more than I would want to part with for a quick fix. I walked about 15 minutes west and saw a restaurant where there were more tourists with kids. I checked the menu and the prices were half. It seems like families with kids did their research as any unplanned adventure would cost dearly (take a main and multiply the price by the number of people). It seemed more authentic as we were served food in a Turkish tava with all the yummy condiments and bread made fresh in front of us.
So the lesson – risk exploring outside the touristy area. If there are no locals, you’ll probably be paying Western Europe prices. Plan if possible, or otherwise go into the area outside the main attractions. Everyone eats, there will be shops to grab a bite!