5 Best Restaurants in New Town Istanbul

by Eugenie Tiu Radevska
Tram in Taksim New Town Istanbul

While Old Town Istanbul boasts of famous historical landmarks, calm neighborhoods, and fascinating landscapes, you shouldn’t miss what Beyoğlu district of New Town Istanbul has to offer. 

Beyoğlu district in New Town Istanbul covers a diversity of neighborhoods such as Karaköy, Galata, Cigangir, Çukurcuma, and Taksim Square. It’s easy to walk past these areas as they’re all near one another. 

In Karaköy, you’ll see a lot of beautiful and cozy-looking cafes. In Galata, you’ll find boutique stores leading to the famous Galata Tower. Ciganir and Çukurcuma are the places to go to if you’re looking for antique shops, museums, or hamams. And Taksim Square is the pedestrian street where you can start (or end) your journey in covering the best landmarks of New Town Istanbul.

If your starting point is Karaköy, it takes about 40 minutes or 2.6 kilometers to get to Taksim Square by foot. It’s tiresome but worth it. And while you walk through the neighborhoods, you’ll find that it is very overwhelming to choose a place to eat at – especially when you get to Taksim Square. 

In this post, I’ll share some of the best restaurants we found in Taksim New Town Istanbul. Unfortunately, we were not able to eat at all of these places because we wanted to eat more than once in some of our favorite restaurants in Old Town Istanbul. Rest assured that the places in this list were recommended by our Turkish friends, and were picked out based on their ratings in Google Reviews and Tripadvisor. 

1. Pera Antakya

Lamb Chops in Pera Antakya Restaurant in New Town Istanbul.
No, this photo is not in any way edited. We used a regular phone to take this photo without putting any filters or adjusting the vibrance of the shot. Beautiful colors and flavors at Pera Antakya.
Meze Plate at Pera Antakya Restaurant in New Town Istanbul
Meze Plate at Pera Antakya Restaurant.

Pera Antakya is quite pricey for the portions they serve but the taste and quality of the food is on-spot. This restaurant is slightly hidden but the moment you step into the restaurant, you’ll be greeted with a cozy ambiance, warm and friendly staff, where you can expect to have a fine-dining type of experience. That’s what makes them one of the best restaurants in New Town Istanbul.

It’s no wonder they gained very good ratings from Google Reviews and Tripadvisor. Their Meze Plate is prepared very well and served with very fresh ingredients. Meze Plate means an assortment of small dishes served as an appetizer. Their menu offers 10 types of Appetizers, but if you get their Meze Plate, you can try eight out of the 10 dishes. 

What to Try at Pera Antakya

Our favorites from the Meze Plate was the Mütebbel (three different yogurt mix, roasted eggplant, and garlic), the Muhammara (pepper and tomato paste, walnut, with pomegranate syrup and olive oil), and the Cevi̇zli̇ Köz Bi̇ber (roasted tomatoes, red and green peppers, with walnuts, garlic, and olive oil). The Mixed Meze Plate was served with fresh and warm flatbread. 

We also ordered lamb chops which tasted really great. It is served with a series of roasted vegetables, and flatbread. The lamb chops were small but the taste was 10/10. I highly recommend it eaten with the grilled veggies they serve. 

2. Tomtom Kebap

Tomtom Kebap New Town Istanbul
Affordable. Fast. Delicious. Image by Reza A E from Google Reviews.
Kebabs at Tomtom Restaurant in New Town Istanbul
Kebabs at Tomtom Restaurant in New Town Istanbul. Image by Cheng Chen from Google Reviews.

Another one with stellar reviews we found was Tomtom Kebap. It’s a small family business that serves quality kebabs, falafels, grilled vegetables, and fresh salad. 

The menu pricing offers really great value for money. It’s not very expensive compared to the service and good food you get. The reviews speak for themselves. Out of 275 reviews, Tomtom only got a combo of very good and excellent ratings on Tripadvisor

After seeing the photos in various review sites, you’ll understand why this can easily be one of the best restaurants in New Town Istanbul. 

