Galatasaray Square, the mid-point along İstiklal Caddesi between Taksim Square and Tünel Square, has dozens of cafés, bars and restaurants. It is also a traditional meyhane (taverna) district:
Off İstiklal Caddesi at Galatasaray Square, this long narrow courtyard is lined with restaurants offering good food at rather high prices in a convivial atmosphere. More...
Just north of the Çiçek Pasajı, through the Fish Market (Balık Pazarı) and past the Armenian Church of Three Altars (Üç Horon Kilisesi), this narrow street is chock full of meyhanes (Turkish tavernas) serving excellent food and copious booze at outdoor tables in a bright, active, noisy atmosphere. More...
Hazzo Pulo, Meşrutiyet Caddesi 75, across from the British Consulate-General, is a full restaurant as well as a wine bar with dozens of Turkish vintages.
Beside it is an entrance to the Hazzopulo Pasajı, an old Ottoman Beyoğlu passage and courtyard with lots of tiny tables, low stools, and people (mostly young) sipping teaand coffee. Up the steps to the south is the Panaya İsodyon Greek Orthodox church.
Of course, Istanbul's main pedestrian shopping street, the former Grande rue de Péra, has a number of cafés, restaurants and light-meal places along its length. Stroll, look and find.
Breakfast on İstiklal Caddesi
Although you may get a Turkish buffet breakfast included in the price of your hotel room, if you're staying in an apartment/flat (such as at RoomsGalata), you may want to breakfast on the avenue. More...
On the top (8th) floor of the grand Mısır Apartımanıbuilding just north of the Catholic Church of San Antonio di Padua, is an upscale, très mod restaurant famed for its panoramic views. Coyly named 360 Istanbul, it actually gives you about 120° of view—but it's stillspectacular (though not as spectacular as the view from Reika Restaurant atop The Marmara Taksim in Taksim Square.)
Still, the view is of the most interesting parts of Old Istanbul: Süleymaniye & Nuruosmaniye mosques all the way east to the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque and Ayasofya (Hagia Sophia), and some of the Golden Horn, and the Bosphorus to Kadıköy and Üsküdar on the Asian shore.
—by Tom Brosnahan