It is an international kitchen but with a Turkish touch. Open kitchen with a large menu and small prices for big plates!
Nice decoration and it was comfortable and cosy.
Child friendly atmosphere and very nice service.
The owners are from the Netherlands and the coffee they serve is fair trade with about 20 different types.
Büyükdere Cad. Eczacı Ali Kaya Sok. No. 4 Levent (Pol Center Kapı No. 35), Istanbul 34394, Turkey
+90 212 324 5588
Built in the 14th century, the 67m high, nine storey Galata Tower dominates the Istanbul skyline and has recently been completely refurbished to include a bar/restaurant and viewing balcony on its top storey. It was the tallest structure in Istanbul at the time, and now you can see the city that straddles two continents in a 360-degree panorama from the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace to the Bosphorus and Sea of Marmara. Enjoy a cappuccino and quick snack throughout the day, or book a table for a lively evening of fine international cuisine, great beers and wines and exotic but tasteful belly-dancing.
For the freshest fish in Istanbul, head for the harbour where a large traditional boat is moored on the quayside. As the fishermen land their catch, another group fillets the fish and lays them on a vast barbecue on the boat. It is quite a sight to behold as the golden mackerel sizzle gently before being placed on warm Turkish bread and served by men in colourful braided waistcoats. The queue is long but fast moving as hundreds of Turks and tourists alike enjoy a delicious lunch at the little tables set alongside the boat on the harbour while listening to the calls to prayer from the several mosques gracing the skyline. A memorable experience and lunch for two for less than a fiver!
Beside the Galata Bridge which crosses the Golden Horn at Eminonu, facing the Yeni Camii mosque.
Google map: bit.ly/GGoxRv
Expertly run by Evelin, a Dutch ex-pat, Cooking Alaturk runs a daily cooking class for tourists with the expert help of a local chef.
Don't fancy that? They also offer a four-course tasting menu of contemporary Turkish food which changes daily. Book ahead, since they have very limited tables.
I went on my 30th birthday and they bought me out a small cake and candle, while the staff sang 'Happy Birthday'.
When walking from the Galata Bridge to the Galata Tower, you might be fooled to thinking this little back street patisserie is just that, but when you take the almost hidden lift to the third floor of the building you can enjoy beautiful views of Sultanahmet across the Bosphorus. A large open air terrace sits upon the rooftop with excellent service, good prices and tasty food. The menu has a selection of Turkish, Italian and international dishes as well as a large selection of cakes from their ground floor patisserie. Excellent homemade soups for cold evenings and big salads for summer nights. A great place to watch the sun go down and the lights of nighttime Istanbul illuminate the Mosques and palaces across the river.
A wonderful blog giving you an insiders guide to everything you need to know. From simple workers cafes to specialist restaurants. We did the guided walking tour even though we had been to Istanbul many times and learnt more than any guide book can offer. It's a wonderful cultural event and you get a real feel for Istanbul , it's people and especially it's food! The guided walk may seem pricy, but proved to be worth every penny.
Most people will argue that, while in Turkey, you should eat kebabs in all their different incarnations (İskender, döner, şiş, etc) or the pide, or baklava or any of the other amazing foods that Turkey has to offer.
However, if you truly want to get to the heart of Turkey’s crowning glory, Istanbul, there is no better nor faster way than the midye.
Midye, the little stuffed mussels with rice and lemon juice, are ubiquitous in most Turkish cities. But to walk across the Galata Bridge, eating midye, watching the sunrise, is another experience in itself. The rice in the overstuffed morsel, absorbs the saltiness of the sea and the sourness of the lemon, producing a combination much like Istanbul itself, that in the overcrowding of 11 million people and four empires, you can find peace in the calm waters of the Bosphorus, highlighted by the sharpness of the sun.
On this bridge, at this time, with this food, you can feel the overwhelming sense of beauty of the Queen of Cities.
Sold everywhere near the Bosphorus and the Galata Bridge.
Google map: bit.ly/GACD81
Quite simply the most beautiful breakfast in Istanbul with the most stunning view.
House Cafe is a modern stylish eating establishment sitting on the banks of the Bosphorous serving a wonderful East meets West selection of fare for a reasonable price (much better than the surrounding hotels). I recommend their scrabbled egg on rye bread followed with a gorgeously presented fresh virgin apple mojito.
You can sit in the shade on decking looking out at the water or inside if its just too hot. At night the place becomes a nightclub/bar which is much friendlier than their neighbours.
Salhane Sokak No: 1 Ortaköy İstanbul
+90(0)212 227 2699-39
I cannot recommend one place only to enjoy the best cuisine that Turkey has to offer, solely because there are thousands of wonderful places to eat all over the country. I can however recommend that you head to any restaurant/cafe/street stall with the suffix "ci". Kofteci, cigerci, pideci ...
These are the places that specialise in one type of food, meatballs, liver, turkish pizza etc. They know their food, source locally and will serve you their dishes with great pride.
Every city, town and village in Turkey
For all the ageing hippies who headed east in search of enlightenment The Pudding Shop in Istanbul is still there, still acting as a meeting point and still serving good food at a reasonable price. Opened in 1957 the restaurant became a place to stop off for travellers in the 1960s who were heading out towards the cultural nirvana of India and Nepal. In a pre-electronic age its bulletin board acted as a communication hub passing on messages offering and asking for lifts. Today it is a self-service café offering decent Turkish food in Sultanahmet close by the Blue Mosque, Saint Sophia and the Grand Bazaar. Don’t go for a gourmet experience. Go for a nostalgic experience. Remember the days when travelling meant hitch hiking, VW vans and Citroen 2CVs not easyJet and Ryanair.
