After Max and I spent a couple or months or so in Malta and Gozo… we were wondering where our next travel destination would be.
So, as our ultimate destination would be in Vietnam… we looked at the Oneworld airlines to see what they had on offer.
And, that’s because we were looking at redeeming some of our Qantas Frequent Flyer points… specifically for business class flights to South East Asia.
Then, after an extensive search… we discovered a great deal with Qatar Airways from Istanbul to Ho Chi Minh City.
So, all we needed to do was find a flight from Malta to Turkey. And, this turned out to be easy with cheap flights using Turkish Airlines.
Now, neither of us have been to Turkey before, so we were looking forward to going. Plus, as we love to drink and eat… we were keen to try the vegetarian Turkish food in Istanbul.
So, on our 1 week trip we did find some gems of places.
That’s why in this blog post… I’ll run through 5 of the best restaurants in Beyoglu Istanbul that tantalized our taste buds.
So, Beyoglu is a bustling area, which is a must visit in Istanbul. And, it includes sights such as Taksim Square and Istiklal Road.
So, are you ready to eat your vegetarian way through Beyoglu, Istanbul? Let’s go!
When Max and I were wandering down the vibrant thoroughfare of Istiklal Street in Beyoglu, and surrounds… we noticed several restaurants promoting photos of mezze type dishes at breakfast time.
And boy, did they make our mouth water!
So, when we got back to our Airbnb apartment, I did some quick research on where to have a Turkish breakfast. And, within about a 10 minute walk away was a place called, Van Kahvaltı Evi.
1. Van Kahvaltı Evi
Address: Kılıçali Paşa, Defterdar Ykş. 52/A, Beyoğlu
We saw some reviews and photos from people who’d been to Van Kahvaltı Evi. And, it was sounding like a Turkish breakfast we had to try for ourselves.
So, the next morning we headed out to Van Kahvaltı Evi, ready for our vegetarian meal.
And, when we got there it was about 9:30am. It was busy, but thankfully we were able to get a table immediately.
The owner was greeting us as we were being seated at our table. And, as we were walking past other diners, the food on their table was almost making us drool… LOL!
So, in the end it wasn’t a difficult choice for us as we went for the biggest platter. Go BIG or go home we say! Plus, the owner did confirm with us that the platter was vegetarian.
And, not long after our order, we got two glasses of hot Turkish tea… as well as a basket of bread.
Then, we didn’t have to wait long until our Turkish breakfast dishes were brought to our table. So, check these Turkish delights out…
Plus, every time we almost close to finishing our tea, we got free refills. And, after polishing off our basket of bread, they brought out another batch… for FREE!
It was so much food, and it was so delicious. Thus, we recommend you try the Turkish breakfast at Van Kahvaltı Evi in Beyoglu.
And, for all that food and tea, it only cost us 60 Turkish Lira for the both of us (about USD $10.45). Now, that is a bargain!
2. Community Kitchen
Address: Şahkulu, Kumbaracı Ykş. 35A, Beyoglu
One day Max and I went to see the Galata Tower. And, not far from there away from the crazy busy touristy area was a restaurant called… Community Kitchen.
And, in fact we discovered that the food was actually vegan, which was fine for us. So, it was a few hundred meters or so walk, along cobble stoned streets. Good walking shoes in Istanbul is a must!
Then, here’s a pic of the street that the Community Kitchen is on…
And, as we got closer to the restaurant we saw lots of kitty cat.
And, as you’ll discover when in Istanbul, there are plenty of stray cats. Yet, it seems that the locals look after them well.
So, at the front of the vegan restaurant was a chalk board with some of the menu items. And, the full menu sounded amazing with vegan burgers, doner and even lasagna!
Now, the choice was difficult and at the time we weren’t overly hungry. So, in the end we chose a Mezze Platter to share.
Now, while it wasn’t the biggest of platters it sure was flavorsome and fresh! And, we could tell when we were eating the food… that there was a lot of love and attention put into each dish.
Plus, the owner was super friendly, as were the cats…
So, for the Mezze Platter it was 55 Turkish Lira (about USD $9.55). And, while it’s not the cheapest for amount of food that we got… we’d definitely come back again as the food was scrumptious.
3. Çağdaş Börek
Address: Şehit Muhtar, Tarlabaşı Blv No:34, Beyoglu
So, we couldn’t visit Turkey without having a borek or two. And, the funny thing is we stumbled across this place on our way to a different borek restaurant!
So, rather than keep wandering to find the other place, we decided to eat here instead.
Now, on our walks around Istanbul… we noticed that there boreks looked different to back home in Melbourne, Australia. And, unfortunately the last time we were in Melbourne, the boreks we had were average at best.
So, being in Turkey we were hoping for great tasting boreks! But, we didn’t set our expectations too high as we didn’t want disappointment.
Now, Çağdaş Börek is a small restaurant with only a few tables and chairs inside. It’s nothing flash and wouldn’t be somewhere for a romantic dinner! Yet, the service is very quick, and does the job for a fast food type place.
So, after having a look at the menu, we tried 3 different dishes, which was a Poğaça, Su Böreği and Kol Böreği with cheese. When we were looking at the dishes they certainly weren’t colorful. But, it’s all about the taste, right?
Thus, after tasting each dish, we were pleasantly surprised. The flavors were rich and the cheese was so yummy.
In fact, it was so good we went back again another time!
So, for those 3 dishes it only cost us 18 Turkish Lira (about USD $3.15).
