Fashion Denim: A Forever Fabric

The invention of the most functional fabric in the world, denim, is a result of a mistake. When the weavers from the French city of Nimes tried to reproduce the famous Italian-made cotton corduroy, they made an error in the dying process that resulted in a more durable fabric. The warp threads were...

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Wellbeing & Beauty Sublime fragrance: The story behind roses of Anatolia

Hidden away in the scenic folds of the Taurus Mountains in southwest Anatolia lie the provinces of Isparta and Burdur. This is Turkey’s lake district: the rugged peaks, which form a spectacular divide between the Mediterranean coast and the central Anatolian plain, create an ideal agricultural...

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Culture & history Seven wonders of Istanbul: Discovering the hills of the old city

“Time weaves a tapestry over the seven hills! From seven colors, seven sounds, numberless signs,” so wrote Turkish poet Necip Fazıl Kısakürek. Most Istanbul residents will recognize this reference to seven hills, but few can say where they actually are. The clue is in the date: it was the...

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Art Baba Sahne: Şevket Çoruh continues Istanbul's theater legacy

The arts and culture scene on the European side of Istanbul has lost some of its luster with the closing of the Atatürk Cultural Center in 2008; this has led to the rise of arts and culture, theater in particular, on the Asian side of the city. The district of Kadıköy became the new theater hub,...

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Talk of the table Vakko Patisserie Petit Four: Elegant French pastry

Presenting a lifestyle for over 80 years, Vakko has long been more than only fashion. It has added a new facet to that lifestyle, bringing the elegance of the French pastry experience to Istanbul in the form of Vakko Patisserie Petit Four at the Akmerkez Shopping Center in a chic extension of this...

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Flavor Factor Boza and şıra: Not-so-innocent drinkables of the Ottoman kitchen

Food fermentation is a culinary trend around the world, and for good reason. In certain foods, the process of converting carbohydrates and sugars can not only create bacteria-boosting agents but also release small amounts of alcohol. Boza and şıra, fermented drinks quite common in the Ottoman...

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Talk of the table B.BLOK Restaurant

Though a small hole-in-the-wall type of place on Akaretler's main street, B.BLOK is already a minor legend around the neighborhood, with one item on the menu you would not want to miss for the world: their creamy cheesecake. With vanilla notes immersed in the dessert’s smooth texture, and the ever...

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Talk of the table Frenk Karaköy

It might be difficult to keep track of new places at the ever-changing Kılıç Ali Paşa Mescidi Sokak, but Frenk Karaköy, despite its petite size, caught our attention with its elegant decor. This venue has a limited seating area, as only about half a dozen little tables are spread out between the...

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Talk of the table Halet-i Ruhiye

The new face of Arnavutköy’s nightlife, Halet-i Ruhiye, has become one of the most crowded spots in the neighborhood within just a few days of its opening, just like it was the case with its owner’s previous project, Efendi. Kıvanç Kasar’s new bar boasts a creative cocktail menu, which is the...

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Talk of the table Odun Pizza

Od + un , fire and flour, make Odun Pizza, a newly opened restaurant in Reşitpaşa with a concept so simple and dishes so tasty you will undoubtedly leave satisfied and happy. The pizza dough, which is fermented for two days and then baked at 400 degrees in a wood-fired oven, is prepared in a unique...

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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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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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