Where to Eat on the European Side of Istanbul


I love Istanbul, Turkey. Apart from its architectural beauty, it’s also the only city in the world that straddles two continents– Europe and Asia. The Asian side does have its share of attractions– especially the food stalls and cafes in Kadiköy Market. However, the majority of the well-known tourist attractions are located on Istanbul’s European side. Most first-time visitors want to see the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, and Blue Mosque. But don’t skip Istanbul classics like taste testing in the spice market or wandering around the Tophane near the river.

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Where to Eat in Istanbul 

Istanbul’s European Side


The European side of Istanbul can sometimes become overwhelming. It’s the most populated side of the city of 18 million people. The European side is where you’ill find many of Istanbul’s signature sites: the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, and Hagia Sophia. The food and drink scene is not as authentic or abundant, but there a few experiences worth having on the European side of Istanbul.


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1. Cukurcuma 49

Cukurcuma is quickly becoming the place to go. The restaurant is located in a pretty, split-level building with exposed brick, glass, and wood. Its thin-crust pizzas are made with fresh Turkish ingredients. And the homemade wine, bottled on the small Aegean island of Bozcaada is not bad either.

Turnacibaşi sokak 49/A, Cihangir, +90 212 249 0048.


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2. Hookah Cafes

Another great culinary experience on Istanbul’s European side is the hookah cafes. Locals play backgammon and smoke fruit-flavored tobacco. You can buy fresh fruit and roasted nuts. Visit one of the numerous cafes, infamous for serving potent Turkish coffee, sweet chai, and snacks as you puff tutti fruitti rings of smoke into the air.


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3. Spice Bazaar


The spice bazaar is open seven days a week. It is another favorite for selfies and IG stories. Nonetheless, it’s been a bustling gastronomic paradise since 1664. This is the best place to pick up dried fruits and nuts, spices, olives, Turkish delight, oils, and essences.


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  1. berrygood

    Wow, I’m so glad I found this blog. I’m a new military spouse and am very happy to have this as a resource!

  2. Cris

    These all sound so decadent! Istanbul is very high on my travel bucket list. Can’t wait to spend some time there viewing all the well-known and not-so-well-known sites, eating, drinking, and just enjoying a culture so different from my own.

  3. Laura Dove

    Oh wow what a great list of places! I love reading about places to eat, I think food is such an important part of travelling, I love to try local delicacies too!

  4. Ruth

    Such an informative list. I don’t actually go for this type of food or but I certainly wouldn’t be stuck now on what to get if I was. Great post !! 🙂

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