Istanbul Kebab Guide (Updated)

Where to eat kebab in Istanbul? I will give the answer to this question for kebab lovers who want to taste the delicacies of Adana, Gaziantep, Urfa, and Hatay.

Top 15 Kebab Restaurants in Istanbul

Hamdi Restaurant

Eating kebab on the one hand and sitting on both the Galata, Bosphorus, and Sultanahmet sights are much more luxurious than going to Paris for breakfast. Hamdi (also known as Hamo), which serves in Eminönü with 17 different varieties of kebabs, makes this luxury easy. The kebab with pistachio is also very good.

Address: Tahmis Caddesi Kalçin Sokak No: 17 Eminonu / Istanbul
Phone: (0212) 528 03 90

Bağdat Ocakbaşı

The only way you know in Gungoren is or should be the way to Bağdat Ocakbasi. Those who know that most of the delicacies that are in the corner are always fed by fingers, keep an eye on Bağdat Ocakbaşı and have a buzz from the menu.

Address: Merkez Mahallesi Tayfun Sokak No: 8/10 Gungoren / Istanbul
Phone: (0212) 461 20 07

Uzunlar Kebap

We’re in a kebab house with the motto “our main purpose is not to gain profit”. The rumors say that Uzunlar Kebap started from a small, mobile kebab house. They remember your name even though it was a year between your second and first visit. The eggplant kebab is also very good. So people say.

Address: Pendik Sahilyolu No 1 Business Pendik / İstanbul
Phone: (0216) 970 89 86

Yüzevler Kebap

If you say “There should be famous people in the place where I go, I can’t eat kebab everywhere” so you’re in the right place. You won’t return from Istanbul without eating an Adana kebab.

Address: Nispetiye Cad. No: 10 Etiler / Istanbul
Phone: (0212) 287 01 01

Kebapçı Enver Usta

Kebapçı Enver Usta is a beautiful place that works only 4 hours a day, which is full of appetizers and which doesn’t compromise from the taste. After eating the kebabs, only the phrase “I have had enough for a lifetime” will get out from your mouth. Try to stop by at weekends.

Address: Şahkulu Mh., Sah Değirmeni Sk 1-7 Beyoğlu / İstanbul
Telephone: (0212) 252 29 41

Develi Kebap

Develi, which is on my list of the best flavors in Samatya, has been serving in Samatya since 1966 and also in 7 different districts of Istanbul. I recommend you to eat pistachio kebab in Develi’s first love located in Samatya.

Address: Kocamustafapasa Mahallesi Gümüş Yuksekuk Sokak No: 5 Samatya, 34098 Fatih
Phone: (0212) 529 08 33

Gaziantep Burç Ocakbaşı

If we are talking about Kebaptan, it is impossible not to mention Gaziantep Burç Ocakbaşı, one of the legendary places of the Grand Bazaar. The place which is a complete substitute for Gaziantep and where the portions fill your stomach does not stay empty with its native as well as foreigner customers. Since 1988, especially eggplants, Adana and Urfa kebabs are extremely delightful. The prices that put a smile on your face are also a part of this.

Address: Grand Bazaar, Beyazit District, Yaglikcilar Caddesi, Parçacılar Street, No 12, Fatih, Istanbul
Phone: (0212) 527 15 16

Adana Ocakbaşı

The most enjoyable fireside proposal of Istanbul still comes from Kurtuluş, who does not lose the warm neighborhood atmosphere. Adana Ocakbasi is a groundbreaking place on kebab. Kebabs of the place with the motto “The right address for eating kebab” are prepared with meats coming from Balıkesir Gönen. Adana, Urfa, vegetables, lamb, skewers, onions, eggplant, ribs are kebab varieties that can be taken into the stomach at a sitting. In addition to delicious kebabs, eggplant salad with marshmallows, yogurt and cacik should be on your table.

The reasons for not opening a second branch of this place where tens of gourmets gave full marks, were to value the spirit of the place and the sensitivity of the regulars. Such a sensitive, thoughtful place.

Address: Bozkurt Mahallesi, Ergenekon Street, Baysungur Street, No 2 / D, Sisli, Istanbul
Phone: (0212) 247 01 43


Köşkeroğlu is waiting for you if you want to eat kebab in Karaköy. The place is quite assertive about their kebabs. I would especially recommend Urfa kebab and Vali kebab. If you desire you can end your meal with künefe and tea. Kebabs start from $ 4, if you go in groups, make sure to book first.

