With architecture from the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods as a backdrop, Istanbul is now the rare place where readers of Archaeology and Wallpaper magazines can clink glasses with equal zeal.
Where to EAT-Suggestions
Hamdi Et Lokantasi
Hamdi's southeastern kebaps will never come close to Develi Restaurant, but this is a good alternative to the overpriced mediocrity of Pandeli Lokantasi only steps from the entrance to the Egyptian Spice Market. The popular terrace views of Galata Tower and the Golden Horn add to the convenience of the location, and you can move to the cozy sark (Oriental-style seating area) for your after-dinner cup of coffee or tea. Specialties of the house include the erikli kebap, minced meat from a suckling lamb in which all of the fat has been cooked out, and the showcase testi kebap, a stew of diced meat, tomatoes, shallots, garlic, and green pepper cooked in a terra-cotta pot over an open fire and served tableside by breaking the pot (minimum 10 people, advance orders required). Hamdi caters to vegetarians with the vegetable kebap, spiced with parsley and garlic; don't pass up the yuvarlama, a flavorful yogurt soup with tiny rice balls served only at dinnertime.
One of the trendiest restaurants in Istanbul, this eatery serves modern, artfully presented versions of classic Turkish dishes. Offerings include quail salad with raspberry sauce and lamb simmered with dried and fresh fruit.