Tarihi Selim Usta
Despite its forbiddingly long name, Tarihi Selim Usta Sultanahmet Köftecisi means ‘Historical Sultan Ahmet Köfte restaurant’ (they’re proud of their 80 years of culinary service to locals and tourists alike). This köftecisi serves some of the best Turkish food in Istanbul at its simplest and is in easy reach of the sites of Sultanahmet.
The diet is one that Dr Atkins would have approved of: lamb meatballs, dairy products (ayran) and fresh veg (especially the white bean salad) with few carbs in sight. Tarihi Selim Usta’s décor is basic but pleasant and the place is perennially one of the most popular cafes in Istanbul (hence the 80 years).
Watch the white uniformed chefs, who must surely be suffering the conceptual version of repetitive strain syndrome and desperate to get their prongs on a chicken or steak or two for variety’s sake – expertly toast your meal over their open flame grills. It’s also very cheap.