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Local Cuisine You Must Try in Istanbul

Don’t leave Istanbul without trying the most delicious local cuisine and refreshments, which have been influenced by Turkey's historical eras, peoples, rituals, and fertile lands. Sample menus of fresh mezes, Ottoman cuisine, regional kebabs, and local desserts, and wash it all down with drinks such as Turkish tea and hazelnut-flavored coffee. Will you come back for more? The answer lies in a Turkish coffee reading (fal) offered by Istanbul’s eager fortune tellers in Taksim!
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Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi, Erzak Ambarı Sok. No:92, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Istanbul's Spice Bazaar may be a global tourist trap, but isn't nearly as rage-inducing as the squawking group tours inside the Grand Bazaar. Here, a remnant of authenticity lives on in this 17th century building, created by commission for Sultana...
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Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
There's no cost attached to one of Istanbul’s most distinctive photo ops, and the only lines are from fishing poles. Cross the historic Golden Horn via the Galata Bridge, where fishermen from every walk of life jostle for space, and...
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Istanbul, Turkey
One morning outside Sultanahmet I saw what I believe to be a suffi. He looked somewhat like a Turkish version of Santa Claus (which was odd because it was late December), but I don't really know what else he would be with that beard.
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Teşvikiye, Vali Konağı Cd. No:40, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey
If you’re keen to experience the medieval practice of "kahve falı" or "fal" (fortune telling with Turkish coffee) then make an appointment at Symbol Café in Nişantaşı with Tunc, one of the few English-speaking coffee readers in the city. Once...
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Yıldız Mh., Çırağan Cd. No:32, 34349 Beşiktaş/İstanbul, Turkey
The five-star Çırağan Palace Kempinski Hotel, right on the Bosphorus near Ortakoy, boasts some the most expensive and elegant hotel rooms in town. A-listers swoon to stay here to make the most of the hotel's luxurious offerings all housed in the...
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Istanbul, Turkey
Hold off on that second bite of pistachio baklava, and re-think that serving of semolina halva, because there's another dessert to try in Turkey that never disappoints. It's called künefe. This sugary, crunchy slice of sweet goodness is made of...