The spirit of old Beyoğlu lives on in its backstreets, where hidden gems remind present-day visitors why the neighborhood used to be Istanbul’s primary food shopping destination. Third and fourth generation family businesses serve as infinite sources of information about Istanbul, but if your knowledge of Turkish is limited, ask for help at the Istanbul Tour Studio, who will take you to all the right places.

The three-story building occupied by Zübeyir Ocakbaşı has enough space to hang portraits of every important guest that has come through its doors. If Ralph Fiennes has eaten here, perhaps you should too. Bekar Sokak No.28

Zübeyir Ocakbaşı

The first meyhane in Çiçek Pasajı, the covered arcade of the former flower market, opened at the end of the nineteenth century. Although the place’s quality is now debatable, its historical significance remains intact. Istiklal Caddesi No. 176

Çiçek Pasajı

Kahveci Mustafa Amca’s Turkish coffee kingdom sits in the far left corner of the courtyard behind Hazzopulo Pasajı. Many of his next-door neighbors have abandoned traditional tea and coffee service in favor of nargile, what makes his mission even more significant. Hazzopulo Pasajı Han Geçidi Çıkmazı

Kahveci Mustafa Amca

Working with sugar since 1926, Üç Yıldız Şekerleme is a must-visit even if you’re on a diet. Their flagship offers include rose jam and varieties of akide (hard candy). Dudu Odaları Sokak No.7

Üç Yıldız Şekerleme

Although Sabırtaşı has been selling içli köfte and çibörek from a street stand on Istiklal Caddesi for decades, many remain unaware that the entrance behind it leads to a restaurant on the top floor of the building. Istiklal Caddesi No.112

Sabırtaşı

In business since 1941, Reşat Balık Market is where the locals head not only for fresh fish but also for its smoked varieties and other gourmet delicacies; Sahne Sokak No.8

Balık Pazarı

Next door to this fish seller is Coşkun Kasap, a butcher shop now serving its second generation of Beyoğlu locals. Sahne Sokak No.8/C

Without a sign on the wall, yet with numerous loyal customers, Suat Bey has been selling fruit in the same spot for more than 40 years now. His neighboring butcher, Galatasaray Ciğercisi, specializes in offal and quail. Dudu Odaları Sokak No.6 and 4

Balık Pazarı
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