After spending several hours at the Topkapi palace we decided to take the ferry across the Bosphorous and explore Kadıköy, a neighborhood on the Asian side of Istanbul.
As soon as we exited the ferry, the crowds were intense! This side of the Bosphorous was packed with lots of people completing their shopping and restaurants slowly coming to life.
On our list of things to try in Istanbul was lahmacun, a light oven-fired dough with a spicy meat spread. Halil Lahmacun is considered one of the top lahmacun places in Istanbul, so we wound our way through the crowds to make it our first stop. This is a small joint with a few outdoor tables and a handful of stools inside. After we grabbed two of the stools, one of the kitchen guys handed us a menu which only had two food items on it, lahmacun and pide. A few minutes later thelahmacun came out of the oven and were served with a heaping side of parsley and sliced lemon. They were so good we ordered a third, and we can definitely see why it is so popular!
You could order spicy or plain and we definitely preferred the spicy. To eat, simply fold in half or roll into a tube. If you ordered more than one (which most people did) they came stacked on the plate one on top of the other.
After eating we decided to see more of the district, along the way picking up dried apricots from a nice fruit and nut market and some shortbread cookies from a bakery.
We had spied Tarantula, a bar that seemed to have a decent beer selection, on our first pass so as dusk fell we made our way back and grabbed a table with a nice view of the avenue, excellent for people watching. I started with the Turkish-made Gara Guzu blonde beer while Leandra had a Leffe Radieuse. The crowds were slowly building at restaurants, so we decided to stay for another round – this time I went for the Leffe Radieuse, while Leandra ordered the Meantime Coffee Porter.
Afterwards we made our way back to the ferry terminal, this time catching the Kadıköy-to-Karıköy ferry. Twenty minutes later we were back in Europe!