Address: Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi, Mumhane Cd. No: 2 D: 2, 34425 Beyoglu / Istanbul
Phone: (0212) 243 15 91

Canım Ciğerim

If you are on Istiklal Street, you feel hungry, and you think about what to eat, I recommend you to visit Canım Ciğerim for sure. You absolutely get your money’s worth here. Hot lavash bread, fresh greens, pomegranate paste, roasted tomatoes, pepper, and chilies. You can’t get enough to eat with ice-cold Ayran. As soon as appetizers and greens are over, new ones are coming, and after-dinner, tea is served. You will only enjoy this taste. Regular meat skewers and liver skewers is both $ 5.5, Ayran is $ 0.8. Appetizers are free of charge!

Address: Asmalimescit Mah., Minare Sk. No: 1, 34420 Beyoğlu / İstanbul
Phone: (0212) 252 60 60

Cigerci Hulusi

Cigerci Hulusi is one of the best addresses for those who want to eat liver and meat skewers on the Anatolian side. Although there are two restaurants in the heart of Kadikoy, there is always a queue for you to wait. As with Canım Ciğerim, appetizers and greens are not charged at Hulusi. There are 10 skewers in one serving. If you want to eat delicious liver in Istanbul, I say stop by Cigerci Hulusi.

Address: Caferaga Mahallesi, Misbah Muayyes Sk., 34710 Kadikoy / Istanbul
Phone: (0216) 450 15 10

Ali Haydar İkinci Bahar

Ali Haydar takes a nostalgic journey back to the past. I suggest you try Ali Haydar Special. Booking here is also a must. The service was a bit slower but the taste was inedible.

Address: Kocamustafapasa Mahallesi, Gumusyargir Sokak No: 6, 34028 Fatih / Istanbul
Phone: (0212) 584 21 62

Zübeyir Ocakbaşı

Zubeyir, one of the best places in Istanbul, will be at the top of the list. If you want, you can sit at the table in the fireplace and be prepared for a pleasant dinner. Onion in the embers, mashing, ribs… You have to make a booking before visiting Zübeyir. Appetizers are $ 2.5 on average, and kebabs are in the range of $ 5 – 7. Also, 10% percent is added to your bill as a tip. Enjoy your meal now!

Address: Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi, 28, Single Sk., 34435 Beyoğlu / İstanbul
Phone: (0212) 293 39 51

Nakkaş Kebab

Nakkaş Kebap, which has one of the most delicious cuisines of the Anatolian Side in Istanbul, offers great tastes. Cig kofte must be tried in the venue. Adana and Urfa kebabs are very successful. Kebabs are around $ 6 where lahmacun and pide are between $ 1.5 and $ 3.The location of the place is also very convenient to visit.

Address: Kuzguncuk Mahallesi, Gumusyolu Cd. No: 24, 34674 Üsküdar / İstanbul
Phone: (0216) 495 65 15

Ali Ocakbaşı

Ali Ocakbaşı is one of the classic places of Karaköy in Istanbul and has a magnificent view of the city. The flavors are also very good. You can eat great kebabs in Ali Ocakbasi, which is generally preferred by crowded groups, and you can see Istanbul from an unprecedented angle. Prices are generally around $ 7.

Address: Arap Cami Mahallesi, No: Kat 4, Kardeşim Sk. No: 45, 34421 Beyoglu / Istanbul
Phone: (0212) 293 10 11

Types of Kebab You Can Eat in Istanbul

Adana Kebab

Materials for Adana Kebab

  • 1 kg beef minced meat
  • 1 dry onion
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of red chili peppers
  • 1 teaspoon of hot pepper

Adana Kebab Preparation

Adana kebab is one of the famous dishes of the Adana region. In particular, the Adana people prepare this kebab very hot and consume with chili peppers. For Adana kebab, grind the ground beef into a mixing bowl and grate and add one onion. Those who do not want to use the onion in the kebab may not prefer. Add the other kebab ingredients on the minced meat and start kneading. Knead the mixture for 15 minutes and then keep for half an hour in the refrigerator.

Remove the rested kebab from the refrigerator. Take a pinch of the mixture and stick to the kebab skewers. Always wet your hand while doing this. Otherwise, kebab may not stick to skewers. Cook the prepared kebabs on the grill. If you don’t have a grill in your house, you can also put the skewers on the grill section of the oven or just cook in the oven. Take the baked kebab from the oven and wrap it warmly between the lavash. If you want, prepare a salad and extra onions. Enjoy your meal.

