1. Georges Hotel Rooftop/ Le Fumoir
Le Fumoir is a restaurant/bar located on the top of Georges Hotel in Galata. Beside their delicious food, the bar has proven itself to be as good as their kitchen. The restaurant offers possibly the most stunning view of Istanbul looking at the Bosphorus and Golden Horn. They serve very selective wines from France and Turkey; you can also enjoy amazing shots, drinks and champagnes from the bar. Take in the whole scene with the sound of jazz in the background.
Located in Beyoğlu, NuTeras is a popular venue especially during summer thanks to its amazing rooftop. You can go there for dinner as well as cocktails. Sit behind the bar and enjoy the view of Bosphorus and Golden Horn, with DJ sets until the late hours of the night.
3. Ravouna 1906
Even though this venue is new to town, it has quickly proven itself to be one of the best cocktail bars. It is located on the rooftop of the boutique hotel, which carries the same name in Beyoğlu. The building was built in the period of Art Nouveau and you can feel the vibe when you step in. Where the first floor is more appropriate to have a coffee or a small appetizer, the rooftop is best for having a cocktail or watching the sunset. Don’t forget to try passion fruit vodka and to dance to their amazing music!
4. 360 Istanbul
This space is located on the rooftop of the historical Mısır Apartment. Just like its name, 360 provides a panoramic view of Istanbul from Bosphorus to Tophane. Beside their award-winning cocktails, they also provide an impressive array of wine from all over Turkey. The venue is very popular internationally, and you may have a chance to bump into a world-known DJ. If not, you still enjoy the quality music at this hip nightspot.
Unter is located in Karaköy and has three different floors which serve as a restaurant, a lounge and a loft (available for private parties). Being a resto-bar the food is very delicious, and small plates are great for sharing. As for the cocktails, Unter is also the venue where people go after work to have happy hour. From Thursday to Saturday experience Unter turn into a bar with loud music; feel free to join the big crowd that is dancing in the streets.
6. Geyik Coffee Roastery & Cocktail Bar
Geyik, which translates to ‘deer’ in Turkish, is located in the middle of Cihangir. Due to its location it is almost inevitable not that it must carry a bohemian identity. Since the interior is very small, you will always see a big crowd in front of the venue. As well as their world-class craft coffee roasted in-house, Geyik Coffee also offers you various mixology imbibements with combinations of fresh fruits, syrups and alcohol. Several recommended drinks would be ‘Blackberry Cobbler’ for those who like fruit, ‘Her Zamankinden’ for those who love raki or ‘Mojito Fidel’ for mojito lovers. The venue plays chill-out, lounge and jazz with the sound increasing as the hour grows late. If you come to Geyik, be sure to chat and enjoy your drinks with a bohemian ambiance that can provide many peaceful moments.
As you pass by Bebek’s main street, you will definitely notice Lucca’s colorful sunshades and its high-end crowd with upscale cars. I advise you to go during the day when it is calmer and less crowded to enjoy a drink or a good brunch. Head bartender Cevat Yıldırım is the winner of many international and national awards, and is most famous for his satsuma vodkas and mojitos. The music is usually played by well known Turkish and international DJ’s spinning jazz, funk or house.
Balkon is a hipster bar located in a hipster area named Asmalımescit, where you can take in the panoramic view of Istanbul. It has both indoor and outdoor seating areas and the venue offers food. But my advice is to come for drinks. The drinks include beer, wine, domestic and imported liquor and cocktails. Balkon is a good choice to have happy hour with its reasonable prices, casual atmosphere and Istanbulites.
Münferit is one of a kind by being a “modern meyhane”. The venue serves as a place for dinner, late dinner and bar-nighttime entertainment. The kitchen stays open until 11.30 pm and then it turns into a 2 A.M. bar. As the dining time comes to an end and nightlife starts, the venue and the sound of chill-out changes to nighttime festivities by increasing the volume and tempo. Münferit can be an optimal dining and nightlife place, with its outstanding kitchen and excellent cocktail menu. Still, you should make sure that you reserve at least a week in advance, since there is a dedicated crowd.
Mostly known for its famous brunches and bartender Kevin Patnode Jr., the venue is one of the hippest restaurants in Nişantası. The upscale menu consists of Italian and Mediterranean inspired dishes which are as good as their cocktails. The bar is a hit especially for after-work drinks. Mixology cocktails are prepared with fresh fruits are served in elegant glasses. Nopa also offers a bar menu of appetizers along with the drinks. The restaurant is welcoming at any hour, the wall-to-wall flowers convey to you a peaceful ambiance. Since it will be a hit this summer, be sure to make reservations!