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Aslihan Pasaji shopping arcade.
NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE

A guide to local favorites in Beyoglu

Aslihan Pasaji shopping arcade.
  • By Jennifer Hattam
  • Photos by Emanuele Satolli
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Beyoglu
Istanbul
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Istanbul’s old European quarter has been hit hard by Turkey’s recent travails, with its main pedestrian thoroughfare, Istiklal Caddesi, transformed (many say for the worst) by protests, gentrification, an economic crisis and changing tourist demographics. But it’s not the first time this storied neighborhood has been reshaped, and it surely won’t be the last. Beyoglu’s winding backstreets, dotted with galleries, restaurants, bars, cafes and shops, are still ripe for wandering, evoking at turns the area’s gritty and glamorous past.

Meet Jennifer Hattam

Jennifer is a journalist covering environmental, political, social and urban issues, as well as arts, culture, food and travel. Originally from San Francisco, she loved Istanbul upon her first visit and has lived there since 2008. She still has no plans to swap her coffee addiction for the local tea habit.

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Beyoglu

Kagithane
Assorted paper goods adorned with clever, playful designs of seagulls, tea glasses, prayer beads, street signs and the like fill this small shop. They’re oh-so-Istanbul without looking like they came straight off a souvenir stand.
Kagithane, Fransiz Gecidi 10, Karakoy, Beyoglu, Istanbul, 34425
Istanbul Research Institute
Free rotating exhibitions drawn from the institute’s rich archival holdings illuminate aspects of the city’s history: the development of its architecture, its prestigious schools, or its relationship with street animals.
Istanbul Research Institute, Mesrutiyet Caddesi 47, Asmalimescit, Beyoglu, Istanbul, 34430
Aheste
Chic without being pretentious, this intimate restaurant is a place to linger over a fresh, seasonal array of creative dishes, mostly meze (small plates) with Turkish and Middle Eastern influences. The ample set menu is good value for the cost.
Aheste, Mesrutiyet Caddesi 107F, Asmalimescit, Beyoglu, Istanbul, 34430
Kursunlu Han
Gloriously overgrown and unrestored, this 16th-century caravansary once gave traveling merchants a place to stay and sell their wares. Today it’s full of small-scale metalworkers making springs and screws — and a few galleries and artist workspaces starting to pop up among them. Buy a tea and soak in the atmosphere.
Kursunlu Han, Kardesim Sokak at Kurekciler Kapisi Sokak, Karakoy, Beyoglu, Istanbul, 34421
Juma Art Karakoy
A one-stop shop for taking the pulse of Istanbul’s contemporary art scene. This corner building houses four well-regarded galleries: Mixer, ArtSumer, Pi Artworks and X-ist. Check out Sanatorium gallery across the street while you’re here, too.
Juma Art Karakoy, Mumhane Caddesi 50, Karakoy, Beyoglu, Istanbul, 34425
Aslihan Pasaji
Rifle through the dusty racks of the secondhand booksellers lining this aging shopping arcade, and you’ll surely find some ephemera gems: vintage magazines, black-and-white photos or a poster from Turkish cinema’s “Yesilcam” golden age.
Hüseyinağa Mahallesi, Aslihan Pasaji, Aslıhan Sk., Beyoğlu/Istanbul, Turkey
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Jennifer Hattam
Jennifer is a journalist covering environmental, political, social and urban issues, as well as arts, culture, food and travel. Originally from San Francisco, she loved Istanbul upon her first visit and has lived there since 2008. She still has no plans to swap her coffee addiction for the local tea habit.
Emanuele Satolli
Emanuele is a photojournalist based in Istanbul. Since obtaining his Masters in Journalism from the University of Turin, he has specialized in stories about the human condition, social change, and armed conflict. He loves living in Istanbul, a city in two continents. Every day he tries to find an excuse to cross the Bosporus sea from Asia to Europe in a 15-minute ferry trip.
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