Beykoz Kebab

Beykoz kebab is the most delicious of eggplant dishes. Attention should be paid to the selection of eggplants if you want to cook a Beykoz kebab. You can add different spices to your taste.

Beykoz Kebab Materials

  • 1 kilogram of beef
  • 5 eggplants
  • 4 chilies
  • 2 onions
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 100 grams of margarine
  • Black pepper, salt
  • Oil for frying

Beykoz Kebab Preparation

Cut the meat into large coarse pieces. Roast the finely chopped onions until they are pink with margarine and add the meat. After roasting the meat with onions, add the flour and paste and mix. Put enough water over it to cook. Add spices before it is cooked completely. Peel the eggplants in the shape of the line and chop in the form of thin strips. Then, soak in salt water to remove the bitterness.

For 15 minutes, keep the eggplants in salt water, and then drain the water and fry them. Shape the eggplants like a bundle and remove the meat from the broth and wrap it in the eggplants. Place the wrapped eggplants on a tray. Put some tomato on the eggplants. Then place the peppers between the eggplants. Pour the remaining broth on the eggplants and put in the oven. Cook in a 180 degree pre-heated oven until tomatoes and peppers turn to a golden brown. Then serve hot.

Tas Kebabı

Tas kebab is one of the most consumed meat dishes in Turkey. It is a kind of food that is cooked in nearly every house. It is very much loved by many people and is looked for on the evening menu. It is especially cooked in special meals such as invitations and wedding dinners. Tas kebab does not trouble you like other kebab types and can be prepared quickly. We recommend you to try this recipe, which is easy to prepare but delicious.

Tas Kebabı Tips

  • When cooking Tas Kebab, if the lid of the saucepan is closed, the meat will be smoother.
  • You should not add too many potatoes to the food. Otherwise, the kebab may be in the appearance of a potato dish.
  • It is useful to be careful when adding water to Tas Kebab dinner. It should not be too watery nor too dry. For this, it will be useful to add the broth to the dish.
  • If you are going to use lamb meat in the food, you must also add two bay leaves. This is for meat not to give its smell to the dish.
  • If you have beef broth in your home, you can choose it instead of normal water. Thus, the dish will be more delicious.

Materials Required for Tas Kebabı

  • 500 g of lamb or beef
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper paste
  • Oil and powder red pepper
  • 1 dessert spoon of black pepper

Preparation of Tas Kebabı

For the tas kebab, take a pot or a large pan and place it on the stove. Add oil to the inside and set the stove to be low. Add the chopped lamb or beef meat into the oil and start roasting. In this step, you can close the lid of the pan. Thus, it will cook more quickly. When the meat has its own broth, mix the meat with a wooden spoon. If the meat is still tough, add a cup of hot water to the dish and continue cooking by closing the lid of the pot.

On the other hand, peel the onion and chop it. Peel the garlic, grate it and place it in the bowl of onions. Peel the potatoes and put them into a separate bowl. Add the onions to the pan and continue to roast. Add the pepper and tomato paste into the saucepan when the onion is soft and blend them. Then add the potatoes that are chopped into cubes and mix the ingredients nicely.

Add 1 glass of boiling water to the dish. Add salt and spices. Continue cooking until the potatoes are soft. If all of the water evaporates, you can add a little hot water. Serve it hot. Enjoy your meal.

Liver Kebab

Materials for Liver Kebab

  • 2884/5000
  • 1 kg of liver
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small size onion
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 flick of dry mint
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
  • 1 flick of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of oil

Liver Kebab Preparation

Peel and grate 1 small sized onion. Add the grated garlic on the shredded onion. On the other hand, add salt, red pepper, and pepper in the mixture and mix. Put the chopped and sliced liver into the prepared sauce and mix. Remove the livers added to the sauce into the refrigerator and rest them for about 2 hours.

Then, place the liver on the skewer and cook on the grill. If you don’t have a grill in your house, you can cook in the oven. To do this, place the liver on skewers on top of the oiled baking tray and bake it in a 180-degree oven.

Islim Kebab

Islim kebab is an extremely delightful kebab type. Making your kebab is a bit troublesome, but you can do it by spending some time at home. It has a unique flavor made with eggplant and minced meat. Let’s talk about how you can make an Islim kebab.

