Photo Credit: Safia Osman

Turkey is a meat-lover’s paradise and when it comes to hearty meals, they take the cake. Many of the larger cities have an abundance of international restaurants, so travelers looking for a taste of home will have no trouble find an establishment to their liking. However, traditional Turkish cuisine is abundant, inexpensive and delicious. Local flavors come from a mix of surrounding cultures, including Mediterranean, Central Asian and Middle Eastern. From sit-down restaurants to street kebab stalls, there are plenty of options. The nightlife in Turkey is centered around the larger conurbations where both local and foreign beverages can be purchased. Many clubs and pubs are open until the sun comes up.

Bars and Pubbing in Turkey

Some of the best places for a Turkish night out are in Istanbul, Ankara and Bodrum. In Istanbul, Crystal (Muallim Naci Caddesi 109, Bosphorus, Istanbul) is a massive underground nightclub that pumps out the tunes until 5:00 a.m. on the weekends. Heavy metal can be heard until 3:00 a.m. at the famous DoRock (Imam Adnan Sokak 10, Beyokglu, Istanbul). Jazz enthusiasts will be able to enjoy a full set every night at Biz Jazz Bar (Topcu Caddesi 18, Talimhane Taksim, Istanbul).

Kitir (Park Avenue, Konutkent, Ankara) is the sister branch of the famous club of the same name in Istanbul. Another fantastic option in the capital is Crossroads, (Park Avenue, Konutkent, Ankara), one of Turkey’s liveliest after hours places. The most renowned joint for rock music is the Corvus (Bestekar Street, Aknara), where travelers and locals are often seen mingling.

Bodrum is a coastal resort town that specializes in entertainment. Visitors should experience the thriving atmosphere of Club X (Bar Street, Bodrum). One of the more consistently crowded spots is Kule Rock City (Carsi Mh., Bodrum), a rock club with a great reputation. Halikarnas (Kumbahce Mh., Bodrum) is a trendy venue that boasts one of the largest outdoor dance floors in Turkey with loud, modern music vibrating well into the night.

Dining and Cuisine in Turkey

The best dining and views in Istanbul are found in the district of Galata. 360 Istanbul (Istiklal Caddesi 311, Mirsi Apartment, Galata, Istanbul) serves up great food against a backdrop of panoramic vistas. A more expensive restaurant also with beautiful, views is NuTeras (Mesrutiyet Caddesi 145-147, Tepebasi, Istanbul), while fantastic seafood is found in Park Fora (Muallim Naci Caddesi No. 134, Istanbul). Views of the water and the Bosphorus Bridge can be enjoyed here.

Sudem (Olgunlar Street, Ankara) is not only well known for its cuisine, but also for the traditional Turkish music that plays in the background. Akdeniz Akdeniz (Cankaya Mh., Ankara) is an upscale Mediterranean restaurant. The rarer Black Sea cuisine can be found at Lazoli (Cankaya Mh., Ankara), a very reasonably priced haunt.

Vira’s Restaurant (Ortakent Yahsi Sahili, Bodrum) is a wonderful venue for travelers looking for traditional Turkish cuisine with a slight Western twist. The best fish and seafood spot in Bodrum is Terzi Mustafa (Asagi Mh., Bodrum, Gundogan Province). Although often crowded, the best pizza in the city can be found at Sunger Pizza (Eskicesme Mh., Bodrum).

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