The name of the food is La Majune - i dont think its spelt like that but the food is amazing - there are so many of these take away and eat in places where its advertised clearly in front that they make and sell La Majunes. These are large circular flatbreads which are smothered in a lamb sauce ( not spicy at all ) and lettuce tomatoes and cucumber are added along with their fantastic houmous - you then roll it up and enjoy. It's a lovely filler as a light lunch to get you going on your shopping spree as the eastern side of Istanbul is bargain central!
If you are staying on the western side of Istanbul and fancy something more authentic - then catch a boat marked USKADAR at the port of the sea of Marmara and it will take you straight over.
Google map: bit.ly/GT1tAS
Istanbul's skyline is magical at night and one of the best places to enjoy it is from the restaurant on the rooftop of the Adamar Hotel in Sultanahmet. Just a stone's throw from the Blue Mosque and Aya Sofia, the rooftop terrace has a 360 degree panoramic view, great food and a romantic atmosphere. The Bosphorus Bridge twinkles with ever-changing colours, the commercial district sparkles with modern skyscrapers, and the mosques and minarets glow with golden light. High above the rooftops, the sounds of the muezzins' evening calls to prayer echo and collide in the night sky around you.
And If the weather is less than kind, there is an indoor restaurant on the floor below with equally good views.
As a long weekend break I would highly recommend Istanbul. If the stunning mosques and Ottoman architecture don't fascinate you, there is always the grand bazaar or spice markets. Ferries run up and down the Bospherous, constantly connecting the Dead Sea with the Sea of Marmara. The food is exceptional. Whether you'd like to try a real kebab at the top of Istekal where the stall sells over 10,000 per day, or sit in an outdoor restaurant overlooking the sea drinking very quaffable Turkish wine and eating freshly caught fish, the food will never disappoint. Turks love to dance, and the clubs rival anything in London. In the summer the parties move onto the roof terraces. Locals tend to be warm, friendly and helpful to the point of bending over backwards. I came out here for a weekend earlier last year and now I live here. You can't get a better recommendation than that!
On Peykhane, one of the streets running off Divan Yolu and about ten minutes' walk from Cemberlitas. Unassuming, bright diner, with excellent, cheap meals (pide, kebab, salad, soup), no hassle or hustling, friendly staff, and the best fresh bread we tasted in the whole city. 12-20 liras for two. Convenient for Sultanahmet hotels but out of the tourist beargarden.
Karadeniz kebab, Peykhane
I think it is the best restaurant in Istanbul. Wonderful atmosphere with friendly service. I was very impressed with the menu and excellent quality of the food. Some dishes are exclusive to the restaurant. The Destiny Special is a delightful combination of tender beefsteak with a cream and mushroom sauce, served with a cinnamon cabbage in red wine sauce. Also recommended is the Destiny cake made with spinach - it melted in the mouth and tasted just of vanilla and cream. Don't be put off by the green colour! Definitely worth a visit. Reasonably priced too.
Bereket Mah. Haci Ali Sok. No. 11/A, Galata-Byoglu, Istanbul. Can be found by walking down from Galata Tower or by climbing up the steps by the Oyak Bank near the tramway in Karakoy.
This is a new restaurant which is known as the best seafood restaurant in Sultanahmet. The food is outstanding, you should ask the staff for the special of the day.
The restaurant is on the shore of Marmara Sea with a view of Turkish islands. The "Boukoleon" name comes from the 5th century. There used to be a "Boukoleon Palace" standing right where you sit.
Now you can easily see the archeeological heritage of the old time palace. If you are interested in history, looking for a nice Istanbul view and also outstanding food, I would highly recommend you go to this restaurant.
Hagia Sofia, Sultanahmet, Istanbul
In the basement of the Kariye Hotel, spilling into the secluded garden. It is not cheap, but it is a perfect, civilised place for lunch before/after visiting the delights of the Kariye Mosque (St Saviour Church) museum and a modest lunch of mezze will not cost you a fortune.
Kariye Camii Sok 18
tel 0212/534 8414
Sutis was recommended by the owner of the Cagaloglu Hamam (Turkish bath) in the Sultanahmet area. We were expecting a tourist trap, but loads of locals eat there - always a good sign.
Prices are insanely low for the area and you can definitely find something for under six lira. We tried the tavuk durum for 3.75ytl - chicken, fresh vegetables and fries in a thin flatbread. It was the best thing we'd eaten in Istanbul!
Paket Servisi Saatlerimi - just up the road from Cagaloglu Hamam, towards the Grand Bazaar.
Tel: 512 01 61 - 522 02 54
This place specializes only on one very classical and Traditional dessert called "Kunefe".
I can confidently say that this is the best place to try this beautiful speciality if you are interested in traditional Turkish cuisine.
It is in Beyoglu. Address: 9/A Suslu Saksi Sk. Tel: 0212 251 82 74. From Taksim, you can walk down on Istiklal Street, it is on one of the small streets on the left had side.
If you would like to visit the Anatolian side of Istanbul, you should definitely go and eat in this small, independent, local restaurant in Baglarbasi. Its name is "Baglarbasi Iskender" just on the main road in Baglarbasi.
Portions are huge and very reasonably priced, the owner is back in the kitchen, preparing the most delicious doner kebab and other wonders.
Take a "Dolmus" from Kadikoy Rihtim to "Baglarbasi" and get off in Baglarbasi
Tel: +90 216 310 62 80
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