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The taste for coffee was so widespread in the imams complained about the mosques being empty whilst the coffee houses were always full.

Living in Istanbul

Living in Istanbul and Istanbul Day Tours Packages

Street Vendors

There are many of them, such as this seller of simit (small bread rings). Others offer pastries from stalls or trays, fruits or cucumbers in summer and chestnuts in winter.


Rakı is for the Turks what pastis is for the French: an aniseedflavored spirit which accompanies every conversation. A state monopoly, like tobacco and matches, alcohol is sold by a company called Tekel.

Living in Istanbul and Istanbul Day Tours Packages

“The taste for coffee was so widespread in the imams complained about the mosques being empty whilst the coffee houses were always full” (Alexander Dumas, Dictionnaire de cuisine). Living in Istanbul means knowing how to take your time. Practise keyif, hours of peaceful reverie into which you drift while smoking a narghile and sipping a rakı or tea. As you slowly walk about savor the excellent börek (cheeseflavored flaky pastries), or the pide (a kind of pizza with different garnishes). Taste the fresh fish in sandwiches or small fried portions, prepared by the fishermen themselves. For refreshment buy a ayran (yoghurt drink) or cherry juice (vişne suyu) from a street vendor.

Newspaper Kiosks

Here you can buy telephone tokens, maps of Istanbul, bus tickets and of course the local and sometimes the international press. The main Turkish daily newspapers are: Sabah (Morning), Hürriyet (Freedom), Milliyet (The Nation), and Cumhuriyet (The Republic). You may find English-language newspapers in some of the major hotels.

Bosphorus Sunset Cruise Istanbul


Live Guided Bosphorus Sunset Cruise on Luxury Yacht. Come aboard an elegant luxury yacht for a beautiful cruise along the Bosphorus Strait where you can enjoy sightseeing at the most beautiful time of day-sunset in Istanbul.


Tea from the Black Sea is the national drink and is taken at any hour of the day. In offices çayci (teamakers) do the rounds. But it is in the çay-evi and the nargileci, mainly frequented by men, that you are most likely to drink it. In the çay-bahçesi (tea gardens), where there is an area reserved for women (aile salonu), it is prepared in samovars which contain well brewed tea in the top part and hot water in the lower, so you can have a choice of light (açik) or dark (koyu) tea.

Turkish Coffee

Nowadays not much coffee is drunk in Turkey because it is so expensive. Turk kahvesi is prepared in small copper pots (cezve). Order it according to taste: sade (no sugar), orta (quite sweet), and şekerli (very sweet). Do not drink to the bottom of the cup, because the grounds are very fine.

The Fish Markets

From anchovies caught in the Black Sea to groupers from the Mediterranean, the colorful stalls at Eminönü, Beşiktaş or Galatasaray offer a variety of merchandise artistically arranged to attract the attention of the passers-by.

Doner Kebab

The kebapçı is a well-known figure in Istanbul streets. He prepares the döner, a roast made up of layers of lamb, cooked on a vertical spit and dexterously sliced to fill generous-sized sandwiches.

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