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Dine like a Russian Emigre
Istanbul’s location at the crossroads of continents has made it the hometown for many cultures. In 1924, Russians fleeing the Bolshevik Revolution opened the Rejans restaurant on Istanbul’s Istiklal, and it acted as a meeting place for other refugees, artists, and intellectuals for eight decades. The restaurant was reopened in 2016 as 1924 Istanbul, restored to its original glory down to the silverware, with a table permanently reserved for frequent customer Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, complete with a bottle of rakı. Today, the restaurant serves Eastern European and Russian favorites like pelmeni dumplings, stroganoff, and lemon-infused vodka. Weekends have live music for extra ambience; bring your own old Russian soul.