Istanbul’s Most Popular Neighborhood: Arnavutköy

Arnavutköy/Wikimedia Commons
Arnavutköy/Wikimedia Commons
Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

It’s no lie that Arnavutköy in Istanbul has become the latest destination for nightlife after the slow expiration of the Beyoğlu and Karaköy neighbourhoods. A mostly residential and historical neighborhood by the Bosphorus, Arnavutköy is full of old Ottoman mansions and fish restaurants. Nowadays, Bebek Arnavutköy Caddesi (its main street) is full of crowds on the weekends that are there for the good music and cocktails until the late hours of the night. We rounded up the newest venues that are making this area so popular.

1. ANY

Restaurant, Cocktails, Turkish

Definitely the neighbourhood’s favourite gastropub, you’ll recognize ANY from its colourful stained glass windows and the beautifully renovated Ottoman house that it calls its home. On the weekends, it’s a bit difficult to get through the crowds who spill out into the street with drinks in their hands. At night, the DJ spins away until late and during the day ANY serves everything from burgers to grilled fish and a great selection of beers.

2. Alexandra

Cocktail Bar, Turkish, Cocktails, Wine, Beer

You’ll find all of Istanbul’s cool kids at this cocktail bar, which features some of the city’s best local DJs. Aiming to be included in the World’s Top 50 Bars list, Alexandra’s cocktail menu is all about ingenious creations such as the Amor Duro, which won bartender Baycan fourth place in the Tahona Society Cocktail Competition. There’s also a secret menu, which is only available for one hour per night depending on the bartender’s mood.

3. Whisper

Bar, Restaurant, Seafood, Turkish

Another very popular destination for late night cocktails, Whisper transforms into a restaurant during the day, with a dining area that looks out over the sea. You won’t get any of the traditional seafood in Arnavutköy but rather a more eclectic selection of dishes from mussel soup to duck dumplings. Make sure to get there a bit early so you don’t have to fight your way through the crowds who emerge after around 11pm.

5. Luzia

Bar, Cafe, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Cocktails

You’ll definitely find a dark corner in this eccentric cocktail bar and café, where you can get cozy with someone special. If you know about Luzia in Kreuzberg, get to know its Istanbul sister Luzia Istanbul, headed by filmmaker Kaan Müjdeci. You’ll know you’ve come to the right place when you see the big marble lion on the first floor and be sure that upstairs delicious cocktails await.
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