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The Pudding Shop, Istanbul

1.7
#31 of 167 in Nightlife in Istanbul
The Pudding Shop is the nickname for the Lale Restaurant in the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey. It became popular in the 1960s as a meeting place for beatniks and, later on, hippies and other travelers on overland route between Europe and India, Nepal, and elsewhere in Asia - the "hippie trail". The restaurant got its colloquial name as a result of "word-of mouth" from numerous foreign travelers that could not remember the name of the eatery but did remember the wide and popular selection of puddings sold there and thus referred to it as the "pudding shop".BackgroundWhen brothers İdris and Namık Çolpan opened the restaurant in 1957, they had no idea that it would eventually become one of the most popular meeting places for travelers venturing across Europe and Asia during the 1960s. In consideration of the general lifestyle and political views of hippies in the 1960s, the restaurant, developed an image associated with the counterculture of the time. Such stereotypes and ideas that resonated with the term "hippie", including music choice, political stance, particular style of dress, or drugs, became tied to the restaurant.Because most of its customers were tourists, the Pudding Shop eventually developed into a popular rest stop, a place where people could gather, discuss their traveling experiences, and delight in fairly priced, traditional Turkish food. Among the restaurant's variety of well-known dishes and desserts was tavuk göğsü, a seldom found pudding made from pounded chicken breast, rice flour, milk, sugar topped with cinnamon. The restaurant still offers this rare treat today, catering to customers with appetites for traditional Turkish cuisine.
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The Pudding Shop Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
146 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This place is a total rip-off, living on it's location and history... The food is not fresh. It's sitting there for at least the whole day if not more (we left the place at 10:30 pm, the staff left at...  more »
  • A place full of memories and moments preserved in some snaps of the olden days when the hippie trail to Nirvana began from this place. With hippies gone, the restaurant has changed and gotten modern, ...  more »
  • I've been coming to Sultan Ahmet for decades but this was the first time I had actually eaten there. One morning, desperate for a coffee my friend and I went in and ordered twoTurkish coffees. We like...  more »

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Where to stay in Istanbul

The bustling downtown core of old Istanbul is the popular choice among tourists wanting a short walking distance to the city's biggest attractions. Here you'll find hostel-style accommodations and reasonably priced and traditionally decorated hotels, as well as bed and breakfasts and inns with views overlooking the sea. Though often the most affordable, accommodations in the old city can be very overrun with tourists and street solicitors. If you seek a more relaxed stay, consider lodging near Taksim Square. This new, trendy neighborhood is a short 15-20 minute ride from the old city, but puts you closer to restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Though the newer area of the city is a bit more upscale, you'll also find moderately priced hotels and some hostels. Look for luxury hotels in the western suburbs close to the airport, overlooking the banks of Bosphorus.
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