Guide To The Best Restaurants In Kadıköy, Asian Side Of Istanbul

Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

If you’re a food enthusiast or love exploring new tastes and flavors, then you’re in the right place with my Kadıköy restaurant guide. 

Kadikoy is located on the Asian side of Istanbul. It’s a neighborhood bustling with life, culture, and, of course, an array of incredible dining destinations waiting to be discovered.

From charming cafes to fine dining establishments, you’ll find everything you’re craving in this eclectic district.

Turkey Travel Blog_Best Restaurants In Kadikoy

Skip Ahead To My Advice Here!

17 Best Restaurants In Kadıköy

Let’s talk about the best places to eat (and below, I tell you why I love this part of Istanbul so much and what to see).

On my last trip to Kadıköy, I took a food tour to get better acquainted with the restaurants in the area.

Below, you’ll find a range of restaurants to suit every budget, and there are plenty of international spots as well as traditional restaurants.

Personally, I like to mix it up. Some days, I’ll go and get traditional Turkish food, such as pide or guvec, and then other days, I like to find a great burger spot or a pizza place.

Given the many universities in the area, Kadikoy has quite a ‘university’ feel to it, so it’s quite youthful. As a result, you’ll find some great spots to eat. Many of these are featured on TikTok!

To whet your appetite, let’s explore the best restaurants in Kadikoy. The only question is which one you’ll choose first.

1. Çiya Sofrası

Caferağa, Güneşli Bahçe Sok, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Ciya Sofrasi is a legendary spot offering authentic Turkish flavors. It’s a bustling place, and it’s frequented by both tourists and locals, so you know it’s good quality. Ciya Sofrasi serves up a variety of regional dishes from different parts of the country. Don’t miss their mouth-watering kebabs and mezes.

The vibe inside is really chilled out, yet the décor is quite stylish décor, too, so it’s a special place to go, aside from the excellent food on offer.

2. Karadeniz Pide ve Döner

Rasimpaşa, Recaizade Sk. No:7, 34716 Kadıköy/İstanbul

This restaurant proves that looks aren’t everything! It’s a tiny spot, and it doesn’t have a whole lot of seating, but it’s more than enough for enjoying your food and moving on. There is also a seating area outside, so you can watch the world go by.

Locals know this pide and doner place, and that’s why it’s so highly recommended. They specialize in delectable Black Sea cuisine, and, as the name suggests, they’re famous for their flavorful pide (Turkish pizza) and succulent döner kebabs. Try the kiymali pide; it’s one of the best I’ve had (and I’ve had a lot!).

3. Namli Gurme

Caddebostan, Bağdat Cad. Angora Residence No:272 D:1-2, 34728 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Turkey-Travel-Blog_Where-To-Eat-In-Kadikoy_Namli-Gurme
Photo Credit: Namli Gurme

If you’re a fan of Turkish breakfasts (who isn’t), then this is the place for you. Namli Gurme is celebrated for its high-quality gourmet products, and it’s just a food lover’s paradise. Prepare to be amazed by their selection of cured meats, artisanal cheeses, and unique delicacies.

You can choose what you want and take it home with you, or you can have the staff plate it for you and enjoy it in the restaurant. Either way, this is one of the best ways to enjoy fresh produce, and it all makes for the most delicious breakfast.

4. Yako Ocakbasi

Fenerbahçe, Fener Kalamış Cd. No:100, 34000 Kadıköy/İstanbul

If you’re a fan of kebabs, or you want to try different types and you’re not sure where to start, this is a great place to go. Not only will the staff help you choose, but you’ll find such a vast selection, you’re sure to find something, even if you’re a picky eater.

Focusing on Anatolian cuisine, Yako Ocakbasi offers an unforgettable dining experience. Indulge in expertly grilled meats, traditional stews, and comforting homemade bread. The restaurant is also really comfortable and chilled out, so you can sit and let your dinner digest in total R&R.

