Located in the neighbourhood of Karaköy in Istanbul -which has been rising from its ashes during past decade- Karaköy Lokantasi is a modern spin on the traditional Turkish restaurant with its amazing interior and delicacies.
I always admire its glazed turquoise wall tiles, custom-made brass lights, mosaic floors and marble detailing. The ambience makes me feel dizzy even before I’ve started eating and drinking.
In the afternoon, they serve a great lunch menu that offers many Anatolian and Mediterranean flavors. At night, the layout changes completely and it turns into a ‘meyhane’ where you drink raki or wine and order legendary Turkish tapas.
Its well-trained chefs take traditional Turkish dishes to a higher level without stripping them of authenticity, and they are very good at it. Hummus is one of my favorite mezes and their hummus with pastrami is a must-taste. Muammara, artichokes hearts, fried zucchini and the shrimps hot pot are also great options. And closing the meal with the soufflee is a mandatory.
I have to add that the prices are a little bit high but always worth it. Make sure you book as it is always crowded.