I knew I was stepping into a delicious place, thanks to Alissa. But I didn’t think my expectations could be blown through the roof. From the way citizens handled the attempted coup to the owner of the (delicious!) Gazientep kebab stall who insisted he repack my mess of bazaar purchases into a slightly less nutso annoying chaos. I was smitten. I can’t wait to explore the rest of the country, but in the meantime, at least I can look back at these little goodies I took.
We stayed in the perfect Airbnb. It was just steps from all the delicious and beautiful things. But not just that, our hosts messaged us to make sure we were alright once the coup started. Except we had the fortitude of being disconnected and clueless and replied, “we’re great! love this city!” Anyways, I loved this little rooftop apartment with the best view off the rooftop terrace, waking up to this view from our bed every morning. I never got sick of the calls to prayer, and even with the five flights of stairs to take us up, I would absolutely stay here again.
From this trip onwards, I am absolutely making Turkish lemonade, limonata, a constantly available beverage in my house. It’s basically minty lemonade, but the moment we saw that Turkish Airlines offered a homemade version on their drinks list, I was addicted. It’s all I want after hiking up a 45 degree incline.
Karakoy is where all the cool kids are. It was also just steps from our Airbnb, and on the way to the ferry that would take us to the Asian side of Istanbul. There is no excuse for not heading here. Just remember to make a reservation at Karakoy Lokantasi.
If you don’t have a Turkish breakfast, then you haven’t really visited Istanbul. Every single person I chatted with while planning this trip implored me to visit Van Kavalhti Evi (though, the above picture was taken at Cafe Privato), with their endless supply of delicious tea, and that massive spread! Bring friends and spend at least three hours here.
You’ll need to get an olive oil massage at the hammam because your neck will always be craned upwards while you’re at the Hagia Sophia, The Blue Mosque, and all the other massive pretty things that make Istanbul resemble Disney World.
Tarlabasi Sunday Market is the perfect place to get a sense of Istanbul at it’s most normcore. Located in a middle class neighbourhood just a hop and a skip from Taksim Square, the place comes alive with olive vendors, cheese men, and all the peppers and spices in the world. All I wanted to do was buy all the produce, and every single variety of tomato.
The Asian side of Istanbul is just a 15 minute ferry ride from Karakoy harbour and across the Bosphorus. Our pal Abigail was absolutely right – you can just get lost over there, wandering every delicious street, from the seafood restos and fish market to all the bars on Kadife Sokak. We stumbled upon the most delicious honey, fresh scraped from the comb atop the thickest yogurt. Then came all the local brew and the fresh fish. We didn’t have any more room for the kunefe, which only means we’ll have to go back.
All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use. Cait+Tiff are not liable for sudden urges to go to Turkey.