EATING & DRINKING IN ISTANBUL
To eat and drink well is obviously important in the Turkish culture. The food is tasty, cheap and sold everywhere. You’re never many steps away from a Döner and if you’re just into a light snack there’s always a food stand with Simit (circular, sesame bread), grilled corn or chestnuts around the corner. Our best culinary experience was Meze, a range of cold appetizers to share before dinner, consisting of bean dishes, salads and sauces to eat with bread. So very yummy! Some places serve beer but don’t have it on the menu, ask about it discreetly and you might get it in a coffee mug. Don’t expect any international food, ”Mediterranean” was about the most remote culinary influence we saw. But who cares when the native kitchen is that great? Where we ate and drank: La Viola
We originally went to dine at Nevizade Restaurant in Nevizade street, a famous restaurant street close to the main shopping street Istiklal. Internet is full of pictures and recommendations of Nevizade Street, but when we got there we became a bit over whelmed. Hundreds of restaurant guest packed at dinner tables in the streets, and just as many barkers trying to lure you in as young boys sells you roses. Guess one could have a great time at Nevizade street, but we escaped and decided to get somewhere a bit less hectic. We ended up at La Viola a few blocks away and had a decent meal at a street table while watching people pass by. Sultan Rooftop Café
After visiting the Süleymaniye Mosque we came here for the spectacular view of the city. We had a Gözleme, also called Turkish pancake. This is a flat bread, with different fillings. For the price we expected a snack, but got a full lunch. Yum! Pim Karakoy
Pim Karakoy is located in a trendy restaurant- and cafe area consisting of 2–3 pedestrian streets. The streets are framed with greenery and colored light bulbs giving the place a warm and cozy atmosphere. Hip young locals come here for a meal or a coffee and it’s not too touristy and not too crowded. We had Falafel (with a twist) for dinner, a band came and played some klezmer music. We were quiet satisfied and really enjoyed the environment and the vibe. After the meal we went to the place next doors for a traditional coffee to end the evening with. Babel Cafe Restaurant
This place is situated one block away from where we stayed. We had passed by it a few times without really noticed it, looking like an ordinary coffee house from the outside. But great Trip Advisor reviews made us curious and we decided to give it a try. We ordered a Meze plate to share for starters and went to food heaven. The ”Stuffed Aubergine” as a main dish wasn’t quiet as great, but good enough to leave us really happy. Some live music also helped making the whole experience just awesome. French street (Cezayir Sokak)
A cute steep pedestrian street lined up with colorful restaurants and outdoor seatings. We came about 23.00 (11pm) in the evening to have a drink and found the place pretty quiet. Anyway we had a nice sit down and the best Baily’s Coffee ever. Datli Maya
It’s not hard to spot this restaurant, a cute little two story house colored in bright blue. We stopped for a quick snack. Datli Maya has an organic profile with ecological and fair trade products. When getting to the second floor you pass the kitchen and can see the Turkish granny and grandpa cook. We had a Vegan Wrap and a home made Lemon Lemonade to die for. The restaurant lies in an area popular by the young and hip crowd and in the same street you’ll find nice second had shops and coffee houses. Klemuri Restaurant
”Think global, eat local” is the first message meeting you when entering Klemuri. Klemuri is a small and lid up cafe-like restaurant with a personal touch. There are lots of veggie and vegan alternatives on the menu and the prices are low. The ”Greek Meze” plate we had for starters was delicious, the ”Goulash” was good and the ”Chicken Almond” was ok, but a bit on the boring side. Great value for money one would say, but we did stop for a 3 Lire (1 euro) pizza slice at Pizza Vegas on our way back home... Pizza Vegas
Brilliant pizza bar in a street corner with thin, delicious pizza for 3 LR (1 €) per slice. People come for a chat and midnight snack before bedtime. Munzur Cafe Barsz
A small, cozy bar were we had a beer and listened to some Turkish live music. Our waiter seemed stoned and the music was very mellow. Not the best place to get the party started.
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Ola & Maria are full time workers and part time adventurers, follow for photos around the world, over and under water. © sixweeks 2018
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