UPDATE: The second time we went it was at night time, and we found that the menu had changed slightly. So, the prices are a smidgen more expensive than in this blog.
Yet, we still recommend checking out Çağdaş Börek for a cheap fast food feed.
4. Bilice Kebap
Address: Asmalı Mescit, Asmalı Mescit Cd. No:8, Beyoglu
Now, you saw the Turkish breakfast we had earlier on. And, we thought that was a feast. Yet, one afternoon we got lost wandering around the cobble stoned streets in Beyoglu.
And, we were walking past a place called, Bilice Kebap.
Yet, as we were strolling past we had to do a double take and check out the food the diners were having. OMG, the size of the dish could feed a family!
But, as we were checking out the menu there were lots of skewers and meat dishes. Yet, they also had a vegetarian Turkish platter.
So, Max and I were looking at each other, with our eyes bulging out of our heads… And, we had to give this mammoth platter a try.
So, as we were sitting down… a staff member brought out two glasses of Turkish tea, which he said were complimentary. We didn’t say no to that, as we were enjoying the teas in Istanbul.
Then, we didn’t have to wait long until our vegetarian mezze platter was brought to our table. Well, it would barely fit on the table… LOL!
And, as we were ploughing down our food… there were many people pointing at the platter with bulging eyes. Plus, even one tourist was asking another table of diners if he could take a photo of the food!
Well, we definitely recommend you give Bilice Kebap try if you’re in the Beyoglu area. And, they have 2 restaurants opposite each other in case one of them is full of diners.
So, all of this food and free tea was 130 Turkish Lira for the both of us (about USD $22.65).
5. Pehlivan Restaurant
Address: Katip Mustafa Çelebi, İstiklal Cd. No:7, Beyoglu
Now, if you want a bigger range of vegetarian Turkish food in Istanbul… then Pehlivan Restaurant can help with that!
When we were strolling the streets of Beyoglu… we stopped to look at the yummy looking food in the restaurant windows. Then, as we were on Istiklal Road… we saw more restaurants where there were plenty of trays of food on display.
Then, what made us stop at Pehlivan Restaurant was a spinach bake with a thick layer of cheese on top. Thus, after that we had to go in and try the food!
And, once we went into the restaurant, the line was long. Plus, we found that there was so much food!
OK, so this place has a heap of meat dishes too. Yet, there were enough vegetarian dishes to keep our bellies full and happy. And, after having consistent days of boreks… our bodies were crying out for something a little more health.
So, we were watching other people to do see what the process was.
And, all we did was grab a tray each, and choose what we wanted from what was on display. Then, once we kept moving along like what was a production line of food and people… at the end was the register.
And here, the gentleman would look at all of our dishes and moments later told us what the price was.
So, this was some of the food we got…
Now, the foods look quite basic, right? Yet, it was tasty, fresh and the spinach cheese dish was packed full of greens. And, our favorite of the dishes were the delicious mushrooms.
Bonus Place To Visit!
OK, so I did say that in this blog post I’d go through 5 of the best restaurants in Beyoglu Istanbul… for vegetarian food.
So, with all these yummy dishes were you eating with your eyes?!?!
Yet, I couldn’t leave you without mentioning this next place. And, if it’s sweets you’re after, then Turkey is the place to be!
Just about every second shop sells some sort of sweet treat, so I was in heaven… LOL!
So, the bonus place you MUST visit in Beyoglu Istanbul is this…
6. Hafiz Mustafa 1864
So, there are several Hafiz Mustafa cafes and shops in Beyoglu, let alone in Istanbul. And, once you step inside their shop, you’re realize why they’re so popular.
The first time Max and I had a look was after our massive feast at Bilice Kebap. So, there was no way we could fit another thing in. And, even our second stomachs were full!
Yet, we vowed to do something we normally don’t do… and that’s to have sweets for a light breakfast the next morning.
And, with that we had to try and robust Turkish coffee too. So, the outlet that we went was the one next to CVK Taksim Hotel, on Gümüşsuyu, Sıraselviler Street.
For us, it was less busy, and I really liked the lush, red interior and décor.
So, the staff were always friendly and as helpful as possible. With so many sweet treats how could we decide? Argh!
Thus, in the end we decided to stick to baklava. But you know what the funny thing was… there were tonnes of varieties of baklava too!
So, when it gets challenging like this, we just chose what we liked the look of. And, in the end, here’s what we got and another coffee…
And, all of this cost just 54.53 Turkish Lira (about USD $9.50).
So, I know when the sweets are exceptionally good, because Max isn’t a huge fan of them. Thus, when he said that he’d come back again as it was so delicious, I was shocked!
Yet, that’s what we did. And, there are plenty of treats to buy if that takes your fancy…
Thus, that’s what we did to take with us on our next trip!
Eat, drink and be merry!
So, we had a whirlwind trip to Istanbul Turkey, and every day was jam packed. And, every day we were eating our for all our meals, as we wanted to try new things. Yet, we have to say that out of most of the food we tried, we thought was fantastic.
So, if you’re after vegetarian Turkish food in Istanbul, there are plenty of choices. And, in this blog post, you now have 6 of the best restaurants in Beyoglu Istanbul for vegetarian food.
Have you been to Istanbul? What other vegetarian places were your favorite or would recommend?
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Note: All of our reviews and comments are our opinions and no-one else’s. Even if we receive complimentary goods or services we share our opinions honestly.