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Top 10 Turkish Tavern Restaurants in Istanbul

Top 10 Turkish Tavern Restaurants in Istanbul

Turkish taverns (meyhane) are places that stand out with their unique atmosphere and menus that consist of a variety of cold and hot meze selections. There are also fish, kebab and offals in many of them for extensive dinners. People usually drink rakı and eat meze in Turkish taverns. You may have heard the term “Rakı-balık”. Here are the top 10 places you should go, for Turkish style meyhane experience

Karaköy Lokantası

If you want to eat “meze” and enjoy a good dinner in a Turkish style restaurant in Istanbul, one of the first locations that comes to mind is Karaköy Lokantası. Despite the fact that the atmosphere and quality of tastes of the location draw attention among locals, tourists enjoy this place as well. This is a place which is decorated in a very stylish way and a good pick for special nights or celebrations. We propose that you book your reservations for the famous restaurant several weeks in advance. The long dinner is enjoyable in the restaurant, which is also open throughout the day. Fava, marinated sea bass, lakerda, grilled liver, are the most popular cuisines in the restaurant. The restaurant has been listed in Michelin Guide 2023. 

Karaköy Lokantası

Yakup Asmalimescit

Yakup, which has been one of Beyoğlu’s most prominent and loved taverns for over 40 years, has regulars of all ages. Yakup is a restaurant that inherited intricate details of tavern art from Greek and Armenian masters and passed it down through generations. For more than 30 years, the restaurant’s chef Cemal Usta has been responsible in preserving the essence of Yakup’s appetizers. The seating area is also quite spacious, serving as an interior, patio, and garden. With olive, cherry, lemon, and tangerine trees on Asmalımescit’s largest terrace garden, it is equipped to accommodate big groups and close friends at any time. The front garden welcomes anyone seeking to be engaged in crowd walking by the streets. The front garden is ideal for those who want to be close to the unique sounds of Asmalımescit, the historical texture of the street, and the exciting ambiance of the nightlife.

yakup
Yakup Asmalı

Selimiye Birtat

Birtat, famous for its meats and offal, is an ideal location for an extensive and delicious supper as well as a quiet evening with your friends. Birtat is a place that has preserved its unique atmosphere and the taste of its dishes for years, with the family experience handed down from generation to generation. Meats and offals that must be tasted here are brain salad, beef tongue, kebabs and skewers, lamb pancreas and grilled lamb intestines (uykuluk & kokoreç), and grilled kidney. Besides that you can enjoy perfectly made appetizers and delicious deserts.

Selimiye Birtat

Sofyalı 9

In its historical building dating from the end of the 1800s, where Turkish and Greek melodies are blended and background music is made for deep conversations, Sofia 9 continues to offer a pleasant place to its regulars as one of the surviving monuments of traditional tavern culture for more than twenty years. Especially hot appetizers are very delightful here, which include Sofyalı pastry, kokoreç, Albanian style fried diced liver, shrimp and calamari. The restaurant has been listed in Michelin Guide 2023. 

Sofyalı 9

İncir Altı Meyhanesi

With its pubs, proximity to the sea, and old residences, Beylerbeyi has always been a pleasant region. İncir Altı Meyhanesi is a prominent old Istanbul tavern with many regulars. The place has a small, cozy indoor and a welcoming garden that can accommodate a large number of people. The restaurant, which has been open for 15 years, serves cuisines from several cultures. Stuffed mackerel, topik, fried brains, pickled fish, Circassian salad, and mackerel tarator are the most popular cuisines in the restaurant.

İncir Altı Meyhanesi

Şişko Perihan

Şişko Perihan is located in one of Arnavutköy’s most vibrant and sympathetic streets, and it is quite famous due to its friendly environment, great appetizers, and music. The restaurant is a good example of a modern tavern, furnished in a revitalized tavern ambiance and popular with young people. On the menu, the most popular mezze are aubergine appetizers, Cretan pate, roasted peppers with walnuts, potatoes, and liver. Drinking raki, watching the street, and sampling tapas here is very enjoyable in the evening. Don’t forget that Şişko Perihan is quite popular among locals who enjoy wine & dine.

Şişko Perihan
Şişko Perihan

Safa Meyhanesi Yedikule

Safa, one of the oldest taverns in Istanbul, is a place that draws attention with its vintage atmosphere and lots of photographs from the old times displayed in the walls of the restaurant. You would feel like you are traveling in time. Apart from this, you can see that the flavors of the classic recipes are preserved in the appetizers and main courses you eat. Among the specialties are brain salad with a lemon sauce, fava, liver and skewers.

Safa Meyhanesi

Güneşin Sofrası Kadıköy

Güneşin Sofrası is one of the best options for a meze night in the Anatolian side, combining the nice garden and street of the historic building. Tastes from the Aegean and Anatolian cuisine are served in the restaurant, which feels like a Greek restaurant. Among the specialties are Cretan pate, Ceviche seafood salad, Octopus with aubergine puree, and grilled artichoke heart.

güneşin sofrası
Güneşin Sofrası

Piraye Taş Plak Kadıköy

Piraye Taş Plak first opened its doors nine years ago as a venue where the ambience of an art gallery and a tavern mingled with the spirit of the region. The restaurant’s walls are still fully decorated with photographs of famous old artists, actors and film directors. Piraye, which plays vintage movie soundtracks, can be described as a symbolic Kadıköy tavern with tables for intellectual conversations. At the venue, forgotten appetizers like Muhammara, Papagannis, and Topik are served alongside innovative creations like Cretan puree with basil. Pricing is also very convenient in the restaurant.

Piraye
Piraye Kadıköy

Dem Meyhane

Dem Meyhane welcomes its guests with traditional tavern cuisine, in a big building with a fascinating sea view. In addition to starters such as Crete Ezme, Sea Bass Marin, and Muhammara, there are appetizers with a unique twist such as Smoked Calamari. Cunda Pastry, Shrimp with Eggplant, and Leaf Liver are among the must-try dishes of tavern cuisine, which combines the concepts of a hot starters with a main dish.

Dem Meyhane

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