Opening first in 1927, the restaurant now operates through three different branches. Specialities include Hunkar begendili kebap (pureed aubergine with lamb), kuzu tandir (lamb cooked tandoori-style) and sebzeli kebap (meat and vegetable kebap). Credit cards are accepted...
Now there is a new Borsa in Asiatic side of the city ...
Favorite Dish: Kuzu tandir ))))
We visited Imbat Restaurant for a romantic meal with a beautiful view as recommended by thousands of Internet reviews. We weren't disappointed. We made reservations through the website a few days in advance and were offered the perfect table right in the corner of huge windows providing what has to be one of the nicest restaurant views in Istanbul. The lights on the Galata Bridge change and flash in colourful patterns at night. My pictures don't at all do it justice. We went in the winter; I bet the terrace is totally amazing in summer.
The food, described as Turkish Aegean cuisine, was great. The meze plate for two is delicious, and the Aegean salad was one of my favorite dishes of my trip. I had Captain Pasha's stew for an entree which was very good. My partner thought the Imbat Kebab was okay, not especially memorable. We would pass on the dessert for two next time. The service was really perfect, and our server suggested a really nice Turkish wine. Thanks to Imbat Restaurant, and Istanbul, for one of the most romantic meals we've ever had.
Favorite Dish: The Aegean salad with grilled Halloumi cheese... lots of texture and flavour on a bed of fresh vegetables.
We ate at Pasazade Restaurant on our first night ever in Istanbul, and made our decision because we wanted someplace easy but still a bit formal and it was right across from Hotel Sultania where we stayed. It ended up being a great decision, and one of the best meals we ate during our trip. They serve Ottoman dishes like meats and fish in spicy sauces, kebabs and stews. The meal got off to a great start with a free meze of cheese, olive oil, and three kinds of bread. Our entrees were delicious: I had a "mahmudiye", a chicken dish in a sweet stew over rice, and my husband had the meatball kebab with nice fluffy fresh pita bread. The manager gave us a free layer cake dessert because it was someone at the restaurant's birthday. The service was very good, to a degree where we felt almost awkward, but have since realized that this level of attentiveness is common enough in Istanbul. I thought the decor was a bit cheesy but otherwise the atmosphere was quite nice and I really enjoyed the music. Overall, we had a delicious meal that set the bar high for the rest of the great food we had during our trip.
Favorite Dish: The kebab entree was a refined and very delicious version of a dish we had so many times since that night.
Havuzlu is a well-known place located within The Grand Bazaar serving what we thought was really tasty Turkish food. The host shows you the options of dishes that are available that day including kebabs, vegetables, chickpeas and rice, and then you order them from your table. The food is priced like a tourist restaurant as you would expect but there were no added charges or tricks on our bill. This place was one of our favourite of the more tourist-oriented restaurants we visited in Istanbul and I would totally recommend stopping off for lunch as a nice break from shopping at The Bazaar.
Favorite Dish: The adana kebab and the spinach with yogurt were our favorites.
As the Restaurant Özler was located just across the street from our hotel, we met here quite a few times in the late evening for a beer, which with 7 TYR was reasonably priced. One evening we even enjoyed dinner here.
The restaurant has indoor seatings on several floors. At the top of the building a completely covered rooftop terrace can be found. It is equipped with large cushions as seats. Outdoor seating is available as well, but wasn't really an option in December.
The menu offers a variety of Turkish meals from fish and meat dishes to all sorts of kebaps. I ordered the lamb shish (kuzu sis) for 25 TYR.
As starters our group shared the mixed starters plate (ordovr tabagi, 20 TYR) and yoghurt with cucumber (cacik, 8 TYR). Everything was tasty, so that I was quite satisfied with my choice.
Before we headed off to the football match of Fenerbahce Istanbul vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach we chose the Restaurant Kasap Osman for our late lunch.
The restaurant name translates as "Osman the butcher", so this also gives you an idea what they are specialised in: All sorts of typical Turkish meat meals. They have both indoor and outdoor seatings. As it was December we prefered to sit inside.
I opted for a Döner (12 TYR), which consisted of thin slices of lamb, rice, vegetables and pitta bread. To drink I had a Cola for 3 TYR. As starters we got a plate with mixed vegetables, yogurt with cucumber and some bread free of charge.
The dishes were excellent and I would definitely go here again.
One early afternoon we visited Restaurant Odessa just for a drink. The 4-storey restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating. In December 2012 we chose the place due to the panoramic views of the Sirkeci and Sultanahmet districts from the upper levels of the restaurant.
