5 places for classic Turkish cuisine in Istanbul
1) Mahir Lokantasi
You’d never notice this restaurant hidden away on the second floor of an apartment building overlooking the busy avenue near the Osmanbey metro. An exceptionally friendly staff, fresh homecooked-style regional dishes from all over Turkey and a highly recommended lahmacun (made to order) await in this cosy neighbourhood restaurant.
In the garden of a restored Ottoman mansion, guests of Asitane travel back in time with the exceptional dishes of Ottoman Palace cuisine. Through the study of historic documents, the Asitane team has been presenting such unique tastes as cinnamon and clove flavoured chicken stew or almond soup with pomegranate seeds.
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3) Haci Abdullah
Skip the touristic İstiklal Caddesi restaurants and head to one of Taksim’s most established eateries serving homecookedstyle Turkish food. Underneath a dome of colourful glass and past a row of decorative pickle jars, you can choose from the dailymade specials in a cafeteria-style display.
Another upscale establishment that prides itself on consistency, Borsa presents a menu of almost every classic Turkish dish imaginable and serves it true to its original recipe and ingredients. From artichoke confit in olive oil to black cabbage stuffed with lamb, Borsa offers the perfect introduction to the Turkish kitchen.
An upscale esnaf (tradesmen) restaurant with daily-made dishes that reflect the kind of food you’d find in homes all over Turkey. Consistency in excellence has made Hünkar an establishment where regulars take comfort in dishes such as slow cooked lamb wrapped in eggplant or kadınbudu köfte (meatballs fried in egg batter).
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