Saturday, July 16, 2011


(includes Buyukada)

CIP Lounge – Yesilkoy Mahallesi (Bakirkoy); 011-90-0212-463-3000;; set in hypmodern, “sphere maze,” featuring Michelin-worthy chefs, spa-grade showers, stocked library, soulful piano parlor, and clubby billiards parlor.

Ada Café & Bistro – 158-A Istiklal Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-251-5544;; modern café doubles as book and music shop; order Turkish coffee on terrace.
Ali Usta – 264A Moda Caddesi (Kadikoy); 011-90-0216-414-1880;; Ali Usta opened this 1st and last branch in 1969; no additives; favorite flavors are santa maria (most popular), mint, pistachio, Turkish coffee, and rum; if you don’t like ice-cream, then try hot beverage called sahlep (dried wild orchid root, pulverized into powder-mixed with heated milk and turned into drink) or cold called boza (slightly fermented millet).
Gram Café – Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, 107D Meşrutiyet Caddesi (Asmalı Mescit-Beyoğlu-Şahkulu); 011-90-0212-243-1048;; more than pastry shop (gigantic meringues, tiny sandwiches & best-looking brownies in Istanbul).
Gulluoglu Baklavacisi – 29 Rihtim Caddesi (Kagithane, Karaköy port area); 011-90-0212-292-4455;; bakery/patisserie.
Karabatak – 7 Kara Ali Kaptan Sokak (Karaköy); 011-90-0212-243-6993;; Austria-based Julius Meinl coffee shop branch; in converted warehouse; Meinl posters and mismatching furniture; reasonable prices for light breakfast and lunch items.
Karaköy Gulluoglu – 171 Mumhane Caddesi (Galata, factory store); 011-90-0212-243-1376;; Turkey’s best baklava; also breakfast.
Karaköy Gulluoglu – Katli Otopark Alti (Galata, main store); 011-90-0212-293-0910;; Turkey’s best baklava; also breakfast.
Mado Dondurma – 186 Istiklal Caddesi (Huseyinaga); 011-90-0212-244-1781; ice cream; considered among Istanbul’s best.
Mandabatmaz – 1/A Olivia Gecidi (Beyoğlu, near St. Antoine Cathedral on Istiklal, look for Barcelona Patisserie on corner); no telephone; believe it or not, finding good cup Turkish coffee can be difficult but not so here; tiny café off Istiklal Caddesi that makes among Istanbul’s finest cups Turkish coffee, thick to point of almost being chocolaty, each demitasse holding only few sips worth.
Mangerie – 69 Cevdet Pasa Caddesi (Bebek); 011-90-0212-263-5199;; Turkish tea; breakfasts.

Anjelique – 5 Salhane Sokak (Ortakoy); 011-90-0212-327-2844;; nightclub right on Bosporus.
Backyard – Bebek MMahallesi, 1 Bebeköy Sokak (Bebek); 011-90-0212-287-1500;; somewhat country club atmosphere; large backyard with cushions & seats for lounging in sun; packed on weekends; small patio on side, where garden’s fresh lavender gives off lovely scent.
Bebek Bar – 34 Bebek Mahallesi Cevdet Paşa Caddesi (Arnavutkoy, at Bebek Hotel); 011-90-0212-358-2000;; terrace bar serves some of best cocktails around and has tremendous Bosporus view; worth special trip.
Corvus Wine & Bite – 5 Sair Nedim Caddesi (Besiktas); 011-90-0212-260-5470; only Corvus wine; focus here as much on food as wine.
Ghetto – 10 Kamer Hatun Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-251-7501;; funky club-lounge with contemporary music; in former bakery with vaulted ceiling and frescoes; sets begin at 10 pm.
Kameriye Club – 14 Nevizade Kameriye Sokak (Taksim, Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-244-2809; beer and people-watching.
Lal Bar – 19 Kadife Sokak (Caferaga Mahallesi Kadikoy); 011-90-0216-346-5625;; fashionable watering-hole in stylish Moda area.
Munferit – Firuzaga Mahallesi, 19 Yeni Carsi Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-252-5067;; tavern that turns into club on weekends.
Nardis – 8 Kuledibi Sokak (Galata); 011-90-0212-244-6327;; jazz club.
Otto – 15 Seyhbender Sokak (Asmalimescit); 011-90-0212-292-7015;; cocktail lounge with gorgeous low lighting and industrial fixtures; sleek.
Rouge – 11/2 Lamartin Caddesi (Taksim, just off square); 011-90-0212-237-0190; slick bistro; extensive, Turkish wine list.
Sky Lounge – 163 Istiklal Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-251-1042;; rooftop bar and restaurant with view that matches name; among top places to see and be seen.
SuAda – Galatasaray Adasi (Kuruçeşme); 011-90-0212-263-6623;; nightclub; has own island.
Ulus 29 – 1 Kirechane Sokak (Ulus Parki); 011-90-0212-358-2929;; blinged-out restaurant-bar with celebrities.

Ajia Hotel – 27 Cubuklu Caddesi, Ahmet Rasim Pasa Yalisi (Asian Side, Kanlica); 011-90-0216-413-9300;; on Asian side; beautiful views; modern with excellent restaurant.
Armada – 24 Ahirkapi Street (Sultanahmet); 011-90-0212-638-1370;; 4 stars.
Ascot Hotel – 6 Cinar Caddesi (Buyukada); 011-90-0216-382-2888;; new, quiet, boutique on residential avenue; pool, restaurant, and bar.
Ceylan InterContinental – 1 Asker Ocagi Caddesi (Beyoğlu, near Taksim Square); 011-90-0212-368i4444 or 800-496-7621;; property near Taksim Square looks out over Bosphorus and Marmara Sea, in addition to mosques and palaces; rooms are beautiful and well-appointed, with great views.
Ciragan Palace – 32 Ciragan Caddesi (Yildiz); 011-90-0212-326-4646;; renovated palace; on Bosporus; by some accounts, best pool in world.
