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“Only average”

Rumeli Cafe & Restaurant
Ranked #253 of 14,475 Restaurants in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $4 - $22
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Sultanahmet
Description: Nestled in the tourism precinct of Sultanahmet, Rumeli Cafe is an ideal location for dining while people watching the nations of the world from the restaurant’s streetside terrace. Summertime sees the opening of the rooftop dining area, where guests can gaze at the stars and glimpse at the minarets of the Blue Mosque. When the weather chills in winter, the allure of the restaurant moves inside—where the gentle crackling of open fireplaces invite guests to stay a while to appreciate a glass of mulled wine paired with a rich Ottoman dish. Set in a former Ottoman print house, the restaurant has become one of Sultanahmet’s most loved restaurants since the building’s renovation in 1994. Now it’s famous for its friendly service and intimate dining areas with dark wood floors, wrought iron fixtures, and exposed red brick walls—an atmosphere reminiscent of dining in a foregone Byzantine palace. Personal favorites on the menu are the grilled marinated calamari, the Ottoman style Marmara A’la Rosto (roast beef with rice and vegetables), and the seafood linguini. Also on the menu are international favorites; regional specialities such as Ali Nazik (minced lamb and beef on a bed of pureed eggplant, yogurt, garlic and tomatoes); Byzantine dishes like Papaz Yahisi (stewed lamb and vegetable served with cumin and garlic in a terracotta pot); and fresh seafood including seabass, sea bream, and jumbo shrimp. Vegetarian options are also available.
Reviewed December 29, 2012

It has nice outdoor seating and it is located in Old City, so very central, but it is a very touristy
place. It is way overpriced (wine list!) and the food was very average. I don´t think, that we would like to go back.

Thank quiltlover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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167 - 171 of 468 reviews

Reviewed December 6, 2012

i had a stew which had meat as tough as my walking boots and almost no seasoning; my husbands dish was similarly boring. Large portions but you won't to eat much of it and its not cheap either. Not a patch on the other restaurants we have been to in Istanbul (even one on the same road that was excellent).

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Thank Setter40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2012

The restuarant is pretty small and has some seating outside... which I did not dear try...
The food was pretty good, we had a good calamari starter and then a sis kebab. The meat was tender. The service a bit slow to begin but then was fine.
I always do not like when they automatically add you a tip but that is the only negative.
The restaurant is near the blue mosquee....so good place to have a walk in the evening,

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Thank Torino74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2012

The review of this place seemed to suggest it was worth a visit, but I have to say I was seriously underwhelmed by the quality of food here, and service too.

The idea of eating outdoors in November is something that is novel enough for any Brit to fancy, and while the evening temperatures of about 13c made it a pleasurable experience, there's overhead heating for those that need it. My gripe about the service is that while the standard ploy of a man outside the restaurant press-ganging punters to eat there is the norm, once we were actually sat down, the service became gradually worse, cumulating in having the plates of our main courses taken away and never being offered anything more - or even spoke to again - until we gave up and asked for the bill. I cannot remember the last time I've eaten out and not been offered a desert. Still, their loss, not mine.

They were fine feeding a vegan as some of their dishes are suitable by default, but I'm afraid my food varied from plain to just plain bad. A starter that sounded interesting turned out to be tow slices of VERY soft artichoke buried under a mountain on cold, overlooked carrots and potatoes, all coated in olive oil and dill. The main course, well, it was chosen from the "Traditional Turkish/Ottoman Dishes" section . . . and, oh dear! While I can't locate the exact name from the menu, a very enticing description of "Mamaris a'lo rosto" or something similar, turned out to be pretty much a bad version of a TV Dinner; unseasoned, soft vegetables, a "special sauce" which was actually a sweet gravy, and what appeared to be slices of reformed beef - cooked to a point where I simply could not eat it. In the end it made a nice supper for a few of the many stray cats that run around Istanbul, but I certainly didn't want any more of it.

To see reviews of this place that say "best in Istanbul" is frankly utterly bewildering. Perhaps it's because we ate at the superb Matbah the previous evening? Actually, no, this was simply not good food and would have compared badly with most places I have eaten over the last 12 months. Sorry folks, just not very good.

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1  Thank Sionel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

We thought we'd entered Mozaik (which adjoins) and only realised where we where when we looked at the menu. We stayed: good welcome as traditional, cozy, busy and people looked happy.
We had a good meal but after experiencing both Mozaik and Fogues, we rated Rumeli third. We both felt bloated after our meals ( 2 courses) and that to be fair may have been our weaknesses not the chef. However no such problem at the other places

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Thank Lencher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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