Istanbul Restaurant Tips by Donna_in_India
Istanbul Restaurants: 915 reviews and 1,184 photos
Dervish Cafe & Restaurant
This cafe is located directly opposite the Blue Mosque - between the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. With that location you might expect it to be crowded with tourists. There was actually a combination of tourists and locals.
The patio tables are very comfortable and in an excellent location for people-watching. The food was surprisingly good and reasonably priced. We actually ate there twice. If you don't want to stop in for a meal, have some delicious tea!
Address: Sultanahmet Square
Comparison: about average
Directions: Between Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia (just across the street from the benches in front of Blue Mosque)
Price: less than US$10
Within a two minute walk from our hotel and located at the Beyazit tram stop are several small restaurants/stalls. We tried a few of them and one we enjoyed very much was Lahmacun Sarayi. The delicious pides are a must try in Istanbul! Pide is a brown flatbread and in this case, canoe-shaped. They come with various stuffings/toppings. I stuck with the vegetarian pide which was really delicious! There is also a selection of Lahmacun (round flatbread pizza) and pizza. We had a nice table outside and enjoyed people watching while we had our pide.
Definitely recommend stopping by here. If you can't find this particular restaurant there are many others, as well as an entrance to the Grand Bazaar.
Prices range from 2 TL for Lahmacun to 6 TL for pides to 8 TL for pizza.
Recipe for Pide from Epicurean.com. Top with cheese, vegetables, meat of your choice.
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Nigella seeds and/or sesame seeds
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water and let stand in a warm place for 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in the flour, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise 30 minutes.
To finish the dough, put the flour in a large bowl, made a well in the center, and put in the sponge, salt, olive oil, and lukewarm water. Gradually work in the flour to make a soft and sticky dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 15 minutes. The dough will be very sticky at first, but as you knead, it will gradually cease to stick to your hands. You should have a damp and very springy dough that will offer no resistance to kneading.
Put the dough in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise 1 hour, until well swollen. You can refrigerate the dough at this point until you are ready to use it. To shape the pide, divide the dough into 2 pieces and shape each into a ball. Cover with a towel and let rest 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 550 degrees, and heat the quarry tiles 30 minutes before baking. Flatten one piece of dough slightly. Wet your hands, press and enlarge the dough outward into a circle. Stretch out the circle, pressing hard, particularly with the sides of your hands. When
the dough is stretched to a 10-inch circle, paint it generously with egg. Using the sides of your hands, mark a border 2 inch wide all around the edge. Dip your fingertip in egg; holding your hands above the circle, 4 fingertips pointing down, mark 4 horizontal rows of indentations
parallel to each other with your fingertips, staying within the border. Rotate the circle halfway (180 degrees) and mark 4 rows of indentations parallel to each other and perpendicular to the previous rows. Let your fingertips go down deep, stopping short of piercing the dough. Sprinkle a wooden paddle with some flour.
Lift the pide, holding it at both ends, and stretch it into an oval shape while placing it over the paddle. How it should measure approximately 9 by 15 inches. Make sure it is well brushed with egg and sprinkle it with some nigella seeds or sesame seeds. Slide it gently onto the hot tiles and bake 6 to 8 minutes. As it comes out of the oven, keep it in the folds of a towel. Repeat with the remaining dough. Pide will be at its best fresh from the oven, but can be reheated in foil if necessary.
Makes two large loaves
Address: Kapalicarsi Makascilar Cad., No: 22, Beyazit
Comparison: least expensive
Directions: Tram Stop: Beyazit
Other Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 526 90 90/526 39 32
Price: less than US$10
Erzincanlý Ali Baba
You might think that a restaurant next door to one of the city's most famous mosques would be strictly a tourists only place. But the fact that this place has been around since 1924 and filled with many more locals than tourists encouraged us to give it a try.
We were so very happy we did. We sat at one of the tables outside. My husband ordered the Kuru Fasulye - a haricot bean dish - which was the specialty of the house and we both agreed it was delicious. I had the Karniyarik, which was a dish of eggplant in a tomato-based sauce served with rice. It was also delicious. We enjoyed a relaxing meal and had some tea before heading to the mosque.
There aren't any menus. You just walk inside and pick your dish which will then be served to you. Definitely recommend stopping in for lunch!
Address: Prof. Siddik Sami Onar Caddesi No: 11, Suleymaniye
Comparison: about average
Directions: Alongside the entrance to the Suleymaniye Mosque
Phone: 0212 513 62 19
Price: less than US$10
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