Istanbul captivating.terraces.busy.bazaar

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Less is more ... rather than overwhelming you with volumes of travel tips, here is a specific list of exclusive recommendations with Mr & Mrs Crystal's stamp of approval.

restaurants

360

As the name suggests, 360istanbul commands a breathtaking 360 degree view of Istanbul. It successfully fuses 4 key elements – cuisine, design, entertainment and atmosphere. The Turkish influenced international cuisine is outstanding and the ambience is trendy-glam. On a summer evening when milling about 360’s wraparound terrace, there’s no hotter place to be.

 Browse Website
 View Map ... 32–309 Istiklal Caddesi, Misir Apt. K8, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey
Banyan

Banyan is the ultimate gourmet Asian-fusion pioneer in Istanbul. Nestled in the Ortaköy fishing village, it has a grand terrace overlooking the Bosphorous. Long banquettes and mirrors around the bar reflecting the sumptuous view make Banyan a wonderful place to enjoy a lazy lunch or fantastic dinner.

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 View Map ... Muallim Naci Caddesi, 3 Salhane Sokak, Ortaköy, Istanbul, Turkey
Boncuk

For a true taste of Istanbul take a walk down Nevizade Sokak to some of the best “meyhanes” (Istanbul’s version of a Mediterranean tapas bar) in town. As you pass through the Cicek Pasaji (“Flower Passage”) alleyways you will notice the street party atmosphere - outdoor diners, street vendors and roaming musicians. Bocuk, a small rustic meyhane that is consistently full, specialises in superb Armenian street food dishes and features live fasil music. The more dishes the better as it is all about sharing.

 View Map ... Nevizade Sokak. 19, Istanbul, Turkey
Körfez

On an intimate waterside summer patio on the Asian side of the Bosphorous River, Korfez is impossibly romantic and a true hidden gem. Try the signature dish - salt-baked seabass (tuzda balik) served at the table with a spectacular ceremony by solemn waiters who set the platter alight and literally chisel the fish out of its salty enclosure. It may be a mission to get there (via the restaurant’s private skiff) but the spectacular setting is well worth the adventure.

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 View Map ... 78 Körfez Caddesi, Istanbul, Turkey

what we think

No other city in the world can claim to straddle two continents, but spanning Asia and Europe is not the only fascinating thing about this splendid city. Fervent shoppers can indulge at designer boutiques, go on a spree at the crazy but addictive Grand Bazaar or engage their senses at the sensual Spice Market. By day, be spoilt with a traditional hammam steam bath and be captivated by the domes and minarets. At night, enjoy a cocktail at one of the many superb rooftop bars or go clubbing under the stars reflecting over the Bosphorous river. A surprise packet of pleasure and designer glamour on the Bosphorous, Istanbul is quickly becoming the next “must-go” hedonist destination.