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Ortaköy Review

The charming neighborhood of Ortaköy is popular with both locals and visitors and is a lovely spot to spend a summer afternoon or evening. Restaurants and cafés are clustered around the small square on the waterfront, which is dominated by the iconic silhouette of Ortaköy Camii (closed for restoration as of this writing), an elegant 19th-century Ottoman mosque designed by the same Armenian architects who built the Dolmabahçe Palace. The mosque is perched directly overlooking the water, with the imposing sight of the Bosphorus Bridge (built 1973) looming behind it. On Sundays, the narrow, cobblestoned surrounding streets are lined with stalls selling jewelry, scarves, trinkets, and small antique items. Ortaköy is also considered the best place in Istanbul to try the street food called kumpir (basically giant baked potatoes for which you can choose all sorts of fillings): look for the row of about a dozen food stands—selling kumpir, waffles, and other snacks—all competing for customers' attention.

Updated: 11-19-2013

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