Kalpazankaya is set above a beach in the hills of Burgazada (Antigoni), the cuter and less touristy of the Prince’s Islands. It looks at Istanbul a monster of a city from afar, making it a distant and sweet dream experienced under tall pine trees, pebble walkways, carved wooden stands.
What to order: Kalpazankaya has decent mezes, especially the köpoğlu (yogurt-aubergine dip with tomato paste sauce) and potato croquettes (fried cheese and potato balls made with smoky Kars kaşar). Otherwise fish-based mezes, such as the soy sauce mackerel and lakerda can be good options.
What to know: Thee quality of the mezzes here was much higher until this past summer. While the recipes are in tact, the kitchen staff must have changed because there is a lack of attention in the prep. In my last visit the samphire was not well-cleaned and the artichoke hadn’t been properly scrubbed on the sides, resulting in a horrible experience.
During summer season you could use a reservation for weekends, less so for the weekdays. Ask for the tables nearest to the view. The toilets are not great, and sometimes don’t work because of the island’s sewage and pumping system.
Logistics: Finally, it’s a 15 minute walk uphill from the pier. My suggestion is go to the Kalpazankaya beach or Madam Martha beach early, swim there and then head to the restaurant before the sun sets. Otherwise you can use the electric shuttles that have replaced the horse carriages from the pier.
Check out the ferry times ahead for the return. Or talk to the restaurant and use their boat service from their own pier. With large groups it makes more sense to book a private boat.