Exploring Çengelköy on a Sunday afternoon

This Sunday we decided to explore Cengelkoy, a neighborhood on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. Neither Gurkan nor I had been there before, so it was a first for both of us. All I knew was that Cengelkoy was famous for cucumbers and borek.

The trip there was frustrating. After landing in Uskudar via the Besiktas ferry, we got on a bus and found ourselves in bumper to bumper traffic all the way to Cengelkoy. After getting off the bus in the wrong place and walking in the rain, we managed to find Cengelkoy Borekcisi. And that was when the day took a turn for the better.

At Cengelkoy Borekcisi, we ordered cheese and minced meat borek. Although we couldn’t find a place at the Tarihi Cengelkoy Cinaralti Cay Bachesi, we snagged a bench by the seaside instead. The borek was hands down the best I’ve ever had in Istanbul. Not only that, it was much cheaper than anything we could ever find in our neighborhood.

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Cengelkoy Borekcisi at the entrance to the Cinaralti Cay Bahcesi

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Meat and cheese-filled borek

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The view from the Tarihi Cinaralti Cay Bachesi

Afterwards, we walked along the coast up to the military high school and back. The sun was out by then and so were the fishermen. We watched a few reel in some fish and admired the wooden fishing boats.

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Wooden boats

Back in the main part of Cengelkoy, we had dinner at Cigerci Cengelkoy. Gurkan had the Arnavut Cigeri and I chose the Edirne Cigeri (fried sliced liver). It was only my second time eating Edirne style liver and the first time eating it outside of Edirne, but it was quite good. As for the Arnavut Cigeri, I am not sure what makes it special because it just looked like cubed, fried liver to me. Anyways, we were pleased. The service was great.

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Serving up liver at Cigerci Cengelkoy

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Edirne Cigeri (front) & Arnavut Cigeri (back) with piyaz (bean salad)

The dogs of Cengelkoy are also much cleaner and nicer than most of Istanbul’s stray dogs. According to the waiter, this one (Cakir) really likes liver, too.

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Cakir begs for liver

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He got a head scratch instead

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Sunset over the Bosphorus

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