I know I have been off the radar for quite a while now and haven't written a post in months but between travelling in December, ringing in the New Year,looking for a new apartment and then moving at the end of February ... well it has been pretty hectic to say the least!
I'm nearly settled in ... absolutely love my new apartment and neighborhood and have already gotten chummy with the local shopkeepers surrounding the area because Luka, my 4,5 year-old Maltese dog and I have been walking on average 4-5 km daily!
I now live in Ulus which is about 3-4 km from my old neighborhood Levazim. This area is much more upbeat while Levazim, where I lived for 5 years was like living in one huge complex of apartment buildings and pretty much nothing else until Zorlu Center opened about 1,5 years ago. Furthermore, since it was quite hilly Luka and I didn't walk nearly as much.
I walk Luka twice a day - like most dog owners. He wants to go out by 8-8:30am and then again in the afternoon by 3-4pm. Then I'm set until the next morning! In the mornings we walk towards Ulus Park (but not all the way yet) and in the afternoon towards Akmerkez Shopping Mall. We don't stop by anywhere in the morning because I just want to get back home and have coffee and breakfast. But, in the afternoon we have become pretty much "regulars" at Cookshop and Kahve Dünyası - the two most convenient places to go to with a dog for a quick, moderately priced meal, coffee - or a glass of wine!
So, let me give you some insight on my two new haunts in Ulus.
Cookshop has several branches throughout the city and has been around for several years. The Ulus branch is quite big and has spacious indoor and outdoor seating areas and of course is "dog-friendly". Also, it is right across the street from Akmerkez (which is not dog-friendly)
I had been to Cookshop several times before moving to the neighborhood and had always enjoyed the food and the moderate prices.
I can highly recommend the omelet with herbs or grilled toast sandwich if you want something on the light side...
Or... if you want something a little more heartier, the grilled köfte (Turkish style meatballs) or grilled salmon with a side of grilled vegetables are excellent!
Or... at other times, I just prefer having a glass of brewed Turkish tea or a glass of rose wine!
I can't vouch for the quality of the food at Cookshop's other branches (obviously the chef is not the same), but I'm sure you will enjoy the Cookshop across the street from Akmerkez in Ulus.
Kahve Dünyası or "Coffee World" in Ulus is a hop, skip and jump from my apartment and Luka and I stop by almost everyday for coffee (even when I go to Cookshop). The terrace is quite spacious (and always crowded), but you can sit indoors as well.
As their name suggests, Kahve Dünyası with many branches throughout Istanbul specializes in all sorts of coffee (hot and cold; with/without ice cream) and also has a wide assortment of chocolates (their own brand), all sorts of delectable cakes (make sure to try the lemon cheesecake - heavenly) as well as savory pastries, quiches, salads and sandwiches. I have tried their savory pastries (very good) and quiche (so-so) but don't have photos to share. So, let's concentrate on the coffee...
My favorite is Turkish coffee... at Kahve Dünyası it is served with a huge piece of chocolate, chocolate covered blueberries or sour cherries and a small bottle of water: the price is only 5,5 TL! I am so hooked on the blueberry covered chocolates that I buy them for home (bad Dani... bad!)
|Turkish Coffee at Kahve Dünyası/Ulus|
|Iced Turkish Coffee at Kahve Dünyası/Ulus|
My other two favorites here are Iced Instant Coffee (normally served with chocolate shavings) and Espresso Macchiato...
|Iced Instant Coffee at Kahve Dünyası/Ulus|
|Espresso Macchiato at Kahve Dünyası/Ulus|
|My honey Luka at Kahve Dünyası/Ulus|
FINAL NOTE: I haven't been "out-out" in a while now because of my move which was exhausting! However, I have been to some great places in the last few months like Rudolf, Brasserie Cognac and Armut and plan on writing about them as well because they are worth it!