Istanbul is hands down one of the most incredible cities in the world – I’d go back in a heartbeat. From the mixture of cultures, religions and history comes such an eclectic array of residents, cuisines, and a food culture like nowhere else. Luckily, I had a copy of Monocle’s Istanbul travel guide, a lifesaver for getting around – covering basic history and cultural tips and providing a background to the eating, drinking, art and design, and shopping there was to discover in this ancient city.
This modern take on a traditional Turkish brunch at Mangerie, Bebek was a definite highlight. Graze on the third floor balcony whilst taking in the container ships going up and down the Bosphorus.
Breakfast at Cuma was heavenly, with lovely staff in a gorgeous setting. Try the Cilbir – soft poached eggs in a garlic-infused yogurt. Right around the corner in Cihangir was Muz Botanik & Kahve, a perfect little spot for a coffee where I could also feed my obsession for interior plants. The entire Cihangir area was a favourite of mine, you could spend days exploring this area alone – be sure to make time to wander.
For a fresh and seasonal Turkish lunch, head to Karakoy Lokantasi – their gorgeous interior, assertive staff and classic, simple meals are what it’s all about.
There were so many highlights in this beautiful city – it’s impossible to list them all. It is one of those cities where you may be on your way to a particular cafe or restaurant that you were recommended, but on the way you stumble across so many unexpected places. Always explore, stay inquisitive and turn a new corner.
Thank you to our Air BnB host, we had a gorgeous apartment over looking the Golden Horn in Karakoy.
Other highlights included:
Aheste Tunel in Beyoglu – combining flavours from Anatolian, Syrian, Armenian, Iranian and Lebanese cuisines. Book ahead and be sure to order the octopus.
Just down the road from here, was Duble Meze Bar – enjoy modern takes on classic meze dishes on a roof top under the stars on a balmy Istanbul evening Istanbul. Incredible view. Book ahead.
Asmali Cavit, an authentic tavern in Beyoglu. Book ahead and laugh the night away drinking raki with friends.
Drinks and/or lunch at Unter.
Ciya Sofrasi in Kadikoy, it’s easy to get carried away with your ordering here, but totally worth it!
An an afternoon at The Prince Islands. Sunset Dinner at Kalpazankaya on Burgazada. Catch the ferry one way and jump on a water taxi for the ride home.
The Suada Club – where you can get some sun, order a cocktail and realise that you’re perched between two continents.