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Tünel Square Cafés & Restaurants

The area around Tünel Square, at the southern end of İstiklal Caddesi in BeyoğluIstanbul, has lots of restaurants, cafés, bars and music clubs.

The square itself, in front of the entrance to the Tünelsubway train to Karaköy, has several places, but the real interest is in the side streets and passages.

Directly across from the Tünel entrance is the Tünel Pasajı, with a variety of café-bar-restaurants, some with outdoor tables.

Walk through the Pasaj and out the far side to Sofyalı Sokak, a major locale in Beyoğlu’s café-bar-restaurant scene.

Until 2011, Sofyalı Sokak was lined with outdoor tables, but then these were all swept away by the city authorities who regarded them as impediments to movement along the street. Still, the little bars and cafés are major hangouts for Beyoğlu’s gilded youth, Yuppies, and artsy set.

At the far end of Sofyalı Sokak is Asmalı Mescit Caddesi,a narrow street also lined with cafés, bars, and restaurants. Here, some of the outdoor tables are still in place because they are on private property, not in acity street.

One of my favorite restaurants here is Yakup-2, Asmalı Mescit 35-37, long an artists’ and litterati favorite. Asmalı Cavit, across the street at Asmalı Mescit Sokak 16, is another.

On İstiklal Caddesi near Tünel Square, look for the historic Café Markiz and the Lebon Pastanesi (pastry shop).

—by Tom Brosnahan


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