Around Yakutiye Medrese there is a teagarden. It is a very peaceful place to sit down in for a rest. There are not only men here but many women and families, and even woman sitting alone.
You can have tea, nescafe, dondurma etc.
Children who wants to sell things ar polish your shoes sometimes cruise past the tables.
We thought we had seen everything in Erzurum until we found this place. Eight old houses have been merged together to make the most amazing restaurant. Loads of rooms full of things hanging on the walls. Cosy corners and attics with hundreds of cushions and great food and a simple menu. One of us was vegetarian and was immediately accommodated (good English). I'm sure a couple of the occupants had been in that fireplace since the 60s. And the first nargile in Erzurum! How we dragged ourself out I have no idea.
Favorite Dish: Tunder kebab? Melt in the mouth beef
Fantastic cake shop. Try the chicken semolina rice pudding thing (although I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't kept thinking CHICKEN?!?)
Nothing else is weird, by the way, just great, great value cakes
Restaurants in Erzurum are mostly segregated affairs...in other words, there is a room for men, and a family room out of sight in the back for groups including women. Sometimes it is not always clear which sections are which, so always wait to be seated rather than parking yourself in the wrong section. The food however is the same food as you'll find in the rest of Turkey, with one or two concessions to the 'East' (some of the kebabs tend to be spicier, and you might be lucky and find hummus on the menu)). The main street, Cumhuriyet Caddesi, has several eating places, all fairly similar to one another, and all relatively cheap. For more expensive dining, there is supposedly a great restaurant inside a restored Han, but I never found it.