One of my favourite, quick, simple and most importantly – cheap, lunchtime snacks in Turkey is tost.
Not to be confused with ‘normal’ toast – it’s a big, Turkish bread sliced down the middle, stuffed with delicious fillings, pressed and served with a side of spicy, hot pickles. Yum.
The fillings are pretty basic, the most popular is a mixed tost, or “karışık tost” in Turkish, which is a toastie with cheese, sucuk (spicy Turkish sausage) and usually tomato too. I often have this, although my favourite is just a plain, simple cheese and tomato one. There aren’t really very many more variations to the fillings, although whilst in Berkay’s village he had one with scrambled egg, sucuk and cheese in, an odd mixture which tasted surprisingly good.
I love the simpleness of tost so much we used to always make our own at home, but you really can’t beat the way they’re made in cafe’s under a proper, heavy iron press instead of the usual toastie machines. The only downside to how delicious they are, is how unhealthy they are, it’s a bit of a carb overload, eating half a turkish bread in one sitting, and the bread is usually covered in butter on the outside too so it can be rather greasy. Delightful though!
The best cafe serving tost like this in Fethiye is İksirci Tezcan. It’s a small cafe (well, more of a large hut really) on the corner of Fethiye harbour, next to the blue culture centre on the main town square. You can’t miss it, it sits under a shady tree and has pretty, very traditonal low tables and chairs, painted in bright, vivid colours. It’s very popular with locals and often at lunchtime you’ll struggle to find an empty seat amongst the many school children who flock their during their break. It’s almost famous in Fethiye, ask a local or expat about the ‘toastie place’ and they’ll know where you mean!
Tost is the only food on the menu here, along with the usual soft drinks, water or their other speciality – freshly squeezed fruit juice, usually orange or pomegranate but it varies depending which fruit is in season. Don’t be put off by the simplicity of the menu though, the toasties here are all amazing.
It’s a good place to sit and people watch as locals and tourists wander past, boats sail in and out of the harbour and street animals play (I shared my tost with a cat!)
The best thing of all about this cafe is how cheap it is. This was our bill, 10.50tl for 2 mixed tost, a can of cola and an ayran.. at today’s rate this is just over £2.60!
Whether you’re on a budget or not, it’s a fantastic price and a fantastic place to spend half an hour watching the world go by, and you’ll be able to tick ‘tost’ off the ‘Turkish street food to try’ list.