Allow me please to make a special post about Beşiktaş, not only because it happens to be a really good food neighborhood - but also because it happens to be my own neighborhood!

Beşiktaş is very close to the sea and is located in the hollow of a valley which is down the hill and to the northwest of Taksim. To get to there from Taksim, walk to the top of İnönü Caddesi, right around the corner from the square and there you will either see a line of yellow minibuses or a line of people waiting for them. Hop on, or get in line, then down the hill, and past the soccer stadium and along the long tree lined avenue which fronts the Dolmabahçe palace. Once the trees stop and the street widens out, you are there. Get off, cross the street and walk inland, following the map below.

View Beşiktaş food places in a larger map

If you are coming from the conference center - again very easy: Walk across to Büyükdere Caddesi and use the metro underpass to get to the other side. Catch one of the communal minibuses going down the hill. This will take you all the way down until the hill butts onto the sea. Get off once the hill evens out and you are very close to the waterfront. Then follow the map above.

Beşiktaş main square

My 'hood! ;-). Beşiktaş is not a fancy locale or anything of the sort, but has great food places, from fast food joints to cafes to close to a hundred taverns. So, some serious drinking goes on in the side streets once the sun is down. On the main square Intiba (a non-licensed kebap house) serves good kebaps and koftes, and a meal there will cost you from 10 to 18 Euros. My favorite place to eat in Beşiktaş however is Çiçek Köfte for which I made a separate post here >>>.

Beşiktaş small square, has little cafes and fast food stands around it. Eating at one of the sit-down places will cost you around 7 to 12 Euros.

In the middle of Beşiktaş there is a great fish and vegetable market and the best "fish" taverns in this area directly surround it. Among them Turgut Vidinli is the best of the best, although definitely more expensive than some of the other ones nearby

The back streets leading off from the fish market house scores of taverns, my guess would be somewhere between 30 to 40 of them. Do not be fooled by the laid back atmosphere and the empty tables in the image above. The photo was taken in the late afternoon, at a time when the waiters can still relax. 2 hours from now there will not even be standing room!

These back street taverns are less expensive than the market front ones. However, raki drinking is expensive wherever you go because of the tapas, so even cheap is not really cheap. So, make allowances for the fact that you will be spending something upwards of 30 Euros, even at the cheaper places.

All streets in Beşiktaş have good food places, mostly of the fast food variety. However the best of them all is Karadeniz pidecisi which makes one of the best Doner kebap sandwiches that I know of, pretty much anywhere in town. What you eat at these places, including Karadeniz, will come to somewhere between 5 and 7 Euros.

And for some really good - but alas expensive - kebap, go to Hanedan, which is on the waterfront, right by the ferry and motor boat ports. A meal at Hanedan will probably cost you around 40 to 60 Euros, but that would include everything, in massive quantities, including dessert and a small carafe of raki. Hanedan, which is actually a tavern, has several floors, one for fish and one for kebap. But personally, for me the kebap floor would be the reason for the visit. ;-). See their website here:

Finally, after you have eaten you may wish to stroll down to the waterfront and sit in a "tea garden" and have some tea or coffee (and some of them also serve wine and beer I think). Walk to the motor boat port and then take a left along the shore and you will hit a row of cafes about 50 meters further along.

To return to Taksim from Beşiktaş, walk back to where you initially got off and then crossed the street, but stay on the land side of the street (just slightly to the south of the Alkim bookstore on the corner), where you will see the minibus stop going back up to Taksim.

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