Neyzen Tevfik Cad. • Marina Yacht Club, 48400 Bodrum, Turkey • +90 252 3161228


Regardless of how good the food is in Turkey, if you are spending any length of time there, eventually you are bound to suffer from meze and fish fatigue. This is when I like to mix it up with something like Ox Burger or Vespa.

Vespa is a very capable pizza joint (and night club) located right on the marina, like so many other restaurants in the greater Bodrum area, however in Bodrum proper it’s pretty rare to be on the boat side of the road West of the castle, which they are. And which is nice.

Service is usually a tad rushed because the place seems to be packed every night. Guess we’re not the only ones who get meze fatigue?

The food, as I intimated already is solid. And I mean that only by Turkish standards. I mean c’mon, it’s not like you can compare it to Roberta’s or Grimadli’s, but for the Bodrum area in Turkey it does quite well. Not that pizza is the most foreign of cuisines to Turks, after all, the Romans did in fact consider Turkey part of home once upon a time. And with dishes like lahamacun and pide, who are we kidding, they are basically pizza-like objects already. But I don’t want to discount anything here either. If making pizza was easy, everyone would do it. Yet only Vespa seems to get the important alchemy of sauce and crust.

And having had many a pie here I can confidently say that they are pretty consistent, so feel free to let your cravings guide you. Salads are also good, but a little more on the simple side. Nothing too inventive. Just the classics. In fact, the only twist I recall seeing on the menu is a pie with sucuk on it (spicy Turkish sausage). Not exactly revolutionary, but a nice local spin on a tried and true. And that right there sums Vespa up in a nutshell. Tried and true and never disappoints.

3 teeth

Çiftlik Garden

Yaliciftlik Mevkii No:42, Yaliciftlik 48400 , Turkey • +90 252 368 9232


Located on the South side of the Bodrum Peninsula, just outside of the city there is an area called Yali that boasts a Kempinski hotel a Club Med and a seemingly charming little family-owned pide restaurant. I say seemingly because while the setting is quite beautiful with the grape barber over your head and the sunflower field next to your table, once the pide arrives, so does a swarm of bees. And we’re not talking about a few little nuisances with wings. We’re talking

But apart from nearly being stung to death, the pide was just okay. Made fresh with ingredients presumably right from the farm as the name suggests, but the net, net was nothing better than I’ve had in Turkbuku or Bodrum, making the long drive unworthy. That said, their homemade crushed red pepper definitely deserves a shout out. It has much more flavor than usual and a sweetness to it that makes you want to go crazy with the stuff. And so we did, putting mounds of it on everything.

The place also has a nice play area for kids to blow off some steam (or escape from bees as the case may be) and the service, while a touch rough around the edges being that our server was a 12 year old boy, was helpful and friendly, bringing us smoldering coffee grinds to help ward off the attack. And while it certainly helped thwart about 60% of the bees, it wasn’t enough to make sticking around for dessert worth while.

That said, a visit would be much more worth while during the off season when the bees aren’t looking for dinner themselves.

2 teeth