The area near Sirkeci
many good restaurants, and several
streets crowded with cafés and restaurants,
and a pleasant
indoor or outdoor dining experience.
In general, you receive much
better meals at more reasonable
prices in Sirkeci than in
Sultanahmet, and yet Sirkeci restaurants
are only a 5- to 10-minute walk,
or a 3-minute tram ride, from the Hippodrome (map).
Look particularly on İbni Kemal Caddesi, a pedestrian street that's lined with restaurants offering sidewalk tables in fair weather.
It's easy to reach Sirkeci by the Bağcılar-Kabataş
tram. Get out at either
the Gülhane or Sirkeci stops.
Here are two of my favorite hangouts:
The ground-floor restaurant of the
Mansion Hotel (map)
is a good place to try what might best
be described as updated Turkish
regional/fusion cuisine. These
dishes from all over Turkey are not
quite what a Turkish mama used to make—they're
better. Service is top-notch, and prices
are reasonable, with a full meal often
costing only about TL40
per person, wine included. More...
Yes, the name is from the John
Wayne movie, the theme is
American West, the Efes beer is
cold, but the menu provides
more variety than did any saloon in
Wayne's day. Red River is
a good place to relax informally any
time of day (map). More...
—by Tom Brosnahan