Sultanahmet: Meatballs

Located at the historical peninsula, Sultanahmet is the Old City. As a capital for East Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empire, Sultanahmet is surrounded by historic and cultural treasures. As many visitors begin their Istanbul tour from Sultanahmet, it is one of the busiest and liveliest neighborhood of Istanbul.

Located at the historical peninsula, Sultanahmet is the Old City. As a capital for East Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empire, Sultanahmet is surrounded by historic and cultural treasures. As many visitors begin their Istanbul tour from Sultanahmet, it is one of the busiest and liveliest neighborhood of Istanbul. Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapı Palace, Hagia Irene, Basilica Cistern and Hippodrome are only a few of the important sights around Sultanahmet. Lying on a large area from Eminönü on the Golden Horn to Little Hagia Sophia on the sea of Marmara, Sultanahmet is surrounded by sacred places, historical artifacts, old bazaars, traditional baths and a wide selection of museums. Sultanahmet hosts major sights, shops, hotels and a variety of café and restaurants.

To complete a Sultanahmet sightseeing, you should stop at the historical köfte (meatball) restaurant at Divanyolu Street No: 12. Named Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi Selim Usta, restaurant serves köfte and piyaz, bean salad. You can complete your menu by ayran which is a cold yogurt drink similar to lassi in India.

The story of this famous köfte restaurant, began on 1920 at Sultanahmet. Köftes served here were so delicious, the restaurant got famous between the locals. In the course of the time, restaurants managers changed from father to son and business got bigger.

Today the restaurant has franchising branches not only in Turkey but also at other countries like Azerbaijan and France. There are some fake restaurants claiming they are making the Sultanahmet’s best köfte, but Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi Selim Usta’s recipe for the perfect meatball remained the same for four generations in more than 90 years.

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