The only Turkish bathhouse in Istanbul that actual current residents said they could see themselves going to. Very nice (and from what I was told, apparently not much more expensive than the more touristy places in the old city). Also especially good for women: Turkish bathhouses were a bigger traditional thing for men, so some of the tourist ones are decent for men but have a lesser experience for women. This one was preferred by the ladies in our party.
Great local hangout and atmosphere despite being just steps around the corner from Istiklal. Owned by Ara Guler, Istanbul's bigtime photographer (who might be quietly sitting down at one of the tables)... Wonderful little cafe, good food and coffee.
I don't know if you can make a reservation here w/o a member. My friend and her husband took us here, literally a small island on Bosphorus, you take a nice little water shuttle to it from the main road. Incredible meal and views. It's a complex of several restaurants and bars (and a pool set into the Bosphorus), some indoor some outdoor. If there's time and it's possible to get in, it's worth considering: this was a unique thing our local friends were able to do for us.
Where the international political conference was held (I stayed down the road at the W, still pretty pricey, because this place is very expensive; Top Hotels of The World type thing). Reason to go would be the truly amazing view over the Bosphorus, can enjoy coffee/drinks and watch the shipping traffic over the Dolmabahce Palace. Views from the 4-floor windows in entry are great, but if you do go might ask if you can visit club level real quick: a high-floor cafe mainly for loyalty guests.
Note: I'm not sure 360 is exactly in the right place on CityMaps. In reality it's on Istiklal, the great walkway avenue that leads to Taksim Square. Check Google Maps if not sure. Trendy bar, probably more of the loud clubby scene for you guys in general; however, it has a great 360 degree view of the city from the top floor bar (hence the name). Might be worth stopping by early in an evening (might check with hotel or call ahead to find out about hours).
Cool street and coffee shop here with big eyeglasses wall mural. Couldn't find the name but it's where Google Maps shows "PARATONER Design" funky shops and vintage stuff on this street and on the big cross street Bogazkesen
I don't remember this specific shop, but there are many good little coffee shops and wine bars tucked in a few blocks off water, between the water and main road (Kemeralti) right near here: Ops Cafe, Kabatas, and Unter are 3 of them.
Not as touristy as the big mosques but more important to current Muslims. Many make pilgrimages here and if you visit you will see regular service going on, & women making tearful prayers at holy place just outside Mosque. Also in a current Islamic hood