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The Pudding Shop, Istanbul

1.8
#29 of 197 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
154 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • During our city tour of Istanbul, we stopped here for some coffee as it was bitterly cold outside. Oh wow, the place was amazing, the people so friendly and service great. I would have loved to have l...  more »
  • I went there twice during my stay. The restaurant location is good. Near to Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque. I ate the beef kebab. It was nice but I think maybe it was quite dry for me. On the last day I ...  more »
  • Having always wanted to visit The Pudding Shop, as many other have after watching Midnight Express in my younger days, I was disappointed with what I found. No atmosphere and the service was not good ...  more »
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