Rüstem Paşa Mh., Kalçin Sokak 2-32, 34200 Fatih/Istanbul Province, Turkey

(90) 212-528-0390

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No trip to Istanbul is complete without a kebap (Turkish for “kebab”) lunch. Located in the Old City on a rooftop on the waterfront by Galata bridge, just steps away from the Egyptian Spice Market, Hamdi offers sweeping views and a casual, bustling, neighborhood atmosphere. Start with mezze, then order a variety of grilled kebaps; I particularly enjoyed the pistachio (a spicy meatball with lamb, beef and pistachios) and the lamb. They are served with fresh pitas, wraps, grilled hot peppers, tomatoes, couscous and chopped onions, so that you can build your own, fajita style. Locals swear the baklava is the best in town. (Note: Make sure you go to Hamdi Restaurant, not Hamdi Kofte, which is three doors down.)

Written by Eliza Harris

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