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Reading list | Kadıköy

In Istanbul’s foundational myth Chalcedon – now Kadıköy – is the ‘city of the blind’, built on the wrong side of the Bosphorus. If Üskudar is a ramshackle backwater, this is the real city,  with opera, culture, lots of traffic, busy market.

Fast forward a few thousand years and Kadıköy is still where those who prefer to stop and look twice often find themselves. The ready-made meze, fish, cured meats and fresh produce in the market are better quality than you’ll find anywhere else for the price, and it runs into a clean and lively meyhane district, including tee-total stalwarts of Ottoman cuisine [Çiya](/guide/restaurants/ciya/). With three premises on the same street (two for kebabs, one for everything else) a valuable magazine and an uncompromising interest in doing things the proper, old-fashioned way, Çiya is an Istanbul institution and should be the central object of any foodie’s first forays to the Marmara shore.

This is Fenerbahçe country, so yellow and blue are much in evidence. The stadium is behind the harbour, at the Kadıköy end of the Bağdat Caddesi. There is an attractive market quarter, and Istanbul's opera, after being kicked out of the handsome Modernist Atatürk Cultural Centre in Taksim Square, relocated to the old Sureyya Cinema Kadıköy, where tickets sell out within hours of public release.

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