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Help with non-tourist restaurants in Istanbul

Help with non-tourist restaurants in Istanbul

Old Feb 28th, 2010, 04:39 PM
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Help with non-tourist restaurants in Istanbul

I'm going to Turkey with a small group of friends in April, and need your help. Somehow I was picked to recommend a few (great) restaurants in Istanbul , in the three categories of inexpensive, moderate, and the occasional "splurge". Can you please help me so I'll sound like I know what I'm talking about? Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 28th, 2010, 06:12 PM
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There's a thread from several weeks ago about restaurants in Istanbul which you might find helpful. otherchelebi is our resident expert; read what he and others recommend. Here's the thread - you'll love Istanbul!


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Old Feb 28th, 2010, 07:13 PM
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Look for Anthony Bourdain's January NO RESERVATIONS segment on Istanbul. There were many restaurants mentioned in all categories.
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Old Feb 28th, 2010, 07:46 PM
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Old Feb 28th, 2010, 07:50 PM
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Rami, across from the Blue Mosque

The garden of the Yesil Ev hotel.

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Old Feb 28th, 2010, 10:00 PM
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breakfast- van kahvalti evi in Cihangir. very good traditional breakfast. google it for more info. i saw something in the NYT recently about the place.
Karakoy Ozsut in Karakoy- this place serves a great breakfast of kaymak (clotted cream) and honey which is eaten with fresh bread. there is another great kaymak spot in besiktas. be sure to get a cup of steamed water buffalo milk! heres the address:
Address: Koyici Meydanı Sokak, Besiktas
Telephone: 212-258-2616
for a relatively inexpensive fish lunch I recommend Adem Baba in Arnavutkoy. great fresh fish, consistently high quality. sadly, no alcohol.
for a taste of Balck Sea cuisine (corn bread, black cabbage, sardines, etc) try Pera Sisore in Tunel near the Marmara Pera Hotel. no alcohol.
Ciya is of course the foodie shrine of Istanbul. if you get a chance, go over to Kadikoy on the Asian side to try some very authentic (and hard to find) recipes from Anatolia. The chef there, Musa Dagdeviren, is really a master. no alcohol.
AbraCaDabra in Arnavutkoy is an interesting, hip place for Turkish fusion cuisine. The chef Dilara Erbay is on the front lines of Istanbul cuisine for sure. her meze are the most interesting part of the menu. you could easily make a full meal of these small servings. the setting is also great- a waterfront wooden mansion renovated in a funky modern way. decent wine list.
Antiochia- this small simple place in Asmali Mescit (Beyoglu district) specializes in the food of Hatay near Syria. The friendly young guys who run it have created a well-designed unpretentious environment in which to eat this wonderful food. The meze plate is a great sampler of this unique cuisine. they do serve alcohol.
Mikla offers a high-end dinner from its perch atop the Marmara Pera in Beyoglu. The chef, Mehmet Gurs is the real thing. I do wish he would take more chances though. The food, while excellent, feels a bit too safe for a chef this good. they also have one of the better wine lists that i've found in town.
Muzede Changa- if the terrace is open when you come (you should check ahead of time), this is one of the best dining experiences in Istanbul. great views of the Bosporus and very good Med. Turkish food. good wine list.
late night snack-
super cheap and excellent durum 24 hours a day. an Anthony Bourdain favorite- Durumzade in the back of the fish market.

That's a good starting point. let me know if you'd like more or area-specific recommendations. i can also dig up addresses.
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Old Feb 28th, 2010, 10:01 PM
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Giritli for a splurge. Fixed price menu, no choices, wine and arak included. Reservations are necessary. The meal starts with 18 mezes.
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Old Mar 1st, 2010, 12:53 AM
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Non-touristy restaurants for a splurge:

- Ulus 29 at ulus (turkish/french)
- Borsa, between taksim and Nisantasi, at the new convention complex. (turkish)
- Park samdan, Nisantasi, (upscale meeting place for many years)
- Vogue, Akaretler, besiktas (eclectic)
- Topaz, Dolmabahce (eclectic)
- W hotel, besiktas (nouvelle fusion)
- Al Jamal, Besiktas (exotic lebanese with belly dancers)
- The original Changa, Siraselviler, Taksim (best fusion)
- Beyti, Florya (best lamb in turkey)
- aleko, Yenikoy (fish)
- Doga Balik, Cihangir (fish)
- Feriye, Ortakoy (for the view)
- Only in the summer: Any restaurant in Reina or Sortie (for the view, and to be seen, and the feeling of being important)

- Mia Mensa, Kurucesme (eclectic, view, more reasonable than those previously listed)
- Sardunya, Findikli (eclectic, fish)
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Old Mar 8th, 2010, 12:56 PM
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Dear AnnMarilyn,
It may be inevitable looking for a non-tourist restaurant while you're in the very heart of touristic sites. If this case occurs I would suggest you only one in the area of Grand Bazaar. This restaurant "Onur Et Lokantasi" is not in the Grand Bazaar but very close to it, nearby another ancient building called Vezirhan, established for the shopkeepers of the neighborhood. In Turkish these kinds of restaurants are called as "Esnaf Lokantasi". Actually there are plenty of those restaurants in this historical area since thousands of local people work during the day. So those restaurants operate only until afternoon. They don't serve dinner but breakfast and lunch. If you don't want to risk your health and money "Onur" is going to be the best choice. For the address; after finding Ali Baba Turbe Sokak (name of the street) you can ask to somebody if you still don't see the sign of it : Onur Et Lokantasi. You can ask for Nedim for English assistance.
Enjoy your holiday.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 09:50 AM
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Sofyali 9 is a great, non-touristy place in the Beyoglu neighborhood with excellent mezes. It's by a great alley full of cute, local cafes and bars. More info and pics in our Istanbul post at http://patrinadoestheglobe.blogspot.com/
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