If you come looking for meyhane in Istanbul, let your nose guide you o the best taverns and meyhanesi restaurants in town. From Karakoy Gumruk to Piraye Tas Plak, Inciralti, and Ney’le Mey’le, our top list has the best options for you to enjoy, cheap Turkish cuisine in Istanbul.
Top Meyhane Restaurants in Istanbul
Enjoy the best-of-the-best by dining in these lovely meyhane with offer many options from historic buildings, to Bosphorus views and quaint little side-streets.
1. Karakoy Gumruk
This tavern is located in Karakoy, and it used to be a customs building with 5 floors. It stands right near the Galata Tower. The historic atmosphere surrounds you everywhere, whereas the inner design is one of a kind. The entire space looks like a museum, and the walls are decorated with the works of the notorious photographer, Ara Guler.
Their menu of renowned Turkish dishes is commented as being super delicious. Besides that, you will also find a calm atmosphere in complete contrast to the busy city. This location has another branch on Istiklal Street, in the shape of the equally popular Ara Cafe.
2. Piraye Tas Plak Meyhanesi
It is a discreet meyhane located on Bahariye Caddesi in Kadikoy that’s close to numerous pubs, bars, cafes. There is a peaceful vintage atmosphere with music coming from vinyl records played by a phonograph. The personnel is very warm and welcoming. As soon as you enter they invite you to try the dishes and drink some raki.
Their most popular ones are the meat dishes and the fried leaf liver. The surrounding district is quite lively, so if you want to continue the night after leaving here you’ll have many bars and pubs to choose from.
3. Inciralti Meyhanesi
Located in Beylerbeyi, the Inciralti Meyhanesi is very popular for its friendly waiters and chefs. It’s also attractive for customers due to its peaceful environment and impeccable services. To preserve this quiet atmosphere, the personnel always asks customers who start speaking loudly, to tone down.
Their core philosophy is to allow people to enjoy themselves and discuss with ease. Which is completely contrary to the loudness of most taverns. When in season, one of their best dishes is fish pickles and anchovies on vine leaves.
4. Ney’le Mey’le Meyhane
Located in Taksim on Nevizade Sokak, Ney’le Mey’le is one of the oldest taverns around. It’s a cozy place, where everybody greets you with a friendly attitude, even if you come here for the first time. The entire atmosphere is family-like. First-time customers are greeted as if they were old friends and you’ll feel like part of the family.
You get the chance to experience an authentic meyhane taste, in the traditional Nevizade style. The price for one person goes up to 150 TL. You can also order a variety of starters that differ according to the season. You can order hummus, sautéed liver, octopus dishes, or Cretan sauce. You can also enjoy raki while spending relaxed time with your old and new friends.
5. Tarihi Cumhuriyet Meyhanesi
There is one table that no one occupies in Tarihi Cumhuriyet Meyhanesi that always has on half of a raki glass as well as white chickpeas. It is the table reserved for the great Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish hero, founder of modern Turkey. It represents a point of touristic and customer attraction.
The building itself, located just off on Istiklal Street in Beyoglu, is old, as you can expect. The tavern spreads over several floors and, on some occasions, they also bring live music. You can taste delicious dishes, in the good company of some of the local scientists, writers, etc.
6. Cukur Meyhane
If you enjoy a very discreet and quiet place, go to Cukur Meyhane, in Beyoglu. The building doesn’t look very fresh nor refurbished from the outside, but the world inside is an entirely different story. You can discuss with your companions surrounded by peace and calm because there is no loud music.
The personnel is experienced and creates a comfortable atmosphere. They will invite you to try all types of appetizers, some of which quite unconventional. Raki is always present, as well as a great grilled anchovy or the famous Cretan sauce. You can expect to spend considerably less than in the other taverns in this area.
7. Sakar Zeybek
An unpretentious meyhane in Kadikoy with a particularity that makes it famous. All the appetizers at Sakar Zeybek, around 30, are presented before you on a tray when you arrive. You choose whichever appeals to you and the waiter lets them on your table, taking away the rest.
Many of the appetizers are fish dishes or coming from the Aegean cuisine. The waiters give you details about each one so you can make the best choice. The tavern is, the prices are accessible, and the location is almost always full. So you need to book a table in advance, especially during weekends.
8. Prinkipo Fistik Ahmet
Located on the northern shores of Buyukada, Prinkipo Meyhane is where chef Fistik Ahmet is well-known among his patrons. Prinkipo translates as the prince’s backyard. It is indeed a place of royal beauty and services.
As soon as you arrive you are treated with appetizers, both hot and cold. The most popular are squid, fava, and tarama. You should also try their fried leaf liver and rice dishes.
9. Melisa Balik Lokantasi
A small meyhane in an idyllic location along the banks of the Bosphorus in Sariyer, in the European part of Istanbul. It opens towards the Black and has tables in the open air, under the salty breeze.
The atmosphere is intimate, friendly, and they serve you very fast. As the place is tiny, you need to book a table in advance, because it is often full. The fish patties and the shrimp stew are among their most popular dishes.
10. Adana II Siniri Ocakbasi
A friendly environment welcomes Adana II Siniri customers along with deliciously authentic kebabs. It is a popular business. The owner and the waiters are friendly, warm, and immediately advise you about the menu options. You can choose the dishes by yourself, or trust the experienced personnel, to make a selection for you.
The owner is always involved in the daily activities. He prepares the tables, makes conversation with the customers. If you come once, the next time they will remember both you and your culinary preferences, from the previous visit. The prices vary between 200 TL and 400 TL for one person.
The unique Adana kebap is the star of the menu. The main ingredient is fat, tasty meat, and they also put in a unique blend of spices. You can also drink the traditional raki. There is also an Adana tavern in Nisantasi, where you can enjoy your food and music in the open air, in their garden.