Without a doubt one of the most important restaurants in Istanbul, Hacı Abdullah was established in 1888 and licensed by Sultan Abdülhamid II himself, who entrusted its founder Abdullah Efendi with hosting foreign dignitaries visiting the Empire. One of the last bastions of Ottoman palace cuisine, Hacı Abdullah has remained true to tradition and not simply with the traditional fare it serves. The restaurant upholds a system of apprenticeship where the kitchen staff and waiters undergo years of training before being deemed fit for the job, and ownership of the restaurant is handed down from master to apprentice.
Now maintained by its thirdgeneration founder Abdullah Korun, Hacı Abdullah keeps the flame burning and pots brewing in its Beyoğlu location, which it has occupied since 1958. When we recently visited the restaurant on a snowy winter’s day, the brothy okra soup (kuru çiçek bamya çorbası) did wonders to warm us up. Follow it up with keşkekli kebap, a wonderfully smoky meat and wheat stew, or the signature kuzu tandır, slow-cooked lamb. Hacı Abdullah is famous for its fruit compotes and the colourful jars lining the walls of the restaurant contain some that are several decades old. The mixed fruit compote is a great way to end your meal – and rest assured it won’t come down the wall but has been prepared fresh that day. Since there is no alcohol served and most of the food is cooked in the morning, visiting Hacı Abdullah for lunch is ideal.
|Venue name:||Hacı Abdullah|
Ağa Camii Atıf Yılmaz Caddesi 9A
|Opening hours:||Open daily 09:00-23:00.|