Lunch in Asia {Çiya + Istanbul}

Sunday morning in Ortakoy, Istanbul

With only 48 hours to spend in Istanbul, you really don't want to have a bad meal.  While doing my research before we left, one place that kept turning up on lists with names like "Best Meals of 2012", My Last Meal on Earth Would Be", plus recommendations from trusted friends was Çiya.

After a leisurely morning wander around the seaside neighborhood of Ortaköy, we hopped on a ferry, grabbed a glass of hot tea and headed to the Asian side of Istanbul.

In Kadıköy we found young buskers playing traditional music on almost every corner, vegetable and fish sellers shouting the praises of their wares and all of the sidewalk cafes were full.

Çiya is spread out over three locations all near each other. We had the difficult choice of choosing one of them. My carnivores were in the mood for a meaty lunch so we picked Çiya kebap.

Lunch in Asia {Çiya + Istanbul}

Lunch in Asia {Çiya + Istanbul}

We ordered a thin and spicy lahmacun - a kind of turkish pizza - to start and then moved on to our meaty mains.

Ayvalý Taraklý - A rich, intense dish of tiny lamb chops smothered in a pomegranate and fresh quince sauce.

A classic kebap plate with hand miced lamb with lots of fresh mint.

Kağıt Kebap - a spicy hand minced lamb and hot chili pepper kebab.

We were seated on the second floor with a view of the original Çiya Sofrasi and watched as plates from the two restaurants were passed back and forth.

After all that food the sun broke through the clouds we headed back out to the streets to the crowds of sunday shoppers and the sounds of the muezzin call.

Lunch in Asia {Çiya + Istanbul}

Lunch in Asia {Çiya + Istanbul}

Lunch in Asia {Çiya + Istanbul}

Ciya Kebap
Caferaga Mah. Güneslibahce Sk. 48/B Kadiköy - Istanbul

Tel: (216) 336 30 13


  1. I hope I can finally make to Istanbul this year. Looking forward to reading more about your trip.

  2. Oh, this looks wonderful. I can practically taste the combination of musky lamb with mint and spice. You're inspiring me to plan a trip to Istanbul!


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