CLOSED: Old Damascus

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 6 reviews )



Kalyoncu Kullugu Caddesi 75, Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey

Arabic-style Falafel and hummus restaurant. Try the falafel wrap. Reported fully vegetarian, Oct 2016. OCT/NOV 2017 REPORTED CLOSED/SHUT.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Ovo, Middle Eastern, Turkish

6 Reviews

First Review by aradhakr


Old Damascus is now closed. Don't climb down the steep hill to find out for yourself - it's gone!

Cons: Closed!

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simple cheap and sooo good - Edit

me and my husband Julien actually very lucky because we live just 5 minutes from "Old Damascus" and its become one of our must favorite places! simply because:
every day they have fresh hummus and falafel and everything they do there is clean and fresh.
its super cheap!
and the guys who run this place are super nice, kind and honest people! they are from Syria and speaking English/Arabic/Turkish and every time having a smile.
if you are visiting Istanbul you should check this place also because it will give you the opportunity to see the small street and non touristic part of Istanbul and its just near by the city center, 5 min from Istiklal street.
Updated from previous review on Thursday June 04, 2015

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Fabulous Spot - Edit

Super cheap, super friendly and they speak Arabic as well as Turkish. Off the beaten track a little, probably ten minutes walk from İstıklal Caddesı, but worth the hop. Lots of Syrians and Syrian Kurds who are up for a chat and an easy smile.

Pros: Suoer cheap. Super fresh.

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I have to admit that I'm biased... - Edit

... because I had a really nice experience here -- the workers were super-friendly, just really sweet, and I met a nice German couple waiting for falafel there! So my experience was really great... it's just a really nice place off the beaten path, which makes it so much of nicer experience than the well-stampeded areas.

The falafel itself was good -- definitely following the Turkish style of spare in accoutrements, but it was fresh. The place is pretty tiny -- basically a little waiting area that could serve as a table for 4. I'm guessing in warm weather (it's cold now) there might be a table or two outside, but that's just a guess.

All in all, if you're in IST for any time and it's not too far out of your way, highly recommended -- very local and very friendly (and there actually aren't all that many falafel places in IST!).

Pros: Really nice people!, Very local, Fresh falafel

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very friendly and down to earth - Edit

I just visited Old Damascus today and I can't agree more with the previous review. The area where it is located is already beyond where tourists usually go and the place itself is very small, maximum 4 sits inside and a couple outside and as also said, there is no menu which in my view as a tourist is cool because you have necessarily to engage in a conversation. To my knowledge they serve at least falafel wraps with salad, hummus, olive oil and pomegranate vinegar and there is also a tahini and beans dish which I didn't ordered but managed to taste as I was offered a bit from the person sitting next to me. Both dishes are vegan as I saw them being prepared. The staff is very friendly, the prices are very inexpensive (3 TL for a falafel) and in terms of hygiene, yeah, true that things don't look new and there are no gloves being used etc, so enter at your own risk and make yourself a judgement.

All in all, I enjoyed the experience and the friendly vibe. Recommended at the very least for a short snack in case you are close by in Taksim/Beyoglu.
Updated from previous review on Thursday March 05, 2015

Pros: friendly, inexpensive, no menu (you have to talk) ;)

Cons: small

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Great cheap falafel hummus - Edit

The cafe is located in an area that doesn't attract many tourists. More of a place where locals would go. There is no menu. The owner, who was Syrian, greeted me and made me a great falafel sandwich. The falafel balls themselves were amazing. I also got some tea and water. Total cost was 3.50 TL!

Couple of his cousins who were also working there started talking to me about the US, etc...They were all very friendly and nice. The only thing that may dissuade you from going there is that the hygiene is not going to be what you get back home (depending on where you're from). No gloves, so all the food was prepared with bare hands. If you can get past that you will really enjoy this little "mom and pop" eatery.

Pros: super cheap, friendly owner

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