Kebab Culture in Turkey

It is not surprising that when someone mentions Turkey, the first thing directly coming to your mind is kebab. It is a classic, and beyond that, even a lifestyle. Yet, it would be wrong to restrict kebabs to a specific version since they are also regional. Their preparations or the ingredients in them may differ depending on the different provinces of Turkey. However, the common point these kebabs share is that they are made with the same kind of meat, the most popular Turkish meat, lamb. They come with lots of distinct varieties in Turkish cuisine tradition. Some well-known and popular kebabs include:

  • Beyti

  • Patlıcanlı Kebab

  • Doner Kebab

  • Çökertme Kebab

  • Adana Kebab

  • Kestane Kebab

  • Ali Nazik

  • Testi Kebab

As you are all aware, kebabs are universally accepted and therefore found everywhere. Still, you have come to this gorgeous city, and are you really going to leave without even eating one? We can hear your answer: it is, for sure, a big no. But, then, you are in the right place because this post will guide you to the best spots for eating kebabs and Turkish meat in Istanbul. You may be able to be blessed with the city's historical landmarks such as Hagia Sophia, Galata, and the shining Bosphorus Bridge while dining in the restaurants of Istanbul.

Where to Eat Kebab and Meat in Istanbul?

Çiya Kebab

In Çiya Kebab, you will witness how Turkish meat and, in general, Turkish cuisine meet with this remarkable place's authenticity through its original recipes. The establishment, formed in 1987, has been "a modest restaurant" that serves Turkish cuisine, particularly kebabs, lahmacun, and pide. However, the business owner Musa Dağdeviren reveals that he has decided to generate a cuisine based on the Anatolian culture in an experimental aspect.

In this manner, Dağdeviren has experimented with new recipes centered around traditional Turkish cuisine. After all, the aim has been to give this customary cuisine the power it deserves. Çiya Kebab presents examples from Antep's food culture, too. Its traditional food, "fıstıklı kebab," is a highly recommended kebab here. Its seasonal and fresh salads have also clearly gained a great deal of popularity.

Moise Kadıköy

Moise Kadıköy is located on the terrace of Hotel DeCamonda Galata and has a beautiful view. They prepare their Turkish mezzes daily from the freshest vegetables and use carefully selected meats for their kebabs. The place itself evokes the sense of being full of Istanbul's past through the historical peninsula.  

It is also incredible how you can appreciate your Turkish meat while sipping on one of the local wines or specially made cocktails. You might also enjoy rakı, a traditional drink with your delicious dish.

Kaşıbeyaz Bosphorus

Think about a place where your stomach gets butterflies from the mouth-watering kebabs and Turkish meat, yet at the same time, your eyes are simply amazed by the breath-taking scenery of the Bosphorus. In the place where you can enjoy traditional food and drink with its unique structure, you are also going to have a fabulous summer evening on the venue's top floor terrace.

Aside from that, the place's authentic design embraces you owing to a warm and comfortable atmosphere. Kaşıbeyaz's contemporary ambiance meets with classical details and the prominent turquoise colors on the walls. Despite the modern look, all these elements make you feel like you are having a lovely time at a palace. When you get your meal, do not forget the delightful mezzes!

Ali Ocakbaşı

Ali Ocakbaşı is a beautiful Turkish meat and kebab place that adopts the principles of Istanbul's values and culture. With the Bosphorus and Gold Horn view in Karaköy, the establishment's dynamic is that Istanbul is thought of as the seat of honor while eating at your table. 

As it is understood from the name "ocakbaşı," it offers its grilled kebabs on a wood fire, which gives these delicious dishes their aromatic flavor. They intend to bring the unique experience of the region's taste to you with their quality, fresh products, and modern presentations of traditional food. You may also try "şalgam" together with your meat. To experience Turkish culture in its fullest sense, don't forget your "çay" after finishing your meal, accompanied by the stunning scenery.

Grace Rooftop

Grace Rooftop gives its guests Mediterranean & Ottoman Turkish cuisine with a magnificent panoramic view of the city. While you are enjoying the islands of Istanbul and the Hagia Sophia, you will also experience fabulous kebabs and Turkish meat. Additionally, the establishment has the concept of a steakhouse and seafood diner with tasty food and delicious drink, including unique cocktails.

Its cozy and friendly environment lets you have a pleasant time with your friends and family members. Besides, vegan options make the place vegetarian-friendly in such an enjoyable and quiet ambiance of the rooftop. It allows you to find pleasure in your plate and the entire landscape of the city.

Old Ottoman Café & Restaurant

Our last spot in the restaurant hunting for Turkish meat and kebabs is Old Ottoman Café & Restaurant, which is somewhat hidden in a corner near the grand bazaar in the Fatih district. It is outside of the busy avenues of Istanbul. From traditional food and drink to desserts, you will have a fantastic time in the historic street. A creative painting of famous people from history greets you at the entrance to this welcoming restaurant. This sort of artistic mural depicts the fascinating atmosphere you will encounter inside.

Following your food choice, your dish mostly comes with a clay pot on flame, and you wait until the pot breaks. Thanks to these elements, it provides you with a beautiful blend of traditional Turkish cuisine and modern touches that you will enjoy. The guests' favorites include moussaka and hummus, in addition to kebabs and Turkish meat.

Frequently Asked Question

What meats are popular in Turkey?
Turkish Meatballs, Stuffed Meatballs, Shish Kebabs, Durum Doner etc.
What is the most common Turkish meat dish?
Kebabs, Kofte, Kokorec
What alcoholic beverage pairs well with meat dishes?
Raki or wine would be a good pair.
What is Turkey’s most popular food?
Baklava, Kebab, Sutlac, Doner, Lahmacun and many more.
What is Turkish food similar to?
As Turkish cuisine draws heavily from Ottoman cuisine, Turkish cuisine is similar to countries that Ottoman Empire ruled over.