Bagel Simit is the national treasure of Turkey. :)
Interesting fact is that the history of Turkish simit had began in Russia. After the revolution in Russian Empire (In the early 20th century) the immigrants from Russia had opened same of bagel shop like they had in Odessa. And first simits was exactly traditional Russian bagels: sweet dough sprinkled with poppy seeds. But later on poppy was switched with sesame seeds, and it wasn't sprinkled it was dipped in seeds for more aroma and pleasant crunch.
In a short time, simites became extremely popular. The secret of simit is not only in its taste, but also that it is quite cheap and easy edible snack. They are good with tea and coffee, equally loved by children and adults, workers and businessmen. One shop was not enough anymore, moreover, the "wave" of simit has spread all over Istanbul by bagel sellers - Simitci. Nowadays you still can buy your simit from simitci. They walk around with tray full of bagels on their heads.
Also fresh bagels are sold from special, glass-covered carts.
It is safe to buy bagels from street vendors. It is always fresh because they are sold out quickly. And all the food in Turkey being carefully monitored and controlled.
My experience of meeting real simitci was fun. :)))
I've been impressed when in Ankara my Turkish mom had decided to buy simits for breakfast. She went to the balcony and start to shout: "Simitci! Simitci! Where are you?" Magically he's appeared in a minute with his tray ! :)
Well known fact that the best simit is in Istanbul and Ankara. It dipped into grape molasses then into sesame seeds and backed until golden brown. It has super crunchy crust and it is super soft and airy inside.
I found a video about how simit is actually done. But those ones are Cappadocia stile - more thick.
It is not surprising that with such popularity people start to experiment with the preparation and methods of serving simits. Every region and every district of Turkey has simit-café. Here, simits are served like American bagels: with various fillings like cheese, sausage, cottage cheese and olives etc. And always in the accompanishment of fragrant Turkish tea.
The closest simit-cafe in Belek is "Simit sarayi" in The Land of Legends. They have enchanting advertisement video. Don't watch with a hungry stomach!
And a really good plain simit you can buy in Migros, so far they are closest in taste to original simits of Istanbul from all what I had around Antalya.
Every Turkish will tell you: there will be no good day without a good simit.
Try it and tell me if you are agree?! :)