Like any major cosmopolitan city, Istanbul has its share of cosy pubs where the beer taps are always cold and ready to fill up tall glasses. The Asian side is especially well known for its many beer bars, but the European side also has some notable venues where you can enjoy some greasy bar food and a glass of fine brew. Here are our favourites…
Bosphorus Brewing Company
Bar, Pub, Gastropub, Pub Grub, $$$
Ever since opening in 2012 by two expat owners who became homesick for their native England, the Bosphorus Brewing Company has become a favourite among locals and expats alike. A proper English pub serving classics like beef sausage and mash or fish and chips, the homemade beers must also be mentioned such as the stout or the IPA. Even though it’s located in a neighbourhood that’s not really known for its restaurant scene, BBC is a great place to meet up with friends for a traditionally English dinner and a few rounds of excellent beer.
Bar, Restaurant, Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
You won’t have to guess too long why this bar is named Kozmonot (cosmonaut) because there’s a very apparent outer space theme all over, especially the bathroom, which looks like it’s about to take off to the moon. Located in the upscale neighbourhood of Nişantaşı, Kozmonot is one of the more laid-back bars where people can just stop by for a glass of beer and some great pub grub. The beer list is quite extensive ranging from Germany to America, and bar bites include classics such as wings and burgers. On weekend evenings, the bar becomes livelier and their cocktail list is also quite popular.
Bar, Restaurant, Pub, Gastropub, Pub Grub, Fast Food, $$$
is a huge complex that was opened in the former Bomonti Beer factory and features a concert hall, restaurants, bars, art galleries and more. You’ll love the architecture, which brings together the old industrial structures with modern interior design for a unique venue, where people can spend an entire day from breakfast to late night drinks and a concert. The Populist is definitely the place to grab a beer featuring both bar appropriate food like chips and guacamole or a hefty cheeseburger. The beer varieties are also worth a mention including craft beers as well as international brands from all over the world.
Bar, Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
This particular bar on the Asian side has become quite popular as evidenced by the fact that it has already opened two branches and counting. Ayı Pub, which translates to ‘Bear Pub’, is always full to the brim with people talking and sipping their beers until the very late hours. The original pub on Moda Caddesi stands out with its bear logo and wood panelling, as well as its menu of ninety different beers from all around the world.
Bar, Gastropub, Pub, Pub Grub, Fast Food, $$$
Another classic pub in the Kadıköy neighbourhood, Zeplin is the other favourite, which means that this bar is also always full on weekends. But their laid-back atmosphere and extensive beer varieties always make it worth the trip (even through the crowds). The thing that makes Zeplin really stand out is also its food, because dishes like a collard green salad with quinoa, Mac & Cheese, Shepherd’s Pie, and Tacos are all available and made to perfection.