Conrad Hotel – Barbaros Boulevard Yildiz Caddesi (Serencebey, Besiktas); 011-90-0212-227-3000;
Four Seasons – 1 Tevkifhane Sokak (Sultanahmet-Eminonu); 011-90-800-332-3442 or 800-819-5053;; renovated prison in old city’s center.
Four Seasons Bosphorus – 28 Ciragan Caddesi (Yildiz); 011-90-0212-381-4000 or 800-819-5053;; marble-rich, cabana-lined, with regal waterfront terrace.
Gradiva – 2/1 Bankalar Caddesi (Karaköy/Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-249-7700;; arresting views, live music, and easy access to history.
House Hotel Bosphorus – 1 Salhane Sokak (Ortakoy); 011-90-0212-327-7787;; 23 rooms with elegant, inviting atmosphere and mostly great Bosphorus views (full or partial); restaurant that serves meals on terrace overlooking Bosphorus; 24-hour room service; loud music from surrounding bars.
House Hotel Galatasaray – 19 Bastanbasi Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-252-0422;; affordable; renovated 1890s mansion; polished parquet floors, marble staircases; clubby penthouse lounge has stone fireplace.
House Hotel Nisantasi – 34 Abdi Ipekci Caddesi (Nisantasi Sisli); 011-90-0212-244-3400;
Hotel Kupeli – 4 Eminsinan Mahallesi Gedikpasa Hamam Caddesi (Eminonu, near Grand Bazaar); 011-90-0212-458-5650;; new, clean (if unspectacular) rooms; if you book 3-4 nights, hotel provides free airport transfer.
House Apart – 6 locations throughout city; 011-90-0212-249-8734;; kitchen-equipped apartments.
Istanbul Edition – 136 Buyukdere Caddesi (Levent); 011-90-0212-287-2872;; Ian Schrager-designed; minimalist; 3-story spa (ESPA).
Les Ottomans – 168 Muallim Naci Caddesi (Kurucesme); 011-90-0212-287-1024;; does not look like much from outside but is well-executed “fantasy,” sitting just few feet from Bosphorus; 12 huge suites in this mansion-turned-hotel; deep-pile carpets, red glass lanterns, and luxurious swags of embroidered silk drapery; windows open at button push, letting in ocean sounds; lavish Caudalie Spa; elegant dining room; location leaves something to be desired; 40-minute car ride from old city; October-November is best time to go; book Saphir room, which has full view of Bosphorus.
Lush Hotel – 12 Siraselvifer (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-243-9595;; 35 rooms in classic Ottoman to funky ‘60s style.
Naya – 96 Yilmaz Turk Caddesi (Buyukada, Maden District); 011-90-0216-382-4598;; beautiful, new, German-Turkish pension with gardens; breakfast included.
Park Hyatt Istanbul-Macka Palas – 4 Tesvikiye, Bronz Sokak (Sisli); 011-90-0212-315-1234;; ravishing; each room has its own Turkish soaking tub; authentically Turkish experience.
Pera Palace Hotel – 52 Mesrutiyet Caddesi (Tepebasi Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-377-4000;; 115 year-old hotel fully renovated in 2010; overlooks Golden Horn waterway and old city beyond; excellent spa.
Ritz-Carlton – 15 Elmadag Askerocagi Caddesi (Suzer Plaza); 011-90-0212-334-4444;
Splendid Palas – 23 Nissan Caddesi (Buyukada); 011-90-0216-382-6950;; grand, family-owned Edwardian-Art Nouveau exercise in elegance; Wallis Simpson and Edward VII once stayed here; 2 domes, 4 balconied tiers, white with scarlet shutters; full Turkish breakfast included; ask for sea view.
Vault Karaköy, House Hotel – 5 Banka Sokak, Arap Cami Mahhallesi (Karaköy); 011-90-0212-244-3400;; 63 guest rooms in neo-Renaissance former bank; interiors mix historic details like columns & vaults with contemporary art & furniture; ask for room with view of Topkapı Palace.
W Hotel – 22 Suleyman Seba Caddesi (Besiktaş-Akaretler); 011-90-0212-381-2121;; lobby has mirrored surfaces, billowing curtains, and colored lighting; excellent restaurant.
Witt Istanbul Suites – 26 Defterdar Yokusu (Cihangar); 011-90-0212-393-7900;; ask for sea view suite (but expensive).
Yesil Ev – 5 Kabasakal Caddesi (Sultanahmet); 011-90-0212-517-6785;; 19 rooms in 19th Century mansion, with brass beds, rugs, and velvet curtains.

Abracadabra – 50/1 Arnavutkoy Caddesi (Arnavutkoy); 011-90-0212-358-6087 or 011-90-0212-358-6088;; informal restaurant, housed in Ottoman-era mansion on Bosporus; some of Istanbul’s most creative riffs on traditional Turkish cuisine; Turkish fusion cuisine pioneer.
Ada Café & Bistro – 158-A Istiklal Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-251-5544;; modern café that doubles as book and music shop; order Turkish coffee on terrace.
Agatha – 52 Mesrutiyet Caddesi (Tepebasi Beyoğlu, at Pera Palace Hotel); 011-90-0212-377-4000;; so-named because Agatha Christie wrote Murder on Orient Express here; opulent and romantic, offering Istanbul’s most stately gourmet experience; tasting menu.
Akdeniz Hatay Sofrasi – 44/A Ahmediye Caddesi (Fatih, Aksaray); 011-90-0212-531-3333;; flower-garlanded restaurant that offers Hatay province specialities; this is must visit experience.
Antiochia – 21A Minare Sokak (Asmalimescit); 011-90-0212-292-1100;; small restaurant in Beyoğlu that serves food from Turkey’s Hatay region (area wedged between Syrian border and Mediterranean Sea); try nar eksili cevizli kozbiber (green and red pepper relish in pomegranate dressing, topped with crushed walnuts); main courses are simple, recognizable dishes, yet set to higher frequency; sis et is marinated beef cubes, grilled on skewers over charcoal fire; minced meat wrap, Istanbul street food favorite, with onions and tomatoes, among city’s best.
