In Turkey, there is such a unique phenomenon as social state restaurants, which are opened with the support of local authorities. A Russian tourist visited this establishment in Alanya and revealed its pros and cons in her Zen channel.
Social restaurants in Turkey are almost no different from ordinary ones and are often located in places popular with tourists with scenic views of the sights. You can recognize them by the presence on the signs of the words “sosyal tesisleri”, i.e. “social object”, or “belediyesi”, i.e. “municipality”.
The menu includes tea, coffee, juices, Turkish pastries and sweets, as well as several local dishes. For example, in a social restaurant visited by a Russian tourist, they offered soup with chickpeas, rice and meatballs – guluklu chorba, officially patented as part of Alanya cuisine. Additionally, you can order Turkish flatbread and some international dishes like toast and sandwiches, but with a local twist in serving or cooking.
The main advantage of state restaurants is low prices, quality service and authenticity. The dining room is located outside, in the courtyard of an old Ottoman house. The institution in Alanya also houses a museum of Turkish life with unique interiors.
In Alanya, a social restaurant can be found in the Alaeddin Keykubad fortress, not far from the Suleymaniye mosque in the historical part of the city. In Istanbul, institutions are represented more widely and are present in almost every district. They even compiled a guide with prices, menus, routes and descriptions – “Istanbul büyükşehir belediyesi sosyal tesisleri”.
Among the disadvantages of state-owned restaurants, the Russian woman names their popularity with local residents and limited opening hours. You can wait quite a long time for your order, if it is not limited to tea and biscuits, and in the evening and on weekends, the establishment in Alanya, as a rule, closes altogether. In winter, opening hours are only from 9 am to 6 pm.
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