Locals in the Sultanahmet/Fatih district will tell you there’s not much by way of good hangouts or nightlife (most of that’s true) on their side, but Balat is the exception.
A short bus ride from one of the main transfer stations in Istanbul proper you’ll find the buzzing, hip area that’s home to some of the best food and drink in the entire city. And umbrellas. Lots and lots of umbrellas.
The small cafes are usually packed, even during weekday afternoons. But, hanging around long enough I was able to try the much-recommended pide at Forno, along with their amazing lentil soup.