Are you looking for a unique and unforgettable drinking experience in Istanbul? Look no further than the city’s best cocktail bars. Whether you’re a fan of classic cocktails or modern mixology, Istanbul has something for everyone.
Here’s my guide to the best cocktail bars in Istanbul.
If you’re a fan of craft cocktails and are looking for a unique and memorable night out, Istanbul’s cocktail bar scene won’t disappoint. From sleek and modern bars with a trendy vibe to cozy, laid-back spots with a more traditional feel, there’s something for every taste and preference.
What makes Istanbul’s cocktail bars stand out is the use of local ingredients and flavors that showcase the country’s rich history and culture. You can expect to find ingredients like pomegranate, mint, sumac, and Turkish coffee in many of the cocktails, as well as traditional Turkish meze to complement your drink.
One of the exciting aspects of Istanbul’s cocktail bar scene is the rise of speakeasy-style bars, which offer an element of intrigue and excitement with hidden entrances and secret passwords.
Additionally, there are rooftop bars and terrace lounges that offer stunning views of Istanbul’s skyline, making them perfect for a romantic night out or a fun evening with friends. The cocktail bar scene in Istanbul is constantly evolving, with new and exciting bars popping up all the time.
So, whether you’re a local or a visitor, exploring Istanbul’s cocktail bars is a must-do activity. You’ll find that the city’s cocktail bars are vibrant, diverse, and always full of surprises.
The List of Best Cocktail Bars in Istanbul
Unveiling the charm of Istanbul’s cocktail culture, where each bar has a unique story to tell. Dive into a world where mixologists craft liquid masterpieces, and every sip is a journey through the city’s rich history and contemporary flair.
I’ve made a list of 10 cocktail bars that are sure to impress and leave you wanting more.
Alexandra Cocktail Bar
Alexandra Cocktail Bar is located in the Bebek neighborhood of Istanbul. It’s a chic and upscale establishment that offers an extensive selection of cocktails, along with a variety of small plates and snacks and a great Bosphorus view.
If you enjoy cocktails, Alexandra is definitely a must-visit spot, as it offers both great drinks and a stunning view of the Bosphorus. In fact, it made it onto my list of the best rooftop bars for these very reasons.
The bar has a stylish and modern interior, with a nice bar, plush seating, and dim lighting. The ambiance is relaxed and sophisticated, making it a popular spot for a night out with friends or a romantic date.
The cocktail menu at Alexandra Cocktail Bar features a range of classic and signature drinks, with a focus on high-quality ingredients and creative flavor combinations. Some of the popular cocktails include “Knock! Knock!“, “Passiflora“ and “Amor Duro“ are highly recommended.
In addition to cocktails, Alexandra Cocktail Bar also offers a selection of premium wines, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages. The food menu features a variety of small plates and snacks, such as charcuterie boards, sliders, and truffle fries.
Overall, Alexandra Cocktail Bar is a stylish and sophisticated spot for enjoying craft cocktails and light bites in the trendy Bebek neighborhood of Istanbul.
Joker No:19 is a small and renowned bar located in the heart of Beşiktaş, one of the busiest and most densely populated neighborhoods in the city. Joker No:19 is often associated with college students, and on Fridays and weekends, the bar tends to be packed with young adults. However, this doesn’t diminish the fact that the establishment offers one of the best cocktail menus in the city.
The reasonable prices are what draw many college students to the bar, but this also makes it an excellent choice for budget travelers looking to experience the Istanbul bar scene. The bartenders are well-trained and eager to provide recommendations to customers.
You should try one of their signature house cocktails, such as the Mule 19 (their twist on the classic Moscow mule) made with salted caramel vodka, pineapple juice, sweet and sour sauce, and spicy ginger tonic. If you find yourself in Beşiktaş, be sure to check out Joker No:19. It is also a great place to meet with locals and chat about Istanbul
Flekk, located in the Tomtom neighborhood in Taksim, is a must-visit spot for those who want to enjoy a good cocktail while also taking in the city’s vibrant atmosphere. The bar offers both indoor and outdoor seating areas, allowing you to choose where you want to spend your time based on your preference.
The ambiance of Flekk is one of the reasons why it has become so popular among locals and tourists alike. The interior of the bar is designed to create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere, while the outdoor seating area provides a great view of the bustling neighborhood.
Another factor that sets Flekk apart from other bars in the area is its impressive cocktail menu. They pride themselves on making their own liqueurs, which adds a unique and authentic touch to their drinks. Unlike many other bars that use syrup to flavor their drinks, Flekk opts for a more natural approach to ensure the quality of their beverages.
If you’re looking to try one of the bar’s signature cocktails, the Gravling and St. German are two options that come highly recommended. They perfectly showcase Flekk’s original flavors and demonstrate the care and attention that goes into every drink they serve.
