Food & Drink

Grill in Istanbul: Discover the Best Kebab Spots

We don’t know a single person who came to Istanbul and went home without eating a kebab. Words like “I don’t like”, “I don’t want”, “I don’t eat” are not found in the dictionary of local kebab restaurants. Indeed, there are many local kebab restaurants in Istanbul which people come from all over Türkiye to visit.

It is our duty first of all to make an important point. Before going on a journey to discover the tastes of Istanbul kebabs, even if you say “I don’t like kebabs” here, that translates as “I did not like that kebab, but I will try a different one.”

Keep calm, there is definitely a kebab to suit your taste – as you will discover..

Here we will talk about the best kebaps in Istanbul and the different kebabs on offer. Bon appetit!

1. Hamdi Restaurant

Towards the end of the 1960s, a cheerful and hopeful teenager came to Istanbul from Urfa: Hamdi Arpacı. He opened a stall in the corner of the parking lot next to the New Mosque. With a small grid, this young man became a street vendor. Hamdi made kebabs with this counter and grill and sold them in the same place for 7 years. Everyone heard about the kebabs made by Hamdi Usta and the number of customers increased day by day. Eventually, he opened a restaurant on one floor of the building just behind his kebab stall and named it “Hamdi Meat Restaurant”. He served in this one-storey restaurant for 18 years. The most important feature of Hamdi is that it prepares all its kebabs in the Southeastern Anatolia style, preserving the authentic features. If you want to experience the taste of Southeastern Anatolia right here in Istanbul, you should eat a meal in Hamdi. Hamdi Restaurant currently has a 5-storey restaurant in the same place. Hamdi is one of the best kebab places Istanbul.

Branches of Hamdi Restaurant
Eminönü: The place where Hamdi Restaurant was established and developed is Eminönü. If you want to eat against the magnificent view of Old Istanbul and the Golden Horn, and if the weather is nice, you should definitely book a place on the terrace. Also click to make a reservation at Hamdi Restaurant, which has branches in Şişli and Pera.

More Information

Open Hours: 12:00 – 23:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 528 03 90


Kebabs You Can Eat in Hamdi Restaurant

Tomato Kebab

Tomato Kebab Hamdi Restaurant

Minced meat, prepared from beef and lamb, is softened with salt. Tomatoes are placed between the minced meat and grilled. The acid of the tomato mixes with the minced meat to create an incredible flavour.

Alinazik Kebab

Alinazik Kebab Hamdi Restaurant

Prepared with Urfa kebab or lamb shish kebab. Roasted aubergine is mashed with a meat cleaver and garlic and salt are added to it. A bed of aubergine is then prepared and the kebab placed on it. The aroma of meat and aubergine combines and the keba is served with a pouring of melted butter.

2. Bitlisli Kebap Restaurant

Bitlisli Kebap was previously known as Birecik Kebap, but changed name in 2018. We recommend you try lahmacun in Bitlisli Kebap, where you’ll find the best dishes from Southeastern Anatolia and Eastern Anatolian cuisine.
You should go to Bitlisli Kebap in Sirkeci, one of the finest places for kebabs. If you are on the Sultanahmet side, you can get the tram to Sirkeci and get off after just one stop. If you want to walk, it will take around 15 minutes to reach this Istanbul best kebap.

More Information

Open Hours: 11:00 – 22:30
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 513 77 63

Kebabs You Can Eat in Bitlisli Kebap Restaurant

Birecik Kebab

The most important feature of this kebab, prepared with beef and lamb, is to mince the meat with a meat cleaver. Mix with salt, pepper and paprika, then cook according to portions. Be warned: This kebab is fiery hot.

Siverek Frying Pan

Siverek Pan

One of the most famous kebabs of the Southeastern Anatolia Region, especially Şanlıurfa. The reason this type of kebab is called “pan” is that, instead of being cooked on skewers like other kebabs, these are placed in food-specific metal pans and cooked in stone ovens. Siverek pan is more bitter than Kilis pan.