Artiste Terrasse – 4 Cezayir Cikmazi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-251-4425;; rooftop café with spectacular view; reservations required.
Asmali Cavit – 16 Asmalimescit Sokak; 011-90-0212-292-4950; mezes; try patlican salatasi (smoky, roasted eggplant with bechamel), and/or lakerda (rose petal like shavings of cured Black Sea tunny); house specialty is topik (Armenian chick pea dish with halvah-like texture).
AuF – Nupera Bina, 67 Meşrutiyet Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-245-6070;; rustic cuisine; menu focuses on natural tastes; popular lunch buffet.
Bab-i Hayat – 39/47 Yeni Cami Caddesi (Eminonu, at Spice (Egyptian) Bazaar); 011-90-0212-520-7878;; took conservation architects 7 months to restore and decorate this vaulted space over Spice Bazaar’s eastern entrance; hand-painted ceilings and tiled window frames; adequate food and ultra-friendly service stands; can even get beer if you ask discreetly.
Backyard – Bebek MMahallesi, 1 Bebeköy Sokak (Bebek); 011-90-0212-287-1500;; somewhat country club atmosphere; large backyard with cushions & seats for lounging in sun; packed on weekends; small patio on side, where garden’s fresh lavender gives off lovely scent; main building has vaulted ceilings with skylights; open bar/espresso bar at back; menu focuses on natural and organic produce; Turkish classics to more international fare.
Balikci Sabahattin – 1 Seyit Hasan Kuyu Sokak (Cankurtaran, near Sultanahmet); 011-90-0212-458-1824;; much loved, fish restaurant; reservations for dinner; white tablecloths, glassware; occasional sheep wanders through; we loved this place.
Big Plate – 11 Istinye Bayiri Caddesi (Pınar Mahallesi, at Istinye Park); 011-90-0212-345-6288;; Mediterranean with Latin inflection; terrace.
Bogazici Borsa – Lutfi Kirdar Convention & Exhibition Center (Harbiye); 011-90-0212-232-4201; among city’s oldest restaurants (1927); Mediterranean and Turkish cuisine; very good food and excellent service; try stews.
Borsa – 73 Istinye Bayiri Caddesi, 2nd floor (at Istinye Park, corner building); 011-90-0212-345-5333;; both indoor and outdoor seating; traditional Turkish grill house fare.
By Sukru – 16 Gulistan Caddesi (Buyukada); 011-90-0216-382-1245;; mezes; choose your own fresh fish to be grilled; waiters speak English.
Changa – 87/1 Siraselviler Caddesi (Taksim); 011-90-0212-249-1348;; among “coolest” restaurants in town; Turkish “fusion.”
Ciya Sofrasi – 43/B Guneslibahce Sokak (Asian side, Caferga Mahallesi, Kadlikoy); 011-90-0216-330-3190;; worth trip; cafeteria style but also table service; can book rooftop terrace table; likely best restaurant in Istanbul but certainly not most cutting-edge or even fanciest; owner is something of culinary anthropologist, collecting recipes from around Turkey and even publishing journal devoted to Turkish food culture; menu changes according to season.
Corvus Wine & Bite – 5 Sair Nedim Caddesi (Besiktas); 011-90-0212-260-5470; only Corvus wine; focus here as much on food as wine.
Develi Kebab – Munir Nurettin Selcuk Caddesi (Asian side, Kalamis, Kadikoy); 011-90-0212-529-0833;; situated on harbor, off oleander-lined path, with fabulous food.
Develi Kebab – 7 Balik Pazari Gumusyuksuk Sokak (Samatya); 011-90-0212-529-0833;
Develi Kebab – 22 Tepecik Yolu (Etiler); 011-90-0212-263-2571;
Ehli Kebap – 32 Simitci Sakir Sokak (Aksaray); 011-90-0212-631-3700;; southeastern Turkish cuisine from Gaziantep; although best known for baklava and kebabs, soup actually city’s crowning glory; in particular, butbeyran corbasi (lamb-based broth); also grill house specializing in Diyarbakir-style skewered liver, tucked in restaurant’s corner is soup master with own cooking station; each soup serving made to order.
1897 Konyali – 46 Suleyman Seba Caddesi (Besiktas); 011-90-0212-227-4243;; modern, artfully presented Turkish classic dishes; quail salad with raspberry sauce and simmered lamb with fruit.
Four Seasons – 28 Ciragan Caddesi (Besiktas); 011-90-0212-381-4000;; great breakfast on terrace, looking out over Bosphorus.
Furreyya Galata Balikcisi – 2 Serdar-I Ekrem Sokak (Galata); 011-90-0212-252-4853; recently increased capacity from 2 to 4 tables; expertly grilled fish and chowder-like soup; considered among Istanbul’s top 10 fish restaurants.
Galata House – 61 Galata Kulesi Sokagi (Galata, follow Kuledibi Sokak from Galata Tower); 011-90-0212-245-1861; owned by architect/city planner and his wife; occupies row house that served as 1900s British jail; cozy dining rooms (3 small salons and outdoor upper balcony); menu selections appear Turkish, but arrive with unexpected twists; try Georgian dumplings, blini, borscht, and chicken and pea salad with yogurt and dill.
Galata Tower – Sishane (Galata); 011-90-0212-293-8180;; on top floor; tremendous views with average food.
Gram Café – Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, 107D Meşrutiyet Caddesi (Asmalı Mescit-Beyoğlu-Şahkulu); 011-90-0212-243-1048;; small dining room & equally small kitchen; chef is Didem Seğnol (Lokanta Maya), known for hip but serious food; brick walks with glass screens serving as menu board; large communal wooden tables; lunch buffet features dozen seasonal specialties that include vegetarian options.
Haci Abdullah Lokantasi – 9A Atif Yilmaz Caddesi, Aga Cami Yani (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-293-8561;; stained-glass dome crowns this family restaurant, founded in 1888; all authentic, healthy ingredients; no alcohol; of all restaurants in Istanbul, this is must visit.
