Constantine's Ark

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 2 reviews )
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İbn-i Kemal Cd. No:13, Istanbul, Turkey, 34110

Serves meat, vegan options available. Turkish restaurant run by a Kurdish family. Serves traditional local food as well as some international dishes. Has an extensive and clearly marked vegetarian section on the menu. Quite a few vegan options, and the English speaking staff are open to making changes to the vegetarian dishes. Open Mon-Sun 10:00am-12:00am.

Categories: Lacto, Ovo, International, Mediterranean, Beer/Wine, Middle Eastern, Turkish, Kurdish, Non-veg

2 Reviews

First Review by Haggai

they don't understand "vegan" - Edit

we went here based on the single previous review about them being able to provide vegan dishes.

when we sat down, we told them we were vegan, and picked out a few things that seemed like they could easily be made vegan.

the man who took our order didn't seem to understand the difference between "vegan" and "vegetarian" despite several attempts to explain it. In the end it seemed like he understood, as we said we don't want any milk, butter, yogurt, cheese, etc.

when our order came out, it was delivered by two other men. The dishes they brought clearly hadn't been modified from the menu version and had dairy in them (yogurt, butter). The man who originally took our order was nowhere to be found.

my partner isn't a strict vegan, and will occasionally eat vegetarian, so we didn't bother trying to complain and get replacements for the non-vegan items.

the food was very good, and the people very nice, but they most certainly do not understand what vegan means. it's easy enough to find vegetarian food almost anywhere in downtown Istanbul, so don't bother coming here if you're looking for a place that understands vegan. you will have the same problem here as anywhere else trying to describe it to them.

if you want great vegan food in a casual setting, go to community kitchen. it's just a short tram ride away from Sultanahmet, in the Beyoglu District.

Updated from previous review on 2017-06-28

Pros: Friendly Staff, Quiet Street off the main drag

Cons: Don't understand what "vegan" means, A little more expensive than the average

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The best vegan dinner we had in Istanbul - Edit

First of all: do not be fooled by the appearance of this place. In spite of the location, music and pictures of meals on the menu - this is NOT your average tourist trap. Far from it. This is the best place we had dinner in Istanbul, in a 5 day visit.
My wife is vegetarian and I'm vegan The place has many clearly marked vegetarian dishes and an entire vegetarian section in the menu), and the staff is extremely willing to make changes in dishes to make them vegan. And by "changes" I mean not only removing dairy products, but also thinking creatively how to replace them (for example, take out butter, add olive oil with spices). Just tell them you're vegan and they'll do the rest.
Speaking of the staff (which is made of one Kurdish family and their friends) - they were the perfect, most caring and friendly hosts ever.
We had the cold appetizers (mezzes), the stuffed vegetables, the semolina main course and excellent dessert. All were fabulous.
Istanbul is a challenging city for vegan and vegetarian travelers. The appetizers are always good, but it's hard to find a warm main course that doesn't have meat or fish. Constantin'es Ark gave us just that, and it was fabulous. Even if you just want tea - go there to meet these great people. And then stay for the food. Again - it's delicious!
(And I'm only giving four stars as Happy Cow doesn't allow for more than that for restaurants serving meat. But it deserves 5 stars, believe me).

Pros: Excellent food, Extremely friendly and helpful staff, Many vegan options

Cons: None!

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