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Sep 10, 2011 07:52 PM

Istanbul- specific requests


i'm traveling with my wife and 9 year old daughter to Istanbul in mid Fall. I've found Chowhound archives to be an incredible source of reviews and info. Hopefully you Istanbul experts can steer me in the right direction for a few very specific needs.

We are staying in Beyoglu, very near Galata Tower.

1. Ice cream. I understand that Istanbul has a very specific style of ice cream somewhere between the richness of gelato and the texture of taffy. Any recos? I assume you can find this stuff all over.

2. As we are missing Halloween here at home, I want to treat my daughter to a candy store extraordinaire. We will be travelling to the Spice Market and also to the Grand Bazaar. But i'm looking for something candy specific. IF there was a Turkish Delight factory or a candy factory, it would be a dream come true. If not what about a candy lovers shop? Something very Turkish, of course.

3. Our trip falls on my wife and my anniversary. I'm looking for a place that fits these criteria:
- Old world Istanbul, both in decor and menu
- Opulent, regal and beautiful without being stuffy, formal or expensive.
- Casual attire ( no jacket required )
- Kid friendly. She's 9, urbane and sophisticated. Great restaurant manners.
- Extra points for views and fish!

4. Perhaps this is the impossible request: Bosphorus dining? as in ON A BOAT? If the food was exceptional, I'd do this as the anniversary dinner.

Thanks so much everyone!

Spice Market
10 Wardour St, London, England W1D 6, United Kingdom

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  1. Merhaba!

    You'll eat well in the Beyoglu area. Here are the answers to your specifics:
    1. all over istiklal are icecream guys wearing Ottoman attire ringing cowbells and playing silly games with their "icecream". Don't waste your time. Get on the ferry to Kadikoy and walk (through the Kadikoy market, stopping at Ciya for lunch) to ther Moda district where you will find Ali Usta. This guy is the real thing. It is destination dondurma using fresh fruit and real sahlep (ground orchid root) which thickens it up and gives it that special texture. You cannot find real icecream makers everywhere. But there is Mado which is much like a Baskin Robins- not horrible but nothing too special.
    2. Altan Sekerleme is the Ottoman candy shop experience. They make their own Turkish delight upstairs as they have since the year the American Civil War ended. Its a great old family-run institution. In Balat is another great candy shop if you are around there. It's right around the corner from Kofteci Arnavut, a great place for meatballs.
    3. Rumeli Hisari Iskele- it checks all of the boxes. You can find reviews of it elsewhere. Great, classic fish restaurant, right on the water. it is not cheap though. but anything like this will not be.
    4. i dont think you'll find anything interesting in this department. i'm curious to see if other people on this board know of anything good like this.

    good luck!


    1 Reply
    1. re: antman

      Of course, Istanbul Eats is a great reference - your book is like a small bible for us. =)

      1. I agree too. Dondurma guys are everywhere.

      2. My favorite candy shop is over on the Asian side in Kadikoy called Sekerci Cafe Erol located at Yasa Cad. No:19, Kadıköy / İstanbul. They've been in business for 200 years. I love walking into this shop and seeing all the candy displayed in old-fashioned glass jars, esp. the colorful hard candies. Worth the trek and you can have lunch at Ciya while you are over there too. =)

      3. I agree. The Rumeli restaurant on the water is lovely. Took my in-laws there this summer too for a Sunday lunch. They loved it as we had a table right next to the water/fence.

      4. Dining on the Bosphorus - We took guests to the island of Suada this summer and dined at G G Balik Suada. Phone Number: (0212) 263 65 56. This wasn't cheap either, but we had a great view and our guests liked it esp. taking their photos by the "East/West" signs in the middle of Suada.