Istanbul Restaurants: Tom's Favorites

Comments and recommendations for Istanbul restaurants

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turkeytom
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Istanbul Restaurants: Tom's Favorites

Post by turkeytom » Wed Oct 08, 2003 11:37 pm

Istanbullus love to dine well. A typical Turkish evening is not spaghetti and four hours of TV, but a five-hour, sixcourse repast with a dozen friends.

It used to be difficult to spend more than US$15 per person--with wine!--on any meal in the city (except at the Hilton). Those days are gone, but it's still one of the world's great eating cities in terms of value for money.

I'm dreaming now about the Bogaziçi Borsa Restaurant near the Hilton--extremely smooth service, fantastic food (especially meze and seafood), and prices that would be judged moderate in any other world-class city.

Or Hamdi Restaurant, next to the Egyptian market (Misir Çarsisi) in Eminönü, specializing in grilled meats. If the weather's warm you can dine on the open-air roof terrace with a panoramic view of the Golden Horn and Galata.

But I really love the simple, inexpensive places just as much. The Sütis Kebap Dünyasi on Istiklal Caddesi is relatively new (unlike the trusty old Haci Baba nearby), but simply great: clean, bright, efficient, friendly, with great food and great prices.

I LOVE eating in Turkey!

Tom
Last edited by turkeytom on Mon May 03, 2004 3:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.


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Istanbul Restaurants

Post by KatherineB » Thu Oct 23, 2003 4:15 pm

Tom

Its great to get to hear about people’s favourite places to eat. I, like you, love to feel I have found a real gem on the food front. I am taking my other half to Istanbul next April and intend to do plenty of research on the food front and then come back and add some comments in your forum! I will also be trying a few of your favourites you mention as well…. I must start going to the gym right away to make room!!

Once again thanks for what I think will build to be a really good forum.

Katherine
UK

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Walk the weight off!

Post by turkeytom » Thu Oct 23, 2003 6:20 pm

Katherine,

Thanks for your kind words.

My solution to dining (and growing bigger) in Turkey is to walk, walk, walk. I may walk all the way from Sultanahmet to Taksim Square, then down the hill to Dolmabahce.

I actually lose weight on most of my trips in Turkey, even though I eat three meals a day.

Tom

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Bread!!!

Post by WhyBother » Fri Nov 21, 2003 7:00 am

Nobody warned us about Turkish bread before we went there - they should have. Fresh and crispy, for breakfast in the morning - with soft cheese, tomatoes and olives!!! Before you know it you've eaten a kilo!!!! Delicious - and so fresh almost everywhere!!

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Turkish Sourdough Bread

Post by turkeytom » Fri Nov 21, 2003 4:57 pm

It's true. Turkish sourdough bread is baked fresh twice daily and is paticularly good with the many soups, stews and vegetables-in-sauce dishes--you get to sop up the juice! The bread is made with just flour, water, salt and sourdough starter, so it's quite pure and simple.

Not to be curmudgeonly, :evil: but it used to be even better. I think they must be using refined flour now. The "crumb" (that's a baker's term for the soft white center, inside the crust) used to have more substance.

But bread is not so important in the Turkish diet anymore. It used to really be the staff of life: people lived on it.

Since Ottoman times the weight, composition, purity and price of bread had been government-controlled because it was the staff of life.

If the average person couldn't afford bread there would be riots in the streets, so the Grand Vezir (Prime Minister) himself led inspections of Istanbul's bakeries. If bread was found under- or over-baked, under-weight or adulterated, the baker was laid on his kneading table and given the bastinado (beating with a stick on the soles of his feet).

Today Turkey is richer, and people have a far more varied diet. Bread is still important, but it is not so much the staff of life--just a great thing to encounter on the breakfast table, or any table for that matter.

Tom

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Turkish food in the US

Post by nyc_turk » Sat Mar 13, 2004 1:06 am

Guys,
Here's an online store that you can buy turkish foods:

http://www.tulumba.com

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Tulumba.com

Post by turkeytom » Thu Mar 18, 2004 5:23 pm

I'm going to be setting up some special Tulumba.com pages on TTP in the near future. A great service!

I'll also be expanding my Istanbul restaurant recommendations. (I had a lot of great meals on my recent trip.)

Tom Brosnahan

fatih
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A recommendation from a Turk

Post by fatih » Thu Apr 01, 2004 3:01 am

Hi Tom, i am impressed with your great great website. I am recommending it to anyone thinking about travelling to Turkey.

One of the best restaurants that i have been to in Istanbul, (if not the best) is Haci Apdullah on Istiklal Street. For a taste of the traditional Turkish cusine without any kebobs or grills i suppose it is the best place to go.

PS: Franz Edson will be here in Ann Arbor this Friday to perform his magnificant slideshow to the UofM people. I know you are working together with him on a book project. I wish you best luck on it.

Fatih.

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Istanbul Restaurants

Post by turkeytom » Thu Apr 01, 2004 4:11 am

Haci Abdullah, yes, very fine place, excellent food, on Sakizagaci Sokak near the Aga Cami off Istiklal Caddesi between Taksim and Galatasaray. Actually, in the space that Haci Salih occupied in the 1960s and 1970s.

(Non-Muslims note: no alcoholic beverages served--but GREAT traditional Turkish food!)

Enjoy Franz's slide show. His photos are truly wonderful. Ask him to tell you about his grandfather, who was one of the first photographers in Cairo; and his father, who had a studio in Istanbul.

Tom Brosnahan

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Seafood restaurants in Istanbul

Post by Guest » Sun Apr 25, 2004 6:52 pm

Tom, I've been getting advice from travellers about restaurants in Istanbul.

They have suggested a restaurant called, "Korfez", on the Asian side of the Bosporus, and an area called, Kumkapi.

Any comments or suggestions? I hadn't asked about seafood in particular, but it came up. Apparently the Korfez is a big pricey, and probably a bit touristy too. Is Kumkapi close to the Sultanahmet?

Thanks,
Wendy


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