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Jun 8, 2008 09:21 AM

Eating out/in in Galata neighborhood of Istanbul?

Hi --
We will be spending 4 nights in Istanbul later this month with our 1.5 year-old daughter. We'll be at a vacation rental near the Galata Tower. I'm looking for recommendations for chowhoundy places to eat out locally, as well as to buy yummy food to keep in the apartment, as we'll be hanging out there in the evenings after our daughter's bedtime. Most nights I imagine we'll have early dinner out together, but we'll also want to keep a few things around for lunch, breakfast, snacks, etc. Any recommendations for restaurants and food shops (or markets)?

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  1. PS:
    -- particularly child-friendly (e.g. outdoor space, informal, room for toddling toddler) places are of course welcome, and
    -- any recommendations in Cappadoccia/Kapadokya are welcome too; we'll be heading there after Istanbul

    1 Reply
    1. re: trufflepig

      We just got back from Istanbul & Cappadocia - a great restaurant in Urgup (in Cappodocia) was Ziggy's, which is named after the owner's dog. Food was wonderful as was the owner. We also ate at Dimrit in Urgup, which wasn't so good and service was subpar. In Avanos we had a yummy lunch at Erdem Eren. Hope this helps!

    2. i recently found this blog which showcases Istanbul and Turkish cuisine beautifully -- several of the posts talk about restaurants and local markets in and outside of Istanbul:

      edit: on our recent tour of Turkey, our guide took us to this place which was easily our best meal in Turkey: a small kebab place somewhere on the road to Cappadocia from Izmir - I understand that this resto has several locations but as it was my first trip to the land and not knowing the language, I unfortunately cannot give you more precise details of its location....this is their website and hopefully you or someone who knows Turkish can help you find this place:

      and p.s. if you check out's Turkey forum, there are lots of very knowledgeable people who have posted recommendations/information about Turkey

      enjoy your trip! we definitely did!

      2 Replies
      1. re: berbere

        Last year we stayed in a near galata tower rental. Loved it. Possibly the same american-owned one that you have book. Delicious bread from the only bakery within site of the base of galata tower, especially the round ring. We got cheese from the only visible vegetable/grocery store (this is not a residential area by any means). So cheese, fresh tomatoes, and bread were our daily breakfast and snacks. But no one spoke English in these stores. I never figured out till the end of our stay that when people were bringing glass containers to this store, the man behind the counter was filling them up with [probably delicious] yogurt. So get yourself a container.

        There is a breakfast buffet at the galatea tower hotel open to the public. Not bad. Good view.

        We ate in a couple of the restaurants around the base of the tower -- all ok or better than ok. Depends on what you are in the mood for. But we found the food in other chowhound suggested places around the city really really fresh and delicious. Not worth keeping a toddler awake, though, or you'll be sorry.

        1. re: elizabeth2929

          Just remembered that Refik was one of our hits for lunch -- appropriate for toddler. It opened (when we were there last May) at noon and filled up quickly. Looked a bit unappealing because it had some buffet counters that turned me off, but we stayed and it was terrific and not too pricey. Shepherd's salad still haunts my dreams for its fresh ingredients.

        1. though not spectacular food, the Galata House (in an old English prison) near the tower is fun and child friendly. owners are characters.
          my favorite lunch is Ficcin located on Kallavi street just off of istiklal roughly opposite St. Antoine church. no nonsense good food of turkish/caucasian orientation- get the Circassian dumplings, and walnut chicken soup (tulen). friendly staff, outdoor seating you'd have trouble spending more than 10 USD/person. not a bad option for dinner too. they have alcohol.
          another quick cheap spot is one we call red kitchen, its on sofyali street just across from The House Cafe in asmali mescit neighborhood roughly behind tunel square. its a corner place. good homecooked stuff.
          i think you will find just about every restaurant here is child friendly. turkish waiters will not keep their hands/lips off of a kid.
          Mekan is also a good place for dinner, also just off of Istiklal near st. antoine church. its run by armenians and has a few of their specialties.
          boncuk in Asmali Mescit is another place run by armenians- good fish, outdoor seating. if you are lucky they'll have these small fish wrapped in grape leaves.