This is a particularly good esnaf (tradesman’s) restaurant located on the Asian side of town, just up the road from the bustling ferry and bus stations of Üsküdar. Kanaat originally opened in 1933 in the ‘Bit Pazarı’ but moved to its current location in 1955. The restaurant receives visitors from all over the city, as well as hungry locals, and is almost always busy. The decor is clean and simple, with white linen table cloths, blue tiling details on the walls, and an army of attentive serving staff.
As with any esnaf lokantası, there are typically large portions at cheap prices, and the food is displayed in a glass fronted buffet for customers to pick and choose. The added perk here is the high quality of the food, and there are plenty of options on the changing daily menu. Look out for lamb chops, beans, stuffed onions, lamb stew, and mounds of steaming rice. Kanaat’s patlıcan (eggplant) pilaf is particularly good, as is the elbasan tava (lamb and vegetables baked with cheese and béchamel).
Be sure to save room for a dessert, as Kanaat has a mouthwatering offering of classic Turkish desserts, including ekmek kadayıfı (oven-baked pastry soaked in syrup), quince dessert, revani (sweet semolina cake), yassı kadayıf (fried pastry soaked in syrup) and vişneli ekmek tatlısı (bread pudding dessert with sour cherry syrup). Their homemade ice cream and yogurt are also must-tries. Open from 6 o’clock in the morning, you can find jams, buttermilk, soup and tea for breakfast and if you are able to get a window seat you can watch the world go by outside. Eating at Kanaat you will be joining the locals of the city who are discerning customers and wouldn’t keep coming back for more if it wasn’t worth it.
Address: Selmanipak Caddesi No.9 Üsküdar