5. Moda Van Kahvalti

Caferağa, Moda Cd. No:163 D:A, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

A traditional Turkish breakfast is undoubtedly a must-do while you’re away, and this is a great place to go. Not only is the restaurant itself very comfortable and relatively modern, with a green vibe and chilled-out atmosphere, but the menu is extremely large and of great quality.

With an extensive spread of fresh bread, cheeses, olives, pastries, and more, this cozy venue guarantees a delightful start to your day. You can choose from a set breakfast menu that offers a little bit of everything, or you can select the things you want and create your own bespoke breakfast experience.

6. Ali Ocakbasi

Suadiye, Kazım Özalp Sk. NO: 60 C Kat:4, 34740 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Turkey Travel Blog_Where To Eat In Kadikoy_Ali Ocakbasi
Photo Credit: Ali Ocakbasi

The term ‘ocakbasi’ means that it’s a grill restaurant, so you’re looking at grilled meats and meze plates. Ali Ocakbasi is one of the best in the area, and it’s known for its huge range of meat dishes and its smoky and flavorful kebab menu. If you’re a vegetarian, you won’t miss out, as there’s a large menu for you too.

This is a family-friendly spot, so it’s ideal if you’re traveling with children. You can quickly settle in for a hearty meal and savor the authentic taste of Turkish cuisine without feeling rushed. Again, the staff will be more than happy to help you choose if you’re not sure what to go for.

7. Adanalı Şehmuz Usta

Osmanağa, Uğur işhanı, Kuşdili Cd., 34714 Kadıköy/İstanbul

With its warm and inviting atmosphere, this family-owned restaurant offers a top-quality dining experience. The restaurant takes great pride in serving traditional Adana kebabs, a local specialty known for its succulent marinated meat grilled to perfection. Paired with a variety of mezze appetizers and served with freshly baked bread, this restaurant is definitely a must-visit.

Beyond its delicious food, this restaurant also stands out for its exceptional customer service. The staff members are incredibly friendly and attentive and always ready to accommodate any dietary preferences or special requests you might have.

8. Rita Deli

Caferağa, Şair Nefi Sk. No: 14 /1, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Rita Deli is a charming bistro that combines Mediterranean and Turkish influences. The menu is quite large, but that doesn’t mean it’s not of excellent quality; I had a fantastic salad here and returned another time for delicious homemade pastries. During the evening hours, they also make fantastic cocktails.

Set in the trendy Moda neighborhood, Rita Deli is an excellent spot for chilling out and winding down after a long day of sightseeing and shopping. I’d highly recommend this if you want a low-key evening or you’re looking for somewhere comfortable for lunch.

9. Beyaz Fırın Ekmek

Caferağa, Yasa Cd. No:23, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Turkey Travel Blog_Where To Eat In Kadikoy_Beyaz Fırın Ekmek
Photo Credit: Beyaz Fırın Ekmek

This local favorite is all about freshly baked goods. From crispy simit (Turkish sesame bagel) to soft börek (filled pastries) and aromatic Turkish bread, Beyaz Fırın Ekmek is the go-to place for bread lovers. You can also sit down and enjoy a delicious cup of cay or coffee along with your pastry or cake.

And yes, they make fantastic cakes. In fact, I’d say that this bakery makes some of the best cakes in the city. You might struggle to choose the one you want, but it’s not a bad problem to have!

10. Köfteci İsmail

Kozyatağı, Sıtma Pınar Sk. 8/A, 34742 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Craving some mouth-watering köfte (meatballs)? Köfteci İsmail is the place to go. Known for their juicy and flavorful meatballs, this eatery offers a simple yet satisfying dining experience. You’ll notice that it’s always full of locals and that’s how you know it’s a great place.

This restaurant is a simple yet highly effective dining experience. It’s not fancy, and there aren’t super-comfortable chairs, but none of that matters when you taste their food. Simple yet oh-so-amazing!

11. Zapata Burger

Caferağa, Sakız Sk. No:1 D:C, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

For burger enthusiasts, Zapata Burger is a true gem. Their gourmet burgers are made with high-quality ingredients and come in unique flavor combinations that are sure to satisfy your cravings.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say this is one of the best burgers I’ve ever tasted and trust me, that’s saying something special!

