advertisement

The problem of choice will be a tourist's major complaint when staying in Kalkan, as this village easily has the highest ratio of quality restaurants per capita on Turkey's Mediterranean coast. And the turnover is high, so in recommending the tried and true, I may be missing out on some newer gems. Don't hesitate to ask around to nab a table at your own little "find." The trend also is that all this great "international" food (catering to a wallet full of British pounds sterling) comes with a hefty price tag. Unpretentious, family-friendly lokanta fare can be had at Ali Baba (tel. 0242/844-3627), up on the main square near the post office with a rooftop terrace restaurant serving more substantial fare in the evenings, and at the trellis-shaded Bezirgan's Kitchen (next to the Kamil Koç bus office; tel. 0242/844-2106).

Many of the pensions and hotels have rooftop restaurants and often serve some of the best meals using ingredients bought at market the same day. Whenever possible, I always opt for these. These are even open to nonguests, but in this case it's a good idea to reserve ahead (even by midmorning), to allow the cook to stock up on an adequate amount of food.

Be skeptical of restaurants advertising fresh fish. Much of the fish along the Mediterranean arrives frozen -- ask the waiter before you order if your selection was swimming anytime recently.

Fishing for Condiments -- About a 10-minute drive into the mountains from Kalkan is the minuscule village of Islamlar, built on the Islamlar Spring, a freshwater source that coursed down the mountain. About 10 years ago, Mahmut of Mahmut'un Yeri (the first one on the right as you enter the village of Islamlar; tel. 0242/838-6344) had the bright idea to harness the water in a cement pool and stock it with trout, and in no time, his neighbors were standing by in disbelief as the customers began to roll into their wild and unspoiled landscape. Today it has not only grown into a country-style restaurant with a roof terrace with views as far as the sea, but it also has spurred a parade of neighborhood imitations, all essentially identical (which means that in a small village like this one, some friends or family members are no longer on speaking terms). Little ones will love watching the trout leaping up out of the water, sometimes upstream through the mesh barrier to freedom and sometimes out of the pool to their death. The price of a meal (trout, salad, and ayran) is about 15TL.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.