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Old 06-09-2008, 01:26 PM   #1
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TURKEY - Istanbul, GREECE - Santarini and Athens?

We're going to be spending 2 nights in Istanbul, 2 nights in Santarini, and 1 night in Greece at the end of the month. Has anyone had any good dining experiences here? We're on a budget so it can't be too expensive, and prefererably not a tourist spot.

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Old 06-09-2008, 05:24 PM   #2
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I was in Istanbul in May 2001. I didn't pick the restaurant and don't remember the name, but near the waterfront, there are a lot of seafood restaurants with seafood freshly caught that day. My aunt negotiated a prix fixe meal for us - salad, bread, fish and wine, all for the equivalent of $12.

Every last meal I had in Turkey was absolutely fantastic - mostly fish and lamb kebabs. I also fell in love with cherry juice

The exchange rate is much different now than it was then, so I can't vouch for prices. I'd check with your hotel for a recommendation. Have a great time

Do you have plans for what to see while in Istanbul? I haven't been to Greece, so I can't help you there.
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:50 PM   #3
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Got Garlic, thanks for the advise. We're not restricted to too much of a budget, but just not a 5 star restaurant. I can't wait to go. So far we are looking at going to the Blue Mosque, Suleymaniye Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Golden Horn, Underground water deposit, topkapi palace,the hagia sophia museum and the galata tower. Oh what is cherry juice?
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abjcooking View Post
Got Garlic, thanks for the advise. We're not restricted to too much of a budget, but just not a 5 star restaurant. I can't wait to go. So far we are looking at going to the Blue Mosque, Suleymaniye Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Golden Horn, Underground water deposit, topkapi palace,the hagia sophia museum and the galata tower. Oh what is cherry juice?
Juice from cherries Despite growing up in Michigan, the U.S. headquarters for cherry orchards, I don't ever remember having cherry juice when I was a kid. It's really good.

Sounds pretty much like our itinerary. Everything there is so beautiful - the building tiles, the fabrics, the artwork, the architecture. And the people were wonderful - very friendly and helpful. Everyone will offer you apple tea - even when we went grocery shopping (we went sailing for a week and ate breakfast and lunch on the boat, dinner in the towns where we stopped).

Watch out for the rug salesmen, though - they're relentless. My mom and I ended up in a store where these guys started pulling out rug after rug after giving us tea - they had told us this place had a great view of the Blue Mosque
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:38 AM   #5
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My dh is from Istanbul and we spend about a month each year visiting his family (he's the only immigrant). Most likely you are going to be docking in Beyoğlu, which is the major tourist district. There is a Western European area called "Pera", but it is not authentic - stay away from it if you want the true turkish experience. If you stay in Beyoğlu (Istanbul is divided into districts), you will likely walk along a pedestrian area that is full of restaurants and pubs (even an IRISH pub) and cafes. This ped street is called "Istiklal". It's fun to walk along here because it's so international. If you can get away to another district, it would give you a better idea of true Turkish cuisine. My dh grew up in Bakırköy, and we LOVE the dining options in this area. It would be a 30 minute taxi ride to Bakırköy. Above all, ignore the buskers and peddlers and enjoy the PRESS OF HUMANITY that is Istanbul. And keep your wallet in your front pocket.
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Old 06-14-2008, 09:46 AM   #6
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Got Garlic, thanks for the advise. We're not restricted to too much of a budget, but just not a 5 star restaurant. I can't wait to go. So far we are looking at going to the Blue Mosque, Suleymaniye Mosque, Grand Bazaar, Golden Horn, Underground water deposit, topkapi palace,the hagia sophia museum and the galata tower. Oh what is cherry juice?
2 nights and you're doing all of that? No offense, but you can't do any of them justice in that amount of time. Over the years I've spent days just at Topkapı. The Yerebatan Sarayı (the Cisterns) & Grand Bazaar are a day all alone. Well, I'm sure it's a touristic schedule. Nothing you can do about it, but if you can get away and do just a couple, I'd hit the Blue Mosque and Topkapı one day and the Yerebatan Sarayı on another. The Grand Bazaar isn't worth your time. It's all just cheap knock-offs. (P.S. Don't buy anything there.)
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:57 AM   #7
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GYROS! When in Athens... skip the big resturants and go to the small gryo shops.
They are cheap and sooooo good!
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:11 PM   #8
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You should checkout "5. Kat Restaurant Bar" 5kat.com
This restaurant sits on top of the fifth floor of an apartment block, high up on a hill, which gives you fantastic views of the Bosphorous River. It's kind of chic, but the prices were not that outrageous and I must say the views are amazing at night. Their menu and pictures are online with prices. Check it out! I had the Chicken Marbella, which was very good and we split the "Appetizer Plate" which was also quite good!
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:29 PM   #9
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2 nights and you're doing all of that? No offense, but you can't do any of them justice in that amount of time. Over the years I've spent days just at Topkapı. The Yerebatan Sarayı (the Cisterns) & Grand Bazaar are a day all alone. Well, I'm sure it's a touristic schedule. Nothing you can do about it, but if you can get away and do just a couple, I'd hit the Blue Mosque and Topkapı one day and the Yerebatan Sarayı on another. The Grand Bazaar isn't worth your time. It's all just cheap knock-offs. (P.S. Don't buy anything there.)
Well, no, touring can't do justice to any location, but IMO, there's nothing wrong with getting a good overview of a place. I have great memories of Istanbul and we were only there for a day and a half; we saw everything on her list except the cisterns and the tower, and we also saw the Egyptian obelisk.

I found a photo of the restaurant where we ate dinner in Istanbul. It's called Kumkapi Afrodit.

Giada deLaurentiis did a special on Santorini. The places she went are listed here: Giada in Paradise: Santorini
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Old 06-19-2008, 06:17 AM   #10
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Thank, this information does help. I've printed it all out and will take it along with me.
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