There is plenty of seating outdoors, and there are heaters overhead during the cooler months. This restaurant is always really busy, which is a great sign of quality. They also serve hotdogs if you don’t fancy a burger that particular day.

12. Ali Baba Ozlem

Osmanağa, Serasker Cd. No:7, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Turkey Travel Blog_Where To Eat In Kadikoy_Ali Baba Ozlem
Photo Credit: Ali Baba Ozlem

This restaurant is a hidden gem tucked away in the bustling streets of Kadikoy. The menu includes a wide range of delectable dishes that cater to all tastes. From classic Turkish favorites like kebabs and pide to mouth-watering mezes and heavenly desserts, every dish is prepared with the freshest ingredients and utmost care.

The staff are highly knowledgeable and take pride in recommending the perfect combination of flavors to suit your preferences. It’s a great place to go if you’re starting out with Turkish cuisine and you’re unsure what goes with what or the things you’d like to try.

I visited this restaurant one of the first times I went to Istanbul, and it’s where I found many of my favorite dishes today. This is another spot where you’ll find a mix of tourists and locals, giving you peace of mind from the start.

13. Hane

Osmanağa, Mimar Çk No: 7, 34714 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Hane prides itself on serving authentic Anatolian cuisine. Its menu showcases the region’s rich culinary heritage, with a great emphasis on using high-quality, locally sourced ingredients to craft its dishes.

The menu is packed with grilled meats and vegetarian options, meaning it’s a spot for everyone. They also do a range of gluten-free dishes on request.

The décor in this restaurant is something special and quite different from other traditional spots. It’s pretty modern and stylish, and it has comfortable seating. The drinks menu is also quite large, and the restaurant has an extensive wine list.

14. My Chef

Caferağa, Sakız Gülü Sk. No:24, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

With its modern yet welcoming ambiance, this restaurant is a popular choice among both locals and tourists. The talented chefs at My Chef create a fusion of flavors using the finest ingredients, resulting in a dining experience that delights the senses. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Turkish cuisine or craving a unique twist on international dishes, this is the place to go.

This spot is an excellent place for a special occasion if you want to splash out a little. It’s not the cheapest restaurant in Kadikoy, but if you want somewhere to sit for a few hours and enjoy a few drinks and great food, it’s a must-visit.

15. Semolina Kafe & Restaurant

Caferağa, Ressam Şeref Akdik Sokağı No:7, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

Turkey Travel Blog_Where To Eat In Kadikoy_Semolina Kafe & Restaurant
Photo Credit: Semolina Kafe & Restaurant

Semolina Kafe is a charming and cozy restaurant for a calm night out. The walls are adorned with beautiful artwork, and the soft lighting creates a relaxed ambiance. The staff are also super-helpful, and the customer service here is fantastic.

The menu at Semolina Kafe is a combination of traditional Turkish dishes and international cuisine.

Whether you are craving a hearty Turkish breakfast, a flavorful kebab, or a refreshing salad, you will find it all here. The food is prepared with great care and attention to detail, using only the freshest ingredients sourced from local markets.

16. The Townhouse

Suadiye, Plaj Yolu Sk. No 13, 34740, Kadikoy, Istanbul

The Townhouse restaurant in Kadikoy is a hidden culinary gem that offers an exceptional dining experience. It’s also a top spot for amazing cocktails, so even if you don’t want to eat, you’ll find it a great place to sit, chat, and enjoy some great drinks.

As you step inside, you are instantly captivated by the cozy and intimate atmosphere, with beautifully curated decor and warm lighting that adds to its unique ambiance. The menu is a combination of Turkish and international cuisines, perfectly designed to satisfy every palate. This is also an excellent place for couples and friends who want to sit until late and watch the world go by.

17. Basta Street Food Bar

Caferağa, Sakız Sk. No:1, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul

With its quirky and vibrant atmosphere, Basta takes you on a culinary journey through the streets of Istanbul. From the moment you step in, you’re greeted with delicious scent of sizzling kebabs and aromatic spices, immediately whetting your appetite.

