As I wrote yesterday, Cenk Sonmezsoy writes Café Fernando, a food blog about Istanbul. Listed below are this five favorite places to eat in Istanbul. I visited the city in 1966 and 1972 and had a great time. The people were very friendly, the architecture interesting, and food was wonderful.. Here are Cenk’s picks with descriptions in his words:
Beyti: I think it is the best restaurant in İstanbul that serves authentic Turkish food. I did a piece on this restaurant. You can find it at this post, Durusu & Beyti (There are wonderful pictures) Address: Orman Caddesi 8, Florya, Istanbul, Phone: 212/663-2992
Çiya: I am 30 years old and I discovered this restaurant only 5 years ago. It is kind of like a hidden place in the Anatolian side of İstanbul but very popular among foodies. There are two Çiya restaurants on the same street. One of them is only serving kebab. The other one (which is my favorite) serves food from the Southwestern part of Turkey. Mainly vegetarian dishes. Very unusual combinations like meatball stew with sour cherry, a soup with a yoghurt base with chick peas in it. I took a vegetarian friend there once and she still can't stop talking about the place. Here is another English review of Ciya and its chef.
İskele Restaurant. This is the best fish restaurant by the Bosphorus. Everything is always fresh and the view is spectacular. Sorry no links to this restaurant. It is located at Yahya Kemal Caddesi 1, Rumeli Hisari, Istanbul (Phone : +90-212-263 29 97)
Another favorite is located inside the Grand Bazaar called Havuzlu. I posted about it in post on the Grand Bazaar – “where there are 4000 shops with most of them ranging between 2-3 sq. meters and crammed with people inside, pushing and poking while shopping like crazy.”
Most Turkish people may disagree with me but I have to name my fifth choice a small mantı restaurant called Aşkana Mantı (mantı is very close to ravioli - basically minced meat stuffed in small pieces of dough pockets, boiled in salty water and then served with diluted yoghurt with garlic and melted butter with pepper flakes.). The restaurant has a long history, very small shop that doesn't even accept credit cards. The menu consists of mantı, çiğ börek (type of phyllo dough with minced meat), garden salad and schnitzel. It is located at Metehan Sokak 1. - Tel: 0 212 268 74 42