3. Beyti Restaurant

Beyti Restaurant is an important place that has hosted many world-famous names. The most important reason for this is that they prepare the Beyti kebab in the best way. The owner of the restaurant is Beyti Güler. The restaurant, which was established in Kucukcekmece in 1945, is now located in Florya. It takes you to a completely different world with its interior decoration in traditional Ottoman style. Prices are expensive, but beyti kebab is worth it.

More Information

Open Hours: 11:30 – 23:00, Closed on Mondays
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 663 29 90

Kebabs You Can Eat in Beyti Restaurant

Beyti Kebab

Beyti kebab, which has a secret recipe, is also available in other restaurants, but this is where it was born. They serve a meat mixture prepared from lamb chops and fillets which is marinated in their own special preparation methods. There is no photo of this kebab, even on the restaurant’s website. To see it, you must order one in-house. Bon Appetit.

4. Adana İl Sınırı Restaurant

If you want to eat lighter kebabs instead of the spicy and scorching (water is needed!) Kebabs of the Southeastern Anatolia Region, Mediterranean kebabs are just for you. Adana Province Border offers the best meals of the Mediterranean Region. Adana Provincial Border says: You should go to Adana to eat Adana kebab, if Istanbulites cannot come to Adana, we will bring Adana to Istanbul. And they really do. It gets very full especially on weekends, so it is best to make a reservation.

More Information

Open Hours: 12:00 – 23:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0544) 916 01 01

Kebabs You Can Eat in Adana İl Sınırı Restaurant

Adana Kebab

It is said that there is no difference between Adana kebab and Urfa kebab. However, Adana kebab is made with minced meat from the meat of grazing sheep in the Mediterranean region. Adana kebab, along with the meat it is used in, is prepared with oil obtained from the sheep called tail oil, so it may sound a little greasy. Lamb meat is not used in Adana kebab, the meat is obtained from one-year-old sheep. Pieces of meat are minced with a meat cleaver and tail oil is added at a ratio of 30% to the minced meat. The meat is rested for one day before red paprika and salt and the whole mixture is kneaded and then minced meat with a meat cleaver. At the end of this special process, it is wrapped in skewers and left to cook on the grill.



5. Sehzade Cag Kebap

When you come to Sehzade Cag Kebap Istanbul, being one of the kebap restaurants, order a cag kebab. First of all, you’ll be enchanted by the appetisers that your table is loaded up with. Since they make the yogurts themselves, all the flavours here complement one another. Their appetisers are excellent, but don’t overfill your stomach. Cag kebab is the king of this region! Sehzade Cag Kebap is in Sirkeci and can be easily reached by tram from Eminönü or Sultanahmet. You may have to wait to be seated so it’s best to call in advance and make a reservation.

More Information

Open Hours: 10:30 – 22:30 , Closed on Sundays
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 520 33 61

Kebabs You Can Eat in Sehzade Cag Kebap

Cag Kebab

In preparing Cag kebab, all of the lamb is used. The meat is marinated and passed on to a rotating skewer. The prepared skewer is then grilled on a horizontal plane. You can feel the taste more clearly because the meats are a little thicker than the doner shape. One of the most important features of this kebab is that it is served with lemon. Sehzade Cag Kebab Restaurant is recommended as the best place to eat cag kebab cooked using a wood fire.

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6. Buhara Ocakbasi

Bukhara is an old Turkish city. Buhara Ocakbasi’s name comes from here. It has been serving kebabs since 1979. Lavash is very famous for its hummus and appetisers. The pitta breads are delicious and their roasted vegetables will take you on a journey of taste. You have to try the test kebab that comes on the flame of Buhara.

Bukhara Ocakbasi is located in Sultanahmet. There are other restaurants named Bukhara in the same place.

More Information

Open Hours: 09:30 – 23:50
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 513 74 24

Kebabs You Can Eat in Buhara Ocakbasi

Testi Kebab

Kebabs here are cooked in clay jugs. They are prepared by cooking the meat and vegetables in the jug placed on a wood fire. Since the jug is completely closed, the high aroma and the broth of the meat are combined with the whole aroma of vegetables. It is important that a real master prepares this kebab whether it is open or not. The cooking time is 3 to 4 hours. Vegetables and meat are put on a jug and covered with dough then left to cook on a coal fire. You can eat delicious testi kebab Istanbul in this place.


