The Best Fish Markets In Istanbul

Fish Market
Fish Market | © wolfgangfoto/Flickr
Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

For a city that’s located between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, fresh fish is definitely an essential part of Istanbul’s culinary culture. From its many taverns where grilled fish is the main course to the balık ekmek (fish sandwich) vendors on the coast, Istanbul is rich when it comes to seafood. Of course, for those who are fond of cooking up their own seafood feast at home, Istanbul also has plenty of great fish markets where you can pick up the day’s catch.

1. Beşiktaş Balık Pazarı


The Beşiktaş area is not only known for its football team but also for its fish market, which sits in the middle of the neighborhood, underneath a modern, concrete awning. All around the square you’ll find fish mongers presenting their catch of the day. If you have a bit of an appetite, you can also choose to eat at one of the many fish restaurants that are located right behind the market.

2. Kadıköy Balık Pazarı


The Asian side’s answer to the fish market is a sprawling street of shops and fish stalls, that not only have the freshest seafood, but also other delicious goods that range from organic honey to pickled vegetables to Turkish cheeses and much more. One of the market’s favorite fishmongers is Kadı Nimet Balıkçılık, which apart from selling fresh fish also has its own restaurant in case you want to eat on site.

3. Bebek Balıkevi

Market, Store

Located in the upscale Bebek neighborhood on the Bosphorus, Bebek Balıkevi caters to the wealthier Istanbul residents and makes sure to include a fresh selection of lobster and shrimp, when in season, as well as bottarga (salted and cured grey mullet roe). The market also happens to be located close to Bebek Balıkçısı, one of the city’s finest fish restaurants.

Another seafood gem on the Asian side, the Üsküdar Balıkçılar Çarşısı is situated in an indoor market where every stall is glistening with fresh fish that range from sea bass to bream. One of the market’s best stalls is Kardeşler Balıkçılık, so make sure to drop by there first to see what’s in season.

Üsküdar Balıkçılar Çarşısı, Selam-ı Ali Efendi Cd., Üsküdar, Istanbul, Turkey

4. Beyoğlu Balık Pazarı


The city’s most central fish market, the Beyoğlu Balık Pazarı, much like the Kadıköy Balık Pazarı, also has much more than just fresh fish. Definitely drop by Dalyan Balıkçılık, the market’s favorite fishmonger, open since 1974, to buy top quality seafood. However, if you’re on the lookout for spices, Turkish candies, fresh produce, or cheese varieties, you can also wander around the market’s many shops to do a spot of food shopping.

5. Eminönü Pazarı

Bazaar, Market

Located to the right of the Spice Bazaar, the Eminönü Pazarı is a colorful and crowded outdoor market where everything from Turkish coffee to cheese is sold in great abundance. It is also here that you’ll find some great fish varieties from the many stalls – and, if you’re in the mood for balık ekmek, just take a stroll to the waterfront, where vendors are grilling away fish fillets for their delicious sandwiches.
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