Hoşaf – 46/B Luleci Hendek Caddesi (Karaköy); 011-90-0530-920-0170;; popular cafe.
Hunkar – 21 Mim Kemal Oke Caddesi (Nisa); 011-90-0212-225-4655;; Turkish homecooking; stews; very “in” for locals.
Iskele Pasabahce Restaurant – 22 Iskele Avenue (Asian side, Pasabahce, Cengelkoy); 011-90-0216-322-0959;; fish; out-of-doors dining on water.
Ismet Baba – 1A Carsi Caddesi (Asian side, Kuzguncuk); 011-90-0216-553-1232;; fish restaurant where 50 year traditions kept sacred; Istanbul old school charm and character; located in charming Bosphorus neighborhood on Asian side; excellent for long raki-laced lunch; cold octopus salad unusually good, as is haydari (thick, tangy strained yogurt and dill spread) and fried eggplant.
Joke Perestroika – 42-46 Suleyman Seba Caddesi (Akaretler); 011-90-0212-236-5017;; beautiful people with sense of humor hangout; try manti (Turkish ravioli).
Kale Cay Bahcesi – Rumelihisari (Sariyer, next to Rumeli Fortress); 011-90-0212-257-5578; people watching; on Bosporus Strait; breakfast place.
Kaymakci Pando (Besiktas Kaymakci) – Koyici Meydani Sokak (Besik-tas Carsisi, near bazaar); 011-90-0212-258-2616; tiny, hole-in-wall that serves kaymak (clotted buffalo cream); since 1895; excellent; go for breakfast and order kaymak with honey and crusty white bread.
Korfez – 78 Korfez (Asian side, Kanlica); 011-90-0216-413-4314; most romantic restaurant in Istanbul; arrange to take its private yacht.
Kosebasi at Reina – 44 Muallim Naci Caddesi (Besiktas-Ortakoy); 011-90-0212-258-0683;; kebabs in western setting; elegant; on water; beau monde.
Köşebaşi Nişantaşi – 5 Bronz Sokak (Maçka); 011-90-0212-230-3868;; for kebabs and authentic southern Anatolian cuisine.
Leb-i Derya – Kumbaraci Yokusu, 57/7Kumbaraci Is Hani, Tunel (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-293-4989;; try seabass with pancetta cream sauce.
Loft – 6 Darulbedai Caddesi (Istanbul Convention Center, Harbiye); 011-90-0212-232-4201;
Lokanta – 149/1 Mesrutiyet Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-243-8460;; owned by Mehmet Gurs, Grand Vizier of Istanbul restaurant scene.
Lokanta Maya – 35-A Kemankeş Caddesi (Karaköy); 011-90-0212-252-6884;; creative takes on Turkish food by chef who trained at Le Cirque and Eleven Madison Park; try zucchini fritters with yoghurt-cardamom sauce.
Meyra Café & Restaurant – 46 Akarsu Caddesi (Cihangir); 011-90-0212-244-5350;; try patlican (eggplant) baked with mozzarella and tomato sauce, and boregi, cheese-filled pastry; filet mignon with garlic yoghurt is excellent.
Mezze By Lemon Tree – Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, 83 Mesrutiyet Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-252-8302;; across from Pera Palace Hotel; highly regarded.
Mikla – 167/185 Mesrutiyet Caddesi (Tepebasi); 011-90-0212-293-5656;; owned by Mehmet Gurs; on 17th floor Marmara Pera Hotel; beautiful view; excellent food; ask for outdoor table; reservations must; Mediterranean-Scandinavian fusion; try smoked mackerel mousse with curry and apple vinaigrette.
Mimolett – 55/A Siraselviler Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-245-9858;; Turkish and French; striving for Michelin star.
Moreish – 67 Tepebasi Mesrutiyet Caddesi (Boyoglu); 011-90-0212-245-9146;; relentlessly inventive, Aegean-Mediterranean fusion.
Munferit – Firuzaga Mahallesi, 19 Yeni Carsi Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-252-5067;; off Istiklal pedestrian mall; romantic with candlelit tables on terrace; late at night on weekends, terrace turns into dance party.
Muzede Changa – 22 Sakip Sabanci Caddesi (Taksim); 011-90-0212-323-0901;; in gardens on museum rooftop; try deep-fried zucchini stuffed with either cheese and basil or hazelnut sauce or lambchops stuffed with bulgar and harissa; for dessert, try nectarine poached in chile pepper and wine with mastic ice cream and cotton candy.
Naif – 52 Mumhane Caddesi, Kemankeş Mahhallesi (Karaköy); 011-90-0212-251-5335;; bistro that serves Anatolian cuisine prepared with farm-fresh produce.
NuTeras – 149 Mesrutiyet Caddesi (Tepebasi); 011-90-0212-245-6070;; owned by Mehmet Gurs.
Onur Pilic – 49 Kavaflar Sokak (Grand Bazaar); 011-90-0212-522-2296; name means “honor chicken”; hole-in-wall; try charcoal-roasted chicken or menemen (scrambled eggs with cheese, green pepper, and tomato).
Pandeli – 1 Misir Carisi (Eminonu); 011-90-0212-527-3909;; up flight stairs in Spice Bazaar; ; near Rustem Pasa Mosque; serving since 1901; Greek food; try sea bass in parchment or patlican (eggplant) kebab.
Park Şamdan – Harbiye Mahallesi, 18/1 Mim Kemal Öke Caddesi (Reina); 011-90-0212-225-0710;; classic European dishes (beef fillet with pepper sauce & schnitzel) draw social set.
Pera Sisore – 6 Oteller Sokak (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-245-4902; steam table covered with ready-made food pots, so Pera Sisore may look like any 1 quickie lunch spots found throughout Turkey; there’s difference, though: serious Black Sea cooking; filling, simple, down-home food; serves very tasty hamsi (fresh anchovy) pilaf, Black Sea cooking’s holy grail (savory fish cake, pilaf having small hamsi filets wrapped around thick rice bed infused with currants, herbs, and pine nuts; also serves up fine Black Sea staple: creamy white beans (kuru fasulye) cooked in buttery, rich red sauce.
