In the past, McDonalds and Burger King came to mind when talking about burgers in Istanbul. However, the new generation burger restaurants have become very popular in the city with their special cooking techniques and sauces. The best burger places in Istanbul are spreading to the most popular districts of Istanbul, just like the 3rd wave coffee shops.
Doner, kokorec and kebab were the most popular options for Istanbulites to eat out. In recent years, we see that burgers are challenging these traditional dishes. In this article, you can find the restaurants that pioneered the formation of hamburger culture in Istanbul.
Best Burger Restaurants in Istanbul
The best burger restaurants in Istanbul are located in the touristic districts of the city. Eminonu (near Sultanahmet), Karakoy (near Taksim), Besiktas, Sisli and Kadikoy stand out among the districts famous for their burgers.
Some burger places are located in the food courts of shopping malls. You can find these famous burger shops in places such as Kanyon and IstinyePark, which are among the best shopping malls in Istanbul.
1. Biber Burger
Biber Burger is a meeting place for burger lovers in Besiktas and its Jetlag Buster is highly popular. There are three layers of cheddar cheese, roasted and caramelized onion and meatballs cooked on a grill inside this burger. Apart from its Besiktas branch, Biber Burger has another one in Sisli.
Biber has been in service for 6 years now and you can find grilled gourmet burgers, daily fresh products, homemade sauces and lemonade here. There are around 20 burger options such as Old Fashion Burger with caramelized onion and Rokfor Burger made of blue cheese.
Neighborhoods such as Besiktas and Sisli, where Biber Burger shops are located, are the districts with the most luxurious hotels in Istanbul. It is quite easy to reach the Sisli branch of Biber Burger from Taksim Square, one of the tourist centers of Istanbul.
2. Virginia Angus
Virginia Angus was born of an initiative that was put into action in 2009 to produce 100% local beef production in Turkey and the shop was opened in Eminonu in 2011. Virginia Angus serves as a steakhouse and it has two other branches in Istanbul, which are Nisantasi and Atasehir (Asian Side).
Its burgers are served with spicy fries and you can go for 120, 200 or 240 gr. beef options. There are also appetizers like Ankara pickles, salmon, and sucuk (Turkish sausage) as appetizers. Some other items in Virginia Angus’ menu are salad, kasik salata (salad made of finely chopped ingredients), and salmon salad.
Most of the tourists visiting Istanbul stay in Sultanahmet. However, to find the best burger places in Istanbul, you need to go to districts within walking distance from Sultanahmet, such as Eminonu or Karakoy. Virginia Angus is located near the Spice Bazaar in Eminonu. You can reach here with a 10-minute walk from Sultanahmet.
3. J Burger
J Burger, one of the best burger places on the Asian side in Istanbul, has the motto that goes as “Same place, same quality for 41 years” and it strives to maintain its high standards, be it buns, mayonnaise, and cooking style.
There are many options to choose from on J Burger’s menu such as Fish Burger and Egg Burger. Moreover, J Burger provides a whole-wheat bun option for its guests. If you are really hungry, you can also choose Jumbo and two-layer burger at J Burger.
J Burger is located on Bagdat Street, one of the best shopping places in Istanbul. Bagdat Street, which is a 15-kilometer living center on the Asian side of Istanbul, stretches between Kadikoy and Maltepe districts.
4. Mini Eatery
Miny Eatery opened in 2015 in Kadikoy, on the Asian side of Istanbul. Located in Moda neighborhood, the rising star of Kadikoy, the burger shop serves small burgers as the name suggests. This concept is a great option for those who find the new generation burgers too big. Moreover, for those who are not satisfied, there is a chance to test a second taste by ordering a different burger.
If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you can find vegan and vegetarian burgers at Mini Eatery. Additionally, some appetizers like a vegetable mix, fried pickles, fried goat cheese can also be tried at Mini Eatery. You can create your own menu by choosing 70 or 50 gr burger or you can have a taster plate.
5. Burger Lab
Burger Lab was founded in Kadikoy in 2013 and it has two other branches, which are Akmerkez (in Etiler) and UNIQ İstanbul (in Maslak). Its menu is enriched by special recipes and daily heifer meat is used to make burgers here.
Its buns are made daily and served fresh. Additionally, you can also opt to have a burger without a bun. Instead of a bun, you can have your burger in lettuce slices. Burger Lab’s hamburgers are very tasty and satisfying.
