Spending a day shopping on Istanbul’s busy 3km Istiklal Street can be tiring, but fortunately, there are many restaurants at which you can stop and fuel up. Hala, a restaurant specializing in authentic home-cooked Anatolian cuisine, is a popular pick with the locals and worth a meal or two.
You will recognize Hala immediately, as you will see village women with white headscarfs kneading dough in the front window. Here, they prepare and cook Turkish savory pancakes called gözleme.
At Hala the menu is affordable and delicious, and it's a great place to try traditional Ottoman and Turkish cuisine including famous kebabs like Ali Nazik and Turkish pasta called manti (meat dumplings served with yogurt and oil, caramelized with tomato paste, and seasoned with mint and red pepper). For a truly authentic experience, wash it down with a glass of Ayran, a salty yogurt drink adored by many Turks.