Every visitor to Istanbul spends
at least a few hours in and around
Mosque, but few
realize there are lots of good restaurants
South of the square, on the south
side of Yeniçeriler Caddesi (the
westward continuation of Divan
Yolu; the tram runs along it) (map), are
lots of small restaurants, snack shops,
pastry shops, etc.
I prefer the ones
just off Yeniçeriler. A good,
bright, clean, friendly one is the
Şar Lokantası, one
short block south on Gedikpaşa, on
the left (map).
Pronounced SHAR, it has a smaller sister establishment
on Yeniçeriler just west of the corner
with Gedikpaşa, but I prefer the larger
Lots of other choices here, and if you walk down the hill, jog right, then left, in about 10 minutes you'll end up at Kumkapı, with its fish market and dozens of seafood restaurants. More...
the Grand Bazaar proper are at least
a dozen small eateries. The Havuzlu
Restaurant near the PTT (post
office) is fanciest, with good food
and service, a beautiful setting
(it's made out of several small,
closed-off streets) and tourist-style
For simpler, cheaper fare,
wander the bazaar's back streets
(caravanserai courtyards) looking
for lokanta signs,
little tables, and a guy in white
apron, shirt and toque.
You'll get good food, and quick,
at moderate to low prices.
The sprawling mosque complex includes
several historic buildings, one of
which has been converted to a very
good indoor-outdoor restaurant serving
fills several dining rooms and, in
fine weather, spreads into the arcade
and courtyard. This is the place
for a nice leisurely midday meal
at moderate prices.
Too much? Ranged along Prof. Sıddık
Sami Onar Caddesi on the southwest
side of the mosque (map)
are a half dozen simple restaurants serving
traditional Turkish favorites—especially
broad white beans in a rich tomato-based
sauce—at indoor and outdoor tables
for low prices. These are favorite
places for Istanbul University students
looking for good food on a budget.
For a real old-time Ottoman eating
experience, walk a little farther to Fatih,
beyond the Aqueduct of Valens, and
the Kadınlar Pazarı. More...
—by Tom Brosnahan