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A neighborhood’s information to Istanbul’s new cool neighbourhood | Travel

In as soon as sleepy Kadıköy-Moda, new nightlife and tradition hotspots fortunately coexist with the district’s established eating places and cafes

Kadıköy Pier, Istanbul.
Photograph: Alamy

Until lately, the neighbourhood of Kadıköy-Moda, on the Asian aspect of Istanbul on the southern finish of the Bosphorus, was an unremarkable, principally residential place that hardly registered on the town’s cultural map. Over the previous few years, nonetheless, it has develop into an unlikely hotspot for cutting-edge bars, artwork and tradition hubs, cafes and music venues, in addition to a haven for plugged-in, liberal-minded folks against Turkey’s more and more authoritarian political local weather.

It’s not a straight case of hipsterisation or gentrification, nonetheless: as lots of Kadıköy-Moda’s present must-visit locations have been round for many years and discover themselves in ruder well being than ever within the space’s new local weather – the environment between these who have been there for years and the brand new incomers is mostly one among heat co-existence and mutual respect.

Rexx Cinema

Rexx cinema

A delightfully old-school impartial cinema, proper right down to its distinctly affordable door value and old-style tearing tickets, the Rexx Cinema has survived and flourished the place different related outdated Istanbul establishments have closed down. Kadıköy’s go-to image home for a number of many years, and the one one on the Asian aspect of the town used for the Istanbul movie competition, Rexx at all times exhibits movies (each of blockbuster and arthouse selection) of their authentic language relatively than the dubbed variations typically found within the metropolis’s multiplexes.
• Around £2.50 a ticket, Sakızgülü Sokak No 20-22, rexx-online.com

Koço

Koço, Istanbul

Photograph: Garrett Ziegler

Another outdated establishment (it opened in 1928) that has flourished as Kadıköy-Moda has modernised and (partially) hipsterised, Koço is the neighbourhood’s best choice for feasts of meze and raki which might be a cornerstone of Turkish tradition. A fish and seafood specialist with a terrace that appears over the Sea of Marmara, Koço’s tables heave with freshly caught octopus, bonito, scorpion fish, sole, swordfish, pink mullet, sea bass, mussels, blue fish and gilt-head bream. Equally glorious mezes of fava beans, haydari (yoghurt with herbs), artichokes and liver are on supply for these who need to eat one thing apart from seafood, and it additionally does a imply mind salad. I’m instructed.
• Around £18 a head with alcohol, Caferağa Mahallesi, Moda Cd No 171, kocorestaurant.web

Moda Çay Bahçesi

Moda Aile Çay Bahçesi, Istanbul

An open-air tea backyard searching on the Sea of Marmara to the west of the Bosphorus, Moda Çay Bahçesi is solely one of many loveliest locations within the neighbourhood and the town to chill out. Bring pastries or bagels purchased from the close by road sellers, sit down and have tea or Turkish espresso. To expertise this place at its easiest, attempt to time a go to to coincide with the solar setting over the ocean.
• Turkish espresso £1.15, Ferit Tek Sokak No 7, on Facebook

Süreyya Opera House

Süreyya Opera House interior, Istanbul

Photograph: Emre Başak

A constructing with an odd and fascinating historical past, Süreyya Operasi was designed and constructed by the politician Süreyya İlmen Pasha, and opened in 1927 as the primary musical theatre on the Asian aspect of Istanbul. However, as a result of there was a definite lack of applicable amenities, tools or proficient opera singers within the metropolis throughout that interval, operas had been by no means really staged there, and the place operated as a cinema till it was restored and at last reopened as an opera home 80 years later, in 2007. The constructing is worthy of a go to for each architectural and cultural causes: its lovely artwork deco lobby was impressed by the Champs-Elysées Theatre in Paris, and the inside has a hanging German affect.
• Bahariye Caddesi Caferağa Mahallesi No 29, sureyyaoperasi.kadikoy.bel.tr

Arkaoda

Arkaoda, Istanbul

An impartial music and humanities centre, cafe and bar – and one of the fascinating locations on the neighbourhood’s primary bar road, Kadife Sokak – Arkaoda arrived in 1999, making it one thing of a trailblazer for Kadıköy’s latest metamorphosis. Over the years, Arkaoda has hosted all method of revered underground musicians, together with John Maus, Sir Richard Bishop, Six Organs of Admittance and Vladimir Ivkovic. It places on a packed schedule of gigs and membership nights, the overwhelming majority of that are free. Festivals, events, themed markets and movie screenings additionally pepper the centre’s calendar, and its homeowners run one other couple of Kadıköy-Moda must-visits within the wine bar Yer (Caferağa Mahallesi, Ferit Tek Sokagi 25/A) and the brunch spot Dün Moda (Caferağa Mahallesi, Lütfü Bey Sokak 42/6).
• Caferağa Mahallesi, Kadife Sokak No 18, arkaoda.com

Where to remain

Sarnic Hotel, Istanbul

Kadıköy-Moda isn’t (but a minimum of) a hotbed of high-quality or fascinating locations to remain, however the Sarnıç Boutique Hotel within the coronary heart of the neighbourhood is a captivating and eminently inexpensive exception. In a big, renovated Greek-style home on a cobbled back-street, Sarnıç has lovingly embellished and furnished rooms (all six of them), famously pleasant workers, a wonderful location and a well-regarded restaurant with free-flowing raki and meze and, occasionally, reside music.
• Double/twin rooms from £35 an evening, Caferaga Mahallesi Dumlupınar Sokak No 12, sarnicsuitsandkitchen.com