We ordered a round of Efes beers for 8 TRY each and enjoyed the views. The restaurant seems to be specialised in local fish dishes, but other Turkish meals are available as well. I can't comment on the quality of the food, but at least the beer was tasty.
One evening I enjoyed a nice VT dinner meeting with the local VT member revontulet (Sibel) and a workmate of hers.
ADA Cafe was suggested as the meeting location. Ada is the Turkish word for island. The place was a book shop in the past, but has been extended by a modern cafe and restaurant in 2007. This mixture offers an interesting atmosphere.
The menu lists a variety of international dishes with a Turkish touch. I opted for the Ada Chef's Special (Ada Sef Spesiyal), which consisted of a chicken breast with potatoes and vegetables (22 TYR). To drink I had a big beer (12 TYR).
After dinner I enjoyed a Salep drink (9 TYR), which is a hot Turkish winter milk drink with the flour of the tubers of wild orchids.
Everything was very yummy and the evening was another funny and entertaining VT meeting experience.
Cafe Bar Zeno was another place where we sipped a cold beer before heading off to the football match of Fenerbahce Istanbul vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach.
We probably chose the place due to its location on the north-western side of the Galata bridge. From here panoramic views of the area around the Golden Horn can be enjoyed.
They have outdoor seating on the bridge, but as it was December we preffered to sit inside. A small beer set us back 8,00 TYR.
The menu also offers a selection of Turkish meals and occasionally live music is said to take place here in the evening.
During our brief visit to Istanbul in February 2013, we encountered many carts selling chestnuts ("kestane") and corn on the cob ("misir").
I always enjoy hot roast chestnuts and the ones for sale on the streets of Istanbul looked particularly tempting. I finally succumbed and bought some from a cart that was located in the bustling area between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia.
Chestnuts could be purchased in the following quantities:
100g = 4 TL (£1.60)
150g = 5TL (£2.00)
300g = 10TL (£4.00)
I purchased 150g, which equated to about 10 chestnuts. They were well cooked and the shells practically fell off them (so no frustration or sore finger nails!)
As well as chestnuts and corn, we also saw carts selling cups of hot halva (delicious, we tried some at a shop near Taksim Square), salep (a sweet drink made from orchid roots that we had previously sampled in Athens) and, of course, the ubiquitous simit carts selling bread rings covered in sesame seeds.
We ate at The Han Restaurant during our visit to Istanbul in February 2013.
We found this "Ottoman Cuisine" restaurant on Soğuk Çeşme Sokak, just around the corner from Hagia Sofia as we were walking towards the entrance of Gülhane Park.
We would probably have walked straight past it but for the fact that there was a large crowd gathered outside the restaurant looking through the window. We stopped to see what the attraction was and saw two ladies inside diligently preparing Gözleme pancakes by hand. They were carefully rolling out the dough with thin rolling pins, filling the pancakes with various ingredients and cooking them on a large griddle.
Just to the side of the ladies was an inviting area of cushioned seating and low tables (the kind where you sit cross legged while eating your meal...or at least you do if you're more flexible than I am!) and it was bathed in sunlight. We decided to go in and lounge on the cushions and sample the handmade pancakes!
There was a full page of the menu devoted to Gözleme pancakes; filled with feta cheese, spinach, mushrooms, yellow cheese, minced beef and onion and a sweet option containing halva, chocolate, honey and raspberry.
They were quite expensive, but so too was the rest of the menu, which featured various meze dishes and grilled meats. I certainly got the impression that we were paying tourist prices rather than local prices.
We each ordered a Gözleme pancake; mine was filled with mushrooms and cost 12 TL (£4.50) and Emma's was filled with feta cheese and spinach and cost 16 TL (£6.00). Neither came with any accompaniments. The pancakes were nice enough, but nothing special, and we were clearly paying for the novelty value of being able to see them being hand prepared.
As well as the pancakes, we both ordered a glass of Turkish tea. It too was relatively expensive at 5 TL (£2.00) a glass. The same glass would have cost 2TL or less in a local cafe.
When the waitress took our order she enquired whether we'd be ordering "main courses" as well; the pancakes were supposed to be an accompaniment to something more substantial. At the prices that The Han charge, we certainly weren't ordering main courses as well! We didn't feel so bad when the two ladies at the table next to us also just ordered pancakes and tea!
