Simits, Gözleme, Lahmecun and Borek; Döner and Köfte and Imam Bayildi; Baklava, Salep and sweet Künefe, these are a few of my favorite things! Here are a few recommendations for a great day or two of eating in Istanbul.
There is nothing like starting the day with a traditional Turkish breakfast which you can find at almost any hotel. Fun fact: breakfast in Turkish is Kahvalti, which translates as before coffee.
Speaking of coffee, I enjoyed the best iced coffee ever at the original location of The House Café in the Teşvikiye neighborhood of Nişantaşı. They have additional locations throughout the city so keep an eye out, or check their website. For lunch, I suggest lahmacun – Turkey’s ultra-crispy crusted riff on pizza which I devoured at Forno Balat but widely available in Istanbul. Forno Balat also has excellent pide, traditional pizza, killer mint lemonade and save room for their organic apricot soufflé!
Many people never visit the Asian side of Istanbul and that’s a mistake. Taking the ferry over to Kadiköy is a lot of fun. Wander through the fabulous food markets, eat at Ciya Sofrasi and save room for the amazing dondurma at Ali Usta Ice Cream Parlour (Moda Caddesi 176/A, Moda, Kadıköy).
Afiyet Olsun (Turkish for Bon Appétit)!