Hamdi Restaurant, just steps from the Egyptian (Spice) Market in Eminönü by the Golden Horn, (map), is known for its grilled meats, but in fact it serves an extensive menu.
It's been here for decades, is very popular and usually crowded. Reservations are strongly advised.
In fine weather, diners can sit on the roof terrace and enjoy the view of the Golden Horn, the Galata Bridge, and busy Eminönü just below.
Otherwise, there are several floors of white-tablecloth dining rooms below.
On my latest visit, I was not super-impressed. The food was good but not exceptional (some of the dishes on the menu were unavailable), portions were adequate but not large, prices for food were moderate, but the cheapest bottle of wine, a decent, dependable but not exceptional Kavaklıdere red named Yakut, cost about TL60!
Maybe this is why most Turks drink rakı with their kebaps.
Still, it's worth a try for grilled meats, especially if you reserve ahead and get a table on the rooftop terrace in good weather.
Something cheaper? There are lots of good restaurants nearby in Sirkeci and Hocapaşa. More...
Tahmis Caddesi, Kalçın Sokak 17 (map)
Tel: +90( 533) 658 8011
+90 (555) 992 3878
+90 (212) 528 0390
Fax: +90 (212) 528 4991
—by Tom Brosnahan