Gluten-Free: Turkish Delight Day 2 ¬ Traveling Gluten-Free in Istanbul, Turkey

Wow  I am exhausted . . .I just flew 18 hours to Istanbul, Turkey from Austin, TX!!  It’s one of the longest flights I’ve ever been on when flying overseas to date.  But let me just say I am glad to have my feet firmly planted on Turkish soil!

For those of you who don’t know, I work at Alliance Abroad Group in addition to being a gluten-free consultant and social media/public relations & marketing consultant.  I tell myself everyday I am a very lucky gal to have landed a job that allows me to travel internationally, tasting my way through various cultures and helping students to write their own stories.  It’s a dream job in so many ways.

So I am ready to kick my feet up and get settled into my hotel.  Lucky for me I was lodging at the Hilton Istanbul, located atop a hill in the Taksim neighborhood of Istanbul.  My driver gave me a little history lesson on the way to the hotel, sharing that Istanbul is the City of Seven Hills and that Istanbul sits both in Europe and Asia.

A 10-minute walk from downtown, the Hilton Hotel has an amazing view overlooking the Bosphorus and Blue Mosque, two of the most amazing features of the city, as well as the Grand Bazaar and other attractions the old city has to offer.  Clearly the view at night from my balcony is enough to make you want to come back to Istanbul time and time again.  Standing there taking in the depth of the history of this country, to understand that Constantine traversed these lands, such beauty to behold as the gentle breeze caressed my face, I knew it would be a good trip and that I needed to put food in my belly and get a good nights rest!

Dinner was at Leb-i derya (They are part of the Slow Food movement in Turkey which is displayed on their menu).  We were treated to a traditional appetizer and cheese plates, all gluten-free, which included:

  • Walnut eggplant mousse-roasted bell pepper cream
  • Fava bean puree-citrus onion chutney
  • Goat cheese brûlée
  • Dardanelles tomato confit with rosemary reduction
  • Tulum cheese-crystallized pumpkin
  • Aged kassari-green olive tapenade
  • Smoked circassian-walnut pesto
  • Goat cheese grilled pear









The wine was flowing as I enjoyed my main course – roasted chicken with zahter flavored mushroom sauce and fresh thyme scented potato puree. The conversation was enchanting and the view over the City of Istanbul was spelling binding.

The perfect way to end my evening!

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