Istik­lal Cad­desi & Çukur­cuma

LUXE City Guides - Istanbul - - Shopping Itineraries -

Have your cab drop you at the Mar­mara Pera Ho­tel / Mes¸ru­tiyet Cad. / home to the knock­out views of bar and diner Mikla (see Rest./Smart). With your back to the ho­tel en­trance, you have three op­tions. His­toric Pera Palace is just across the road on your left at #52; swing by room 101 to see the famed Atatürk Mu­seum Room (open to all, call to check times). Or, The Pera Müzesi at #65 / 334 9900 / per­a­ / is to the right and a 100m stroll along Mes¸ru­tiyet (past #107e Misela’s / mis­e­lais­tan­ / luxe bags and purses); pop in for Turkey’s most fa­mous paint­ing: Os­man Hamdi Bey’s ‘The Tor­toise Trainer’. Or, if you want to get straight to retail, shoot up the lit­tle al­ley that’s to your right (next to the Peak Ho­tel), and trot up to Istik­lal Cad. Al­righty, here it is, the big ol’ Grand Rue de Pera (think Lon­don’s Ox­ford St.). The stores here are mostly of lit­tle in­ter­est, but look up as you walk, as the majesty is all in the ar­chi­tec­ture. Head left up Istik­lal Cad.; at #314 is Pasabahçe¸ / 244 0544 / for good, cheap and cheer­ful Turk glass home­ware (amongst some dross). Ex­i­tit Pasabahçe¸ left up Istik­lal Cad., over on the right at #389 is Robin­son Cru­soe Book­store (see V. Use­ful). Now am­ble for a few mins to Misir Apart­ment at #163 to find 360 (see Bars). Hop across to SALT at #136 (see Art) Istanbul’s fore­most arty party space, then push on to #122a for Koska / 244 0877 / a Turk­ish in­sti­tu­tion for the best halva se­lec­tion. Fur­ther down on the right are the im­pos­ing gates of the Galatasaray Ly­cée. If you’re Hank Marvin (starvin’), you have two op­tions. Turn right be­fore the Ly­cée, and down Yeni Çarsi¸ Cad. then an im­me­di­ate right into Tos­bag˘a Sok. for sal­ads and sarnies at Kafe Ara / #8a / 245 4105. It’s a hip­ster in­sti­tu­tion, in­spired by Turkey’s most cel­e­brated pho­tog­ra­pher Ara Güler. Or, head on and opp. the Ly­cée to find Çiçek Pasaji (Flower Pas­sage). Just be­fore it is lit­tle al­ley, Sahne Sok., slip left down here into the mar­ket redo­lent with fruit, veg, fish, caviar, hon­ey­comb and lots of res­i­dent mog­gies. Take the first left and you’ll come across the lovely old Sütte deli, or con­tinue and take the first right into Ne­vizade Sok., a street full of fab lit­tle au­then­tic places for meze (see Rest./Re­laxed). Re­freshed? Head back to Çiçek Pasaji, exit on Istik­lal Cad. and turn left to find la­bel Ma­bel em­po­rium Demirören at #54 / demirorenis­tik­ / and hip ho­tel Mama Shel­ter (see Ac­com.). Now, it’s back down to Çiçek Pasaji where di­ag­o­nally opp. is lit­tle al­ley Kar­tal Sokag˘i. Whisk down here round to the end and turn right onto Tur­nacibasi¸ Sok. On the right at #16 you’ll find MOR / 292 8817 / for chunky, eth­nicky, shab-chic bronze and enamel jew­els, then zip on to the end to find Tar­ihi Galatasaray Ha­mami / 249 4342 / if you fancy a good steamy pum­melling, the lo­cal way. Carry on left and head down the street and you’ll find the great lo­cal vibe and var­i­ous bric-à-brac bib­ble bob­ble of the bo­hochic Çukur­cuma en­clave. On the left at #49 is cute 49 Çukur­cuma for del­ish coffee and cakes, and at #41b is Nos­tal­gie, a small, but ex­cel­lent show­room of vin­tage and retro iconic furny, dé­cor and old toys.

