Traveling shoe salesman Mickey Ashmore likes to get around on foot (natually). Istanbul is an old favorite — and home to the leather craftsmen who handmake modern Turkish slippers for his Sabah shoe line. He gave us his top picks for a day around town.
THE MEAL TO EAT
Iskele Caddesi No. 17; +90-216-332-3241
Few Istanbul experiences are more enjoyable than eating a long and drawn-out fish meal with friends on a sunny Sunday afternoon. And no place is better than Suna'nin Yeri on the city's Asian side in Kandilli, where a casual mish-mash of tables and umbrellas are set next to the water alongside the ferry building.
THE RIDE TO TAKE
Boat Ride with Hakan
There are more than a few ways to move around Istanbul, but none beat an evening boat ride along the Bosphorus. Hakan is, without a doubt, the best man to chauffeur you around. He keeps his small open-air speedboat in the Kurucesme Marina and can do pick-ups anywhere in town.
THE PLACE TO STAY
Sumahan on the Water
Kulelí Caddesi No. 43; +90-216-422-8000
My favorite hotel is on the water. For those who appreciate an unmatched sense of design, great views, and a good martini, this is your hidden gem. Spend the night or stop by for a sunset cocktail.
THE STROLL TO TAKE
A small, tree-lined neighborhood tucked away on the city's Asian side. When I lived in Istanbul, I would take a boat over for lunch to get away from the hectic city. There are a number of great cafes lining the main street and a fantastic coffee house at the end on the water.
THE DRINK WITH A VIEW
Fescizade Binasi 3/2 Ortakoy Salhanesi Sok; +90-212-259-9060
The food is as great as everyone says, but I recommend the bar for drinks and a view of the Bosphorus. They make a nice margarita and the two corner perches have unrivaled views of the sea. It's an easy way to spend an hour (or three).
THE PLACE TO PARTY
Cevdet Pasa Caddesi. 51; +90-212-257-1255
A see-and-be-seen type of place in the posh neighborhood of Bebek. Despite its cadre of haters, I think Lucca is one of the best parties in town. As an expat looking for happy hour or a dance party, I know Lucca will deliver. Many thanks to them for a good night.
THE PLACE TO CAFFEINATE
Geyik Coffee Roastery & Cocktail Bar
Kiliçalipaşa Mahallesi, Akarsu Caddesi, No. 22/A; +90-532-773-0013
Located in the expat-filled bohemian neighborhood of Cihangir. Geyik serves killer espresso and handcrafted cocktails to a crowd that spills out onto the street late into the night. It's located on a block lined with bars and restaurants that are full every evening.
WHERE TO END THE NIGHT
Emine Ana Tantuni
Siraselviler Cad. Billurcu Sokak. No. 5/A; +90-212-292-8430
I’ll keep this brief. The night is over. You are hungry. Nothing beats a tantuni made by Emine Ana. Small strips of unbelievably tender meat are rolled with a salad of diced tomatoes, onions, parsley, and sumac into a piece of Turkish bread called durum. It's impossible to eat just one. Read more about it on my blog.