Best Budget Restaurants in Istanbul (Top 7)

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Looks can be deceiving. A saying that has held value in human relationships, but also in the restaurant business, where sometimes, the best meals are hidden behind cheap prices and haphazard decors. These places offer amazing meals where the meal is the cause for sudden heart palpitations, rather than the price (in no particular order). 


Akın Balık

Rakı served in Turkish tea glasses is how it goes at Akın Balık steps away from the Golden Horn with a view of the old city. There is also, of course, meze and fresh fish available, with a subtle wave of Turkish music decorating the air above deep conversations and unwinding gazes. Perşembe Pazarı Ali Yazıcı Sokak Eski Gümrük Han Karaköy; P: (0212) 244 97 76



Köfteci Ali Baba

In a city full of köfte joints, Köfteci Ali Baba still manages to stand above the crowd. Located in Arnavutköy, this is a favorite with Turkish celebrities. Arnavutköy Mahallesi Bebek Caddesi No.69 Arnavutköy; P: (0212) 263 13 61


Adem Baba

This no-frills fish restaurant is located in the waterside Arnavutköy neighborhood. In addition to the tasty fish, during the winter months it also serves some of the best fish soup in town. Satış Meydanı Sokak No.2 Arnavutköy; P: (0212) 263 29 33 



Fıccın is one of the few restaurants in the city specializing in food from the Circassian region of the Caucasus mountains. Be sure to sample their extra plump version of mantı, dumplings stuffed with meat or potato, and the namesake ficcın börek, which is very different from its Turkish counterpart. İstiklal Caddesi Kallavi Sokak Beyoğlu; P: (0212) 293 37 86 


Şehzade Erzurum Cağ Kebabı

Cağ kebabı, from the Erzurum region, is composed of lamb meat that has been marinated in onion salt and pepper and then cooked over a wood fire horizontally. Served with lavaş (thin flatbread), this two floor restaurant is the best place to feast on this delicacy. Hocapaşa Sokak No.3/A Sirkeci; P: (0212) 520 33 61 


Çiya Sofrası

One of the best restaurants on the city’s Asian side, Çiya has three branches clustered together, all serving the same mouth-watering regional cuisine from all over the country. Even many Turks have a hard time recognizing some of the dishes on this unique menu. Güneşli Bahçesi Sokak No. 43 Kadıköy; P: (0216) 330 31 90



Located on the second floor of a building overlooking the Grand Bazaar, this esnaf (tradesmen's) restaurant has been open since 1988 and has a menu that changes daily and features traditional hot and cold dishes. The restaurants also has a variety of fish available, that is either grilled or stewed. Vezirhan Caddesi No. 70 Çemberlitaş; P: (0212) 513 76 10 

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