Istanbul has a very colorful nightlife. Especially Taksim and Kadikoy districts are home to the best bars and pubs in Istanbul. In the past, Beyoglu (aka Taksim) was unrivaled in nightlife, but in recent years, Kadikoy has caught up with it.
In the 90s and 2000s, there were countless bars around Taksim Square. However, in the last decade, Istanbul’s relatively inexpensive entertainment venues, which attract young people, have moved to Kadikoy on the Asian side.
If you are wondering about the classy and expensive nightclubs on the Bosphorus, the best nightclubs in Istanbul article on this site will attract your attention. In this article, we will be focusing on relatively inexpensive bars.
Top 12 Bars and Pubs in Istanbul 2022
In this article, you can find the 12 best bars and pubs in Istanbul. The first 4 of these bars are located in Taksim and Sisli on the European side. On the other hand, places between 5 and 12 are located in Kadikoy on the Asian side.
Although Covid has caused great damage to Istanbul’s nightlife, bars and pubs are slowly starting to open their doors. Of course, it will take some time for the entertainment industry in Istanbul to recover.
Babylon was opened in 1999 with the intention of bringing the best examples of progressive music to music lovers in Beyoglu. Babylon has moved inside “Bomontiada” in Sisli Neighborhood that houses numerous art activities such as cinema, theater, and food festivals.
Babylon Bomontiada houses the best national and foreign representatives of all sorts of music. You should note that the activity counter of Babylon Bomontiada is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. And backpacks are not allowed at Babylon Bomontiada due to security reasons.
Bomontiada was opened after the historical Bomonti Beer Factory was restored and it is among the most popular bars in Istanbul.
2. Novo Bar
Novo Bar is located in Asmalimescit (Nearby Istiklal Street) and it draws attention as a fun bar among meyhane restaurants. Novo is the place for dance and cocktail lovers where special electronic, indie, pop rock, house and almost all sorts of music are played by DJ sets all night long.
3. Ritim Bar
Ritim Bar is located at Nevizade and it’s composed of 4 floors and a terrace designed in different styles. The place houses summer parties in the summer months and its terrace offers an amazing view of Istanbul in winter.
Ritim Bar is open till 4:00 every day. Chill out and lounge melodies are played in the early hours of the evening. Then, Latin and Balkan music follow and the style of the music evolve into hip-hop, punk, and reggae into in the late hours of the night.
4. U2 Istanbul Irish Pub
U2 Istanbul Irish Pub is located in Beyoglu, where you can try different types of beer such as Guiness. Parties with different themes are organized at U2 Istanbul Irish Pub where foreign customers are plenty too. U2 Istanbul Irish Pub is regarded as one of the best bars in Istanbul.
5. Dorock XL
Dorock XL offers three different concepts under its 2000 square meter area. These are Dorock Stage, Dorock Café & Bistro, and Dorock Baze. Dorock XL also boasts the biggest indoor live music stage in Istanbul and it’s located in Kadikoy.
You can watch the concerts of famous Turkish singers at Dorock XL where various activities are also organized. Dorock XL is open till 04:00 every day and it’s one of Kadikoy’s and Istanbul’s best bars.
Arkaoda has 2 branches (Berlin and Istanbul) and its branch in Istanbul is at Kadife Street in Kadikoy. Arkaoda, opened in 1999, draws attention with its original style. It’s one of the most popular bars in Kadikoy and Istanbul thanks to its concerts, DJ sets, and parties with different concepts.
You can have your drink while you enjoy a new era alternative, electronic, ambient, experimental and dance music in Arkaoda’s garden.
7. Belfast Irish Pub
Belfast Irish Pub was opened in 1997 and there are two branches of the same pub in Kadikoy. You can definitely spend good time in its garden under grape leaves while you snack, chat with your friends, and listen to a wide range of music, be it rock, jazz or many other genres.
You can also drink various foreign beer brands at Belfast but you should note it is packed with customers especially from Fridays to Sundays.
Karga is one of the oldest bars in Kadikoy and it’s located on bars street, Kadife Street. With its high ceilings, soft lights, and wooden stairs, Karga boasts a very impressive atmosphere.
Karga, unlike its competitors, publishes Karga Mecmua twice a year and organizes special activities. Karga is seen as an alternative place which has become one of the prominent bars in Istanbul’s nightlife.
Karga sits on a historical five story building, one of which is supported by an entresol floor while the first three floors function as a café and bar. The fourth and the fifth floors of the building serve as a multi-purpose culture and art place named KargART, which was opened in May 2011.
Nayah has been the meeting point for reggae lovers since 2000 (Beyoglu branch). Its branch in Kadikoy, however, was opened in 2016 and it’s at Kirtasiyeci Street that houses Kadikoy’s bars and meyhanes.
Nayah Kadikoy can accommodate up to 400 people and it hosts important figures of reggae music in Turkey such as Sattas, Ras Memo, Da Frogg, Selekta Genja, Selekta, and Firuzaga.
10. Rockn Rolla
Rockn Rolla Kadikoy has three branches in Istanbul (Beyoglu, Besiktas, Beylikduzu) and it’s really hard to find a place at its Kadikoy branch especially on weekends. The high stools and high ceilings at Rockn Rolla Kadikoy attract the attention while outer space of the bar is equally fun and crowded.
Rockn Rolla is located right at the beginning of Moda Street and a new branch of the bar will be opened in Canakkale.
Zeplin Pub & Delicatessen, located at Moda Street, is regarded as a cult pub in Kadikoy and it draws attention with its European style. Live music is performed at Zeplin Pub & Delicatessen on weekends and don’t be surprised if you see people outside the place standing and chatting with each other as both inside and outside of Zeplin Pub are crowded.
You can try tons of different types of beer at Zeplin Pub & Delicatessen and it’s regarded as one of the best bars in Kadikoy.
Bina was opened in 2016 where Isis used to operate at the bars street in Kadikoy. Bina Arkaoda is co-owned by the owners of Yer and Dun.
If you count the garden floor too, we can say Bina is a spacious place with four floors. The middle floor of Bina is called “the pool” and music, movie, and activities related to design are organized here.
On the top floor of Bina, movie sessions, chat sessions and concerts are held while the garden floor boasts a peaceful atmosphere with its decorative pool.
Various types of beer served at Bina are also satisfactory. Moreover, Bina boasts a skilled team that is good at cocktails.
Best Bars in Istanbul 2022 by Serhat Engul