Just above Galata, you will discover what is popularly known as the new town of Istanbul: Beyoğlu, a high-octane hub of drinking, entertainment and eating out. This is where tourists and locals alike come in search of bohemian bars, live-music venues, good restaurants, hip hotels, edgy boutiques and more. Take a look at our picks for some of the finest dining around.
Located in the popular Asmalımescit area of Beyoğlu, this venue offers specialties of Turkey’s Arab-influenced southeastern Hatay province. Antiochia exudes cool without sacrificing flavor. Everything from its hipster waitstaff to its funky logo speaks of this restaurant’s ambitions. The short menu comprises less than 10 types of mezes and just a few kebabs, but all dishes have intense flavors and are served with a basket of crisp lavaş chips.
Traditionally, Turkish cuisine is dominated by meat dishes. But this little cafe in the heart of Beyoğlu is Istanbul’s best vegetarian and vegan restaurant. Zencefil definitely wins at decor: its interior is comfortable and stylish, displaying a glass courtyard and bright color scheme. Needless to say, the food is 100% home-made and fresh. Dishes come in two sizes, small and large, so you can grab a quick bite, or a large dinner.
Located on a side street off Istiklal, this restaurant is quite popular with those living in the area, known by the name of esnaf(tradesmen’s restaurant). You may find their menu features dishes served in most Turkish restaurants, but there are a few Circassian specialties thrown in the mix here. Don’t expect a fancy restaurant, but rather a simple and cozy diner, the type of restaurant where patrons come for a quick, lovely and filling meal. Go for the signature ficcin, a savory pastry filled with ground meat, it’s delicious.