The menu at Basta combines traditional Turkish street food with a modern twist, showcasing the region’s rich and diverse flavors. Whether you’re craving succulent lamb shawarma wraps, crunchy lahmacun, or mouth-watering grilled halloumi cheese, Basta offers a variety of options that cater to every palate.

What sets Basta apart is not only its delectable food but also its commitment to sustainability and using locally sourced ingredients. They take inspiration from the bustling street food scene, infusing creativity and innovation into every dish.

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Street Food You HAVE to Try In Istanbul

When visiting any part of Istanbul, you’ll learn one thing: the street food is fantastic! There are many different types to try, so to make sure that you get the best out of your time there, let me share my favorites.

Kokoreç

A man prepares traditional Turkish street food in a portable metal stove on a sidewalk in Avanos, Cappadocia, Turkiye, with a sign displaying "kokorec, sucuk,

Kokoreç, a beloved Turkish street food, is mainly celebrated in Kadıköy. This flavorful dish, made from seasoned and grilled lamb intestines, attracts both locals and tourists with its tantalizing aroma and savory taste.

In Kadıköy, you can find numerous kokoreç vendors, each offering their unique twist on the recipe, whether it’s served in a sandwich or on a plate with spices and fresh herbs. 

Simit

Turkish simit bread with Ortakoy Mosque Istalbul - vegan in Istanbul

This delicious circular bread, coated in sesame seeds, is commonly found on street corners. It’s perfect for breakfast or a snack, and you can enjoy it plain or with various fillings like cheese or olives.

Köfte

A tray full of Mercimekli kofte, bursting with vibrant spices.

Turkish meatballs are made from ground lamb or beef mixed with spices and herbs. These grilled meatballs are often served on warm pide bread, along with lettuce, tomato, onion, and a generous dollop of creamy yogurt.

Balık Ekmek (Fish Sandwich)

In Istanbul, a man is skillfully grilling Doner Kebab.

A must-try street food, balık ekmek consists of freshly grilled fish, usually mackerel or sea bass, served in a crusty loaf of bread. It’s typically topped with lettuce, onion, and a squeeze of lemon.

Gözleme

Gozleme_Turkish Breakfast

Gözleme is a traditional Turkish flatbread filled with various savory ingredients, such as cheese, spinach, potatoes, or minced meat. Gözleme is cooked on a grill, creating a crispy outer layer and a warm, flavorsome filling.

Lahmacun

A close-up image of a Lahmacun, a Turkish flatbread topped with minced meat, vegetables, and herbs, partially eaten, on a wooden table.

Known as Turkish pizza, lahmacun is a thin, crispy dough topped with minced meat (usually lamb or beef), fresh herbs, and spices. It’s rolled up with parsley, tomatoes, onions, and a drizzle of lemon juice, creating a flavorful and satisfying dish.

Döner Kebab

Two wrapped burritos on a wooden table, one partially unwrapped revealing meat, vegetables, and sauce inside—much like the delightful surprises you might uncover exploring local eateries as part of "A Guide to Kadikoy Istanbul.

A quintessential Turkish street food, döner kebab is made from layers of marinated, seasoned meat (usually lamb or chicken) that slowly rotates on a vertical spit. The thin slices of tender meat are then served in a fluffy bread wrap with salad, pickles, and various sauces.

Midye Dolma

A man examines Midye Dolmaunder bright blue lights, with neon signs displaying the name "Midyeli" and "Kadıköy.

If you enjoy seafood, you can’t miss trying midye dolma, which are stuffed mussels. These small, succulent mussels are filled with a mixture of rice, herbs, and spices, then cooked and served with a sprinkle of lemon juice. They’re a delicious and unique delicacy.

Sütlaç

For those with a sweet tooth, sütlaç is a delightful Turkish rice pudding made with milk, sugar, and rice. It’s often flavored with vanilla and topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Sütlaç can be enjoyed warm or chilled, making it a popular dessert choice.