Poseidon – 58 Cevdet Paşa Caddesi (Kücük Bebek); 011-90-0212-287-9531; seafood; lively in summer, but best time to eat there is winter, when bluefish are biting in Bosporus.
Refik – 10 Sofyali Sokak (Asmalimescit Tunel); 011-90-0212-243-2834;; authentic food in fashionable locale; essential to make visit.
Rouge – 11/2 Lamartin Caddesi (Taksim, just off square); 011-90-0212-237-0190; slick bistro; extensive, Turkish wine list.
Sehzade Erzurum Cag Kebabi – 3/A Hokapasa Sokak; 011-90-0212-520-3361; hole-in-wall near Spice Bazaar; great kebabs.
Sensus – 5 Buyukhendek Caddesi (Galata, in Anemon Hotel cellar); 011-90-0212-245-5657;; wine bar and shop, specializing in Turkish wines; serves cheeses.
Sofyali 9 – 9 Sofyali Sokak (Asmalimescit Tunel); 011-90-0212-245-0362;; mezes.
Surplus – 54 Ragip Gumus Caddesi, Rustempasa Mahhallesi (Galata); 011-90-0212-520-1002;; regional food in unbeatable setting with Golden Horn views.
Sutis Kebap – 13 Istiklal Caddesi (Taksim); 011-90-0212-252-8268;; milky desserts, chicken dishes, and kebabs.
Tarihi Karaköy Balik Lokantasi – 45A Kardesim Sokak (near Galata Bridge); 011-90-0212-251-1371;; open since 1923; considered Istanbul’s best kept culinary secret; specializes in sea bass and tomato in parchment paper.
Tarihi Sultanahmet Koftecisi – 12 Divanhyolu Caddesi (Sultanahmet); 011-90-0212-520-0566; classic, grilled meatball place; more than 80 years old and still run by same family.
360 Istanbul – 311 Istiklal Caddesi (Misir Apartments, 8th floor, Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-251-1042; 360istanbul.comRestaurants; in gentrified, former European, area; glass house overlooking Bosporus.
Tugra Restaurant – 32 Ciragan Caddesi (Besiktas-Yikliz, at Ciragan Palace Hotel); 011-90-0212-326-4646;; cuisine derived from recipes found in historic Ottoman texts with 21st Century flair; salmon “pastrami” with orange-and-mint couscous; ask for table at columned terrace’s edge, which directly overlooks Bosporus.
Ucler Tasfirin – 22 Recep Koc Caddesi (Buyukada); 011-90-0216-382-1505; Turkish pizza.
Ulus 29 – Kirechane Sokak 1 (Ulus Parki); 011-90-0212-358-2929;; blinged-out restaurant-bar with celebrities; expensive; outdoor terrace; some of best foie gras.
Urfali Haci Usta – 23B Ragip Bey Sokak; 011-90-0212-534-9962;; great kebabs.
Van Kahvalti Evi – 52/A Defterdar Yokusu (Cihangir); 011-90-0212-293-6437; breakfast; variations on traditional Turkish breakfast of cheese, cucumber, tomato, and some bread; comes with local Van cheese assortment, kaymak (clotted cream), tangy cacik (thick yogurt spread), and murtuga, heavy wheat flour porridge that looks almost like scrambled eggs.
Van Kahvalti Evi – 19 Sezayi Selek Sokak (Nisantasi); 011-90-0212-240-4776;; breakfast; variations on traditional Turkish breakfast of cheese, cucumber, tomato, and some bread; comes with local Van cheese assortment, kaymak (clotted cream), tangy cacik (thick yogurt spread), and murtuga, heavy wheat flour porridge that looks almost like scrambled eggs; ask for “Van Lake Breakfast.”
X Restaurant & Bar – 5 Sadi Konuralp Caddesi (Sishane); 011-90-0212-334-0700;; stylish restaurant in arts complex (Deniz Palas); updated take on Turkish cuisine and commanding Golden Horn view.
Yeni Lokanta-Bar – 66 Kumbaracı Yokuşu Sokak, İstiklal Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-212-292-2550;; new-Turkish cuisine.
Yucetepe Kir Lokantasi – Yucetepe Hill (Buyukada, beside Aya Yorgi church); 011-90-0216-382-2486;; cash only; tremendous views from island’s highest peak; can walk or take horse-drawn carriage (from Fairground Square), which will wait.
Zubeyir – 28 Bekar Sokak (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-293-3951;; excellent kebab joint that always seems packed with large groups having very good time; adana kebab (spicy minced lamb) has just right combination of fat, meat, and red pepper; chicken wings (kanat) and lamb chops (pirzola) superb; also try tasty tarak (lamb spare ribs); gavur dagi salad (greens, herbs, and tomatoes in piquant pomegranate molasses dressing) particularly worth ordering.
Zuma – 7 Salhane Sokak (at Vişnezade Mahallesi); 011-90-0212-236-2296;; sushi restaurant.

Aya Sofya Hurrem Sultan Hamam – 1 Humayun Caddesi, Cankurtaran Mahallesi Bab-i; 011-90-0212-517-3535;; public baths; recent multi-million dollar restoration.
Contemporary Istanbul – 4 Gumus Caddesi (Harbiye, at Istanbul Convention & Event Center); 011-90-0212-373-1100;; annual arts event.
Istanbul Eats – contact at;; offers culinary tours that include out-of-way mosques, etc. (i.e., not just food).
Kabatas Ferry –; from Istanbul to Buyukada.
Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı – 1 Hamam Sokak, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahhallesi (Karaköy); 011-90-0212-393-8010;; best hammam in town; in restored 16th Century structure.
Sea Song Tours – 71 Meclisi Mebusan Caddesi, 5th Floor (Findikli); 011-90-0212-292-8555;; arrange bespoke architecture tour to see works by Sinan.
Sefa Bike – 7 Ozdemir Sokak (Buyukada); 011-90-0216-382-3257; bicycle rentals.
