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Michelin awards new stars on Turkish coasts

ISTANBUL (BLOOMBERG) – The Michelin Guide has awarded seven new stars in Turkiye, the majority of them to restaurants on the nation’s Aegean coast.

The laid-back seaside town of Urla, near Izmir, saw three restaurants receive one star each: Od Urla, Teruar Urla, and Vino Locale. Glitzy Bodrum, Turkey’s answer to Saint Tropez, got a star each for two restaurants: one at the Maca Kizi hotel, a regular haunt for vacationing local and international celebrities, and another for Kitchen, at the luxury Bodrum Edition hotel.

The international recognition for Urla fits with the Michelin Guide’s original purpose of highlighting restaurants for road-trippers as a way of encouraging more car travel – and more sales for the Michelin tire company. In recent years, Urla has become an important foodie destination for Istanbulites stopping on their way south to coastal towns around Izmir and Bodrum.

Od Urla, with seating mostly outdoors set in a sprawling garden and farmland about 30 minutes from Izmir – or four hours from Istanbul – offers a tasting menu and a la carte service, with many of the dishes cooked over open wood fires. Nearby Teruar is set among the region’s olive trees and vineyards, serving seasonal dishes created by Chef Osman Serdaroglu, some of them inspired by Italy, where he’s worked previously.

In Istanbul, all of last year’s recipients retained their stars, including Chef Fatih Tutak’s TURK, the only restaurant in Turkiye with two stars. A brand-new Japanese restaurant in the city, Sankai by Nagaya, received a new star, alongside Arkestra, which opened last year and quickly became a hit among Istanbul’s jet-set crowd.

Sankai by Nagaya is located inside Istanbul’s upscale Bebek Hotel on the shores of the Bosphorus. Guests of the restaurant receive a keycard to what seems like a hotel room, and are ushered instead into an intimate 24-seat omakase restaurant created in collaboration with Chef Yoshisumi Nagaya, who has previously won stars for a pair of restaurants in Dusseldorf.

A total of 111 restaurants in Turkiye received new entries in Michelin’s guide, of which 15 are in Izmir and 19 in Bodrum. Another eight restaurants in total between the two coastal cities, and eight in Istanbul, received new Bib Gourmand citations, for high-quality food at good cost value.

Holiday properties on the coastline in Bodrum, Turkiye on July 6. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
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