7. Karagumruklu Emin Usta

Kebabs are prepared by Emin Usta. It is a little difficult to get here, but when you arrive you will experience the “surprise of Istanbul”. The Hashas Kebab of Emin Usta, Karagümrüklu, is very famous. The decoration and theme of the restaurant are not very luxurious but don’t let that put you off. The food is amazing. It is a little difficult to reach Karagümrüklü Emin Usta. While going from Edirnekapi to Fatih, you will see the Karagumruk stadium. There is a street across it, walk down that street and you will see the restaurant on the right side after a little while.

More Information

Open Hours: 11:30 – 01:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 621 00 83

Kebabs You Can Eat in Karagumruklu Emin Usta

Hashas Kebab

Kebab is prepared with lamb meat fed in a natural environment. After the meat is pulled using a mincing knife, the minced meat is prepared by adding red pepper, garlic, and parsley. Hashas Kebab is a registered Birecik kebab and must be prepared at the hands of a master who lives in Birecik.

8. Cabbar Nisantasi

The Cabbar Nisantasi, one of the best kebap places Istanbul and full of Istanbul best kebap options is frequented by many celebrities, comes before you by modernizing its ambiance, tastes and ocakbasi culture. Many reasons are waiting for you to come and feel addicted. Looking for the best kebaps in Istanbul? Visit here.

More Information

Open Hours: 14:00 – 02:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 909 80 80

Kebabs You Can Eat in Cabbar Nisantasi

Kebab with Aubergine

Prepared by mincing beef and lamb with a meat cleaver. Aubergine and meat cut into rings are lined up on a spit in order. Thus, it is given to the grill. If you don’t try it, you may regret it.

Urfa Kebab

The meat obtained from cattle, which is fed in the pastures of the Urfa region, is prepared by making minced meat with a meat cleaver. Salt is added to the minced meat. It is cooked in portions. It takes some time because it is prepared and cooked to order. But we think you’ll agree it’s well worth the wait.

9. İskender İskenderoğlu Kebab Restaurant

A completely original flavour. It is so beautiful that when you taste it you’ll want more. About 150 years ago, Mehmet’s son İskender prepared this kebab with a special sauce, butter, pitta bread, and yogurt. Then he presented the dish to his loved ones. He knew then that it would be a masterpiece, but he probably never guessed it would become such a legendary food. Now, whichever kebab shop you go to you can eat İskender kebab. However, we recommend you eat the kebab prepared by İskender’s 4th Generation family members, which makes İskender kebab, in Kebapçı İskender. This restaurant serves the best İskender kebab in Istanbul best kebap.

İskender Kebab is located in only one place in Istanbul: in Kadikoy. However, there are so many imitations that you can see Iskender Kebap Restaurants in many different places with the same name. You must visit this one. If you do, you will understand what we mean.

More Information

Open Hours: 11:00 – 22:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0216) 336 07 77

Kebabs You Can Eat in İskender İskenderoğlu Kebab Restaurant

Iskender Kebab

İskender revolutionised the doner kebab by introducing a method of constantly turning the meat. The fat of the meat dripped onto the fire, creating smoke and a delicious smell. Aged 12 – 13, Iskender separated the lamb meat from its nerves and bones, put it on a large mine rod, and cooked it vertically on a stove to rotate around his own axis. Doner kebab was born. Plates filled with pieces of meat served with special sauce, butter and yogurt are immediately emptied because it’s so delicious!


10. Bayramoglu Doner

Bayramoglu, one of the best kebap places Istanbul, which has been serving for more than thirty years, is home to the best shawarma Istanbul. You will be enchanted while eating shawarma, served with thin lavash cooked on a wood fire. You can also try other kebab varieties, but be sure to order shawarma first. The best Istanbul shawarma dishes you will taste are undoubtedly here.

