Istanbul's Hidden Gems by Arman Suciyan

Urbanologist and international jewellery designer, Arman Suciyan, shares with U his favourite 'gems' in his home city of Istanbul.

Fes Cafe

Fes Cafe is my daily coffee break spot on the days that I am around the Covered Bazaar. Located in a nice side street just off the main street leading to the bazaar, it has an eclectically decorated interior with different designer objects. Fes café also houses another brand Abdulla created by its founder Metin Tosun where you can shop for natural hand woven towels and olive oil soaps, all sourced from producers located in Anatolia.


If I want to have the million dollar panoramic view of the Bosporus and the Historic peninsula accompanied by equally amazing food, Mürver is the new place to go. Located in the shores of Karakoy, Mürver is fairly new in this neighbourhood. Their specialties are wood oven or grill cooked meat dishes and smoked dishes. Since they source their ingredients seasonally their menu changes but my favorites are fixed, I like their new take on traditional Armenian appetizer "topik" with duck meat, pine nuts, cinnamon and onion. As a main dish their slow roasted lamb "trakya kıvırcık" which serves two, is highly recommended. Mürver also has a great list of drinks and cocktails menu combined with an amazing view, it an ideal spot for sun set drinks after work at their bar. 

Karakoy Lokantasi

Karakoy Lokantasi is where I go for great Turkish food with an array of mezze (appetizers) choices all prepared loyal to traditional recipes. The restaurant has a double identity, during the day it is a power lunch spot for those working in the busy neighborhood serving traditional Turkish dishes my favorite being the ''Hunkar Beğendi'' an imperial dish created for the palace, made with charred eggplants mashed in to silky puree top with slow cooked beef.  At dinner time however the restaurant transforms itself to Meyhane (tavern) where you can start with amazing array of Mezzes (appetizers) and continue with the fish or the meat courses in the menu. Grilled octopus is a must! 

Mamut Art Project

Mamut Art Project holds a special place for me within Istanbul's art scene since it set off in 2013 as an alternative to accessible art and brings together artists from different disciplines each year. It aims to showcase the works of independent emerging talents via their individual application to an annually changing judging board. It provides them an opportunity to introduce their work to collectors, curators, galleries art and culture institutions as well as art lovers. This year it opens its doors to art lovers between 3rd and 7th April in a specially constructed tent at Kucukçiftlik Park.

Museum of Innocence

Museum of Innocence is both a novel by Nobel prize winning author Orhan Pamuk and a museum. The novel which is about a love story that is set from 1974 to the early 2000's, the museum presents what the main character’s used, wore, heard, collected in fantastically arranged boxes and cabinets. As a fan of curiosity cabinets these are beautiful memory cabinets for me providing flashbacks to my early years in the city.

Arman began his career as a goldsmith's apprentice in a workshop in the covered Bazaar before working alongside Misak Toros, who represented the fourth generation of a Turkish Armenian family, with a long standing heritage of fine jewelry design and production. Arman then went on to attend the prestigious Kent Institute of Art & Design and worked for British jeweler, Stephen Webster before returning to Istanbul and working on his own brand Suciyan. Arman has received various awards by the Goldsmiths Craft Council, as well as the prestigious DeBeers Jewellery Design Award. 

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