Hg2 : The Hedonist


Asia! Given all the hoopla about Istanbul being the only ‘world city’ straddling two different continents, its Asian shore remains largely ignored by most guidebooks, so don’t be surprised if you can’t find neighbourhoods like Kadiköy on so much as a tourist map of the city. According to lore, Kadiköy’s original name – Chalcedon, or land of the blind – has to do with the fact that its first Byzantine inhabitants must have been blind to settle here, and not on the peninsula on the opposite European shore of the Bosphorus. These days, you’d have to be blind yourself not to give Asia a go, by day, by night, or indeed by both. Kadiköy might not yet be to the European side what Brooklyn has become to Manhattan, but – thanks to places like Karga – it’s getting there. Unmarked, recognisable only by the drawing of a crow (‘karga’ in Turkish) hovering above its entrance, Karga is a Kadiköy institution, its walls thick with the drawings of avant-garde artists, its decks attended to by local DJs, and its stage home to grunge bands on the verge of a big break. Come here for lunch, stay for the film screening or art show upstairs, and top it all off with cheap drinks and a rowdy concert. If this isn’t your cup of tea, plenty of other options are around the corner, with Kadife Sokak and the surrounding streets overflowing with pubs, clubs and restaurants. Unlike most of the nightspots on the European side, which draw in party-goers from all over the city and beyond, Karga and other Kadiköy joints serve a predominantly local clientele – a welcome respite from the see-and-be-seen crowd that often seems less focused on having a good time than on figuring out where to go next. 

Kadife Sokak 16, Kadikšy,
+90 216 449 1725
Opening Times
daily, noon-3am
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