If you ever come to Izmir, there is one place that I insist you visit... and that is the Bostanli Pazari, the bazaar near Karsiyaka.
It's where I always take my guests on a Wednesday morning. We wake up at 7.30 to catch a ferry boat across the bay, and on the way we munch on simits (a turkish bagel sprinkled with sesame seeds) with soft triangle cheese that's 100 times better than anything you get in stores. Salty, creamy, tangy... mmm....
When you arrive in the Bazaar, it's split between foodstuffs and clothes. I generally head straight to the clothes; they sell excess items from factories here, and you can find stuff from H&M, Zara, La Senza, etc. They have to cut the tags out but my mom's such a shopper that she can figure out what brand it is from the sizing tags. (Talk about genius.)
Prices are incredibly discount- socks are about 1 YTL, and I once found an H&M sundress for 8YTL, about £3!
And then- THE FOOD.
As well as people selling fruit, veg, cheese and the like, there are vendors selling bread, like simit and pide, and other snacks like gozleme (ricotta and herb filled flatbreads)
A woman making gozleme
After loading up our shopping bags and our stomachs, we headed back to Alsancak to Kemeralti, the 'covered bazaar' where all sorts of wholesalers have taken up residence. In the Kizlaragasi part, you can find tons of reasonable jewellery, mainly silver. There are also great little tea shops and 'sulu yemek' places which cook a set amount of food in the morning, and have no menu as such. You just pick and choose, but there's always something delicious on offer!
For lunch we picked up kofte durum which is a meatball wrap. I was cheeky enough to ask the chef to put french fries in mine-- unconventional, but delicious!