Incidentally, the ladies who were sitting by the windows producing the pancakes continued to attract large crowds of observers throughout the course of our meal. I'm sure we weren't the only tourists tempted inside by the seemingly authentic handmade pancakes. They were nice enough....just not particularly good value for money.
Handmade Gözleme pancakes. Nice enough, but a bit overpriced and touristy!
It's a familiar sight at the Galata bridge: dozens of fisher men busy catching fish.
At the Galata shore side fish is being prepared at the food stalls.
What a direct way in the food chain.
This place is very popular of its breakfast.It has a great view and very close to the museum Sakıp Sabancı(SSM)
Just go there early because it's very crowded especially on Sundays.
Favorite Dish: Breakfast
During our brief visit to Istanbul in February 2013, I was keen to sample the city's famous fish sandwiches ("balik ekmek").
I had read that the area around Galata Bridge was a good place to find balik ekmek, especially the restaurants that line the lower deck of the bridge.
Sure enough, as we walked along the bridge we found dozens of restaurants advertising balik ekmek and saw fish being grilled outside some of them. Most places were charging 5 TL for balik ekmek, but some more basic places just beyond the Karaköy end of the bridge were charging only 4 TL. Prices were pretty standard from one place to the next.
After walking both ways across the bridge, we decided to have lunch at Cansin Cafe; a large restaurant with indoor and outdoor dining areas close to the Eminönü end of the bridge. Where most restaurants had a sign displaying their name, Cansin Cafe had a sign with large bright lettering that read "BALIK EKMEK SALATA 5 TL". Clearly this was a place that, although having a full menu of dishes, specialised in balik ekmek.
We sat at an outdoor table, beneath a canopy. It was a cold day, but the outside tables, overlooking the water, were more atmospheric than the indoor ones in the brightly lit dining room. We could see the fish being grilled just behind our table.
The staff at Cansin Cafe were friendly and welcoming. In particular, one very attentive elderly lady kept stopping by our table to wipe it down and to furnish us with unnecessary quantities of napkins and toothpicks.
Of course, I opted for the Balik Ekmek Salata (5 TL (£2)) – a crusty bread roll with a grilled fillet of fish, lettuce, onions and grated carrot. It was very tasty. My first mouthful consisted of lots of small bones and I initially regretted ordering it. After that, however, it wasn't too bad; just a few tiny bones to contend with, and a lot of careful chewing.
Emma, who isn't as keen on seafood as I am, enjoyed the Kofte Ekmek (6 TL (£2.40)) – a meatball sandwich with salad leaves, onions and carrot.
We both had glasses of Turkish tea (2 TL (£0.80) each).
A good value lunch of balik ekmek and Turkish tea on Galata Bridge. Recommended!
We arrived in Kadiköy on a bus from Sabiha Gökçen airport at around 6:30am on a cold Sunday morning in February 2013. The ferries to Eminönü hadn't yet started, so we took the opportunity to grab some breakfast before heading into the heart of Istanbul.
The street immediately behind the bus terminal (Kadıköy Haydarpaşa Rıhtım Caddesi) is lined with cafes, and Murat Muhallebicisi, on the corner of Kadıköy Haydarpaşa Rıhtım Caddesi and Recaizade Sok, looked particularly inviting with its bright lights, clean and modern interior and large windows showcasing a huge selection of cakes and pastries.
Despite the early hour, the cafe was already fairly busy. We sat at a table in the warm dining area and perused the breakfast menu. It included omelettes, burek, yoghurt and continental breakfasts with cold meat and slices of cheese.
We both ordered the same - burek (5 TL / £2) and Turkish tea (2 TL / £0.80).
We had become addicted to burek during trips to Macedonia and Montenegro the previous year, so it was good to start the day with this familiar pastry. The burek at Murat Muhallebicisi was served on a large plate; half of the plate contained flaky pastry filled with minced meat, spices and raisins and the other half contained flaky pastry filled with melted white cheese. It was delicious, and not too greasy.
The Turkish tea, as always, was strong and served in glasses with cubes of sugar to add according to taste.
When we came to settle the bill (a very reasonable 14 TL / £5.60), we were each given another complimentary glass of Turkish tea.
Delicious burek and Turkish tea a short walk from Kadiköy ferry terminal. Recommended!
Housed in a former Ottoman prison, The Four Seasons in Sultanahmet is anything but. It is the...more
Dersaadet Oteli is a small inn located in the shadow of the Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet. The inn is a...more
After reading wonderful reviews on Virtual Tourist and Trip Advisor, we decided to give this place a...more
see all Istanbul member meetings