I prefer the ones on Gedikpaşa Caddesi, 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 one.
In 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 prices.
For simpler, cheaper fare, wander the bazaar’s back streets and hans (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 Ottoman-style cuisine.
Darüzziyafe (DAH-rew-ZEE-ah-FEH) 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 kuru fasulye, 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.
—by Tom Brosnahan