Cunda Balik
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Cunda Balik

Koy Yolu Sok. 6/1, Bostanci, Istanbul, 34744 | +216 380 5989, Turkey
Cunda Balik Restaurant in Istanbul
Courtesy of Cunda Balik
Price range
Local haunt

Named after Cunda Island in the Turkish Aegean, this spot is a short walk from the Bostanci ferry terminal on Istanbul’s Asian side. Expect classic grilled seafood and a large revolving menu of seasonal Cretan-Turkish style meze featuring otlar (foraged herbs and vegetables)—there can be up to four dozen delicious options every night. Look for nettles, cilbiz (tiny loose-leaved cabbages), wild chicory leaves, samphire, and sea beans, all dressed with olive oil and lemon or a pungent garlic sauce. Seafood features include cheese-stuffed calamari and butter-soft, smoke-kissed grilled octopus and sardines wrapped in grape leaves and grilled. Decked out in sailboat white with splashes of sea blue, Cunda is crowded, noisy and convivial—much like a seaside restaurant in an Aegean resort town during the summer. Plan ahead: dinner reservations are a must.

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