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Istanbul Turkey Istanbul cafes and restaurants


Turkish cuisine enjoys deserved reputation as one of the most savoury ones. It is rich and flavourful, not particularly spicy-hot, with abundant use of vegetables and milk products. Meat courses are based on lamb and mutton, they can include beef and chicken, no pork. The most widespread methods of food processing are roasting and grilling, as in famous Turkish kebaps and kofte.

There are also many fish dishes and extreme variety of dairy products. The bread types include common sourdough loaf, leavened flat bread, paper-thin lavash.  Bread is baked fresh every early morning. The country is famous for succulent fruit and numerous fragrant varieties of honey. Turkish tea is very strong and acts as excellent stimulant and thirst-quencher in summer. Coffee is a perfect treat along with famous versatile sweetmeats. Alcohol is prohibited in Islam, but in recent years the rules are milder, many restaurants serve it.

Traditional Turkish eateries, meyhane, are perfect places for hearty meal. Boncuk Restaurant at Beyoglu is a good example. Mercan Fish Restaurant in Istiklal Street features various seafood dishes. Galata Tower restaurant near the well-known tourist attraction offers delicious Turkish meals, as well as Feriye Lokantasi, featuring traditional cooking recipes and techniques. The latter disposes of vast outdoor area, heated during cold periods.

Tugra is an ideal venue for special occasions, offering delicious Ottoman dishes along with vast array of meze (starters) and great dessert buffet. It also features live music. The restaurant requires smart casual dress code.

Istanbul Modern Café and Restaurant has a spacious terrace overlooking Bosphorus. The restaurant serves exquisite Turkish and European dishes, sometimes with a very original specialty twist.

Seasons Restaurant is one of the city's finest restaurants in the tourist Sultanahmet area, located on the grounds of the Four Seasons Hotel. It serves Mediterranean cuisine. The House Café and Leb-i Derya represent the city's array of ultra-stylish bars, highly original in concept, design and innovative delicacies and cocktails.

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