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Travel to Istanbul


Istanbul - Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner with Liam Smith

1 September 2014

Liam Smith Laing, head chef at La Petite Maison Istanbul, reveals his favourite places to eat in the Turkish capital


Cihangir is one of the great areas of Istanbul. Right slap bang in the middle sits the Kardesler Café, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is the café that never sleeps. So very, very cheap, serving endless cups of tea (cay) and pide and lahmacun from their wood-fired oven. 

It’s always packed and is, for me, the best place to people watch in the whole city. I love to go for a Sunday morning brunch with my family and soak up the atmosphere. Lahmacun, a type of thin, crispy Turkish pizza, is a must, and I always order the sucuklu melemen, a spicy mix of peppers, eggs and local sausage. The cay is practically compulsory. 

UKardesler Café
Ağahamam Cad. No: 1, Cihangir
Tel: +90 212 251 3696


On a quiet side street off bustling Istiklal Avenue exists the best Turkish food I have come across. The locals know it, too, and if you don’t book, it had better be Lady Luck you are dining with. Yeni Lokanta only opened last year, but has quickly established itself at the forefront of new Istanbul cuisine. 

The food is unmistakably Turkish, but lighter, fresher and more innovative than anything else I’ve tasted here. Try the smoked yoghurt called manti – and the hummus is the best anywhere. In fact, go in a group and try as much as possible – it’s all good. 

Yeni Lokanta
Kumbaracı Yokuşu No:66
Tel: +90 212 292 2550


Dark and chic, Munferit has a great little terrace where all the clientele want to sit. Perfect for a relaxed dinner, it also hits the spot for new wave Istanbul foodies. Go hungry and prepare to be indecisive. The menu is full of small dishes to share, though I always eat big and try as much as possible. 

Cauliflower salad always gets me thinking of how I can put something similar on my menu without pinching the idea completely, and the ox cheek just melts in your mouth. Waiting staff make good recommendations and are knowledgeable about the food. 

Yeni Çarşı Caddesi No: 19
Tel: +90 212 252 5067



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