All in all, Flekk provides a warm and inviting atmosphere where you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a delicious cocktail. Whether you’re looking for a place to unwind after a long day of exploring the city or just want to grab a drink with friends, Flekk is definitely worth a visit.
Allen Kitchen & Cocktail
Located in Suadiye, on the Asian side of Istanbul, Allen Kitchen & Cocktail is a local hangout spot in an area where there are no major tourist attractions. However, the Asian side of the city offers a lot, especially in terms of culinary experiences.
Allen Kitchen & Cocktail is known for its cosmopolitan vibe and offers a wide range of cocktails, including classic recipes and almost 40 signature blends. What sets Allen apart is their use of handmade purees and syrups in their blends, which gives each drink a unique and special taste. The presentation of cocktails is also different from the usual, as they are served in unique glasses that are both visually appealing and enhance the overall experience.
Whether you are a local or a tourist, Allen Kitchen & Cocktail is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique and sophisticated cocktail experience on the Asian side of Istanbul.
Galata Seven Hills
Galata Seven Hills is situated in Galataport, providing visitors with an opportunity to indulge in Istanbul’s diverse history and architectural beauty. With a variety of cocktails made from seasonal ingredients, the venue also offers separate menus for lunch and dinner and boasts a selection of music that is sure to please.
As a tourist, if you happen to be in the Karaköy area, you can combine your sightseeing and shopping with a refreshing cocktail break at Galataport, all while enjoying a spectacular view of the Bosphorus.
Geyik Coffee Roastery & Cocktail Bar
Located in the heart of Cihangir, Geyik (which means ‘deer’ in Turkish) exudes a bohemian vibe that’s hard to resist. Despite its small size, the bar always draws a big crowd, thanks to its reputation for world-class coffee and creative mixology.
In addition to its impressive mixology offerings, Geyik is also renowned for its award-winning baristas and high-quality coffee roasting. This means that you can enjoy delicious beverages at Geyik both day and night.
Their expertise in coffee roasting also makes Geyik a top destination for coffee-based cocktails, which are a must-try for any cocktail enthusiast. So whether you’re a coffee lover, a cocktail connoisseur, or simply looking for a cozy spot to relax and enjoy a beverage, Geyik has got you covered.
In addition to their signature craft coffee, Geyik Coffee offers an impressive selection of mixology drinks that blend fresh fruits, syrups, and alcohol. Some of the must-try cocktails include the raki-based Her Zamankinden (which means ‘The Usual One’ in Turkish), and the classic Mojito Fidel.
As the night wears on, the music at Geyik picks up, with chill-out, lounge, and jazz tunes filling the air. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful moment to chat with friends or an energetic night out, Geyik’s bohemian ambiance sets the perfect tone.
Finn Karaköy is a cocktail bar that has managed to withstand the test of time in an ever-changing neighborhood. Located in the heart of Karaköy, Finn has been a go-to destination for locals and tourists alike who seek delicious drinks and finger foods. Despite the area’s decreasing popularity over the years, Finn has remained a stronghold with its consistently excellent cocktails and inviting atmosphere.
At Finn, the mastermind behind the bar is Onurcan Gençer, a talented mixologist who has a passion for using fresh and fruity ingredients to create cocktails that pack a punch. Onurcan’s creativity and expertise are evident in every drink he makes, and his skills have gained him a loyal following among Finn’s customers.
In addition to the carefully crafted cocktails, Finn also offers an array of tasty finger foods to complement your drink.
From savory snacks like charcuterie boards and cheese platters to sweet treats like chocolate fondue and churros, there’s something to satisfy every craving. With its chic and trendy interior design, Finn Karaköy offers a stylish and sophisticated ambiance that’s perfect for a night out with friends or a romantic date. Whether you’re a cocktail enthusiast or simply looking for a great place to unwind, Finn is a must-visit spot in Karaköy.
Le Fumoir Bar At Ciragan Palace Kempinski
Le Fumoir Bar
If you’re searching for an upscale, luxury cocktail bar with breathtaking views of the Bosphorus, La Fumoir is the place you’re looking for. Situated within the Ciragan Palace Kempinski, which tops my list of the most luxurious hotels in Istanbul, La Fumoir offers a one-of-a-kind experience that exudes sophistication and elegance.
The bar’s stunning location provides guests with an incredible view of the Bosphorus, while the luxurious ambiance and decor create an unparalleled feeling of luxury. La Fumoir is the perfect destination for those looking to indulge in premium cocktails and enjoy a refined atmosphere.
As one of the most luxurious hotels in the city, Ciragan Kempinski also has one of the finest cocktail bars in Istanbul, La Fumoir. The bar’s upscale atmosphere is reflected in the price of its premium cocktails, and you can expect to rub shoulders with well-dressed visitors.
