Istanbul has numerous shopping centers, from the historic to the modern. The Grand Bazaar, in operation since 1461, is among the world’s oldest and largest covered markets. Mahmutpasha Bazaar is an open-air market extending between the Grand Bazaar and the Egyptian Bazaar, which has been Istanbul’s major spice market since 1660. Galleria Ataköy ushered in the age of modern shopping malls in Turkey when it opened in 1987. Since then, malls have become major shopping centers outside the historic peninsula. Akmerkez was awarded the titles of “Europe’s best” and “World’s best” shopping mall by the International Council of Shopping Centers in 1995 and 1996; Istanbul Cevahir has been one of the continent’s largest since opening in 2005; while Kanyon won the Cityscape Architectural Review Award in the Commercial Built category in 2006. İstinye Park in İstinye and Zorlu Center near Levent are among the newest malls which include the stores of the world’s top fashion brands. Abdi İpekçi Street in Nişantaşı and Bağdat Avenue on the Anatolian side of the city have evolved into high-end shopping districts.
Aside from typical Turkish cuisine like kebab, Istanbul is also famous for its historic seafood restaurants. Many of the city’s most popular and upscale seafood restaurants line the shores of the Bosphorus (particularly in neighborhoods like Ortaköy, Bebek, Arnavutköy, Yeniköy, Beylerbeyi and Çengelköy), while the Kumkapı neighborhood along the Sea of Marmara has a pedestrian zone that hosts around fifty fish restaurants. The Princes’ Islands, 15 kilometers from the city center, are also popular for their seafood restaurants. Because of their restaurants, historic summer mansions, and tranquil, car-free streets, the Princes’ Islands are a popular vacation destination among Istanbulites and foreign tourists.
Restaurants featuring foreign cuisines are mainly concentrated in the Beyoğlu, Beşiktaş, Şişli and Kadıköy districts. Residing along İstiklal Avenue is the Çiçek Pasajı, now home to winehouses (known as meyhanes), pubs, and restaurants. While the focus of İstiklal Avenue, originally famous for its taverns, has shifted toward shopping, the nearby Nevizade Street is still lined with winehouses and pubs. Some other neighborhoods around İstiklal Avenue have recently been revamped to cater to Beyoğlu’s nightlife, with formerly commercial streets now lined with pubs, cafés, and restaurants playing live music. Other focal points for Istanbul’s nightlife include Nişantaşı, Ortaköy, Bebek, and Kadıköy.