Sofyali 9, Istanbul
Tel: 90 212 245 0362
Concierge.com's insider take:
In the center of the once-bohemian but now increasingly commercial Asmalımescit area just behind Tünel Square, Sofyalı 9 sits like a brightly colored vestige of old Pera, when the neighborhood was a hotbed of European influence (this is where passengers on the Orient Express trains would put up). This multistory building is one of the favored of the many meyhanes (taverns) on the street, along with the ever-popular Refik a bit farther down (10/12 Sofyalı Sokak; 90-212-243-2834). Begin your meal here with Raki or wine, accompanied by cold meze from the large tray that will be ceremoniously presented to your table upon seatingthere's patlican salatası (eggplant salad), enginar (artichoke in olive oil), and dolma (stuffed grape leaves). By the time the traditional hot appetizers have done the rounds (we recommend the meat-stuffed house borek or the kaşarlı cheese alternative), most diners can't find any room for a main course. For the large-bellied, however, there is a good selection of fresh fish and grilled meats.
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