Hello :) I have 7 hours in Turkey (a layover at Ataturk airport). I arrive around 5pm and will leave at 12:40am on my way to Bangkok. I plan on exiting the airport (I do understand there is a small fee to leave and it will take some time to go through customs!) and taking public transport (should take about an hour to hour and a half to city center). Since it's evening, I won't be able to see much, besides a little walking around the Blue Mosque. But, I wondered if anyone had suggestions of a place to eat that's really delicious, not overly priced and not very touristy? Thanks!
You will be hard pressed to find a not very touristy or not overly priced place to eat in that part of town. The prices are not generally as high as a comparable meal in the states. Every where we ate in that part of town was good so I wouldn't worry about "delicious". Places to eat are not hard to find around the Blue Mosque area, and there are interesting street vendors.
Cross the Galata Bridge (can do so by tram) and head for the New City district (Beyoglu/ Pera) up the funicular. On Istiklal Cadessi (street)and other side streets in this hilly neighborhood, there are lots of great restaurants. You can just stroll around and pick one. Personally I liked the choices there better than the Old City. Or if you want a dirt cheap delicious local staple, then just pull up to the boats bobbing along next to the Galata Bridge where they sell fresh makerel sandwiches straight from the Bosphorus - they're called "ekmek balik" and will set you back $2 or thereabouts. You'll see mostly locals there.
Hi Michaela, If you will be in the Sultanahmet area, you could take a taxi to Kumkapi St. (Pronounced coom-cop-ah). It's about a 10 min drive from the Blue Mosque. It is a small area full of fish restaurant after fish restaurant (think 'Little Italy') in New York City. It's crazy lively, with singing and crowds, and loud Turks, but fun, fun, fun! I will say if you are uncomfortable eating with complete strangers, this may be overwhelming since many of the restaurants are right up next to each other and there aren't really 'tables for one. " I went the first night I was in Istanbul, but I was with a Turkish friends so I wasn't alone. There really weren't any tourists around either, so I really felt like I was in a whole new world!! It was awesome. I hope this helps.
Thanks everyone! All of those options sound perfect!
I totally forgot about Kumkapi - great idea! I second...