When Bebek is mentioned several things come to mind: Bebek Park, ice cream and waffle shops, the Bebek Mosque and famous restaurants. This unique district is a favorite of the Istanbul elite as well as regular locals or foreigners who love Istanbul. The Bebek Hotel, Bebek Fish monger and the famous marzipan shop, which has been doing business since 1904, on the other hand, are the most classic and well-branded venues in Bebek. I, however, am going to write about the more modern places that make us fond of Bebek.
The entertainment center that comes to mind when Bebek is mentioned is, of course, Lucca. It is a cool and attractive venue with people sitting, standing or handing their cars to the valet in front of the restaurant located in the heart of the district. Having classy guests and a refined entertainment atmosphere, the place indeed belongs to Bebek. Recently, we have been there as guests of the owner of the place, Cem Mirap, to taste the fall menu. I particularly loved the pumpkin soup. Likewise, we had the chance to taste kale, a vegetable quite famous in the U.S. The broccoli, walnut and ricotta cheese salad was great. I normally hate broccoli, but I liked the salad. Likewise, the pumpkin risotto was also one of the flavors that suits fall. Congratulations to Lucca for combining the culture of chilling and eating on the street with DJ music and good meals. Taking its name from a small city in Italy, the place is also a favorite of foreign celebrities. Friends and guests visiting me from abroad first ask me about Lucca. Congratulations to Mirap who has gained success in the sector by creating many valuable brands and for managing to keep the bar high. It is hard to be at the top. I wish him lots of luck.
Another venue identified with Bebek is Happily Ever After. Its owner, Ayşe Kucuroğlu, is a manager who is also identified with Bebek and has put her spirit and energy into the place. She is as modest as she is popular. The venue is distinguished by its seafront location. Its huge windows and homely decoration offer you a familiar feel. Likewise, you may join the active part of Bebek by sitting on the street side of the restaurant. Happily Ever After is not ostentatious and was designed for people who want to enjoy street life. There are both local and international tastes, from French toast to grilled Turkish meat balls. Their pancakes and the famous banana pudding are worth trying. The duck with citrus fruits and squid cones are classics too. Meals are cooked at the char-grill, and the chef of the venue is Murat Bozok. Directed by Aslı Yaman, the place makes good coffee as well. As Kucuroğlu would say, it is a menu in which French and Californian cuisine is colored with Turkish tastes.
All their products are made fresh daily, and frozen products are never used, even for french fries. They produce their own pasta and bread. The venue functions as an event space at the same time. It hosts successful events, especially in the field of social responsibility. Despite Bebek being a full of restaurants and cafes, Kucuroğlu indicates that Bebek is a street that accommodates families and individuals. Living in Bebek, she calls on all restaurant owners to be more protective of the living texture of Bebek, its residents and their comfort. Congratulations to Kucuroğlu for her sensitivity and her successful business.
Last but not least, I want to write about one of the new venues in Bebek. Private Reason is new, but it is going to be one of the brands that comes to mind more often in the future. The diversity of coffees and their presentations are very interesting. Unique coffees await you with Syphon, Café Solo, Nel Drip, Moka Pot, and Aeropress. I recommend you try Blue Mountain, particularly. They also serve cakes, paninos, breakfasts, salads and giant toasts with coffee. The gourmet and sausage toast are recommended. As for the deserts, Macaron with Kinoa is indeed delicious and light, and Private Reason pleases customers with its alternative tastes and unique olive oil. I have learned from Vardar Topçu, the owner of the venue, that the center of the company will be moving to a larger and newer location and organize barista training and workshops. Actually, the main news is the preparation of Private Reason for franchising. I hope to see this European style coffee brand, which started in Turkey, become a strong brand. One of the reasons I love Bebek is the good company and hosting of Topçu. You, too must absolutely visit the place and eat, drink, meet him and his brand at the first chance you get.
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