Istanbul is shockingly beautiful, painfully friendly and so old yet still just an adolescent on the cusp of becoming. Though she remains a child at heart, she has great wisdom and she knows that the secret to your heart will be through your stomach and she will not disappoint. From the “esnaf lokantaları” (tradesmen’s canteens) to the more exclusive restaurants, delicious dishes are prepared and served with great skill, love and pride. What’s more, alongside the many great restaurants and eateries serving traditional, regional dishes, there is an exciting new wave of contemporary culinary institutes and experimental chefs who seek to better understand the foundations of the traditional Turkish cuisine as a starting point for creating new possibilities. To be here now is to be part of the transformation. Welcome to Istanbul!