Maslak, where Burger Lab is located, is a place where business centers are located. Maslak, which has large hotels such as Levent and Sisli nearby, is a modern district where many concept restaurants and cafes of Istanbul are located.
Baltazar, located in Karakoy, offers a special atmosphere where you can watch while your burger is being prepared and have some homemade drinks. Burgers at Baltazar are cooked in coal fire and Mexico Burger with chili sauce, Mexican beans, lettuce, and jalapeno are highly recommended.
Baltazar Burger & Steak House pays special attention to choosing the meat and resting it. The presentation of burgers at Baltazar is also cool. Recyclable products are used to serve the food here and the plates used to present the food are renewed every 6 months here.
Karakoy district, where Baltazar is located, is very close to both the historical Sultanahmet and the modern Taksim Square. Those staying in popular accommodation districts such as Sultanahmet, Galata, Taksim and Cihangir can walk to Baltazar, one of the best burger shops in Istanbul.
7. Basta Street Food
Basta Street Food was founded by a chef who has long-time experience working at restaurants abroad and her partner. Although the main items on its menu are vegetarian, lamb, sucuk, and beef wrap, lamb burger at Basta is equally worth trying.
Burgers at Basta are served with grilled eggplants, cucumber pickles, and onions with dib roman sauce. Moreover, handmade buttery bread named ‘brioche’ makes the burgers even better here. Basta Street Food Bar is located in Moda, the popular district I mentioned in the previous lines.
8. Akali Burger
Akali Burger opened in 2015 in Etiler, one of the most luxurious districts of Istanbul. Later, they opened another branch in Karakoy, which is closer to touristic centers such as Taksim and Sultanahmet. The menu at Akali Burger consists of only hamburgers and fried potatoes.
Akali Burger makes its own sauces, among which barbecue sauce and another sauce made of honey whiskey are among the top choices of burger lovers at Akali Burger. 80 gr, 160 gr, and 240 gr burgers are the options to choose from at Akali Burger.
The founder of Akali Burger, Caglar Kipcak is known as a successful chef in the field of fine dining. Recommended by Vedat Milor, Istanbul’s most famous gourmet, Akali is among the best hamburger shops in Istanbul.
Mangerie is located in Bebek, the most beautiful spot on the Bosphorus. Mangerie, which has an important place in Istanbul’s social life, is a place frequented by celebrities in the city. Although Mangerie has delicious burgers, it’s not really just a burger restaurant.
Mangerie is a popular place for both breakfast and lunch with its terrace overlooking Bebek Bay, which offers the best Bosphorus view in Istanbul. You can find some of Istanbul’s most delicious hamburgers in Mangerie’s extensive menu.
Nusr-et has become one of the most successful restaurants in Istanbul in the last ten years. Nusr-et, whose reputation has spread abroad, also has branches in New York and Dubai. Also known as “Salt bae”, the famous chef expanded the concept of the famous steakhouse in Etiler and opened burger shops as well.
Nusr-et Burger restaurants are located in Bebek and Nisantasi, the most popular districts of Istanbul. It also has branches in Istanbul’s most popular shopping malls, Kanyon (in Levent) and Istinyepark (in Maslak).
Burgerhood is located in Nisantasi district of Istanbul, which is famous for its fashion boutiques. Burgerhood, located in Tesvikiye, the popular spot of Nisantasi, is one of the burger shops I particularly recommend as an insider.
The shop, which offers special sauces that surprise its customers along with hamburgers and potatoes, is among the successful restaurants of Istanbul. It is a place that gets very high scores in the local forums where Istanbulites review the dishes.
12. Jimmy’s Burger
Jimmy’s Burger is located in Istinye, one of the most beautiful districts on the shores of the Bosphorus in Istanbul. This district, which is watched with admiration by those who take a Bosphorus cruise in Istanbul, is located in the north of the European Side of Istanbul.
Its burgers are made of beef produced in Biga and Gonen and rested for a day. And the meat meets great sauces at Jimmy’s Burger, where you can go for 150 gr or 200 gr burger options. Additionally, mini burgers are on the menu if you want a smaller burger. Jimmy’s draws attention as one of the best burger places in Istanbul.
Best Burger Restaurants in Istanbul by Serhat Engul