Reviews

Breakfast at Namli Gurme Istanbul

Since the food at the Grand Hyatt Istanbul was subpar, we decided to venture out for breakfast at Namli Gurme on our last morning. A family friend who lived in the city recommended it. She proclaimed it to be the best place for a traditional Turkish breakfast. Situated in Karakoy, Namli was mostly frequented by locals and everything was fresh and delicious. While I personally wanted to try out Kale (where Bourdain goes, I will follow), I was curious about the rave review she gave Namli.

Namli Gurme Location

Namli is just a 10-minute drive from the Grand Hyatt Istanbul. It’s situated in a quaint little neighborhood on the Bosphorus.

Namli Gurme Istanbul Review Neighborhood
Namli Gurme Istanbul Neighborhood

The restaurant has an outdoor seating area, with a partial view of the water. Since it was a chilly day, we asked to be seated inside.

Namli Gurme Istanbul Review Bosphorus View
Bosphorus view at Namli Gorme

Namli Gorme Restaurant

The restaurant has an interesting set-up. It’s basically a grocery store with a seating area right in the middle. When you walk in, there is a dairy section to the left, a drink counter to the right, and a deli in the back. In between are long tables where patrons sit after placing their orders at the deli station. Drinks can be ordered from the wait staff.

Namli Gurme Istanbul Restaurant Review
Namli Gurme Istanbul Interior

Namli Gorme Breakfast

The breakfast at Namli wasn’t just delicious, it was super cheap. Each of us ordered some variation of shakshuka, which cost just $2.50 per person. After we sat down, our table was flooded with other items we didn’t order but that I guess were included.

They brought out two large plates filled with cheese, olives, and deli meat. Next came two mountains of bread. The best part was the qaimagh (clotted cream), served in a puddle of honey. Yeah, that tasted as good (and fattening) as it sounds.

Namli Gurme Istanbul Breakfast Review Shakshuka, Eggs, and Cheese
Namli Gurme Istanbul Breakfast: Shakshuka, cheese and deli plate, clotted cream

The food was fresh and the lattes would easily put Starbucks out of business. Everyone enjoyed their breakfast, though unfortunately, we ended up with a lot of leftovers.

Namli Gurme Restaurant Review Latte
Namli Gurme Restaurant Latte

The total for a breakfast for eight at Namli? 180 TL or about $27. I sh** you not, for the cost of coffee, eight of us ate like kings and ended up with leftovers.

Namli Gorme Service

The wait staff at Namli was great all around. Though they didn’t speak a word of English, we were able to communicate with them. Mostly via mispronounced words and Google Translate. They were very friendly and especially kind to the kids.

My experience here, among others throughout the city, made me realize how differently people react to kids in Turkey vs. the U.S. Kids are pretty much despised here – I feel like everyone rolls their eyes when families board a plane or sit down at a restaurant. And when you do see customer service providers interacting with kids, it’s in a very disingenuous, rehearsed kind of way. Most people here don’t seem to like kids or want to be around them. Turkey definitely seemed like a much more child-friendly place.

Final Thoughts on Namli Gurme

I was really glad we picked Namli Gurme over having breakfast at the hotel. In fact, after this, I wondered whether free hotel breakfast was a blessing or a curse. We think of breakfast as “just eggs and toast,” so who cares where we have it? This trip made me reconsider that idea.

Review Namli Gurme Restaurant Istanbul

Overall, the breakfast at Namli Gurme was as promised: Fresh and delicious. The setting was very unique and the service notches above the Grand Hyatt. The fact that it cost less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks was just icing on the cake. If you’re in Istanbul, you really should try to venture outside your hotel at least once for a traditional breakfast. Namli Gurme is a great choice for that.

Do you have any great places to recommend for breakfast in Istanbul? Please share in the comment section.

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7 Comments

  1. Why should anyone care about your breakfast in Istanbul? You were a quite interesting blogger about MS but anymore.

    • To switch it up and provide a different perspective. There’s more to life (and travel) than MS.

      • Alison Mahoney

        I’ve enjoyed your posts about Istanbul. I follow you on Insta and watched all your stories. It was somewhere I wanted to visit and you helped me move it up to 2020 on my calendar. We’ll probably do an escorted tour but spend a few extra days in Istanbul and definitely visit this place for breakfast! Keep posting whatever you like Ariana, the vast majority of us will happily read it.

      • I thought this post was quite enjoyable. I’m a big fan of shakshuka and am curious to know which variations of it you had so, I can broad my culinary horizons.

  2. The reason that kids are so despised in public settings in the US is because everyone knows the parents haven’t done their job parenting. Ignoring your “angels” while they wreak havoc should be punishable by law.

    That and the idea being indoctrinated into everyone that we’re all winners so we all get trophies.

    • That’s not always true. I’m not the most kid-friendly person myself, but the vast majority of kids I encounter in public are not badly behaved. This is just a general negative attitude that seems to be prevalent in the US and I’m curious why it’s so.

      • The vast majority of kids behave just fine. The vast majority of parents guide their kids behaviors and teach them. And yet, the mentality of “everyone knows the parents haven’t done their job parenting” persists. It’s infuriating and complete BS. I’m not sure where this misguided sentiment comes from, perhaps it’s ingrained in the “me first” mentality so common in the U.S. It makes people really intolerant of anyone else. It gives them the erroneous impression that they are more important than anyone else, they are the only ones who matter and anyone infringing in their fragile bubble of self-importance isn’t tolerated.

        I agree with you Ariana. Kids are treated very differently in other countries. I have become very aware of that myself as a parent of 2 boys. In our travels to Italy, Spain, Germany, Brazil, Canada, to name a few, my boys are treated with respect and joy not as an annoyance. Strangers actually stop to chat with them. Waiters are kind and friendly. But, inevitably on our way home, even as we wait for our flight with other Americans at the gate, the indignant stare of annoyance already starts. Even when my boys are just sitting quietly playing on their ipad as they wait for the flight.

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