Baylo Bistro & Bar is a cozy, semi-chic venue. Billed as a neighborhood bar and bistro, Baylo Bistro & Bar is an ideal date destination, with seductive lighting, historic setting, and tables-for-two (perfect for tête-à-têtes).
Located on Meşrutiyet Caddesi (a few steps away from Bird), the building that Baylo is situated in was built in the 1870s by the Kamondo family (you may have heard of them from the famous Kamondo staircase in Karaköy). Before Baylo opened its doors in October 2011, the building went under a serious three-year restoration. Now, Baylo’s interior is the ideal mix of the old and the new: the ceiling and walls carry the worn-out glory of the old days, the antique mirror by the bar gives a sense of beautiful imperfection, while the modern seating and tableware remind us that we’re in fact dining in the 21st century.
Both inside and outside, the tables are small (for 2-4 people), except for one large table that can seat 8-10 people. The outdoor dining area is well-heated, so all the tables are filled, even on cold days. The bar, which features black-and-brown bar stools by Aziz Sarıyer of Derin Design, is designed to allow for comfortable seating while eating.
The something-for-everyone menu offers soup of the day (which is always something out of the ordinary like chestnut, pea, carrot, or beetroot soup), salads (caprese salad, goat cheese salad, and salmon salad), charcuterie plate, mains (Super Hamburger, Chicken Schnitzel, Pork Sausage) and more, all prepared by the young and talented Berk Baysan.
Much like the menu, the crowd is a pleasant mix as well - mostly 30+ during the week but slightly younger on weekends. The venue starts to fill up at around 7:30pm and there’s a nice circulation from then on. Everybody is smartly dressed without being particularly over-dressed, casual but not in an I-just-rolled-out-of-bed look. The venue has a steady stream of its frequenters, neighborhood professionals, and tourists - in for a cocktail with a colleague by the bar, dinner and longed-for chats, or the glorious charcuterie plate and a glass of wine.
A rotating group of five female DJs are in charge of the turntable on Fridays and Saturdays (and sometimes during the week), playing whatever suits the mood on a particular day, from 80s to lounge, from indie rock to nu jazz. A London-based DJ company is in charge of the music when the girls are not around, playing a range of unfamiliar songs that instantly feel familiar. Although the venue never turns into a full-blown club, the music picks up after 10:30pm, and people start to dance around, especially on weekends.
Green Apple Martini
Baylo Bistro & Bar: The Latest Neighborhood Bar in Şişhane; by Talya Arditi
The Soup List: Best Soups for Cold Winter Days; by Talya Arditi
Beyoğlu Nightlife by District; by Talya Arditi
Baylo and GoodMood Pera: Restaurant to Bar Metamorphosis; by Feride Yalav