Having visited Istanbul so many times, each time the trips become more and more fascinating. People tend to do Istanbul as a short weekend city breaks or combine it with a beach stay in Turkey or North Cyprus. It extremely charming that a city can vary from one visit to another where you find ‘not one’ or ‘two’ places you have not seen or heard off but so many places which you did not even know were there from your last visit which is why my experience has been a different and better every time.
You will notice that the less commercial side of the city and places to dine were actually the best which you will find in many other cities surely but what makes Istanbul unique is that there is so much choice and variety of places to dine that you really feel the real Turkish Culture. The most amazing places to eat are often found on small side streets which are not on any tourist map/guide by the way so make sure you explore the hidden streets during your visit as you will get good value for money as well as amazing food. One thing the Turkish culture takes pride in is their food and their big kitchen so whether you’re on a budget or don’t mind splashing the cash you will always find ‘good’ food to suit your needs in this city.I travelled to many cities around the world but this city has by far been one of the most interesting and fascinating, especially for dining and eating out. Restaurants from your local average hidden places, in the side streets to the more commercial dining places but the experience no matter where you chose to dine it is just incredible and memorable each time. Having discovered new places which were better than the previous and yet still so many restaurants to explore and try the local Turkish cuisine. One thing , you do find in Istanbul is the good quality of food was not just in those very expensive restaurants but also in those small local places where the people are credibly friendly, service and food is just ‘spot on’ at all times.
The local small kebab booths to the top end classy prestige restaurants and the best wraps that little man put together in the little ‘kofte’ booth near Taksim square. If you get hungry, at 2am at 3pm in the morning you will always find a place to eat in this city and not just fast food take out but proper home cooked food. It is like a 24 hour moving city. I will never forget the little diner place where I had the opportunity to have their local home-made lentil soup with fresh bread early hours of the morning as I was ill with a cold and needed something warm for my throat. This little family owned place was where the locals would go if they were hungry after a night out with friends or people coming back from a long day of work so there was something for everybody…
Try to go dine at different places in Istanbul because this city has a big ‘food’ culture where you can experience home-made cooked food from different villages to the traditional Turkish Cuisine depending on what you feel like really. With various options and types of restaurants it really tops my list for fine dining as my experience has been nothing other than amazing. The options and variety of places to eat is creditable in comparison to other cities I have visited over the years and more importantly the quality of food just gets better.
A simple salad has never tasted so amazing with just simple ingredients; you can actually taste the freshness and enjoy it. When you think about the views of the Bosporus and the fine dining you almost forget the traffic and over populated crowd walking in the streets but it makes you wonder why people continue to migrate to Istanbul it has amazing views, history speaks for itself, great food and lastly socialising is so easy with so much to do you will never get bored. It is a 24 hour buzzing city!
Have you been to Istanbul.. or are you planning to go? What do you think of Guner’s tips on Istanbul dining.