Nevizade Sokak, off Sahne Sokak near the Çiçek Pasajıand Galatasaray Square in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district (map), is chock full of meyhanes (Turkish tavernas) serving good food and copious booze at outdoor tables in a bright, active, noisy atmosphere.
It's great fun with a Turkish friend, though a bit daunting without.
It's really a friendly scene, women are welcomed, and the waiters will do their best to include you. After a few minutes you're certain to have made some new friends among the Turkish and foreign diners.
Your Nevizade Sokak dinner may be the most memorable of your entire Turkish trip. Choose any restaurant. If you're stumped, try Asırlı, Boncuk, Çağlar, Kadri'nin Yeri, or İmroz.
Order several plates of meze (Turkish hors d'oeuvres and salads), then a main course of meat or fish, and dessert if you have room.
With white wine or rakı, you may pay TL50 per person for a full meat dinner with drinks, or up to twice that much for seafood (ask fish prices before you order!)
To find Nevizade Sokak, go to Galatasaray Square and walk north on Sahne Sokak (the Çiçek Pasajı building will be on your right-hand side), pass the big doors of the Armenian Church of Three Altars on the right, then look for Nevizade Sokak on the right.
You can enjoy a similar experience in the fish market at Kadıköy on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. More...
—by Tom Brosnahan