Istanbul Restaurants

Jun 12th, 2007, 04:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Just want a quick snack as you walk along? You will see boys selling simit (pronounced smit), a kind of super-pretzel covered with sesame seeds. Yummmm.
USNR is offline  
Jun 16th, 2007, 02:46 PM
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We will be going to Turkey in Nov. and I'm just beginning to collect info. A foodie friend got this place recommended to her. (She hasn't been yet either.) Says it has very traditional Turkish cooking. Does anyone know anything about it? The website has great pix but it's all in Turkish.
Ciya Sofrasi
Caferağa Mh.
Gűneşlibahçe Sk. No: 43
Kadikőy İstanbul
+90 216 330 31 90
+90 216 450 23 76

janeth is offline  
Jun 16th, 2007, 03:12 PM
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I am holding my tongue because I just returned from Istanbul and I thought the food was horrible.

The 2 restaurants I liked the best were...

Dubb Indian Restaurant - Incili Çavus Sok. 10 - I ate dinner here 3 times. I loved the mixed grill plate (called KEBAB APKI KHATIR) It was 24 lira. This is right near the Hagia Sofia.

Havuzlu - in the Grand Bazaar. This was an excellent Turkish restaurant and a lovely space in the Grand Bazaar. I wouldn't miss this restaurant and its a good place for a break from all the hawkers at the bazaar! There is one specialty dish that you must have. It is called Iskender Kebap. It is a northwestern Turkish dish prepared from thinly cut grilled lamb basted with tomato sauce over pieces of pide bread and generously slathered with melted butter and yogurt. It was delicious and memorable.

richardab is offline  
Jun 16th, 2007, 03:27 PM
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Richard I am sorry you did not enjoy the food...would you mind telling us which places were most disappointing? Did you try Hamdi?

Monica I remembered an inexpensive tip for lunch. Throughout the city you will find small shops specializing in Borek..phyllo-type pastry stuffed with meat and cheese. This is one of my favorite Turkish dishes and I hope you will not leave the city without sampling it at least once. You will find these borek shops where you can buy a large piece for only a few euro; many of the shops have small seating areas. Nothing fancy... Otherwise you can do take-out.
Do not miss this delightful Turkish specialty!

ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 16th, 2007, 04:43 PM
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...sorry, I should have written, "stuffed with meat OR cheese..."

I am partial to the cheese-filled borek. There is a shop a few steps from one of the entrances to the Grand Bazaar but even if you do not find that one, you can ask a local where the nearest borek shop is..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 16th, 2007, 06:08 PM
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Yes, Richard, please share which restaurants you were most disappointed with. I'll be in Turkey in Sept/Oct and I like to get comments (both good and bad) from people who have been there.

Ekscrunchy...if the Borek in Turkey is anything like the Borek I had in Croatia last year I will be heaven while in Turkey!
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Jun 16th, 2007, 10:07 PM
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EK...both Roz and I favored the cheese boreks at the same place you mentioned.....that and the fish pitas were great!

The fish restos on Kamkapu offer a grat variety of fish for dinners and lunch.

stu t.
tower is offline  
Jun 18th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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- Hamdı! Turkısh pızza was delıcıous and all the kebabs and grılled vegetables.
- House Cafe! In Ortakoy on the waterfront - always busy - amazıng mınt lemonade and kıller sandwıches/ burgers/salads.
- 360 has a great bar scene and vıew and pretty good food (ı got salmon but the meat on the menu looked much better).

- Mıkla - very cool and a well-known Medıterranean-style chef.
- NuTeras (top floor of NuPera buıldıng) ıs brand new. Drınks are expensıve but food looked pretty good wıth pızza etc.
- Sunset Grıll was also hıghly recommended for more Medıterranean food.
emerald013 is offline  
Jun 18th, 2007, 11:32 AM
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Other than the food, how did you like Istanbul?
Jun 20th, 2007, 05:24 PM
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Beware of the fish sandwiches: they are delicious, but my roommate gets sick every time she eats one. It doesn't stop her from buying them, but the effects are quite unpleasant.
amandakay00 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 08:46 AM
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Of course, Richard, your food in Istanbul was terrible. You ate in CHEAPO restaurants. 24 lira for a meal? That is the price a glass of wine in a nice restaurant.

You get what you pay for. I bet you didn't even venture into Divan in Ortakoy.
marginal_margiela is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 07:13 PM
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I don't think price is indicative of quality. As I wrote previously I had an expensive meal at the Rami and I thought it was crap! The Yildiz restaurant was a fraction of the cost. Simple fare but far more memorable.
worldinabag is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 02:39 PM
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I have just returned from Istanbul; there are so many restaurants, you just have to walk down the street, and you will run into lots of them.
One restaurant which had beautiful views, exquisite dining (and not over the top) was at the top of the Seven Hills Hotel...and there were lots in that area; also in the Sultanamet area, lots and lots of restaurant...enjoy! we sure did.
SportyMom23 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 07:06 AM
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Thanks ekscrunchy for the suggestion!


Hi Stu!
monicapileggi is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 07:22 PM
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LCI, I didn't try any of the borek in Croatia last year -- actually, didn't even notice it -- but I remember your helpful posts that helped make my trip fabulous. Please do get to Turkey before I go so I can benefit from your trip report.

Ekscrunchy, I see that you've been to Turkey. If your trip report is anything like the one to China, I've gotta go find it.

MikeBuckley is offline  
Jul 16th, 2007, 07:54 PM
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Hi MikeBuckley!

I remember your Croatia trip report and if I recollect you had some amazing pictures of Croatia!

It seems there are quite a few of us who were in Croatia last year who are planning to visit Turkey this year ...great minds think alike!

I will be in Turkey the last week of September and the first week and a half of October 2007. I will definitely post a trip report when I return...its only fair to repay all the great advice and recommendations I get here!

When will you be in Turkey?
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Jul 17th, 2007, 04:50 AM
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LCI, I'm seriously thinking of going to Turkey in May, conveniently after I've had time to read your trip report. However, if things flare up over there, our Plan B is to go to China in the fall.
MikeBuckley is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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Mike -
I visited Istanbul in May and China (Beijing, Hong Kong) in the Fall and both were great trips. May in Istanbul was nice because the summer heat had not yet begun. Fall in China was similar a similar experience, though it did get pretty chilly in Beijing in late November.
Seamus is offline  
Sep 12th, 2007, 05:16 AM
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I am just back from Turkey. I am in the process of updating my travel review at - but quickly the two best restaurants I tried were A'Jia Restaurant and Seasons (at Four Season). I also tried Changa but was extremly disappointed.
bombasticlife is offline  

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