The Best Hot Chocolate & The Road Less Traveled

This post follows a much less touristy day in Istanbul, a la the title. I would have had no idea some of these places existed without insider knowledge, so I wanted to share it.

Start the day off at an actual Bazaar, away from the city center. They happen on different days of the week in different neighborhoods. This one was in Levent, this list will get you started on where to find some near you.

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Turkey has really lax copyright laws so expect to see knock-off bags everywhere. I still regret not getting this one.

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They also have knock-off perfumes and make-up. I treated myself to a Dior Poison Apple scent and smelled exactly the same as the original, it came out to 6 lira, or about $2.

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Next head to Arnavutköy, a cute neighborhood along the Bosphorus. Stroll through the streets and marvel at the lack of tourists.

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Head towards the ferry. Make sure not to miss the waterfront houses.

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Next take the ferry to Çengelköy, on the Asian side.

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Always time for another cai. I was addicted by the end of the trip.

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Order lunch and take it to the docks to enjoy the view. When we got there school must have just gotten out as teenagers had the same idea we did.

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Yummmmmm, balik ekmek. So simple and amazing, this is a fish sandwich with some lettuce, onion, and lemon.

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This is what you should be here for. When my friend told me we were going to the best hot chocolate in the world, I scoffed. Hot chocolate in Istanbul? Sure…after my first sip? I would come back to this city just for just for this drink. Do yourself a favor and go to Cikolata Kahve.

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The beauty in the flesh. So much bliss came with every sip. I can’t fully express in words how thick and rich this was.

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Take the ferry back across the Bosphorus and start walking south along the waterfront. It’s a couple of miles but you will eventually cross underneath the Bosporus bridge. The area just south of the bridge is called Ortakoy. It is pretty touristy since the river cruises stop here, but still fun to shop around in. The sunset from here was incredible, you could see all of the old city.

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You could eat dinner in this area if you want. I did, we had this gross potato thing and I hated it, do not recommend.

Ximena.

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