Kestane (Roasted Chestnuts)

A street vendor in Kadikoy, Istanbul stands behind a table filled with roasted chestnuts. He is wearing a quilted vest and is tending to the chestnuts, with a price list displayed above his head.

A wintertime favorite, you’ll often find street vendors selling bags of roasted chestnuts. The warm and nutty aroma is irresistible, and the sweet, tender chestnuts make for a comforting snack.

Where Is Kadikoy?

A vendor stands behind a copper coffee cart labeled "Közde Kahve" under a canopy. A seated elderly man reads a book nearby on the cobblestone street, reminiscent of scenes described in *A Guide to Kadikoy Istanbul*.

Located on the Asian side of Istanbul, Kadikoy is a bustling district that offers a vibrant mix of history, culture, and entertainment. Whether you’re a local or a traveler, Kadikoy has something for everyone.

Of course, the European side is packed with famous sights, including the Blue Mosque, Dolmabahce Palace, and Topkapi Palace, to name just a few.

However, that doesn’t mean the Asian side causes you to miss out. Personally, I think you find a much more authentic and laid-back way of life on the Asian side.

Indeed, there aren’t as many famous landmarks on that side, but in its place, you get to enjoy a real peek into the traditions and way of life.

And that’s what travel is all about, right?

Things To See & Do In Kadikoy

In terms of things to see and do aside from eating yourself into a food coma, here are some of my top suggestions:

Visit Moda Park

Start your Kadikoy exploration with a visit to Moda Park. This beautiful waterfront park is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a picnic, and it offers stunning views of the Marmara Sea.

Shop At Kadikoy Market

Outdoor flower market with colorful blooms displayed on tables under red umbrellas, with people walking by in a city setting.

Immerse yourself in the local atmosphere by visiting the bustling Kadikoy Market. With its colorful stalls offering fresh produce, spices, textiles, and souvenirs, this market is a must-see. I recommend you go there early, however, as it can get very busy in the afternoon.

Delve Into History At Moda Museum

Step into the Moda Museum and discover the rich history of the Kadikoy district. This small but captivating museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and exhibits highlighting the neighborhood’s cultural heritage.

Explore The Historic Haydarpasa Train Station

Istanbul Nightlife- Kadikoy_Haydarpasa railway station
Haydarpasa Railway Station, Kadıköy

Take a trip back in time at the iconic Haydarpasa Train Station. This architectural gem, once a central transportation hub, offers a glimpse into Istanbul’s past with its stunning design and panoramic views of the city.

Enjoy A Bosphorus Ferry Ride

Take a scenic Bosphorus ferry ride from Kadikoy Pier and marvel at the stunning views of Istanbul’s skyline, as well as landmarks such as the Maiden’s Tower and Topkapi Palace.

Experience Kadikoy’s Nightlife

Two people sit at a wooden table in a dimly lit pub with a large mural of a bearded man holding a beer on the wall behind them, reminiscent of scenes from *A Guide to Kadikoy Istanbul*.

As the sun sets, Kadikoy comes alive with its vibrant nightlife. Enjoy a drink at one of the many trendy bars or live music venues, or take a leisurely stroll along the lively streets and soak up the energetic atmosphere.

Attend A Performance At Kadikoy Theater Houses

Catch a play or a live performance at one of Kadikoy’s many theatre houses. From traditional Turkish performances to contemporary plays, there’s always something exciting happening on the stages of Kadikoy.

Discover Street Art In Kadikoy

Outdoor street cafe at night with murals of three figures on its exterior wall and several tables and chairs in front. A barrel with a beverage logo is in the foreground, and two people stand nearby, capturing a scene straight out of *A Guide To Kadikoy Istanbul*.

Roam the streets of Kadikoy and admire the vibrant street art that adorns the walls and facades. Each mural tells a unique story, adding an artistic flair to the neighborhood’s charm.


Why Choose The Asian Side Of Istanbul?

While the European side of Istanbul definitely boasts iconic landmarks, the Asian side offers a unique and equally enticing experience.

