During our flight to Athens last September we had a 4 hours lay-over at the Ataturk International Airport. The airport is no longer impressive and comfortable unlike before when we first landed in Istanbul years back. It has seen better days already. Compared to other airports we’ve been to, this is not one that you would want to stay at during long lay-overs. If you have a first class ticket, then you have a fantastic lounge waiting for you. But for the economy ticket holders it is a different story. Why? First, it’s difficult to find a comfortable place to relax. Second, it gets totally crowded especially because of the influx of travelers that arrives every now and then.
Even if we browse all the shops inside the airport we still have a lot of time to wait. While Derick and I were checking the duty free shops, we discovered this cafe and restaurant named Carluccio’s. It is an Italian cafe and restaurant which is located at the mezzanine floor of the international departure area.
Outside the restaurant I saw some freshly baked goodies and it looked very appetizing. I got curious and I told Derick to try it out. We settled ourselves in and checked their menu. The restaurant has homey vibe with less people that won’t make you feel you’re at the airport.
We were not actually hungry, all we need was a place to relax (with a good WiFi connection) while waiting for our flight. I ordered smoked salmon sandwich and Derick had spaghetti bolognese with meatballs (actually we shared the spaghetti and divided the sandwich into two so we can taste both).
My sandwich was really fresh and light. I loved the texture and the balanced of flavors in every bite.
The spaghetti was really good. Authentic Italian taste however the serving was kind of small for the price we paid. I normally wouldn’t mind paying more as long as I’m totally satisfied. Hopefully they can increase the serving portion the next time will be back.
We will definitely hangout here again the next time we’ll be at the Ataturk airport. Perhaps you guys can check this place when you happen to have long layovers in Istanbul.