Along with the traditional Turkish restaurants, many European and Far Eastern restaurants and numerous other cuisines are also thriving in the city. There are thousands of alternatives for night life in Istanbul but the most popular open air summer time seaside night clubs are found on the Bosphorus, such as Reina and Anjelique in the Ortaköy district. Babylon and Nu Pera in Beyoğlu are popular night clubs both in the summer and in the winter, while The Venue in Maslak often hosts live concerts of famous rock, hard rock and heavy metal bands from all corners of the world. Parkorman in Maslak hosted the Isle of MTV Party in 2002 and is a popular venue for live concerts and rave parties in the summer. Q Jazz Bar in Ortaköy offers live jazz music in a stylish environment.
Çiçek Pasajı on İstiklal AvenueMost of the city’s historic pubs and winehouses are located in the areas around İstiklal Avenue in Beyoğlu. The 19th century Çiçek Pasajı (literally Flower Passage in Turkish, or Cité de Péra in French, opened in 1876) on İstiklal Avenue can be described as a miniature version of the famous Galleria in Milan, Italy, and has rows of historic pubs, winehouses and restaurants. The site of Çiçek Pasajı was originally occupied by the Naum Theatre, which was burned during the Fire of Pera in 1870. The theatre was frequently visited by Sultans Abdülaziz and Abdülhamid II, and hosted Giuseppe Verdi’s play Il Trovatore before the opera houses of Paris. After the fire of 1870, the theatre was purchased by the local Greek banker Hristaki Zoğrafos Efendi, and Italian architect Zanno designed the current building, which was called Cité de Péra or Hristaki Pasajı in its early years. Yorgo’nun Meyhanesi (Yorgo’s Winehouse) was the first winehouse to be opened in the passage. In 1908 the Ottoman Grand Vizier Sait Paşa purchased the building, and it became known as the Sait Paşa Passage. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, many impoverished noble Russian women, including a Baroness, sold flowers here. By the 1940s the building was mostly occupied by flower shops, hence the present Turkish name Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage). After the restoration of the building in 1988, it was reopened as a galleria of pubs and restaurants.
Some historic neighbourhoods around İstiklal Avenue have recently been recreated, such as Cezayir Street near Galatasaray Lisesi, which became known as La Rue Française and has rows of francophone pubs, cafés and restaurants playing live French music.
Kanyon Mall in Levent financial district with its award-winning architecture Istanbul is also famous for its historic seafood restaurants. Many of them were originally established by the local Greeks, such as Aleko’nun Yeri (Aleko’s Place) in Yeniköy on the European side of the Bosphorus, or Koço Restaurant (Kotso=Konstantin) in the Moda neighbourhood on the Asian side of the city, which also has a small Greek Orthodox ayazma (chapel) inside. The most popular seafood restaurants are generally found on the Bosphorus, such as the İskele Restaurant in the Rumelihisarı neighbourhood, which was originally a historic ferry quay, or Villa Bosphorus in Beylerbeyi, and numerous others in districts like Ortaköy, Arnavutköy, Bebek and Sarıyer on the European shoreline of the Bosphorus, or Üsküdar, Kuzguncuk, Çengelköy and Kandilli on the Anatolian shoreline. The Princes’ Islands in the Sea of Marmara, and Anadolu Kavağı near the Black Sea entrance of the Bosphorus, close to the Genoese Castle (which was known as the Ioros Castle during the Byzantine period) also have many historic seafood restaurants.
The Princes’ Islands (Prens Adaları) are a group of islands in the Marmara Sea, south of the quarters Kartal and Pendik. Pine and stone-pine wooden neoclassical and art nouveau-style Ottoman era summer mansions from the 19th and early 20th centuries, horse-drawn carriages (motor vehicles are not permitted) and seafood restaurants make them a popular destination. They can be reached by ferry boats or high-speed catamaran Seabus (Deniz otobüsü) from Eminönü and Bostancı. Of the nine islands, only five are settled. Şile is a distant and well-known Turkish seaside resort on the Black Sea, 50 kilometers from Istanbul. Unspoiled white sand beaches can be found outside of Şile. Kilyos is a small calm seaside resort not far from the northern European entrance of the Bosphorus at the Black Sea. The place has good swimming possibilities and has become popular in the last years among the inhabitants of Istanbul as a place for excursions. Kilyos offers a beach park with seafood restaurants and night clubs, being particularly active in the summer with many night parties and live concerts on the beach.
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