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With pictures of New York City covering the walls, oldies music playing in the background and the very familiar smell of bagels filling the restaurant, I felt instantly at home at Tribeca. As I looked at the menu I saw all of my favorites: poppy seed, cinnamon raisin, sesame seed and my personal favorite: the everything bagel.

With over 12 different types of bagels, and a menu of every type of bagel sandwich or topping you could crave (even lox cream cheese!), I was thrilled by the satisfaction and joy of this discovery. With locations in Akatlar, Yenikoy and Nisantasi (less than 20 minutes from our apartment!), the restaurant is strategically located to attract foreigners and any Turk with a particular fondness for New York bagels.

The owners of Tribeca lived and worked in New York City, and returned to Istanbul to share their love and knowledge of bagels. They succeeded. The bagels are authentic and satisfied my craving. I am hooked.

The success of Tribeca was featured in a New York Times article that shared the owners intention to sell a slice of American culture, along with a bagel breakfast. While I am not sure if I agree with some of the things they assert, I was fascinated by the power and influence American movies were given in their explanation.  The owner claims that ”maybe people in other countries don’t understand what a bagel is, but they saw Bruce Willis eating one in ‘Die Hard’ so they want to eat the same thing.” He reassured us by saying “Turkey will stay Turkey. France will stay France. But that American daily culture will become the world culture because Hollywood is so powerful. It is a huge power”. I was surprised to hear the connection between the allure of bagels and the allure of American daily life…

My most memorable bagel breakfasts will always be the magical mornings from my childhood following my dad’s return from New York City…with two bags of H&H bagels. The suspense surrounding the content of the bags, and the excitement around the cream cheese and other toppings ensured that it was an event that lived up to every expectation.


Bagels in Istanbul!

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