Despite being the biggest city in the country, and the cultural and economical powerhouse, Istanbul is not the capital of Turkey. There are more than 13 million people who make their home there, which accounts for nearly a fifth of the entire population of the country, and if the Asian side of it counts, then it ranks third in the largest metropolitan areas of Europe. So it is a pretty important place, but this is not the whole story. Istanbul has been Constantinople to the Romans, it’s been Byzantium to the Byzantines, and it has played a hugely important role throughout history for many civilizations.
The fact that it has been such an influential place in all these times, and for all these different people, means that Istanbul has developed a rich and varied culture. And this can be seen in the spectacular array of glorious foods on offer. From the satisfying ili kfte bought at street markets, or the hearty stews and meat dishes found in high-end restaurants, Istanbul can cater for some very large appetites. But where is the best place to go to eat there?
Galata House is an excellent option if you fancy something a little out of the ordinary. The restaurant runs within a building that used to be an old British Jail, from 1904 to 1919, that has been lovingly restored. It is run by husband and wife, Nadire and Mete Gktuğ and offers meals based on recipes passed down from Nadire’s Georgian mother. Try the hingali, which consist of meat-filled dumplings in a delicious tomato sauce.
Erzincanli Ali Baba Fasulyeci is a long established and popular place to eat. You can find it in what used to be the theological-school library of the Sleymaniye Mosque; it has been serving food since 1924. The kuru fasulye is one of the most popular dishes, and you will soon see why, consisting of Anatolian-style haricot beans in a spicy tomato sauce.
There are plenty more establishments offering beautiful meals, but you haven’t experienced Istanbul until you’ve tried some of the delicious morsels found on street stalls. From savoury snacks to rich sweets, you can make a meal out of sampling this food. Or why not give in to a nice succulent kebab?
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Author: Alvaro MendezThis author has published 1 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.