Any restaurant in Kumkapi is great: a network of pedestrian streets and nothing but tens of restaurants. On hot nights, it’s almost impossible to walk around, with pavements full of tables of happy diners and small groups of musicians travelling from one restaurant to another.
There is no global pop there, but lots of Turkish songs sang along by all encouraged by copious amounts of raki flowing around.
Restaurants offer great selections of mezzes and main courses. Last time I was there, a friend wanted to eat a dish the restaurant we were in didn’t serve, so the waiter ordered it from the restaurant opposite. How‘s that for hospitality?
Down from Sultan Ahmet towards the Sea of Marmara coast
Istanbul is a city of culture, with loads of venues, ranging from the Hagia Irene in the grounds of Aya Sofia, to Rumeli Hisar castle on the banks of the Bosphorus, to the Istanbul modern, the new art venue. Plus the open- air theatre and the jazz ferry boats. The bienniale is a series of cultural events spread over 6 weeks; starts soon. There are events all over Istanbul; if you miss it you have to wait 2 years.
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