Every month we ask an Istanbul local the same ten questions.
This way you can hear firsthand what they love and hate about the city, and learn about the best places to wine, dine and shop in town.
Today Aslı Lale Özgen, aged between 26-35 and active in the advertising/marketing sector, shares her Istanbul secrets.
1. Where do you live, and what makes your neighborhood special?
I live in Ulus, approximately 1 km further than the first Bosphorus Bridge. It’s convenient since it’s very close to the places where I like to go.
2. What does a perfect day in Istanbul look like for you?
I think Istanbul is at its best when it is sunny, yet cold. A perfect Istanbul day should also include dining in a fish restaurant.
3. Where would you take first time Istanbul visitors to?
I would take them to Vogue Restaurant. They serve fish, sushi, pasta, and meat … and the Bosphorus view is stunning. It’s located only 200 meters up the hill from Dolmabahçe Palace, but you better take a taxi since there is no direct road to walk.
4. Do you have any shopping preferences and/or secrets?
I prefer casual, cool, and simple stuff. But it must be of good quality.
5. What is according to you the best souvenir people should take back home?
It’s a cliche I’m sure, but for me it’s a nice carpet (kilim).
6. What is your favorite restaurant, and why?
It should have great food, excellent service, and of course a gorgeous view and sunset. The before mentioned Vogue Restaurant has the best view and good food.
I’m also a big fan of Uskumru, currently one of the best fish restaurants in Istanbul [more details about Uskumru were shared in a previous post]. I’ve shared very special moments with my family there, and they serve the best green salad with Parmesan and garlic.
7. What Turkish dish should visitors really try out?
Here I probably will go off the beaten track by suggesting dolma (stuffed vegetables) and mantı (commonly known as Turkish ravioli).
8. What is your favorite drink, and the best place to order it?
I’m a big fan of whisky with ice, preferably Chivas.
9. What is your favorite bar or night club?
I love to drink the before mentioned spirit at my favorite club: Ulus 29. Not only a great bar with a nice lounge and terrace view.
10. What do you love and/or hate about Istanbul?
I’m sure I’m not the only one, I hate the traffic!