We should point out that Bayramoğlu has no other branch. To reach it, you should go to Beykoz, Kavacık on the Anatolian side.

More Information

Open Hours: 11:30 – 23:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0216) 413 00 45

Kebabs You Can Eat in Bayramoglu Doner


Shawarma is a type of kebab unique to Arabic and Levantine cuisine, with its special sauce prepared using tahini, hummus, pickles, turnips, and garlic, with marinated meats. Patience is required when marinating and grilling. In some meats, the grill lasts for a day. Served with salad varieties called tabule or fettush. If you want to experience Arab culture in Istanbul, we can say that shawarma is the most important food that reflects this culture.

11. Özkilis Kebap & Lahmacun

Özkilis is one of the most popular kebab restaurants in Fatih. It’s small inside, so you have to wait in line for food. Credit and debit cards are not acceptable so you must pay in cash. Hatay, especially Kilis-style dishes are all delicious. You should eat the Kilis pan and Oruk kebab here. In addition, garlic lahmacun, icli kofte, and custard are among flavours you should try. For dessert, we recommend kunefe. Here you will eat the best kebab in Istanbul.

You can take the tram from Sultanahmet to reach Özkilis, which is very close to Fatih Mosque. It is easier to reach Özkilis, which has only one branch,using public transport and it is almost impossible to find a parking space if you drive.

More Information

Open Hours: 12:00 – 21:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 523 44 57

Kebabs You Can Eat in Özkilis Kebap & Lahmacun

Kilis Pan

Kilis pan is a kind of kebab prepared without using skewers. Therefore, it is called Kilis Tava, not Kilis Kebab. Garlic, tomato, pepper, onion and thyme are put in between minced meat prepared in rows. The kebabs are placed in the oven on a special plate, hence this dish is also known as a “tray kebab”.

Oruk Kebab

The most important feature that distinguishes Oruk kebab from other kebabs is the bulgur used in it. Bulgur must be added in the correct proportions, if it is too much, it will spoil the taste of the meat. If too little is added the kebab loses its feature since the meat will pour out of the fork. Oruk kebab is more than just food. It is the work of a mastercraftsman.

12. Cigerci Hulusi

Lamb’s lungs are obtained from lambs fed from Balıkesir and the surrounding green areas. The appetisers here are completely unique and served with lavash bread, Mersin style. All of the auxiliary products such as spices, pomegranate syrup, turnip juice, tomato paste are brought from Mersin. Cigerci Hulusi is an expert on liver dishes. You can fill your stomach with the appetisers on the table, so be careful to leave room for your kebab.

Rıhtım, which is one of the busiest streets of Kadıköy, will appear as you stroll through the bazaar. Stop by Akmar Passage and shop. From there, go to Cigerci Hulusi and experience this unique flavour.

More Information

Open Hours: 11:30 – 00:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0216) 336 11 23

Kebabs You Can Eat in Cigerci Hulusi

Liver Kebab

Those who live in Southeast Anatolia know very well, liver is eaten even at breakfast. The pepper that should be used in a kebab is Şanlıurfa pepper, prepared skewered, with fresh lungs and tail oil and cooked on a charcoal grill.

What about we say that you can also prepare kebabs at home? Yeah, with these kebab skewers, you can do the exact recipe by yourself.

13. Kilisli Kebapçı Ali Usta

Kilisli Kebapçı Ali Usta, one of the kebap restaurants in Istanbul, makes all the kebabs of the Kilis region. And all of them are delicious. Ali Usta is a master who understands Middle Eastern flavours. You can’t get enough of his kebabs. The environment is not very luxurious, you may not even think about going in as you pass by. However, after tasting kebabs from here, you will become very picky about kebabs and find it difficult to beat the flavour.

While strolling in the Grand Bazaar, find Tacirler street. You will see the restaurant while walking on the street.