Islim Kebab Materials

  • 3 pieces of medium size eggplant
  • 250 grams of beef minced meat
  • 1 onion
  • The crumb of 1-2 slices of bread
  • 1 egg
  • Half a bunch of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of dry mint
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme

For Its Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of water

To Decorate

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Green pepper
  • Toothpick

Islim Kebab Preparation

Cut the eggplants into long strips. In order to remove the bitterness of them, which are often bitter, keep them in salt water for half an hour. Then, start making the beef kebab meatballs while the eggplants are waiting in salt water. Finely chop the onion into a deep mixing bowl. Put the sliced and washed parsley which is finely chopped and add in the mixing bowl with the meat. Then add the egg, crumb and all the spices over the minced meat and knead for 10 minutes. Allow the minced meat mixture to stand for 20 minutes. Then, round the ground beef mixture by taking walnut-sized pieces and roast with using oil.

After the roasting the kebab, it’s time for the eggplants. Let’s take out the eggplants that are kept in water and dry them with towel paper. Fry the dried eggplants in hot oil. After the frying process is over, give the shape of the Islim kebab. Wrap a single eggplant and meatballs, add half a tomato and pepper and combine it with a toothpick and arrange it on a baking tray. After the wrapping process is over, pour the sauce you made with tomato and water on the islim kebab, and cook it in a heated 200-degree oven for 20 minutes. Enjoy your meal!

Peach Kebab

Peach kebab, which is one of the regional flavors of the region of Cyprus, is especially popular during the feast days. Peach kebab is named after its peach appearance. However, in some regions, people call it chef Ali kebab. The reason is that the chief Ali has found the recipe. Of course, locals know the best. You can also cook in the oven if it is difficult for you to fry.

Materials for Peach Kebab

  • One caul fat
  • 500 g minced lamb and veal meat
  • 1 onion
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 pinch of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of red ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 tablespoons of breadcrumbs

Peach Kebab Preparation

Peel on the onion and chop into thin layers. In this step, you can grate the onion as well. If you wish, you can also use only the water of the onion. Add the shredded breadcrumbs, black pepper, salt, and minced meat into the grated onion. Wash and clean a pinch of parsley and finely chop. Add the chopped parsley into the meatball mixture. Knead the prepared ingredients for about 5 minutes. Put the kneaded dough into the refrigerator and let it rest for 5 minutes. After resting, cut some large pieces in size of a walnut from the meatball mixture and roll it slightly longer. Put the prepared meatballs in a plate.

Put the caul fat on the counter top and slice it in shape of strips which are 8 cm wide. If the caul fat is hard, soak in yogurt water and let it wait for a while. Then place one of the meatballs on the caul fat and wrap it once and then cut the bottom of the caul.

Prepare the remaining meatballs in the same way and put them in a baking tray. Put the prepared meatballs in the fridge and leave them in the freezer for one night. The next day, take the meatballs from the fridge and cook them in the 200-degree oven. Continue baking in the oven until all the meatballs are browned. The take meatballs from the oven and make a hot presentation. Enjoy your meal.

Tava Kebab

Tava Kebab which is a meal that you can easily create with the ingredients in your kitchen is very easy and very practical to prepare. This kebab, which is generally found in eastern culture, can be made very easy in houses as it can be found in restaurants.

Tava Kebab Materials

  • Half a kg of low-fat veal minced meat
  • 1 parsley
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • black pepper, cumin, allspice, chili pepper, and salt

For the upper part:

  • 1 potato
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 pointy peppers

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper paste
  • 1 tea glass of olive oil

Tava Kebab Preparation

Put finely chopped parsley in a large bowl. On its top, add the grated onion. Then add the garlic, red pepper, and green pepper. You can add your favorite spices and salt besides the spices I have written. Knead for at least ten minutes in a large container. Seal its mouth with stretch film and leave it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Prepare the sauce in a bowl. Mix tomato paste and pepper paste with hot water. Add oil. Then pour the sauce on the kebab. In order to decorate it just before baking, slice the potatoes, tomatoes, and onions in equal size and place on top of the kebab. Bake 45 minutes in a 180 degrees oven. Serve hot.

Facts About Turkish Kebab History

We can say that in ancient times, food culture has introduced to the people after the invention of the fire. The onset of cooking from the fire has been transformed into variety in a short time. In this variety, primitive furnaces have been developed, pots and cooking utensils have been made from the soil, and food varieties in the following short stages have become evident by cooking techniques. I can say that this clarity is the beginning of the food culture. Thousands of years in history have, of course, created an accumulation since the first culture. This accumulation has created national kitchens (Turkish, Chinese, French, Italian, Greek, Russian, German cuisine, etc.) and also provided the development of international kitchen icons.