Havuz/Bina

Bina / Bant Mag Havuz, Istanbul

Another enterprise from the folks behind Arkaoda, Havuz/Bina is a four-floor social hub: within the basement there’s a wonderful bar with a captivating water characteristic; the bottom ground is a restaurant, upstairs is Havuz, a bar and music venue owned by the city tradition, arts and music journal Bant Mag. On the highest ground, there are movie screenings, talks and smaller-scale gigs. This is one other of the locations that retains Kadife Sokak so fascinating, regardless of the generally hectic quantity of individuals lining the road at weekends.
• Caferağa Mahallesi, Kadife Sokak No 26, on Facebook

Ekspres İnegöl Köftecisi

A hot dish being served at EKSPRES INEGOL KOFTECİSİ, Istanbul

What Koço is to seafood, in Kadıköy, Ekspres İnegöl Köftecisi is to meatballs. Founder Ali Çelik opened his first place in Ankara in 1967, and his meatballs, ready to a recipe indigenous to Inegol, a small metropolis a few hours south of Istanbul, grew to become a favorite among the many metropolis’s political, cultural and media elites, and nearly everybody else apart from. Çelik and his grandchildren opened their second restaurant in Kadıköy in 1986, and it has been a beloved fixture there ever since.
• Caferağa Mahallesi, Muvakkıthane Caddesi No 13A, mains from about £2.50, ekspresinegolkoftecisi.com

FatCat

People sitting at tables outside FatCat, Istanbul, at night

With some inevitability, Starbucks and Cafe Nero have arrange store in Kadıköy-Moda lately, however proper beside them on Atıfet Sokak is an infinitely higher espresso selection. FatCat is owned by a contract architect who lives close by and opened the place as a result of he needed to create his personal splendid surroundings through which to work. As nicely as top-drawer espresso, FatCat sells a number of the greatest pastries within the neighbourhood, made with elements purchased at markets round Istanbul and baked every day by the proprietor’s sister. Above all, although, it has a welcoming group vibe that few cafes wherever can match – it’s successfully a second home for lots of the space’s friendliest and most fascinating folks.
• Caferağa Mahallesi, Atıfet Sokak 22/A, espresso £1.60, on Facebook

Nâzım Hikmet Cultural Centre

Nâzım Hikmet was a “romantic communist” poet who spent a lot of his grownup life in detention for his beliefs and died in exile in Moscow in 1963. The much-loved cultural centre named after him opened websites in Kadıköy and Taksim (on the European aspect of istanbul) within the mid-1990s and now operates in a brand new constructing on Ali Suavi Sokak (road of artists) in Kadıköy, in addition to in Ankara, Adana and İzmir. A haven for left-leaning artists and writers, the centre has a winter backyard, indoor and outside concert areas, workshops, a cinema, a library, a bookstore and a restaurant.
• Bahariye Caddesi, Ali Suavi Sokak No 7, nhkm.org.tr

Moda Sahnesi

Moda Sahnesi, Istanbul

For greater than three many years, earlier than it closed down in 2000, the constructing that’s now Moda Sahnesi was a cinema. The place lay unused by the noughties however was ultimately taken up, remodeled and reopened in 2013 by a gaggle of 12 folks from the worlds of theatre and cinema. The new proprietors have centered on theatre over three high-tech, adjustable levels with capacities starting from 50 to 800, although movie, live shows and dance additionally characteristic on its programme now and again.
•Caferağa Mahallesi, General Asım Gündüz Caddesi, Halil Ethem Sokak No 34/27, modasahnesi.com

More locals’ suggestions

Baylan Patisserie

Table overlloking sea with cakes and tea Baylan, Istanbul.

The Formica tiles right here don’t simply replicate me whereas I sit consuming espresso and consuming kupgriye (a sort of ice-cream sundae); the place jogs my memory of my childhood. As our tradition turns into extra westernised, [the former owner] Mr Harry’s kupgriye with crunchy praline and sponge fingers is exclusive and comforting, whereas every part else within the metropolis modifications in a blink of a watch.
• Caferağa Mahallesi, Muvakkıthane Caddesi No 19, baylangida.com
Ayşegül Sönmez, artwork critic and founding father of Sanatatak Akademi

Komsu Kafe Collective
“A wonderful, collectively run cafe where you decide how much to pay for your meal. Komsu emerged from the same collective spirit that fuelled the (anti-Erdoğan and anti-authoritarianism) Occupy Gezi Park protests and proves that that spirit still remains.”
• Rasimpaşa Mahallesi, Uzun Hafız Sokak 83A, on Facebook
Emre Yeksan, movie director and producer

Tribu Coffee

Inbside Tribu Caffe Artigiano, Istanbul

“The owner of the place is crazy – overwhelmed by the white-collar life, he decided to do this instead [for the] flavour and conversation.”
• Moda Caddesi Ağabey Sokak No 6/A, on Facebook
Sinem Akın and Kaan Öztürk, homeowners of the Oz. Tasting Pub


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