Talk of the table Lara's Gourmet Burgers

While today restaurants servicing light and healthy dishes alongside green smoothies and detox juices are in trend, sometimes we still need a hearty, freshly cooked burger. One of the newest spots in Ortaköy, Lara’s Gourmet Burgers, is looking to fill this role. The restaurant was created by...

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Flavor Factor The time of wild mushrooms

It is already past 9am by the time The Guide Istanbul meets Emre Şen, executive chef of Casa Lavanda , and Jilber Barutçiyan, our guide for the morning. They have already finished their breakfast of börek at the historical Bilice Börekçisi at the entrance of Bahçeköy, and are ready to take a trip...

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Flavor Factor Jujube soup recipe: comfort food for the fall

Jujubes, hünnap in Turkish, are more common in Turkey than one might think, and they deserve more attention given their health benefits, pleasant taste, and versatile nature. This fruit, slightly bigger than an olive, is reddish brown when ripe, with a light green flesh that is soft in texture. It...

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Art A porcelain-inspired peek into Ai Weiwei's practice

Ai Weiwei's first solo exhibition in Turkey presents a wide selection of works from this internationally famous Chinese artist.

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Bülent Eczacıbaşı - photo by Muhsin Akgün
My Istanbul Bülent Eczacıbaşı: from medicine to nourishment for the soul

The Eczacıbaşı family’s rise to fame began 100 years ago in İzmir, where Süleyman Ferit gained the surname - meaning head pharmacist - for his high-quality medicines. His grandson, Bülent Eczacıbaşı, is chairman of Eczacıbaşı Holding, one of Turkey’s largest industrial groups. But among many...

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Talk of the table MSA's Restaurant

The name for MSA’s Restaurant is no coincidence. Instead of fashionable ambiguity describing the place's conceptual secrets, one comes across the “still in training” statement on several occasions. However, the place, a training field for culinary students who aspire to create and develop other...

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Art Meeting the neighbors at the 15th Istanbul Biennial

Considered the biggest art event of the season, the 15th Istanbul Biennial under the title “a good neighbour” welcomes 55 artists from 32 countries to display their works in six locations around the city. The featured exhibitions will attempt to answer some of the most burning questions about...

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Talk of the table Zeferan

Influenced by flavor palates of two distinct geographical regions, Azerbaijani cuisine offers nourishing dishes that bring the element of surprise to the table. This unique fusion of tastes and textures take the dining experience at Zeferan to a whole new level. When trying a new cuisine for the...

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Talk of the table Gaea

The newly opened Intema Yaşam concept store in Kanyon offers customers a culinary surprise with the location of its trendy Gaea Restaurant. When walking from the store’s sample kitchen display section toward the table setups, you will quickly realize that these sample tables are a part of the store...

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Talk of the table Mürver

This newly-opened restaurant proves that the open fire cooking concept works well not only on camping grounds but also on top of a five-star hotel in the center of Istanbul. In case you have any doubts about what a center-staged stove does on a Bosphorus-facing rooftop in Karaköy, our answer is...

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Talk of the table Aila

The recently opened Aila at Fairmont Quasar Istanbul proves that there is plenty of room for surprise as far as hotel restaurants are concerned. The new Turkish cuisine-oriented venue is one to look up to with regards to decor, menu and the wine list, and is well on its way to become one of...

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Zeynep Ahunbay by Merve Göral
Arts & Culture How Zeynep Ahunbay unveils the mysteries of Hagia Sophia

The many older parts of Istanbul are home to a number of historic buildings from the Byzantine
and Ottoman eras that require regular maintenance to keep
their magnificence. Thankfully, architects such as Professor Zeynep Ahunbay have spent their lifetimes overseeing the conservation and restoration...

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Ferzan Özpetek
My Istanbul Get to know director Ferzan Özpetek’s Istanbul

His latest movie, İstanbul Kırmızısı, brought Ferzan Özpetek back to his hometown of Istanbul, and with all that has changed over the years, he had something to say about it. Photos by Yiğit Eken “Istanbul is changing.” This is a phrase residents of the city have gotten used to hearing, along with...

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Dede - Efendi, photo by Merve Göral
Istanbul after dark Best mixologists in Istanbul

From the hip Karaköy bar Finn's bartender Onurcan Gençer to Efendi Topağacı's "Dede", we rounded up the best bartenders in Istanbul.

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Pizza Locale, Akaretler - photo by Merve Göral
Food & Drink Pizza Locale

Hailing from İzmir, the newly opened Pizza Locale is a living proof that one more Italian eatery is never one too many. The casual joint offers classic Italian delicacies side by side with their Turkish interpretations, such as Tire sucuk pizza . Gourmets will appreciate the fact that the...

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Baklava, photo by Merve Göral
Flavor Factor 6 types of baklava that will surprise you

First comes a crackling sound of crisp, thin phyllo, and then delicious syrup flows from between the layers. This is the beautiful allure of baklava. Most likely you have tried a classic version, filled with pistachios or walnuts. But there are more variations of this heavenly dessert, and each one...

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Gondola ride along the Porsuk River
Travel Eskişehir: young at heart

With its name literally translating as “old city”, one would expect the dignity and seriousness of a centuries-old settlement from Eskişehir. However, unlike its name, the city is vigorous and lively, densely populated by young students from the two major local universities, and planned with the...

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Arts & Culture The 400-year march of Istanbul's cymbals: Istanbul Mehmet

One of the Psalms, composed over 2,500 years ago, says, “Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.” This splashing, crashing percussion has been making noise since the Bronze Age, as seen in stone carvings from ancient Anatolia to Egypt and Greece. But the cymbals...

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Art Abstraction a la Turca: Fahrelnissa Zeid at Tate Modern

Despite her acclaimed exhibitions across Europe and the US in the 1950s and 1960s, Turkish artist Fahrelnissa Zeid’s name has been heard more at auction houses than at galleries in recent years—she became the Middle East’s highest- selling artist with a $2,741,000-sale at Christie’s Dubai in 2013....

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Hotels Istanbul's best pools and beaches

It’s the siren song of the water – cool and inviting waves lapping against the skins of our city's blessed and beautiful, every shade of blue the perfect antidote for those other kinds of weekday blues. Can you hear it calling to you? We’re here to help you answer, in a city that thrives by the...

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Aşure, Noah's Pudding - photo by Maja Topcagic
Talk of the table Losing heat: the culinary art behind raw food

Dr. Sana S. Hećo is a walking poster child for her raw food profession. She glows with good health that seems to radiate from somewhere deep inside and her constant talk about nutrition is punctuated only by a slight, beatific smile that seems to say “it’s all good.” With the launch of her first...

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Vassiliki Papageorgiou
Music The voice of the Aegean: Vassiliki Papageorgiou

The 1923 population exchange between Turkey and Greece was a defining moment for both countries, with around 2 million people relocated to new lands over the border. Although many people traveled with what little they could carry, they did not leave their memories behind. In Greece, their...

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Flavor Factor Güllaç: the rosy dessert of Ramadan tables

Ramadan in Turkey sees the arrival of a few annual traditions: drums beating out the wake up call for sahur , dates to break fasting, shadow plays and the simple dessert güllaç after a large iftar dinner. Güllaç is almost never found anywhere in Turkey throughout the rest of the year, but in...

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Books & Film Top 7 non-fiction books to take with you to Istanbul

The large number of books available on Istanbul makes it hard to separate the dry from the inspiring. These recommended books will show you why Istanbul deserves its place in the pantheon of great cities. Bettany Hughes Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities
 The product of a decade’s research, British...

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