For those not yet in the know, Reşitpaşa is a neighborhood bordering the high-rise districts of Maslak and İstinye and a stone's throw from the districts Emirgan and Sariyer near the Bosporus. This is where cobblestone streets and wood homes with bay windows meet new, sleek housing complexes. The neighborhood hosts not only Borsa Istanbul but also Istanbul Technical University's campus. Therefore, it is not surprising that the area was quickly favored by locals and expats alike as a refreshing getaway for a taste of real Istanbul with many of its varying elements combined in one neighborhood.
This of course includes a number of innovative and creative cafes and venues that are fast becoming Istanbul's finest and should be on your radar if you want a new neighborhood to discover. Keep in mind, this neighborhood is especially booming at lunch time, when Istanbul professionals seek a pleasant meal for their midday break and many venues, while being some of the best food in Istanbul, solely cater to a daytime service. If, however, you are looking for a leisurely meal, or if you have children and want to have a little adventure, you can easily enjoy a meal and tea in Reşitpaşa, heading to the spectacular Emirgan Korusu and even continue on to the Baltalimanı Japanese Garden for a day discovering some of the city's most peaceful oases.
The lunch series
Havan'dan by Beff Gourmet, one of the newest and most happening eateries in Reşitpaşa, is known for their famous lunch and cozy, colorful space. Opened by Le Cordon Bleu chef Ekin Uzunyol and her family, they serve a daily rotating menu of gourmet versions of Turkish classics as well as some twists, such as smoked eggplant soufflé, baked mucver and even their coveted cinnamon buns. However, their specialty is their famous rib burgers made with meat marinated for three days and cooked for seven hours, which are only served on Saturdays.
Aman da Bravo is one of the more well-established fine-dining lunch venues in this booming neighborhood and is a relaxed bistro that serves up fancy and fresh fare with a rotating menu of innovative fusion food and their takes on classics, such as their famed steak tartare, kokoreç and salted caramel molten chocolate cake. They also serve dinner Thursday through Saturday.
One of the latest restaurants to rule Reşitpaşa is Mittag, opened by Culinary Arts Academy (MSA) and Mikla alumni Fatma Yıldırım. The venue serves up innovative daily dishes with seasonal ingredients from all over the world, which in the past have included cordon bleu and pad thai. They also have an a la carte breakfast and lunch menu, which includes comfort food classics, such as eggs benedict and chili con carne, which they prepare in a refreshing open kitchen. The decor is modern to reflect the food, and there is also outdoor seating, making for the perfect place to also enjoy a Sunday brunch.
Odun Pizza is one of the newest editions by Mest, a fine dining French and Turkish restaurant that was literally one of the first to open in Reşitpaşa. Odun Pizza is their sister store serving up pizzas cooked in a wood ovens with gourmet ingredients, such as asparagus and artichoke as well as kokoreç and even duck confit. A welcome addition to the neighborhood, they are bustling in the evenings and also deliver as well as have some of the best profiterole in town.
Started by two young female entrepreneurs who learned to create flower arrangements in the U.S., Misk is Turkey's first-ever floral cafe where you can design your own bouquet, flower arrangement or enjoy a delicious light meal surrounded by designer blooms. Either way, it is an oasis that offers a delightful, peaceful respite and a delicious breakfast, with a menu that includes four types of eggs benedict, croissants and bagel sandwiches.
"Eat, play and love" is the motto behind Bee, a cafe devoted to children and their parents with weekly workshops, a library with English and Turkish books, a play area and shop that serves healthy, fresh fusion foods by the esteemed Iranian-Turk female chef behind the fine dining restaurant Aheste. They are famous for their daily lunch specials of olive-oil based dishes that often include hard-to-find vegetables, such as Jerusalem artichokes or their quinoa salad with avocado sauce. This could be where you try your first avocado chocolate cake, go for the lemon meringue or taste a vast variety of flavors offered during their Sunday brunch.
For some of the fanciest tea in town, head to the Melez Tea Lab by Liliana Lopez, a fellow expat and tea sommelier from El Salvador. Melez Tea Lab prepares, serves and sells artisan teas. They are available for purchase online or through monthly memberships and are brewed at some of the most fancy hotels and restaurants in town. They also offer monthly tea workshops that fill up well in advance.
In a league of its own is Kokopelli Şehirde, another unique venue run by two young Turkish women that offers regular workshops on topics related to ecology and sustainability, such as their upcoming "Intro to Permaculture" course or their workshop on kefir. This month they held seminars about how to make your own cleaning supplies and how to compost.