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Europe's Best Neighborhoods for Foodies

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Photo: Clay McLachlan

Karaköy, Istanbul

The city’s once-gritty ferry docks district has become a magnet for gastronauts. The pioneering Karaköy Lokantasi (37A Kemankeş Cad.; dinner for two $55) fired the first salvo when it moved to new digs decorated in tile and wrought iron. The vibrant mezes (smoked anchovies; chickpea-and-tahini pâté) are the perfect complement to anise-flavored raki. New York–trained chef Didem enol’s Lokanta Maya (35A Kemankeş Cad.; dinner for two $65) upped the ante with its neo-Scandinavian interior and small plates such as grilled octopus with sour-cherry vinegar and red onions. Legendary lunchtime fish spot Tarihi Karaköy Balikçisi (45 Tersane Cad.; dinner for two $90) has added a rooftop dinner space with vistas of the Bosporus and has line-caught fish prepared with precision. What to order? House-cured, sashimi-quality bonito and parchment-baked levrek (sea bass). At Ca’d’Oro (11 Bankalar Cad.; lunch for two $65), the pan-Mediterranean menu by chef Julien Maisonneuve, formerly of London’s Tom Aikens, is the draw. Sample smoked-cheese arancini and grilled artichokes with tarragon dressing while feasting your eyes on views of Istanbul’s imperial mosques.

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