BREAKING THE FAST IN STYLE
BREAKING THE FAST IN STYLE
It’s that time of the year again. Ramadan is here.
It is the time for fasting, though dinner feasts are worth waiting for. Between us, even those who do not fast, reserve a table in one of the amazing places to break the fast. In Turkish, it is called ‘iftar’.
So, we picked ten ‘iftar’ places with a twist.
Here is the list:
1- Armada Boat
How about breaking your fast on a luxurious boat? Your food will be served as you sail with a view of the most important historical mosques of Istanbul and make your way towards the famous Golden Horn where the sun sets amazingly. The whole experience takes 2.5 hours.
We can book you this feast or you can also take a private yacht tour with us and experience the best the city has to offer (without the iftar food though)
2- Asitane – Traditional Zadegan Ottoman Iftar Ceremony
Asitane is the first and finest Ottoman cuisine restaurant in Istanbul. The owner actually went through the trouble of searching the palace archives to find the recipes of the dishes that were cooked in the palace.
This ramadan, as always, Asitane has a delicious and historical menu for ‘iftar’.
It is for sure, one of the most special ‘iftar’ meals in the city. You will start your meal with classical iftar starters of date, cheese, ‘sucuk’ (Turkish sausage) and continue with Ottoman specialties such as pastries, roasted lamb shoulder accompanied with traditional Ottoman drink called ‘şerbet’ (fruit juice with natural sugar).
When you go to ‘iftar’ at Asitane, you will also learn about the palace ‘iftar’ traditions.
Our guests regularly eat at Asitane Restaurant during our tour of ‘Fener & Balat’ and ‘Along the Bay of Golden Horn’. You can combine this lunch with a visit to one of our favorite sights in Istanbul, Chora Museum.
3- Fatih Pidecisi
Not all the options are fancy spots. This one comes to those who want to join the locals for best ‘pide’ (Turkish pizza) in the city.
Make sure you reserve your spot at this local pide place.
If you have space after the yummy pide, then you can try their special dessert ‘fırın sütlacı’ (milk rice pudding baked in the oven)
Fatih is not only the name of one of the most famous Ottoman sultans, but it is a historical neighborhood of the city as well. We go there during our ‘Along the Bay of the Golden Horn’ tour.
4- Hamdi Restaurant
Yes, this one is a classic! Perhaps, there is no twist here, but some classics are not to be missed.
If you want to have one of the best kebaps in the city and have an amazing view as you eat, this is your place.
You absolutely have to reserve your spot though.
5 – St Regis, Spago Restaurant
Unexpected spot for ‘iftar’ dinner. One of the most luxurious hotels of the city, located in a very modern, European quarter of Istanbul, Nişantaşı, has come up with a delicious ‘iftar’ menu this year.
Menu includes soup which is a must for ‘iftar’, cheese selection with dried fruits, salad and seasoned rice. If you do not want to be fed too much, this is a well-balanced, healthy option.
The hotel is located in Nişantaşı which is one of our favorite neighborhoods in Istanbul. We can add Nişantaşı to our ‘Shopping in Historical Bazaars of Istanbul’ tour. It is not historical, but definitely a shopping haven. You can shop first and then break your fast with a delicious meal.
6- Akdeniz Hatay Sofrası:
Antiochia is famous for a few things: history, Christianity and food. This time around, we focus on food. This regional restaurant is a place where you can eat a mix of Assyrian, Arabic and Turkish food. It is one of the most delicious, hidden gems of the city. You will start your meal with a delicious humus, continue with a local favorite ‘oruk köftesi’ (flat wheatball with groundbeef and walnut), regional kebap and ‘künefe’ (regional dessert with vermicelli and cheese).
This restaurant can be visited in one of our historical peninsula tours as well. For instance ‘I have three days in Istanbul’.
7- Rocca Restaurant, Raffles Istanbul:
Rocca is one of the best restaurants in town and is offering one of the richest iftar menu’s in town.
Rocca has a rich and amazing variety of food, anywhere from delicious ‘meze’s as cold starters including humus, eggplant dishes, liver, lentil balls to cheese & charcuterie selection, soup and ‘mantı’ (Turkish ravioli) and various ‘dolma’s. If you still have space after all this food, you can select from the rich selection of Turkish delights.
Rocca Restaurant has become quite popular among istanbulites. It is possible to eat here during our ‘I have four days in Istanbul’ tour.
8- Develi Samatya:
Another classic, though in a unique location. Samatya is a beautiful, cosy, historical neighborhood where non-Muslims used to live during the Ottoman era.
Develi is one of the most famous kebap restaurants in the city and this is their original location.
Try their ‘iftar’ menu and you will not regret it. The additional perk is that you visit a part of town which you would normally not visit during your stay in Istanbul.
It is possible to add ‘Samatya’ to one of our tours such as ‘I have a weekend in Istanbul’.
9 – Darüzziyafe:
Once the ‘kitchen for the poor’ where free food would be provided, is a traditional restaurant today with a lovely courtyard. Darüzziyafe is part of Suleymaniye Mosque complex, which is the biggest mosque complex in Istanbul. Suleymaniye Mosque (whose courtyard with the amazing Istanbul view is worth a visit right before sunset), is the best work of the famous Ottoman architect Sinan in Istanbul. It is the biggest functioning mosque in Istanbul and has a library, hospital, kitchen for the poor, market place, medrese (religious school) and Turkish bath as part of the complex. Darüzziyafe is a great choice for trying ‘iftar’.
The restaurant is right by Suleymaniye Mosque which we visit during our ‘I have four days in Istanbul’ tour.
10- Tuğra Restaurant:
One of the best locations in the city for sure. Tuğra is located in the palace section of Çırağan Palace Kempinski Hotel. It is located where the summer palace of the sultan was built in 1860s. One of the top restaurants in the city as well. It is worth trying their ‘iftar’, it will be an unforgettable experience.
One of the most famous ‘meat’ restaurants in the city with a good selection of ‘kebap’s as well. Meal will start with the traditionals: date from Medina, honey and custard, pastrami and nuts and continue with delicious warm starters such as ‘içli köfte’ (wheatballs stuffed with groundbeef and walnuts) and kebaps served with ‘beğendi’ (mashed eggplants). Make sure you go hungry!
Though located in a very residential part of town, it is actually worth a visit. You can visit this restaurant during our ‘I have four days in Istanbul’ tour.