Palatal delight differs naturally among various people and nations. Climate, geographical location, agriculture, economy, and culture level are the biggest factors causing this. Food varieties, cooking and serving, feasts and materials used in the kitchen may show similarities as they differ from nation to nation. In addition, the names of dishes, cooking methods, and cooking utensils appear to be different not only between countries but also between different regions of the same country. For this reason, it is difficult or sometimes impossible to reveal the true origin of the dishes because of the tendency of some dishes to derive from each other.

We should consider a very large geographical area when researching the food culture of the Turks. After the Turks came and settled in Central Asia in the Neolithic Age, they chose the steppe (Bozkır) region between the Ural Mountains and the Altai Mountains as their homeland. The nomadic-horseman culture was born and developed here. With the steppes extending from Korea to Central Europe, from the Siberian to the Indian sea, the most important and perhaps occasionally the only economic basis of the history of Turks who spread to three continents was husbandry.

Livestock, Meat and Kebab Culture

Whether they are in Central Asia, or in Anatolia, Turks have not left the livestock after settled life. When we say large livestock, in fact, the Turkish animal husbandry, especially “transhumance” should come to the mind. Turks with horse and sheep herds migrate to the highlands with large pastures in spring; in the autumn, they descended into the arid valleys and, in particular, the rivers. They had no difficulty in relocating the tents because they had touched the beds, the necessary cover and the clothes themselves. Their food is oily pastries kneaded with wheat flour and milk and dairy products, as well as horse and sheep meat, and their drink is Kımız which is prepared by using mare milk. Even though the fruit and vegetable varieties in the region where they live are limited, many food names that they make and create even today live in our language, in the Urals, in Central Asia, and in Anatolia. Meat-pastry meal is a second kitchen that the peasant-transhumant Turks find and develop. It has a distinct taste and enjoyment. As for the other dishes, the most important ones were the meat and dishes made of meat.

The Turks were eating mostly sheep meat in the XIth century. Again, despite the fact that with the Islamic influences of horses gradually decreasing, Kashgarli reported that one of the most beloved meats of the Turks was oily meat, which was obtained from the horse’s belly and called “kazı”. On the other hand, it is understood that the fresh and well-fed lamb is also favored. In this sentence, we know that the Oghuzes call the lamb and yeanlings as cold cut kebabs, which, although the nature of the fable is very different, shows that the cold kebap has a history of at least a thousand years in the Turkish language.

Likewise, as it is today, the animals that are prepared and fed to be slaughtered in the XIth century are called “etlik” (broiler) by the Turks is the best sign of the continuity of the Turkish traditions. In the century in question, the meat obtained from poultry, the meat of various birds and fish, and meat from deer, shallow, rabbit, and similar animals remained undoubtedly in the background. The Turks, who have a long historical background, have a rich culture in terms of cuisine. This richness has shown itself in a wide variety of dishes and behavior patterns for all foods and beverages have also been developed. Turkish people influenced various civilizations with this culture.

North China has remained within the Turkish cultural environment throughout history. Therefore, in North China, there are livestock and wheat culture as an economic basis. Central and southern China is based on rice culture. For this reason, you can find and eat Turkish meats, ravioli and even Turkish meat dishes made from beef. In Central or South China restaurants, you will not find any of these. Such a deep separation could, of course, not be a coincidence. This was the result of thousands of years of development. There is a proverb in China: The North Chinese are afraid of the dog. Because the dog is dirty and can cause damage. The dog is afraid of the South Chinese; because the South Chinese eat the dog. The South Chinese are afraid of the North Chinese ravioli made of meat and dough. Because ravioli causes pain in South China’s stomachs. It seems that every human community has a type of food that their bodies are used to. The same situation is seen in the Balkans and Arab countries. The Turkish ethnic element, which constitutes the existence of the Turkish states, has been embraced and spread by all the nations dependent on them. It is necessary to examine the matter through such simple logic.

It is clear that the art of meat processing and cooking together with animal husbandry in Turkey has a deep historical background. With the establishment of the great Seljuk state in Anatolia, it has become a regional tradition on this geography. In a feast given by Aliadeddin Keykubad’s in 634 in the month of Shawwal (1237 May), a meal is described by using the word biryan, which means kebab today.

Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I love Istanbul. I have been to 10 different countries. Istanbul is in the top 3 cities. I like to play soccer too :)

Recent Posts