Hamdi Arpacı arrived in İstanbul in the 1960s and almost immediately established a street stand near the Spice Bazaar where he grilled and sold tasty kebaps made according to recipes from his hometown Urfa, in Turkey's southeast. His kebaps became so popular with locals that he soon acquired this nearby building, which has phenomenal views from its top-floor terrace.
A meal here offers views of the Old City, Golden Horn and Galata, as well as tasty food and a bustling atmosphere. Try the yoğurtlu şakşuka (yoghurt meze with fried eggplant, peppers and potato), the içli köfte (meatballs rolled in bulgur) and the lahmacun (thin, meat-topped pizza) followed by any of the kebaps and you'll leave replete and happy – extremely replete if you finish with the house-made baklava, katmer or künefe . Any place this good is always going to be busy, so make sure you book, and don't forget to request a rooftop table with a view (outside if the weather is hot).
One slight caveat: staff work hard and are clearly encouraged to turn tables over as fast as possible. Don't expect much in terms of personal service, and be prepared for little time between courses.