3. Karaköy Güllüoğlu

Karaköy Güllüoğlu in New Town Istanbul
Karaköy Güllüoğlu in New Town Istanbul. Image Source.
Pistachio Baklava Burger at Karakoy Gulluoglu
Karaköy Güllüoğlu in New Town Istanbul offers unique desserts in their menu. Image source.
Baklavas in Karakoy Gulluoglu New Town Istanbul
Aside from the regular Baklavas you’ll find sold in other dessert shops in Istanbul, Karaköy Güllüoğlu serves specialized Baklavas that cater to vegans or people with diabetes. Image source.

In my previous post about the best places to eat in Old Town Istanbul, I highly recommended Hafiz Mustafa for making great Turkish desserts that are not overly sweet and the quality justifies the pricing.

Karaköy Güllüoğlu is another must-visit dessert place in New Town Istanbul. And what makes it different from Hafiz Mustafa is their specialized menus. Their menu includes baklavas for diabetics (intended for people diagnosed with diabetes), gluten free baklavas, and vegan baklavas

Aside from sweets, they also offer more salty pastries than Hafiz Mustafa.

4. Nizam Pide Taksim

Pocket Meat Pita at Nizam Pide Taksim New Town Istanbul
Pocket Meat Pita at Nizam Pide Taksim New Town Istanbul.
Adana Kebab at Nizam Pide Taksim in New Town Istanbul
Adana Kebab at Nizam Pide Taksim in New Town Istanbul.
Wing Grill Meal at Nizam Pide Taksim in New Town Istanbul
Wing Grill Meal at Nizam Pide Taksim in New Town Istanbul.

Nizam Pide Taksim has the word “Pide” in it. “Pide” means Pita in English which is what they specialize in. This restaurant serves different types of savory pitas that are not too salty nor oily. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to take a break from kebabs, koftes, or lamb chops.

But even if Nizam specializes in Pitas, the other grilled dishes on their menu are as good as it gets. Anyone under budget would appreciate the quantity they serve with the prices on their menu. 

We ate at this place more than five times because despite being in a touristy area like Taksim, the quality you get for the price is worth it which makes it not a tourist trap compared to the ones surrounding it. And that’s what makes it one of the best restaurants to eat at in Taksim, New Town Istanbul.

5. Balkan Lokantasi

Balkan Lokantasi in Taksim
Balkan Lokantasi in Taksim. Image source.
Balkan Lokantasi Taksim New Town Istanbul
Balkan Lokantasi Taksim New Town Istanbul.

There are so many canteen-types of restaurants all over Istanbul, but Balkan Lokantasi stands out for being fairly-priced and for offering local specialties and delicacies.

Entering Balkan Lokantasi gives you the feeling of being in a school cafeteria or being in Ikea. You get a tray, point at already-cooked meals in a glass, and the staff who serves it on your plate puts a huge portion for you. 

The food is very heartwarming and homey. Every dish looks like it’s homemade and everything tastes great. 

They have several branches in Istanbul, but if you’re ever in Taksim, you can try eating at their restaurant. You can check more reviews on Tripadvisor. 

Wrapping Up

The restaurants in this list can be found in Beyoğlu district New Town Istanbul. They all offer good value for money because the pricing justifies the ambiance, service, and above all, the quality of the food they serve.

We did our best to look for the best restaurants in Taksim, and we based our decisions based on Google and Tripadvisor reviews, our Turkish friends’ recommendations, and on our personal experience. 

I hope this list helps you out and if you happen to visit any one of these restaurants, please let me know how your experience was in the comments below!

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Melissa August 31, 2022 - 11:12 pm

The food looks so good! I would love to visit someday! 🙂

Lina September 1, 2022 - 5:42 am

I dream to go to Istanbul one day. Thank you for recommendations.


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