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This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Istanbul’s Karaköy Quarter

The gentrification of Karaköy continues and has turned the area near the Istanbul Modern museum (Liman Isletmeleri Sahasi Antrepo No. 4; into a must-stop. Vault Karaköy, The House Hotel (rooms, from $220; Bankalar Cad. No. 5; 90-212/244-3400; just opened with 63 guest rooms in a neo-Renaissance former bank. Interiors mix historic details like columns and vaults (one has been turned into a wine cellar) with contemporary art and furniture. The best rooms have views of Topkapi Palace.

The place to eat: Hosaf (Lüleci Hendek Cad. No. 46B; 90-530/920-0170), a new Turkish spot run by Burak Sirmaçekici, who previously worked at Anissa in New York. There’s also Naif (Mumhane Cad. No. 52; 90-212/251-5335), a bistro serving Anatolian cuisine prepared with local farm-fresh ingredients. Next to Hosaf, Turkish contemporary painter Ismail Acar (Lüleci Hendek Cad. No. 50; works out of his home and gallery, which can be rented for events; the rooftop terrace faces the Bosphorus.

The housewares store Hiç Crafts (Lüleci Hendek Cad. 25; stocks modern Turkish items, from Suzani-inspired bed coverings and silk ikat pillows (pictured) to delicate ceramic dinnerware. Also new: Magnolia Culture (Lüleci Hendek Cad. No. 49B; 90-212/243-1042), a bookstore with a seductive selection of coffee-table books, like Istanbul lensman Ahmet Ertug’s Ephesos and Chora. The 16th-century Kiliç Ali Pasa Hammam (Kemankes Mah. Hamam Sk. 1; 90-212/393-8010;, originally designed by Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, reopened in 2012 after a seven-year renovation. It’s the best hammam in town for those who want to bathe somewhere more historic than a hotel.

In other Istanbul news: The Spice Bazaar area, across the Galata Bridge from Karaköy, finally has fine dining. Chef Vedat Basaran opened Surplus (Rüstempasa Mah. Ragip Gümüs Cad. 54; 90-212/520-1002), which offers regional cuisine and an unbeatable view of the Golden Horn, the Bosphorus and the silhouette of the Old City.


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