Istanbul — it is the biggest, most exciting, and vibrant city in Turkey and one of the largest metropolises in the world.
Whether it is your forever home, or you will just be passing through, sometimes you may want to discover places that are not inundated by hordes of crowds or tourists. When you crave something a little off the beaten track and yet undiscovered by the masses, these little hidden gems will come to your rescue.
The number 1 type of bar you must experience in Istanbul is a rooftop bar that offers 360-degree spectacular views of this vast city. And if you can find one with breathtaking views of the warm sunset, preferably accompanied by the sight of the Bosporus with the smell of salt in the air, all the better.
If you want to know more about the 10 best bars and restaurants in Istanbul for a night out in the town, keep reading.
This one is of the more luxurious options on this list. Situated on the rooftop terrace of the Marmara Pera Hotel on the 15th floor, this is a bar and restaurant in one. For a fine dining experience with views of Istanbul in every direction or expertly crafted cocktails and a rooftop pool to drink it mellowly by, Mikla will be the perfect place for you.
This cocktail bar is perfect for a night of stylish but spendy drinking on the weekend. Another bar and restaurant in one that is perched atop the ever-luxurious Swissotel, 16Roof, is known for its lively atmosphere, live acts and DJs, and a brilliant selection of wines and cocktails. You will also be sipping your drink to views of the Bosporus and the Asian/Anatolian side of the city.
- 5. Kat
Called the 5th floor, this roof terrace bar, café, and restaurant are comparatively smaller than its likes, adding to its cozy charm. Only a 5-minute walk from Taksim Square, this little stylish and intimate venue boasts a green landscape with views of the Bosporus. From your classic cocktails to beer and rakı, you will also find an array of drinks to suit your taste here.
- Balkon Restaurant and Bar
Are you craving a bit of jazz and soul to accompany your cocktails or spirits? This unique rooftop and restaurant located in the Asmalımescit quarter of Beyoğlu near Istiklal Street offer spectacular views of Istanbul's historical peninsula and a delicious menu of fine world cuisine and great drinks.
- Leb-i Derya
With seating for select 20, this open-air rooftop bar and restaurant in Şişhane is one of the most genuine establishments in Istanbul for a fun and cozy night out. The very top terrace of this venue, which spans two floors, is appropriately called the "Captain's Quarter," with mezes, seafood, and a lengthy wine and rakı list to choose from.
For those seeking the alternative scene, Moda is the place to be. And Nor stands as one of the most unique and arty cocktail bars of Kadıköy and Istanbul.
Although Nor serves some great classics and good food to boot, you should go for their specials. Mercury Retrograde and Britney's 2007 are just two of the most creative names.
- Sunset Grill and Bar
Excellent views of the Bosporus Bridge, shoreline, and a romantic setup, check. Steaks and seafood with an innovative Japanese twist contain. Starts your night with sunset views and fusion cocktails at this super upscale establishment in Beşiktaş. The restaurant and bar were also named one of the best restaurants in Europe by Zagat twice.
- Backyard BackBar
Overlooking the Bebek Bay in Beşiktaş, this stylish bar is surrounded by the fantastic, lush gardens of the historic French Orphanage. Besides refreshing drinks and fruity cocktails, this bar serves delicious foods and funky tunes, courtesy of DJs.
Efendi is the very definition of your local "neighborhood bar." A place that is cute and comfortable right in the heart of Topağacı in Nişantaşı, this bar has class cocktails such as "Keep the Spice" with thyme and rosemary, or "Serendipity" with a kick from chili and passion fruit.
- The Rusty Fork
Rustyfork is one of the places in Etiler for cocktail enthusiasts seeking a Tex-Mex style American bar. Look no further than this venue for flavors unique to the Americas, with specials such as the Rusty, El Paso Green, and Hot Lips. Pork dishes and country music are added bonuses.