Ciya is not only a lokanta with an emphasis on regional dishes, it is also a gastronomical project to document and represent almost forgotten foods from all parts of Turkey. Featured in Netflix’ docu-series Chef’s Table, Ciya has enough traction already, but is definitely a go-to spot to try some lesser known delicacies.
What to order: Though it has lost its taste in certain staples, the mezze/salad bar and the selection area for hot dishes keeps its authenticity. My favorites are (depending on the season) sour cherry meatballs, sikma kofte (squeezed bulgur balls), fresh garlic soup with lamb, quince kebap, a good selection from the salad bar’s greens and the limestone-cured crusty pumpkin with tahini walnut sauce. I strongly advise against getting a kebap here, as they are not very good and you’d be missing out on the more unique dishes.
What to know: No alcohol, so it’s better for lunch. There are three shops right across each other, they all serve the same food but try and go see your food sitting calmly in big earthenware pots and choose directly by asking the cook (you write them on paper and then order at the table - tourists are assisted in the process).