TurYol – Eminonu Docks (west (inland) Galata Bridge side on Golden Horn’s south shore (to Rumelihisari) - and look for TurYol boats cluster); 011-90-0212-512-1287;; small boat operator that gives 90-minute rides; departs on hour.
Walking Tours – Arzu Tutuk; or; she has art history degree and good facility with English.

Ismail Acar – 50 Lüleci Hendek Caddesi (Karaköy); 011-90-0212-252-0388;; original art.
Adem & Havva – 3/B Camekan Sokak (Galata); 011-90-0212-245-0551; traditional, Turkish goods, like leather slippers.
Akaretler Row – shopping district (Suleman Seba Caddesi and Sair Nedim Caddesi); Jimmy Choo and Marc Jacobs stores, among others.
Altan Sekerleme – 96 Kiblecesme Caddesi (Kantarcilar, Kucuk Pazari, Eminonu; 011-90-0212-522-5909;; sweets shop in rarely explored market street warren and Ottoman-era caravanserais (near Istanbul’s Golden Horn); Turkish delight stacked into psychedelic pyramids, laid out in long white rows that are impossibly pink or deep amber on inside, and even built into little, Technicolor log cabins; shop itself, with aged marble-topped counters and worn wooden cabinets; same family has been running this operation in same shop for 4 generations; perfumed gul lokum (rosewater Turkish Delight) almost sensual experience; sakizli (mastic gum flavored lokum) interesting as novelty; fistikli lokum, filled with hazelnuts, is showstopper (almost gummy confection surrounding crunchy nut core).
Armaggan – Abdi Ipekci Caddesi, 8 Bostan Sokak (Nisantasi); 011-90-0212-291-6292;; luxury emporium; 7 floors handicrafts, jewelry, and textiles.
Asli Tunca – 34-20 Nuru Ziya Sokak (Galatasaray); 011-90-0212-251-7057;; “haute couture” furniture.
Atolye 11 – 97 Mumhane Caddesi (Karaköy); 011-90-0212-272-6761;; architect-owner transformed brick and stone Christian chapel into this lovely, vaulted fashion and housewares boutique.
Sevan Bıçakçı – 16 Eminönü (Sultanahment-Eminönü); 011-90-212-520-4516;; jewelry; also has store at W Hotel.
Building – 27/a Serdar-I Ekrem Caddesi; 011-90-0212-243-0717;; stylish boutique near Galata Tower; accessories and clothing.
Chalabi – 6 Sandal Bedesten Sokak (Grand Bazaar); 011-90-0212-522-8171; among best places in Grand Bazaar for gold and Ottoman pieces.
Depo – 12 Tutun Deposu Luleci Hendek Caddesi (Tophane); 011-90-0212-292-3956;; art and performance works.
Dervis – 51 Halicilar Caddesi (Kapalicarsi); 011-90-0212-528-7883;; hole-in-wall stuffed with hammered metal bowls and other Turkish bath staples.
Desa – 5 Abdi Ipekci Caddesi (Nisantasi); 011-90-0212-232-1290;; leather bags.
Doctor Antik – 1c Bedesten, 9-12 Serif Aga Sokak (Kapalicarsi); 011-90-0212-522-7549; embroideries, Turkish glass, and old Russian silver.
Galeri Mana – 16-18 Ali Pasa Degirmeni Skokak (Tophane); 011-90-0212-243-6666;; contemporary gallery.
Galeri Nev – 163/5 Istiklal Caddesi, Misir Apt. (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-252-1525;; art, especially local.
Galeri Non – 27A Bogazkesen Caddesi (Tophane); 011-90-0212-249-8774;; art venue that has minimalist staircases suspended from ceiling by cables.
Galerist – 163/4 Istiklal Caddesi, Misir Apt. (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-244-8230;; art, especially local.
Grand Bazaar – Beyazit Gate;; in Turkish, Kapali Carsisi.
Hiç Contemporary Crafts – 25 Lüleci Hendek Caddesi, Hacımimi Mahhallesi (Karaköy); 011-90-0212-251-9973;; housewares.
IKSV Tasarim – 5 Sadi Konuralp Caddesi; 011-90-0212-334-0830;; Istanbul Foundation for Culture & Arts’ shop; ceramics, paintings, stationary, etc.
Iznik Foundation – 7 Oksuz Cocuk Sokak (Kurucesme Besiktas); 011-90-0212-287-3243;; tiles.
Istinye Park – 73 Istinye Bayiri Caddesi; 011-90-0212-345-5555;; shopping complex in northern Istanbul with over 300 shops; mainly international brands; adjacent open-air shopping district.
Janset Bilgin Design – 26 Serdar-I Ekem Sokak (Galata); 011-90-0212-252-7173;; jewelry.
Kafkas – 4-6 Kalpakcilar Caddesi (Sultanahmet); 011-90-0212-526-6847; rare stones and traditional, tassled lariat necklaces.
Arzu Kaprol – Tesvikiye Mahallesi, 9 Atiye Sokak (Nisantasi); 011-90-0212-22529;; women’s clothing by Turkish designer favored by Gisele Bundchen and Meg Ryan.
Atil Kutoglu – 9/2 Bostan Sokak (Nisantasi); 011-90-0212-260-6067;; women’s fashion.
Lab: Istanbul – C9 Fransiz Gecidi (Karaköy); 011-90-0212-252-1262;; on narrow, French-arcaded street; indie Turkish design; clothing.
Lightwork – 20/c Ali Hoca Sokak (Galata); 011-90-0212-245-7826;; lamps.
Lilipud – 25/a Serdar-I Ekrem Sokak (Galata); 011-90-0212-252-7173;; women’s clothing.
Magnolia Culture – 49B Lüleci Hendek Caddesi; 011-90-0212-243-1042;; bookstore.
Midnight Express – 7 Kucuk Bebek Caddesi; 011-90-0212-257-9514;; furniture and clothing; high-end.
Nicol – 65 Kurucesme Caddesi (Kurucesme); 011-90-0212-265-4000;; home design store.