Given its popularity, I recommend you to make reservations before heading to La Fumoir to ensure you secure a spot at this exclusive bar.
Beyoğlu is home to numerous historic landmarks, but for those seeking the epitome of Art Nouveau, Ravouna 1906 is a must-visit.
The Ravouna Building is a well-preserved Art Nouveau structure in Beyoglu, designed by C.P. Kyriakides and A.D. Yenidunia. Originally built in 1901-1906, it served as an antique boutique and residence for the Ravouna family, who were of Italian descent.
It is considered one of the best examples of Art Nouveau architecture in the area. the building now houses a bustling ground-floor café and cocktail bar, as well as eight beautifully appointed hotel suites, a chic restaurant, and a lively terrace with live jazz and DJ nights.
This cocktail bar has rapidly established itself as one of the best in Istanbul. Perched atop a Ravouna boutique hotel in the trendy Beyoğlu neighborhood, the bar shares the hotel’s name and boasts stunning views of the surrounding area. Make sure to try their passion fruit vodka and be prepared to dance the night away to their amazing music!
If you’re looking for a unique and historic spot to host an event or simply enjoy a drink in Istanbul, look no further than SalonCuma (Salon: Livingroom and Cuma: Friday, in Turkish). Nestled on the first floor of a charming apartment building in the city’s Çukurcuma neighborhood, this venue is located just steps away from Nobel Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence.
With its original 1920s interiors, including a magnificent marble-topped bar, spacious dining room, and elegant wooden floors, SalonCuma exudes a sense of old-world charm and sophistication. The dimly lit antique chandeliers and polished mahogany surfaces add to the vintage ambiance.
Given its location in Çukurcuma, an area renowned for its numerous antique shops and historic buildings, it’s no surprise that SalonCuma draws inspiration from the past. Whether you’re planning a birthday celebration, a bachelorette party, or just a night out with friends, this 20s-inspired cocktail bar is the perfect place to sip on expertly crafted drinks and soak up the atmosphere.
To not get disappointed, be sure to book a reservation ahead of time. And if you’re visiting the area for the first time, I would recommend you check out the Museum of Innocence before stopping by SalonCuma.
Maybe Cihangir Kitchen and Cocktail by Kahvedan
Navigating the dynamic pace of Istanbul, even for locals, can be challenging. The city is in a constant state of flux with new establishments emerging and old favorites closing down. Given its vastness, change unfolds swiftly in every nook and cranny.
One noteworthy discovery, brought to my attention by a fellow explorer named Jason, is Cihangir Kitchen & Cocktail. I connected with Jason through Travelmassive.com, and despite his limited time in Istanbul, he has proven remarkably adept at uncovering its gems. A big thanks to you, Jason.
Situated in the vibrant Cihangir Neighborhood, Cihangir boasts narrow streets, historic structures, and a bustling nightlife. Once a Greek enclave, it carries traces of Turkish, Greek, and Armenian influences. Many of the district’s buildings trace their origins back to the 19th and early 20th centuries, contributing to its rich cultural tapestry. Home to artists, writers, and intellectuals, Cihangir features independent boutiques, art galleries, and coffee shops.
Adding to the neighborhood’s charm is Cihangir Kitchen & Cocktail, a venue with a compelling history. Established in 1997 as the inaugural cafe in Cihangir, it swiftly evolved into a vital community hub. Over the years, Kahvedan Cafe, as it was initially known, has transformed into a gastropub, seamlessly blending the concepts of a bar and restaurant.
This venue provides a cozy and laid-back atmosphere, complete with outdoor seating options. The extensive food selections make it unnecessary to dine elsewhere before your visit. Whether you’re in the mood for drinks, a meal, or both, rest assured that everything is delivered at a high standard here.
Additionally, this venue is really closte to another cocktail bar on this list, “Geyik,” providing the perfect opportunity to hop over for a few drinks afterward.
Locations of the Best Cocktail Bars in Istanbul
In conclusion, Istanbul has a vibrant cocktail scene with a variety of bars offering unique and creative drinks in different neighborhoods. From hidden speakeasies to rooftop bars with stunning views, there’s something for everyone.
Make sure to check out these top spots for an unforgettable drinking & fun experience in Istanbul.
Cocktail bars in Istanbul are open year-round, but it’s best to visit during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is mild and comfortable.
The dress code for cocktail bars in Istanbul varies depending on the bar, but it’s best to dress up a bit to fit in with the stylish and trendy crowd.
Yes, many cocktail bars in Istanbul offer non-alcoholic options, such as mocktails and fresh juices.
The prices at cocktail bars in Istanbul vary depending on the bar and the neighborhood, but they generally range from moderate to expensive.
Yes, many people visit cocktail bars in Istanbul alone, especially solo travelers looking to meet new people and experience the local nightlife.