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Çalış Balıkçısı – Beachside Seafood Dining

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The arrival of Çalış Balıkçısı seafood restaurant was very welcome!

It meant we could enjoy that leisurely seafood meze dining experience in a local beachside setting.

From Fethiye fish market to Girida Port – and various other specialist restaurants where we could enjoy the fruits of the sea – the destination was always Fethiye centre. Or along the harbour.

No complaints for us whatsoever with regards those locations.

Beachside Location

But to now have the additional choice of heading off along Çalış Beach to a restaurant dedicated to meze and seafood; it’s a happy bonus.

Çalış Balıkçısı Seafood Restaurant
A sunny winter afternoon at Çalış Balıkçısı

Since the opening of Çalış Balıkçısı, a couple of other specialist seafood places have also opened up along the beach.

And it’s great that Çalış now has these options added to the mix of eateries.

A simple snack at Lukka, a wander to Calisto for pizza. And now a seafood treat at Çalış Balıkçısı.

Busy Summer Nights At Çalış Balıkçışı

Over the summer months, Çalış Balıkçısı has been a huge hit in the evenings, especially with locals and Turkish tourists.

So don’t be deceived by the quiet photos in this article. We were there on a sunny weekday afternoon in winter.

If you’re here in summer and are dreaming of a beachside seafood dining experience by the Mediterranean Sea, book yourself a table.

Otherwise, you could be in for a wait!

Çalış Balıkçısı Seafood Restaurant

Balıkçı (bal-urk-cher) means ‘fisherman’. So you know, when you pass Çalış Balıkçısı, you’re looking at a seafood restaurant.

Looking The Part

And you know you’re looking at a seafood restaurant because it also looks the part.

Neat rows of simple white tables and chairs. Splashes of blue in the form of tablecloths and seat cushions.

Çalış Balıkçısı Seafood Restaurant
Look out to sea whilst dining

It’s all that’s needed.

But that décor is, of course, given a cherry on the top by way of the famous Çalış sea views. And the sound of crashing waves.

A Fish Restaurant For All Seasons

On the winter’s day we were there, the dining tables had been moved inside because of bad weather through the night.

But never fear; that vast outdoor space in front of the restaurant is where you’ll dine the vast majority of the time.

And if the weather isn’t so great and the temperatures have plummeted, Çalış Balıkçısı has not one, but two wood burners inside.

Those will keep you cosy and warm in winter.

Time To Eat At Çalış Balıkçışı

In Turkey, it’s rare for seafood restaurants to have a menu.

Gazing into the meze and seafood display fridges then taking your pick of what’s on offer on the day is what it’s all about.

If you’re someone who prefers to browse a menu, then you’ll be pleased to know Çalış Balıkçısı has one.

We were here for meze dishes, however, so declined the offer of the menu.

A Huge Choice

We went straight to the fridges to make our choice.

And we were instantly wowed; even a tad overwhelmed with the choices.

Çalış Balıkçısı Meze Display
A huge selection of meze in the display fridges

This is one of the most varied meze selections we’ve seen in a Fethiye restaurant.

Oval glass bowls stacked on top of each other, neatly arranged so that the contents of each could be seen.

Hummus, sigara, Antemp ezmesi, yoghurt dishes, seafood börek and even some seasonal saffron milk caps.

We love our meze dishes and recognised many of them. But the friendly waiter was on hand to explain anything that was unfamiliar.

Çalış Balıkçısı Seafood Restaurant Fish Display
The fish display at Çalış Balıkçısı

In the adjacent fridge was the day’s choice of fish arranged over ice.

Seabass, sea bream, prawns, calamari, octopus, seasonal barbun and hamsi…amongst others.

We concentrated on the meze fridge and decided on one old favourite. As well as a random selection of seafood and vegetable dishes.

And then we sat and waited for our little mini feast to arrive. Not a long wait.

Just a few minutes later, we were tearing toasted bread. Dipping, sampling and spooning small portions onto our plates.

The Old Favourite

Çalış Balıkçısı Fried Calamari
Perfectly cooked fried calamari

Our ‘old favourite’ choice was fried calamari.

Dream food when perfectly cooked; nightmare dish when under or overcooked.

As we’re writing about this, you’ll know the fried calamari was very much to our liking. A crisp light batter and tender, opaque calamari.

No rubbery textures here!

The tentacles are always the the big treat for us. So they were shared out carefully between us, lest either of us be deprived of our fair share!

The Food Of Fond Memories

Green Herbs With Mushroom & Yoghurt
Sizzling wild green herbs and mushroom

Sizzling wild green herbs is a meze dish we have ordered on a couple of occasions at seafood restaurants along the beach in Datça.

Whatever is in season is braised and then served sizzling in a clay pot. Then topped with generous dollops of silky süzme yoghurt.

When we saw it in the fridge at Çalış Balıkçısı, we just had to order it.

The version at this restaurant also had fried mushrooms and a smidge of chopped red pepper.

Highly recommended, even if greens are not your thing!

And Further Indulgence

And what else was on the table, between us?

Meze Dishes
A varied selection of dishes

We always order rock samphire. Flavours of the sea with a really robust texture.

Usually, when we’ve had it in the past, it’s been marinated in olive oil and lemon juice.

This rock samphire meze was a little different because nar ekşisi (pomegranate molasses) was used in place of lemon juice.

It works!

Our other vegetable choice was so simple. But definitely a meze I’m going to make in the future.

Big chunks of celeriac and carrot in olive oil and lemon.

Really simple. But both of us agreed how tasty it was.

And then for more seafood meze. A light sea bass salad, again in an olive oil and lemon sauce.

And then a mixed seafood salad with turşu, pickled vegetables, to give a slightly pickled flavour.

Prawns, octopus and we’d guess at cuttlefish – this seems to be becoming more common in seafood restaurants around Fethiye.

All in all, just a really lovely way to while away a sunny winter afternoon along Çalış Beach…

Çalış Balıkçısı – Useful Information

  • Çalış Balıkçısı is along Çalış Beach, in front of Bahar Hotel (see map below).
  • The restaurant is open year round with wood burners and indoor seating for the colder months.
  • There is a huge choice of meze and fish dishes in the fridges. There’s also a menu and wine list.
  • For other ideas of where to eat and drink around the area, take a look at our page dedicated to bars and restaurants in Fethiye.

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Gordon Barkaway

Saturday 18th of December 2021

Couldn’t agree more. I’m here on a rather wet night, warm as toast sitting by the wood burner having had a wonderful selection of meze and appetisers including a delicious fish soup. Highly recommended.

Turkey's For Life

Sunday 19th of December 2021

Hi Gordon, thanks a lot for your comment. We love that Çalış Balıkçısı also does fish soup as not many places do it, here in Fethiye. Glad you like the restaurant, too. :)

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