Now take the next right into Faik Pasa¸ Yokusu¸ to find Koç­giri at #3 for retro chairs and lamps. Opp. at #1 is the ate­lier of de­signer Suzanne Si­mon / 244 9663 / for made-to-or­der kaf­tans and shirts in Ot­toman-in­spired pat­terns; and in­te­ri­ors star Hakan Ezer’s show­room at #5 (see Adv. Shop.) / both by appt. only. Step across the street to A La Turca at #4 / 245 2933 / and whip your purses out pronto for their rav­ish­ing col­lec­tion of beau­ti­fully dis­played kil­ims, eclectibles, ce­ram­ics, frames, sculp­tures, mar­bles, carv­ings and cov­eta­bles, all in a stun­ning three-storey house – be sure to check out the huge col­lec­tion of urns and jugs in the at­mo­spheric kitchen base­ment. Dip in next door at #6 Hall / 292 9590 / for their fab col­lec­tion of furny, then ring the bell to go up to 4/F for funky, off-the-wall sculp­tures and art by ce­ramic artist Birsen Can­baz / 245 0434 / birsen­can­ Pop back down to The Works at #6 / 252 2527 / flea­ / for an ar­ray of travel-re­lated mem­o­ra­bilia, old lug­gage, even bi­cy­cles and pro­pel­lers. Fur­ther down Faik Pas¸a Yokusu¸ is Pied de Poule at #19/1 / 245 8116 / a charm­ing stash of vin­tage gal­wear hats and shoes, and #19 Mod­ern Tarih / 292 7296 / mod­ern­ / an ace em­po­rium of an­tique and mod-Asian-ish fur­ni­ture. Ser­dar Öge­can next door at #33 / 245 9356 / has a dis­arm­ing smile and a not un­de­light­ful col­lec­tion of chan­de­liers amongst other an­tiques. Fur­ther down on the left is lit­tle lane Ha­ciog˘lu Sok., where at #1a, tasty meat­balls await at sim­ple, homely Çukur­cuma Köfte­cisi / 245 0833. Carry on to find Kamer Ki­raç at #3 / 252 5413 / / on the cnr with Çukur­cuma Cad. who’ll be friendly and ea­ger to show you their Ot­toman-in­spired jew­ellery. Bear left up the lit­tle rise and at #10a is swank Ga­leri Artist Cukur­cuma / 251 9163 / show­cas­ing con­tempo Euro art. Next on the right is Alti­pat­lar Sok. with Sam­dan An­tiques on the cor­ner / 245 4445, al­ways worth a look for lovely or­nate an­tique doors, lamps and heir­loom what­nots. Re­trace to Faik Pasa¸ Yokusu,¸ turn left to cont., when you meet the T-junc­tion, turn right onto Hayriye Cad. and round the cnr on the left is artsy garb at #18a Buka / 244 7735. You’ve got to be parched as a par­rot by now. No wor­ries. Step next door to re­laxed Ceza­yir / 245 9980 / for joe, a bite and a wee in an airy, saf­frony sa­lon. Ok, op­tions. Char­mant, SoHo-es­que Galata and Karaköy (see Ac­tiv­i­ties) are just a hop, skip and jump away, so ex­it­ing Ceza­yir left, take a left and trun­dle down the wind­ing steps of Ceza­yir Sok., turn right into Bostan­bas¸i, then left into Bog˘azke­sen, and fol­low it all the way down to Istanbul Mod­ern (see Ac­tiv­i­ties). Rooftop sips alert! Al­ter­na­tively, exit left and bear right onto Yeni Çars¸i Cad., and if you’ve made an appt., de­tour im­me­di­ate left into Nur-i Ziya Sok. for Asli Tunca (see Adv. Shop.). If not, and it’s near­ing the mag­i­cal cock­tail hour, you can con­tinue on Yeni Çarsi¸ Cad. back to the Galatasaray Ly­cée on Istik­lal Cad. Stroll down Istik­lal Cad. to nearby panoramic 360 (see Bars) to sneak in a sun­set­ter sip, or carry on a few mins to Leb-i-Derya on Kum­baraci Yokusu¸ (see Bars). Or, for the best views of all, poo­tle on back to where you started at the be­gin­ning of the itin. for Mikla (see Rest./Smart), or NuPera / NuTeras / Mes¸ru­tiyet Cad. 67 / 245 6070 / nupera. / and Mor­eish / 295 6089 / at the NuPera com­plex – a sixty-se­cond walk from Mikla. So cock­tail­ve­nient!

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