Encouraged by the city’s openness to foreign investment, Edmonton-raised businesswoman Jennifer Gaudet first set up shop – a café, in the beginning, and then a boutique selling handwoven Turkish towels (pestamels) and robes, and hand-reeled silk scarves – in Istanbul nearly a decade ago. “From the seven hills to the bridges to the water that’s everywhere, I love how vibrant and beautiful this city is.”
1. Istanbul Modern
This massive museum has a great mix of old and new work, most of which is Turkish but there are more and more international shows. The photography and painting exhibits here are definitely at the top of my list. It’s a huge former warehouse on the Bosphorus, and I have yet to see the whole thing in one visit.
34433 Kılıçali Ali Pasa, 90-212-334-7300
2. Vefa Bozacisi
Vefa Bozacisi This little shop in Fatih sells boza, which is a non-alcoholic fermented millet drink topped with whole chickpeas. (Ask for a dash of cinnamon.) There is outdoor service, so people drive up and waiters bring the beverage out to them. I’ve never met a single tourist who’s heard of it.
Vefa, Katip Çelebi Caddesi, 104/1, Fatih, 90-212-519-49-22
3. Karaköy Lokantasi
My wedding reception was held here. It’s casual, comfortable and has beautiful turquoise tiles. I like to share the mezze with friends; my favourite is the sliced beef and my husband loves the liver, but it’s a great spot for vegetarians too. It also pours a brand of rakı (a Turkish anise-flavoured liquor) called Beylerbeyi that’s really hard to find.
Kemankes Cad 37/A, Karaköy 34425, 90-212-292-44-55
People are shocked by the price difference between other shops – which Yunart sells to – and this spot in Sultanahmet that makes shoes, bags and accessories with colourful, geometric kilim designs. It’s not fancy, but the quality is great. I got a leather-trimmed wallet there over eight years ago.
Binbirdirek Mah. Klodfarer Cd. Firat 16/1, Sultanahmet, 90-212-516-94-50