Istanbul Journals

"...And The Imam Fainted!"

Best of IgoUgo

An August 2009 trip to Istanbul by Liam Hetherington

Imam Bayildi! Photo, Istanbul, Turkey More Photos
Quote: Eating my way through Istanbul in Ramadan

Ramadan

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Ain't No Party Like A Ramadan Party Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Ramadan (or Ramazan as it is known in Turkish) is one of the most important dates in the Islamic calendar. During this month adherents are to abstain from food, drink, smoking and having sexual relations during daylight hours. My entire stay in Turkey happened to fall within Ramadan. What does this mean to the traveller?At first I was worried about how this would affect me. With the start of Ramadan falling in August in 2009 (as the Islamic calandar is based on lunar cycles holy days vary from year to year) I was not relishing the thought of having to eat breakfast before dawn (say around 4.30am) and then not being able to eat again until dusk (8.00pm). However, whilst Turkish peopl...Read More

Doy Doy

Restaurant | "Disappointing Doy Doy Dinner"

Doy Doy Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
I was disappointed by Doy Doy. I was expecting great things. It has a great location (in the maze of backstreets south of the Hippodrome), it is obviously popular, and (apologies if this influenced me) it had a stellar recommendation in my Rough Guide to Turkey. Bearing all that in mind it should have wowed me and my friends, rather than leaving me apologising for my choice of restaurant.The restaurant’s USP really is its roof terrace up on the fourth floor, facing out over the Blue Mosque. We had a bit of a wait to be seated, which was understandable – there were eleven of us, and we ha...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 22, 2009

Doy Doy
Sifa Hamami Sokak 13
Istanbul, Turkey
+90 (212) 51715 88

Tarihi Eminönü Balik Ekinek

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Thou Shalt Have a Fishy When The Boat Comes In..."

Tarihi Eminönü Balik Ekinek Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
One of the things you should do in Istanbul is to snack like a local. The premier place to do this IMHO is dockside in Eminönü. Just to the west of the Galata bridge you will find a number of places selling fried fish sandwiches. The sandwiches themselves are pretty plain – a fillet of white fish, a handful of salad, some bread, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, a splash of lemon juice. And the preparation does not seem to alter from one place to the next. But the draw here is the dining venues themselves.You can eat on the walk, or find a low table under one of the awnings. But the actual cooking takes place aboard ship. Each ‘restaurant’ is actually a small and highly o...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 22, 2009

Tarihi Eminönü Balik Ekinek
Eminönü Dockside (near the Galata Bridge)
Istanbul, Turkey

The North Shield Pub

Attraction | "A Scottish Sports Pub in Sultanahmet"

The North Shield Pub Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
The North Shield Pub is prominently located on a corner of Alemdar Caddesi, the main road and tram line down from Sirkeci to Sultanahmet. It’s not usually the sort of place I would look twice at, but – as ever – an important football match was coming up (Manchester United v Arsenal). And the outside notice boards of the pub are liberally plastered with notices of upcoming sports events – football, rugby, Formula 1, the works. And so I made a date to meet some friends here.The North Shield appears to be, not an Irish pub, but a Scottish pub. Yet this was pretty underplayed – a dark blue tartan carpet, a few discreet adverts for Scottish beers high up on the wall, a very good whisky selectio...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 22, 2009

The North Shield Pub
Ebusuud Caddesi 2, Sultanahmet
Istanbul, Turkey
0212 527 0931

Ozler Restaurant

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Why Did The Imam Faint...?"

Imam Bayildi! Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Ibni Kemal Caddesi runs parallel to the main road (and tram line) of Nuradiye Hümav Caddesi between Sirkeci and Gülhane Park, and it is packed with restaurants. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first went down this street. There must be at least half-a-dozen outlets with chairs and tables sprawling out into the street. I immediately attracted attention and was inviteds to come in by staff members from all of them. But there was no real pressure; I was free to cruise up and down the street, studying the fare on offer in the menus displayed.I wasn’t that hungry to tell the truth, and only wanted something light. And that was when I saw it: imam bayildi…If there was one di...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 22, 2009

Asitane

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Wonderful Historic Ottoman Recipes Out In Edirnekapi"

Asitane Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
I would have to rate Asitane restaurant as serving up the best and probably most memorable meal I enjoyed in Turkey. This place would be a must-visit on every itinerary if it were not for one small issue – its location. Rather than being located in the thriving commercial centre of Beyoğlu or in amongst the historic (and touristy) wonders of Sultanahmet, this place is located a ten minute taxi ride west out in Edirnekapi.My argument would be to not let a ten min...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 22, 2009

Asitane
Kariye Hotel, Kariye Camii Sok 18, Edirnekapi
Istanbul, Turkey
+90 (212) 534 8414

Doga Balik

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Not All It's Cracked Up To Be..."

Doga Balik Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Last night of holiday and I wanted a memorable meal. I also wanted seafood (I hadn’t had any since I left Aqaba). A quick check of IgoUgo turned up recommendations for Doğa Balik. So off I went!Finding the place is not as easy as some others. It is located in the district of Cihangir, south of Istiklal Caddesi. The easiest way to get there is probably to head down Siraselviler Caddesi from Taksim Square, and then chuck a left when you reach Akarsu Yokusu Caddesi. Just down here on the left hand side of the street is the Zurich Hotel. Take the lift up to the...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 22, 2009

Doga Balik
Akarsu Yokuşu Caddesi No: 46
Istanbul, Turkey
+90 (212) 243 36 56

Hatay Hotel

Hotel | "Friendly Staff, Good Amenities, Great Location"

Hatay Hotel Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Friendly staff, good amenities, great location; I would have to recommend the Hatay Hotel.I can’t find fault with the staff here. In particular the manager seemd to be about at all times of day and night to provide maps and advice. The main lobby, with its comfy chairs, wall-mounted plasma screen TV, and two free internet-access PCs was always immaculate. And the breakfast room across the street at the sister Antioch Hotel was always fully stocked with cereals, cheese and charcuterie, cordials and teas – certainly one of the best breakfast spreads I came across in my three weeks in the near east.My room was perhaps on the small size. But as I was not sharing a room that hardly ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 22, 2009

Hatay Hotel
Nobethane Caddesi Serdar Sokak 5/7, Sirkeci
Istanbul, Turkey
+90 (212) 527 0404