Simay Bulbul – 5-7 Camekan Sokak (Galata); 011-90-0212-292-7899;; namesake boutique of designer, Simay Bulbul; clothes.
Sir – 38/1 Serdar-I Ekrem Sokak (Galata); 011-90-0212-293-3661;; ceramic wares.
Spice (Egyptian) Bazaar – Misir Carsisi (Eminonu); 011-90-0212-513-6597; baharat (spices), nuts, honey in comb, olive-oil soaps, incir (figs), lokum (Turkish delight), pestil (dried fruit pressed into sheets); name “Egyptian Bazaar” comes from fact that building initially endowed with taxes levied on goods imported from Egypt.
Stok60/70 – 38/A Serdar-I Ekrem Sokak (Galata); 011-90-0212-252-6870; stok60/; mid-century Turkish furniture and housewares.
Urart – 18/1 Abdi Ipekci Caddesi (Nisantasi); 011-90-0212-246-7194;; Anatolian jewelry; worth special trip.

Agios Dimitrios Church – near Fayton Meydani (Buyukada, Kumsal District).
Basilica Cistern – 13 Yerebatan Caddesi; 011-90-0212-522-1259;; Turkish (Yerebatan Sarayi, “Sunken Palace”, or Yerebatan Sarnici, “Sunken Cistern”); largest of several 100 ancient cisterns that lie beneath city; 500' southwest of Hagia Sophia; built in 6th Century during Byzantine Emperor Justinian I’s reign.
Blue Mosque – Sultanahmet; 011-90-0212-518-1319; officially, Sultanahmet Mosque; cascading domes and 6 slender minarets (most mosques have less); built near Hagia Sophia, over ancient hippodrome and Byzantine imperial palace sights; non-worshippers required to use north entance; inside, ceiling lined with 20K blue tiles that give its popular name; interior is lit with 260 windows; on summer evenings at 9 pm. historical narrative and light show, with commentaries given in English, French, German, and Turkish on various evenings.
Borusan Center for Cultural & Performing Arts – 213 Istiklal Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-336-3280;; classical music in beautifully renovated, early 20th Century building.
Cihangir – Beyoğlu; for walking; neighborhood known for architecture and creative community.
Deniz Palas/Istanbul Foundation for Culture & Arts – 5 Sadi Konuralp Caddesi (Sishane); 011-90-0212-334-0700;; non-profit arts group; downstairs is café and shop that showcases both established and up-coming Turkish artists; upstairs is hall (“Salon”) that affords multi-faceted, globe-hopping program; top floor is stylish restaurant, X; also, small, in-house museum dedicated to Maria Callas is in works.
Fayton Meydani – Buyukada (near Agios Dimitrios Church); means “buggy square.”
Fransiz Sokagi – Galatasaray; street to walk to see how French used to live in Istanbul; numerous outdoor cafes.
Galata Tower – Sishane (Galata); 011-90-0212-293-8180;; also called Christea Turris (“Christ Tower”); medieval stone tower in Istanbul’s Galata district, just north of Golden Horn; among city’s most striking landmarks; high, cone-capped cylinder that dominates skyline and affords panoramic vista.
Hagia Sophia – Aya Sofya Square (Sultanahmet); 011-90-0212-522-1750;; Church of Holy Wisdom; former Byzantine church and former Ottoman mosque, now museum; nothing remains of original Hagia Sophia, built on this site in 4th Century by Constantine (1st Christian emperor and Constantinople’s founder); following its destruction, built 2nd time by son Constantius and Emperor Theodosius; 2nd burned down during Nika riots (532); rebuilt in present form between 532-537 under Emperor Justinian I’s personal supervision; severely damaged several times by earthquakes; in 1204, plundered by Crusaders, who also oust Constantinople Patriarch (thus most of its riches seen today in Venice); remains functioning church until May 29, 1453, when Sultan Mehmet enters city; converts it into his imperial mosque, for which it serves 500 years; in 1934, under Turkish president Kemal Ataturk, secularized as Ayasofya Museum; make sure to visit Selim II Tombs (Turbesi) next door (between Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia) and newly renovated Hurrem Baths.
Hippodrome – between Aya Sofia and Blue Mosque Istanbul;; once Constantinople’s social and sporting center; today it is Sultanahmet Meydani (Sultan Ahmet Square; sometimes called Atmeydani; (Horse Square)) with only few original structure fragments surviving.
Istiklal Caddesi – Beyoğlu; take evening walk down this pedestrian thoroughfare, Istanbul’s most famous avenue; boutiques, restaurants, patisseries, and galleries.
Istanbul Modern – 4 Sahasi Antrepo, Meclis-I Mebusan Caddesi (Karaköy); 011-90-0212-334-7300;; 2 floors contemporary artworks, sculpture garden, library, and restaurant; also, among best permanent exhibitions in city re modern (post-1923) Turkish history; make sure to eat lunch on terrace overlooking Bosphorus; food is great; manti (lamb ravioli) and tiramisu; reservations necessary if want outdoor table.
Kariye Museum (Chora Church) – 26 Kariye Camii Sokak (Edirnekapi); 011-90-0212-631-9241;; Church of Holy Saviour; medieval Byzantine Greek Orthodox church preserved as museum; in 16th Century, during Ottoman era, church converted into mosque; became museum in 1948; interior covered with some of finest & oldest surviving Byzantine frescoes & mosaics; uncovered & restored after building secularized & turned into museum.
Mihrimah Sultan I Mosque – Iskele Meydani (Uskudar Square);
Mihrimah Sultan II Mosque – Selmanaga Mahallesi Kursunlu Medrese (Edirnekapi, 6th Hill);; built near old city walls; 2nd mosque in Istanbul built for Mihrimah Sultan, commissioned by her father, Suleyman Magnificent (1520-1566); built and designed by 16th Century architect-engineer Sinan; complex part, situated on platform, which includes baths, madrasa, mausoleum, and stores; marble fountain, whose roof is carried over 16 double columns; dominating single dome spanning 4 massive piers and arches between them; side bays topped by 3 domes.
