As you explore the ancient Galata neighborhood, now known as Karaköy, you’ll find several eateries worth visiting. Most of these are located northeast of the Galata Bridge, along the waterfront of the Bosphorus. Here are some top recommendations:

Osmanli Balikçisi

Osmanli Balikçisi is known for its popular and affordable (~6 TL) fish sandwich, balik ekmek. This dish features freshly grilled mackerel served in generous portions on a half loaf of crusty bread, similar to a French baguette but larger, and topped with onions. The table is equipped with lemon juice and seasonings for you to add to your taste.


  • Less aggressive service compared to other eateries on the bridge
  • Delicious fish sandwiches


Osmanli Balikçisi is located at the southern end of the Galata Bridge, closest to the Old City/Sultanahmet, facing the Golden Horn.

Mahmut Usta Osmanlı Mutfağı

Mahmut Usta Osmanlı Mutfağı is an artisanal restaurant that caters to the business lunch crowd. The menu includes a variety of traditional Turkish dishes, such as:

  • Rice pilaf
  • Köftes
  • Kebaps
  • Soups
  • Stews
  • Salads
  • Stuffed vegetables
  • Desserts

The food at Mahmut Usta is of higher quality compared to other similar eateries in the city.


Mahmut Usta is situated on the waterfront, off the tourist path, just a 7-minute walk northeast of the Galata Bridge.

Karaköy Galata Simitçisi

Throughout Istanbul, you’ll encounter sidewalk vendors selling simit, a ring-shaped bread coated with sesame seeds. While some vendor carts may offer stale and hard simit, Karaköy Galata Simitçisi is a quaint neighborhood bakery that serves fresh, oven-baked simit.

Other Baked Goods

Along With delicious simit, Galata Simitçisi offers a variety of tempting baked goods, such as:

  • Bread loaves and rolls, some topped with sunflower seeds or filled with cheese
  • Muffins, called kek (cake) in Turkish


The bakery is located just under a 10-minute walk northeast of the Galata Bridge, only a few steps away from another must-visit eatery, Karaköy Güllüoglu.

Karaköy Güllüoglu

Karaköy Güllüoglu specializes in baklava, a traditional Ottoman sweet made of paper-thin layers of dough, filled with nuts and sugar syrup. Often referred to as ‘the sultan of desserts and the dessert of sultans,’ the baklava at Karaköy Güllüoglu is considered some of the best in the city.

Must-Try: Chocolate Baklava

While the regular baklava at Karaköy Güllüoglu is delicious on its own, their chocolate baklava takes this gooey sweet treat to a whole new level. Make sure to try this unique variation during your visit.


Karaköy Güllüoglu is an easy 10-minute walk from the Galata Bridge.

Exploring Karaköy’s Culinary Scene

As you venture through the streets of Karaköy, take the time to discover the neighborhood’s diverse culinary offerings. From traditional Turkish dishes to modern twists on classic favorites, there’s something to satisfy every craving.

When dining out in Karaköy, remember to embrace the local customs and pace. Meals are often enjoyed at a leisurely pace, with plenty of time for conversation and savoring each dish. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations or try something new – the friendly locals will be more than happy to guide you through the menu.

As you savor each bite, take a moment to appreciate the skill and passion that goes into preparing these dishes. Many of the eateries in Karaköy have been serving their specialties for generations, ensuring that every plate is a celebration of the neighborhood’s rich culinary heritage.

Beyond the Eateries

Along With its fantastic food scene, Karaköy offers a wealth of experiences for visitors to enjoy. Take a stroll along the waterfront and admire the stunning views of the Bosphorus, or explore the neighborhood’s narrow streets lined with charming shops and cafes.

Be sure to visit some of Karaköy’s notable landmarks, such as the Karaköy Mosque, the Kiliç Ali Paşa Complex, and the Karaköy Pier. These historical sites offer a glimpse into the neighborhood’s fascinating past and its importance in Istanbul’s development.

Tips for Visiting Karaköy

  • Wear comfortable shoes, as the neighborhood’s streets can be uneven and cobblestoned.
  • Bring cash, as some smaller eateries and shops may not accept credit cards.
  • Be respectful of local customs and traditions, especially when visiting religious sites.
  • Take the time to interact with the friendly locals – they’ll be more than happy to share their insights and recommendations.

As you explore Karaköy and its culinary delights, remember to embrace the neighborhood’s unique atmosphere and charm. By enjoying the local culture and savoring the flavors of the region, you’ll create unforgettable memories of your time in this captivating corner of Istanbul.

So, whether you’re in the mood for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, the eateries near the Galata Bridge and in the surrounding Karaköy neighborhood are sure to satisfy your appetite and leave you eager to discover more of what this fascinating area has to offer.

Similar Posts