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Where to Drink in Istanbul

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Hüseyinağa Mahallesi, Nevizade Sk., 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
For a Saturday night out, many locals will head to Beyoğlu’s liveliest street, Nevizade. It’s nothing but 100m of meyhanes (taverns) and bars where mezes (starters) and seafood are peddled openly and the rakı (aniseed liquor) and Efes beer flow...
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Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi, Kara Ali Kaptan Sok. No:7, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
The blocks of Karikoy from the Galata Bridge going east to Istanbul Modern have emerged as one of the hottest areas in the city in recent years. In this transitioning neighborhood, there are still plenty of local barbershops and offices and shops...
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Nejat Eczacıbaşı Binası, Evliya Çelebi Mahallesi, Sadi Konuralp Caddesi No: 5 Şişhane, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Istanbul's premier music promoters have another trick up their sleeve: a top-floor wine-and-dine hangout overlooking the Golden Horn. The Istanbul Foundation for Arts and Cultures (IKSV) serves a mix of rock, jazz, super-trendy cocktails and...
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Kuloğlu Mh., Firuzağa Cami Sk. No:4, 34433 Cihangir/Beyoğlu/Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Çağatay Gülabioğlu’s micro roastery and specialty coffee shop, KronotRop, is located in one of Istanbul’s most hippest neighborhoods. The outlet was a revolutionary initiative in Turkey’s gourmet culinary world, and as such, it set the scene for...
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Hüseyinağa Mahallesi, İstiklal Cd. No:26, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Irish bars are loved by travelers and the local expat communities, and in Istanbul we flash our smiling Irish eyes at James Joyce—just off Nevizade Street in Beyoğlu. This bar has the typical attributes of a hospitable Irish establishment with its...
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Akbıyık Cd., 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
The cobblestone Akbıyık Caddesi (Road) is one of the few places to head to for a nightcap in Sultanahmet. The street is lined with cafes and bars sporting comfy Turkish divans (cushion lounges) and chilled-out tunes. Enthusiastic staff will...
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Sultan Ahmet Mahallesi, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
My first salep was in an ice cream restaurant—I know, in winter, right? But we were early to the circus, and tried to entertain the kids with a special treat in an ice cream store. The clerk must have seen the dazed, indecisive, and new-in-town...
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Tomtom Mahallesi, Yeni Çarşı Cd. No:44, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
This tiny hybrid wine shop–cum–wine bar has impressed many local vino lovers with its intimate ambience, tasty mezes, and friendly service from general manager Suleyman Er and his team. It has imported and local wines available to...
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Bereketzade Mahallesi, Galata Kulesi Sok, 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Recently opened, the Galata Lavazza Coffee Shop is becoming the meeting place for tourists who appreciate traveller’s timeout with a good cup of Italian coffee. The café faces the Galata Tower and square where all manner of people and laid back...
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Cankurtaran Mh., Akbıyık Cd. No:56, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
One of the latest cafes to open in Sultanahmet is Karafırın on Akbıyık Caddesi (Street). It's part of a larger chain of stores in Turkey specializing in baked goods and cafe-style refreshments. Check out the bakery section full of tasty treats,...
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Kılıçali Paşa Mahallesi, Havyar Sk. No:11, 34398 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
We ran the Istanbul Marathon today and decided to stay in the Cihangir to celebrate to avoid walking too much. In the corner of Cohangir Cadessi and Anhatar we found Alchemist. They have a really nice beer and wine selection and... killer Long...
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Caferağa Mh., Moda Cd. & Damacı Sokak No:4, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Turkey
Viktor Levi Wine House is a perfect getaway from the heat and madness of the Kadıköy streets. The garden is enveloped with greenery and if the timing is right there might be some kittens sleeping in a planter. The staff is pleasant, the wine...
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Alemdar Mh., İncili Çavuş Sk. No:15, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
On arrival to Istanbul, many tourists order the chicken şiş (chicken kebab) for a meal because it's familiar and safe, but they're really missing out on some of the best food in the world! I encourage anyone visiting Turkey to gastro-travel...
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Bereketzade Mah, Büyükhendek Cad No:5, 34420 Kuledibi/Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Turkey, one of the few countries in the world to be self-sustainable in food production and the grower of over 600 grape varieties, is proving to be an emerging leader in producing good quality wines. It is no wonder that wine bars specializing in...
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Constantine’s Ark is one of the newest restaurants in the tourism precinct of Istanbul that’s getting great reviews since opening in 2015. Located on one of the cobbled side streets of Sirkeci, “the Ark” promises a touch of class and attentive...
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No 54, Sultanahmet Mh., İstiklal Cd. No:50, 34435 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
The hottest invite in Istanbul this summer seems to be, “Shall we meet at Mama Shelter?” And, when you arrive to the venue, high above the streets of bohemian Beyoglu, you can see why it’s popular with Istanbul’s sophisticated set. This vibrant,...
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Otto Asmalı is a small bar tucked away in the Asmalımescit alleyways off Istiklal Street. It’s a groovy little place to chill out and snack on Italian and Turkish-style snacks and mains, or enjoy a beer, cocktail, or wine—all generously poured....
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Alemdar Mh., Divan Yolu Cd. No:14, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Hidden in a tiny alleyway behind the favored restaurants of Sultanahmet is the only late-night venue in the tourism precinct—Şah Bar (pronounced Shah Bar). After a long day sightseeing and with a belly full of fabulous cuisine, many international...
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Hüseyinağa Mahallesi, Kamer Hatun Cd. No:10, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Ghetto is one of Istanbul’s leading live music venues supporting local and international acts in a funky, elongated, neon-lit hall. Lineups include funk, world music beats, jazz, nujazz, or indieGroove. Hang out on the dancefloor by the stage on...
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Teşvikiye, Vali Konağı Cd. No:40, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul, Turkey
If you’re keen to experience the medieval practice of "kahve falı" or "fal" (fortune telling with Turkish coffee) then make an appointment at Symbol Café in Nişantaşı with Tunc, one of the few English-speaking coffee readers in the city. Once...