Earlier, I mentioned that it shouldn’t be missed, so let me tell you why.

Authentic Local Experience

A lively outdoor cafe on a narrow street in Kadikoy, Istanbul, decorated with colorful umbrellas, string lights, and potted plants. People are dining at tables along the sidewalk under the evening sky.

The Asian side is where Istanbul’s locals live, work, and play. This vibrant area embodies the true essence of the city, offering an authentic glimpse into everyday life. Strolling through lively neighborhoods such as Kadıköy and Üsküdar, you can immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of local markets, savor mouth-watering street food, interact with friendly residents, and witness the pulse of Istanbul.

Serenity And Natural Beauty

One of the most captivating aspects of the Asian side is its connection with nature. The region boasts beautiful coastlines along the Marmara Sea and the Bosphorus, inviting you to relax by the waterfront or take a leisurely stroll along picturesque promenades.

Parks like Fethi Pasha Grove and Göztepe Park offer serene green spaces, allowing you to escape the city’s hustle and find tranquillity amidst stunning natural surroundings.

Diverse Cultural Melting Pot

The Asian side is home to a diverse range of cultures and communities, which creates a unique blend of traditions and flavors.

You can explore Asian Istanbul’s multicultural heritage by visiting the charming neighborhood of Moda, where vibrant streets are lined with cafes, boutique shops, and art galleries. Kadikoy is often referred to as the “hipster district” and offers a blend of trendy shops, bohemian cafes, and a lively nightlife scene.

Princes’ Islands

A blue sky with white clouds over the serene beauty of the princes' islands - Kinaliada

Just a short ferry ride away from the Asian side lies the Princes’ Islands, an archipelago of nine idyllic islands in the Sea of Marmara.

These car-free islands offer a tranquil escape from the urban bustle, with charming old Ottoman-style mansions, lush pine forests, and stunning sea views. One of my favorite things to do is to rent a bike, but you can also take a horse-drawn carriage ride or enjoy a leisurely walk while exploring these islands’ hidden gems.

So, while the European side of Istanbul undeniably has its charms, the Asian side provides a captivating contrast and a wealth of unique experiences.

Kadikoy Food & Dining FAQs

A neon sign reading "Istanbul" with colorful depictions of the city's landmarks is displayed on a dark wall, reminiscent of *A Guide To Kadikoy Istanbul*. The room is dimly lit with a hanging light fixture and empty tables beneath the sign.

KADIKOY FOOD & DINING FAQS

What type of cuisine can I find in restaurants in Kadikoy?

Kadikoy offers a diverse selection of cuisines. You can find traditional Turkish dishes, Mediterranean, Italian, Middle Eastern, and even some international options. There is something to cater to every taste.

Are there any vegetarian or vegan-friendly restaurants in Kadikoy?

Absolutely! Kadikoy is known for its vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurants. You can enjoy delicious plant-based dishes that are equally satisfying and flavorful.

Are there any fine dining options in Kadikoy?

Yes, Kadikoy boasts several upscale and fine-dining restaurants. These establishments offer refined menus, exquisite presentations, and a sophisticated dining experience.

Are there any budget-friendly restaurants in Kadikoy?

Kadikoy caters to all budgets. Affordable restaurants serve tasty street food, local dishes, and even some international cuisine without breaking the bank.

Are reservations required at restaurants in Kadikoy?

While some popular restaurants might require reservations, especially during peak hours, many places welcome walk-ins. It’s always a good idea to check beforehand for any specific restaurant you wish to visit.

Can I find restaurants that cater to specific dietary restrictions or allergies?

Restaurants in Kadikoy understand the importance of catering to different dietary needs. Some restaurants do offer gluten-free, dairy-free, and other allergy-friendly options. It’s always a good idea to inform the staff about any dietary restrictions or allergies when dining out.

What time do restaurants in Kadikoy usually close?

The opening and closing times of restaurants in Kadikoy can vary. However, most restaurants are open until late evening, and some even offer late-night dining options. It’s advisable to check the specific restaurant’s operating hours beforehand.

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