Balat Fener, Religious Cultural Harmony of the EarthJanuary 25, 2018
Located near the Golden Horn, firstly located by Spanish Jews lies Balat.
Balat is the house of many important synagogues and churches. People in Balat is firiendly and open for dialog. You can communicate easily in any subject with the neighborhood.
The silhouette of the historical neighborhood will most certainly change within the next 10 years under the direction of Istanbul’s city-wide renewal plans. We spent a day here in order to better get to know the district. We researched where to eat, what to drink, where to go and what to see.
Ayvansaray is a good point to start walking to Balat, or you can walk from Eminönü by the Bosphorus side walk till Balat.
When you arrive at Balat you will see historical, romantic houses which has attractive architectures, fresh balconies with flowers. However , the level of gentrification that took place in Galata and Karakoy may reached to Balat soon. You will notice the empty shops and houses and they are causing many murmurs & gossips in neighborhood. Will Balat be modernized or keep its nostalgic atmosphere, this is the killing question for every people visiting there.
However it is unclear whether or not Balat will be able to escape the modernization that affects most large cities. Balat has attractive colorful streets and painted bright old houses that has small and cute cafe and butique shops at ground level. You will come across with sliding kids downhill streets on a slight wood with no wheels. The region is also home of Roma musicians live. Most streets have chairs installed in front of the houses. Summer time, people are spending their times at balconies, terraces and in front of their homes on a sofa or chairs. People enjoy the cooling winds and breeze comes from Bosphorus. Fisherman always accessible at Balat street because of its location next to coast of Bosphorus.
Balat has amazing taste for visitor , greatest cafe restaurants are located in the region. Let have a look some of them.
Where To Eat in Balat
Forno Balat – MY FAV , they describe themselves “One day as I was wandering through the streets of historical Balat I came across to an oasis and that is how Forno came to life! Now, in a homey atmosphere, I am sharing my journey with authentic taste and quality-seekers. I get my meat from our family butcher, my vegetables from the neighborhoods grocery and my spices from a local street market. Next we are ready to prepare our handmade lahmacun, pides and pizzas in our stone oven. Our weekends are a celebration with our buffet-breakfast, abundant with tempting local products. A refuge from the hustle-bustle of Istanbul, Balat has remained a quarter where time stands still. And Forno is a home for everyone who loves good things.” Just Check http://www.fornobalat.com/en/about-forno website for menu, prices and other details.
the Famous Agora Meyhanesi – Turkey’s one of the famous drinking place , highly recommended . Best celebrities and their stories written in there.. Just google it 🙂 https://www.tripadvisor.com.tr/Restaurant_Review-g293974-d7716330-Reviews-Agora_Meyhanesi_1890-Istanbul.html
The historical Molla Aski Mosque‘s tea garden, and restaurants catering to tradespeople and glamorizing iskembe (tripe soup).
Nice restaurant on the Ayvansaray side is Canak.
Dimitri Cantemir Cafe https://www.facebook.com/Dimitri-Cantemir-Cafe-715228561852154/
its Kuru Fasulye (bean) dish made on a brazier, kofte, and irmik helvasi. Just visit the Balat coast’s most well-known fish restaurant, Sahil Restoran where you may see some celebrity in there.
Cafe Naftalin – If you love Cats – don’t miss that place https://www.tripadvisor.com.tr/Restaurant_Review-g293974-d7204763-Reviews-Cafe_Naftalin_K-Istanbul.html
Fener Greek Patriarchate is the attractive point for visitor in the area. Close to the Balat Gate, we recommend you 100 years old Balat Iskembe Salonu.Restaurant is decorated with old photographs and rifles. One of the best option is the “Uykuluk”(sweetbread of a lamb) and kofte. Directly across from the restaurant you can have your coffee after your meal at Afilli Cezve.
Maide – https://www.zomato.com/tr/istanbul/cooklife-balat-istanbul https://www.instagram.com/maidecafe/ A cozy cafe of Balat.
Cooklife – Great decoration , tasty foods and cute place https://www.zomato.com/tr/istanbul/cooklife-balat-istanbul
Follow the direction of Leblebiciler sokak and reach Cifit Carsi , this place is Istanbul’s first Jewish quarter. You will find old fashioned goods from the tiny shops. Every year shops are getting empty. According to the news from locals, one or two investors bought the shops here. But investors may not use the shops for new trends. Houses and shops may be a part of modern silhoeutte of destroyed Balat 🙁 . Antik Kafe is cozy little cafe at the entrance to Leblebeci Sokak.
Fetih Iskembe Salonu is another tastefull place if you like some tripe soup.
Religious Harmony in Balat
Fener Balat is a multicultural place influenced many cultures and societies. There are a lot of religious places must see.
Ferruh Ketuda Mosque is build Mimar Sinan genius Turkish Architect.
Sveti Stefan Church “Iron Church”– Bulgarian Church in Istanbul. World’s only iron church at the moment. The ones in Argentina and Austria are not survive anymore.
Surp Hreşdegabet Gregoryan Church, Armenian Church since 1623 in Balat Kamis Street.
Ayios Strati Ortodoks Church, at Ayan Avenue, built in Byzantian times.
Çana Ahrida Yanbol Sinagogs