Museum of Innocence – Firuzağa Mahallesi, 2 Dalgıç Sokak (Beyoğlu, Çukurcuma); 011-90-0212-252-9738; Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk created museum in conjunction with novel of same name; narrative & museum offer glimpse into late-20th Century, upper-class Istanbul life; museum presents what novel’s characters used, wore, heard, saw, collected & dreamed of, all meticulously arranged in boxes & display cabinets; collection, which includes more than 1K objects, housed in 19th Century house on corner of Çukurcuma & Dalgiç Sokaks.
Nakibey – Maden District (Buyukada); 011-90-0216-382-4501;; retro beach club.
Pera Museum – 65 Mesrutiyet Caddesi (Pera); 011-90-0212-334-9900;; collection includes most beloved painting in Turkish canon (Osman Hamdi Bey’s Tortoise Trainer (1906); wonderful Orientalist painting collection of more than 300 paintings with Turkish Orientalist themes; provides fascinating glimpses into Ottoman world from 17th-early 20th Century; 2 other permanent exhibits include Kütahya ceramics and tiles collection and somewhat esoteric Anatolian measures and weights collection; top 3 floors devoted to temporary exhibitions, mostly local contemporary works in mixed media; look for Frida Kahlo’s and Diego Rivera’s in stairwells.
Recep Koc – Buyukada; main shopping road.
Rumeli Hisari – 42 Yahya Kemal Caddesi (Rumelihisari); 011-90-0212-263-5305; built on hill overlooking water; among best preserved of all fortresses on Bosphorus; constructed in just 4 months in 1452; eccentric-looking fortifications ordered built by Mehmet Conqueror directly across from Anadolu Hisari, at strait’s narrowest point, allowing Ottomans to control waterway (Mehmet and his troops conquered Constantinople in 1453).
Rustem Pasha Mosque – Rüstem Pasha Mahallesi (Fatih); 011-90-0212-258-7760;; designed by 16th Century Ottoman imperial architect, Mimar Sinan, for Grand Vizier Damat Rustem Pasha (husband Suleiman Magnificent’s daughter, Princess Mihrimah); built 1561-63; famous for large quantities exquisite Iznik tiles, set in variety beautiful floral and geometric designs; no other mosque in Istanbul makes such lavish use of these tiles.
Sakirin Mosque – 2 Nuhkuyusu Caddesi (Uskudar, at Karacaahmet Cemetery gate);; perhaps only Arab world mosque to credit publicly woman (famed interior designer, Zeynep Fadillioglu) with helping design; modern in design and worth trip; check for arrangements beforehand; design team included 18 specialists, including expert calligraphers, fountain designers, light specialists, and miniature artists; modern structure has 2 25 m minarets (architect Husrev Tayla); outer walls are glass and iron mesh that allows sunlight to wash over beautiful gilded interiors; can accommodate up to 1.2K (250 in main prayer hall, 150 on specially-designed women’s balcony, and 600 in courtyard; inside, mihrab (indicates Mecca’s direction) and minbar (where imam conducts prayer) designed by Fadillioglu’s own ZF Design; minbar is acrylic with leaf patterns representing universe; mihrab designed much like golden eye with turquoise lid; main prayer room is surrounded by glass walls designed as Quran pages with gilded verses inscribed; monumental bronze chandelier hangs from main dome, designed to represent prayer with golden Quran letters and blown-glass water drops on asymmetrical bronze circles; in outside courtyard, beautiful fountain designed by British designer William Pye with brilliant metal sphere in middle; courtyard also features small gallery where Islamic art and relics collection displayed for visitors.
Salt – 136 Istiklal Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-292-7605;; arts center, with book store, café, etc.
Santral Istanbul – 2-6 Kazim Karabekir Caddesi (Beyoğlu); 011-90-0212-311-7809;; contemporary art museum to stimulate arts, culture, and education.
Sehzade Mosque – Sehzadebasi Caddesi (Edirnekapi);; designed by 16th Century architect-engineer Sinan.
Selim II Tombs – Professor Siddik Sami Onar (Mimar Sinan) Caddesi; 011-90-0212-514-0139;; designed by 16th Century architect-engineer Sinan.
Semsi Pasha Mosque – 6 Harem Sahil Yolu, Semsipasa Halk Kutuphanesi, Mimar Sinan Mahallesi (Uskudar); 011-90-0216-553-1119;; among city’s most diminutive mosques; like mini-Blue Mosque; designed by 16th Century architect-engineer Sinan.
Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque – 20-22 Sehit Cesmesi Sokak or Tersane Caddesi Galata (Kadirga, Fatih); designed by 16th Century architect-engineer Sinan.
Suleymaniye Mosque – Professor Siddik Sami Onar (Mimar Sinan) Caddesi; 011-90-0212-514-0139;; designed by 16th Century architect-engineer Sinan.
Topkapı Palace – Gulhane Park (near Sultanahmet Square Istanbul); 011-90-0212-522-4422;; official Sultan palace from 1465-1856; contains some of Muslim world’s most holy relics (such as Prophet Muhammed’s cloak and sword); made up of 4 main courtyards and many smaller buildings; at its height as royal residence, home to as many as 4K people; held mosques, hospital, bakeries, and mint; transformed by government decree in 1924 into imperial era museum; also contains large collections of armor, Islamic calligraphic manuscripts, murals, Ottoman miniatures, porcelain, robes, shields, weapons, shields, armor, as well as Ottoman jewelry and treasure display.
Leon Trotsky Villa (Izzet Pasha Villa) – down narrow alley off Büyükada Caddesi (Buyukada, about 20 minutes’ walk from ferry station, past police station and Hotel Splendide; ask fayton driver to take you; now in ruins.
Whirling Dervishes – 15 Galip Dede (adjacent to Tunel Square); 500-year-old Mevlani Brotherhood monastery, known to Westerners as whirling dervishes; perform ritual for public on last Sunday of each month at 3 pm.

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