Replies: 4 - Last Post: Sep 27, 2012 12:15 PM Last Post By: Karlo
Sep 25, 2012 3:01 PM
Hookah BarsAre there still indoor hookah bars in Istanbul despite the indoor smoking ban?
If so, can you recommend one, or if not, what is your favorite outdoor bar?
Anything I should know before going?
Sep 26, 2012 5:11 AM
1Yes - of a sort. Those that still exist tend to have an outdoor area, sometimes enclosed by plastic roll-up windows in winter. There's a quite pleasant (and cheap) one in a small cemetery down Divan Yolu Caddesi, on the right hand side on your way from Sultanahmet to the Grand Bazaar.
But I think they're called 'nargile' in Istanbul. The name changes in different countries and 'hookah' is the Saudi name.
Sep 27, 2012 12:28 AM
2go-2, thank you, yes the word is nargile in Turkish which translates to hookah (no surprise).
amillin, you would do well to heed the advice of our sage sarıkanarya and not mix the words hookah and hooker, in fact use neither.
Next to the Nusretiye Mosque in the Tophane District on the European side, you should find several nargile salons. Tophane is also next to the Bosphorus.
According to this article by Barbara Nadel , a well-known writer of the Çetin İkmen mystery series, a nargile is "the Persian word for coconut." She writes that Tophane "has so many salons it's known locally as Nargile Central."
I had not read the Inspector İkmen series until I came to Turkey. I would recommend them for their descriptive accuracy of places around Istanbul as well as some accurate historical Ottoman information.
MyMerhaba.com is a web site for visitors and residents of Turkey. The have a recommended list of nargile salons .
Sep 27, 2012 9:00 AM
3Yes, hobbit - it's the one that Barbara mentions here:
One of the most enthusiastic royal smokers was Sultan Abdul Hamid II in the late 19th century. The last autocratic Ottoman sultan, he is buried in the small imperial graveyard in Çemberlita. Today the Türk Oca Tea Garden and Nargile Salon, with its alfresco smoking tables, is situated in the corner of this graveyard. It has an edgy, intellectual feel with book lined walls and a clientele who want to change the world.
There are also a few under the Galata Bridge (west side), recollecting the old days back in 1969 when we went out from our hippie hostel to drink chai and smoke ourselves silly in the glassed-in tea-houses under the old bridge.
However, these ones cater to tourists and are correspondingly expensive. Nice views, though.
BTW - if you want flavoured tobacco, rose is gul, apple is elma, while tobacco is simply tabac.
Edited by: go_2
Sep 27, 2012 12:15 PM
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