Best Places to Drink Beer in Istanbul

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Even though rakı is the popular choice of drink in Istanbul, a few notable pubs and bars have opened their doors to beer enthusiasts. See our list of the best and most popular. 



A cosmic-themed bar in the Topağacı neighborhood of Nişantaşı. Beside an extensive and creative cocktail list, and bar snacks, there are a number of different American and German beers on offer - that you wouldn't normally find. The space-themed space attracts a young, hip crowd, who enjoy the eclectic music, and outdoor seating areas, late into the night. Prof. Dr. Müfide Küley Sokak No. 1, Topağacı; P: (0212) 234 73 55


Ayı Bar

On the Asian side of the city, this local favorite stocks a wide range of international beers on tap or bottled to locals who crowd both the wood paneled interior and the tables outside. They also have a number of brands of whisky and a well-prepared range of cocktails. Basically it’s a trusted bar with something for everyone. Moda Caddesi No.60, Moda; P: (0216) 418 44 76


Bosphorus Brewing Company

An expat favorite, the English family who own and run this cozy microbrewery and pub make their own beers with ingredients imported from England. BBC options include İçmedik, a light ale; Istanbul Pale Ale, their on-target IPA; Brew 81, a light lager; Haliç Gold, a Belgian-styled ale comparable to Blue Moon; and the ever popular Karbon Imperial Stout. Also make sure to try their food menu of British pub classics and Turkish favorites. Emekli Subay Evleri, Yıldız Posta Caddesi 1/1A, Gayrettepe; P: (0212) 288 64 99


Zeplin Pub

Located on the Asian side in the Moda neighborhood, Zeplin Pub is a cozy bar with an authentic dark wood interior as well as the necessary beers on tap. Bottled are such brands as Leffe, Hoegaarden, Kasteel, Petrus and much more. Make sure to get there early on the weekends because the bar gets very crowded. Moda Caddesi No.11, Moda 


The North Shield Pub

With numerous locations, North Shield Pub is an obvious favorite among tourists (specifically the Sultanahmet branch) and expats.  Here, you’ll find a variety of imported craft beer (beer brewed by small independant breweries) such as Brooklyn Lager, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, Schneider Weisse Unser Aventinus, and much more. Yerebatan Caddesi No.13, Sultanahmet; P: (0212) 444 93 32



Taps is Turkey’s first brewpub and one of the fırst brands to produce craft beer. This makes it especially attractive for tourists and expats who are big fans of microbrewery. The pub’s location is also a huge plus. Where else in the world can you sip craft beer while looking at the fantastic view of the Bosphorus? There are approximately 20 kinds of beer on the menu, with a range of Lager, Ale, Wheat beer, Stout, Dark, and more. Cevdet Paşa Caddesi No. 119, Bebek; P: (0212) 263 87 00



Taps' sister location in the Nişantaşı neighborhood, TapRoom offers fine craft beer tastes that come either bottled or on tap. Options include bottled Kölsch, Red Ale, and Smoked Lager or Pilsner, Smoked Lager, and Marzen on tap. Enjoy a tall glass or order a sampler for a little bit of everything and make sure to drop by Saturday nights when the bar is at its liveliest. Milli Reasürans Çarşısı Maçka Caddesi No.12, Nişantaşı; P: (0212) 296 75 26 


Beer Dictionary

For the beer-illiterate, here a few terms that will make your life easier and make you sound all the wiser at the pub:


On draft/tap/draught: Simply means beer that is poured into a glass from a keg.


Ale: Rich, flavorful, complex. A type of beer often described as fruity and hearty, made from top-fermenting yeast. Varieties include brown, pale, mild. Leffe is a popular example.


Lager: Crisp, clean, refreshing. This is the most widely-available beer made of bottom-fermenting yeast. Corona, Heineken, Efes, Budweiser, Carlsberg are all Lager.


Wheat Beer: Light-colored, top-fermenting beer. Schneider Weisse, Hoegaadren, and Gusto are examples.


Stout: A type of dark beer made with roasted malt or barley. They are easy to spot because their color is quite dark. They have strong flavors. A very popular example is Guinness.


U2 Istanbul Irish Pub

A particularly small pub that is often raved about for its cozy atmosphere by its frequenters who love going there to drink Guinness. There are over 50 beer varieties here including Brooklyn Brown Ale, Amstel,  Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, Schneider  Weisse Original, and Beck’s. There is also an Irish band that plays every night. İstiklal Caddesi, Bekar Sokak No: 21, Beyoğlu; P: (0212)  243 40 45



Not necessarily a pub per se, but a favorite spot for drinking beer, BiBuçuk is famed for its chicken wings. Here, you’ll find a varied beer list that includes Efes and Bomonti on draft, as well as Corona, Budweiser, Heineken, and Schlenkerla. The restaurant also has a branch on the Asian side that is just as popular with locals. Süslü Saksı Sokak No. 14-18, Beyoğlu; P: (0212) 244 70 10



A typical Irish pub located on the Asian side, Belfast is a great spot for, well, drinking beer. They have Carlsberg, Guinness, and Tuborg on draft as well as Leffe Brown, Leffe Blonde, Amstel, Beck’s, Bomonti, Heineken, Miller, Germania, Corona, Taps Kölsch, Taps Red Ale, Efes Dark, and Efes Brown bottled. You won’t hear any Turkish songs but the best of the 80s and 90s and sometimes Irish picks. Caferağa Mahallesi, Dr. Esat Işık Caddesi, No 28/1, Kadıköy; P: (0216) 418 97 06


James Joyce Irish Pub

A pub that receives mixed reviews but is nonetheless flocked to by expats for a beer or two, especially when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Here, you’ll find hard-to-find beers like Hoegaadren (orange-flavored wheat beer on draft), Leffe Brown (bottle) and Leffe Blonde (bottle), Guinness (draft), Tuborg, and Carlsberg. They also have cider.  İstiklal Caddesi Balo Sok. No:26, Beyoğlu; P: (0212) 244 79 73


Updated on November 12, 2014 

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What is the point of this article? It's not very well written and not terribly informative to begin with. You bring up Taps and don't mention any details about it. Have you even been there? Why not mention that while it has around 20 possible beers it only carries 3 or 4 at a time. Mention that it's far more expensive than other places and around 40 minutes from Taksim depending on traffic. No understand Talya, no understand. James Wanderful | 2012-12-11 12:06:54+00:00