"East meets West, who does it best?"
Spreading across the sea to Asia from Europe, the city holds true to the treasures of both sides. The European side is packed with sightseeing and frantic shopping streets, the Asian side is a more crammed, local place filled with tiny shops, markets, tea stalls, restaurants, and of course bars.
Whether you live on one side and visit the other, or spend the first few days seeing all the “sights” in Sultanahmet and Beyoglu/Taksim, definitely spare at least 1-2 days (or weeks) to head over to Kadikoy and eat your heart out. The food is simply sublime.
The Turks do the same as every culture, they have their highs and lows, and of course, their comfort foods. Nobody said beans on toast or bangers and mash was a culinary delight but many a chef in England gets hankerings for it now and then. The same goes for every culture. Apart from the fact they seem to love eating plain rice with chickpeas on top, the thing that surprised me the most the first time I visited Turkey was the lack of “sauce or toppings” on the Kebabs. It's generally bread, meat, tomatoes (sometimes onions, sumac, blistered chillis). That's it. The emphasis is on the quality of the bread and the meat. So don’t come expecting lashings of garlic or chilli sauce on your kebabs because they don’t even have them anywhere. Focus on the meat and the bread and you’ll have a whale of a time.
Places to eat
Cafe's, Bars & Curiosities
All these recommendations are just personal opinions and things change, chefs get fired, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of salt and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"
CITIES / Places