You should definitely try famous and rich Turkish cuisine including huge variety of dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for sure. The best way to do it is to visit local and authentic places instead of central and touristic restaurants with high prices. We, as Alldaywifi Team, have selected top 3 places where you can try real and delicious Turkish dishes like a local with reasonable prices. Let’s take a look together!
Since those 3 suggestions are our favourite and most-visited places for food, two of them are very close to our office. If you decide to try Ficcin or Sabirtasi, you can come to our office and say hello, since they are only few steps away from Alldaywifi Office.
Fıccın is located one of the small streets on Beyoglu and operated by 2 cute old ladies. The local people love to eat in here because of their daily-changing menus with variety of famous Turkish meals and specialties which are whole homemade. It’s not an elegant restaurant but a simple, casual, and warm one with an ordinary design and atmosphere. However it is still a good choice for a quick, nutritious, and filling dish being served by friendly and kind staff.
The prices are reasonable, for most of the tourists it is even cheap. That’s why the place is always full! But don’t worry! If there is no table, you can wait a little bit because there are more than 4 restaurants under the name of Ficcin at that street and the staff will be more than happy to find a table for you shortly.
When I go there for a lunch or dinner, I generally prefer Manti (Circassion ravioli), puree appetizer meatballs, and Turkish mezes (for sure!).
Located in the Fish Market in Kadiköy, Çiya is famous for both locals and tourists with its traditional atmosphere, welcoming staff, and the rich menu including different traditional cuisines such as Ottoman, Balkan, Seldjukian, and Arabian. The restaurant is located on asian side of Istanbul and was founded on 1987 by Musa Dagdeviren, a chef specialized on kebab and lahmacun. After many successful years, different regional dishes were added to the menu. The main purpose behind the idea was to preserve and keep serving the traditional and cultural cuisines of Anatolia against unhealthy fast food restaurants.
You can order both from the menu or pick out the dishes from the counter. If you are only a little bit hungry, you can at least try cold appetites called ‘mezes’ from all over Turkey with unique tastes.
My favourites dishes in Ciya are Lahmacun, Ciya Kebab, Perde Pilav, Turkish Pide, Vişneli Köfte (meatballs with cherry sauce). If you like desserts, do not leave there without trying famous Künefe, Baklava, Katmer, or Ayva Tatlisi. After all Turkish Tea is a must to end your meal.
On 1987, Ali Bey and his family have moved to Istanbul from the hometown, Kahramanmaras due to the economic problems. In Istanbul, they decided to serve handmade Icli Kofte (bulgur wheat filled with meat and spices). Indeed, in a short notice, people loved his special Icli Kofte. At the beginning they were selling it with a cart around several streets of Istiklal Street. After high demand, he started to deliver it to hotels, restaurants, and catering firms.
He, then, opened a restaurant called Sabirtasi. It is located very close to Galatasaray High School on the Istiklal Street, on the rooftop floor of a 5-floor building. So, let me warn you, if you are excited for the traditional Icli Kofte, you need to put some effort and climb 5 floors. If you think, it is tiring, you can simply stop by the Ali Bey’s famous old cart located at the entrance of the building, and eat Icli Kofte on the go. It was Ali Bey’s idea and he was very famous with his white shirt at his times.
On 2009, when Ali Bey died, his son, Mustafa Topcuoglu has decided to protect his traditions and continued to serve what his father had started. Besides Icli Kofte, there are lots of delicious and homemade dishes you should try in this cozy restaurant. My favourite is Manti and trust me, you will eat the best Manti in the city with a reasonable price and with a warm service.