More Information

Open Hours: 09:00 – 17:00, 12:00 – 17:00 on Mondays, Closed on Sundays
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 519 04 78

Kebabs You Can Eat in Kilisli Kebapçı Ali Usta

Mardin Kebab

Lamb and veal are minced with a meat cleaver. Add 20% tail oil into it and hot pepper to taste. The skewers are then lined up and grilled over a charcoal fire. Along with the kebab will come salad, sumac and salt, crushed onions and roasted tomatoes and peppers. Although Mardin Kebab served on lavash is similar to Adana Kebab, the difference is in the taste of both the meat and the spices added while it is being prepared. We recommend you eat Mardin Kebab in Ali Usta from Kilis.


14. Siirt Seref Buryan

Şeref Büryan kebab was founded in 1892 in Siirt. 3rd and 4th generation grandchildren run the branch in Fatih, Istanbul. Siirt Şeref Büryan, the biggest buryan kebab house in Fatih, also serves special soups of the Siirt region in the winter. Siirt Şeref Büryan accepts reservations for large meetings and meals but for large groups you’ll need to book at least two days in advance. We recommend you make a reservation for a meal at Siirt Şeref Büryan.

You can easily find Siirt Seref Büryan which is located on Itfaiye Street, one of the busiest regions of Fatih. The restaurant at the back of Gazanfer Aga Complex is the biggest Istanbul kebab shop in the region.

More Information

Open Hours: 10:00 – 22:30
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 525 35 81

Kebabs You Can Eat in Siirt Seref Buryan

Büryan Kebab

Büryan kebab, a special flavour of Siirt, is a type of kebab that does not contain much sauce and spices. One of the favourite dishes of sultans in the palaces, Büryan kebab is prepared in Siirt overnight and offered for sale before sunrise. Making Büryan kebab is very difficult. Lamb meat is cooked in a well. Wood is burned in the well after the burning fire has become embers, a copper boiler filled with bone and water is lowered into the well (the depth of the well is more than 3 metres). Lamb meat, which is stripped from its bones, is hung in the well, hanging on the hooks. The well is covered and the cover is subsequently covered with mud and wood ash to completely seal it. Meat hanging in the air in the well is cooked in 2 hours through the temperature of the well and the water vapour.

15. Develi Restaurant

Founded in 1912, Develi combines taste with its luxury concepts and has branches all over Istanbul. However, we recommend Samatya Develi because of its nostalgic decoration and because it was the first branch. While eating at the restaurant, which is suitable for the nostalgic atmosphere of Samatya, you will go on a journey of taste and time. Immerse yourself in the taste of appetisers and the magic of the kebab. While finishing your dessert and drinking Turkish coffee, you will slowly return to the real world. Do not hurry.

Develi has 10 branches in Istanbul. From these branches, the restaurant in Kadıköy, Kalamis Marina is referred to as “Develi – Marin”. However, you can also find kebab varieties here.

More Information

Open Hours: 11:00 – 00:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 529 08 33

Kebabs You Can Eat in Develi Restaurant

Pistachio Kebab

Prepared from beef and lamb. While preparing the mincemeat, pistachios are mixed in with it. You will be surprised by the light-fat and sugary taste of pistachio in the salty flavour of the meat. The kebab is slightly green because of the pistachios. It is vital that you get the right balance of nuts and minced meat. Only masters can prepare this kebab.

16. Zubeyir Ocakbasi

Zübeyir Ocakbaşı is a restaurant for meat lovers. It has a luxurious and spacious interior where you can eat after a tour of Istiklal Street. You can enjoy delicious drinks as well as fast service and good food. Be prepared for a pleasant meal with local soups and appetizers. Zübeyir Ocakbaşı gets very crowded during the day. This place is like the Istanbul kebab land. We recommend that you make a reservation before you go. Prices are quite high but worth it.

When you go up from Istiklal Street towards Taksim Square, the street on the left side of the square is Şehit Muhtar Caddesi. This street, pedestrian path, and roads are cobbled. On Şehit Muhtar Caddesi, when you move away from Taksim Square, you will see Zübeyir Ocakbaşı on the left. This is the only branch.

More Information

Open Hours: 11:00 – 00:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0212) 293 39 51

Kebabs You Can Eat in Zubeyir Ocakbasi

Kebab with Vegetables

In the production of kebabs with vegetables, meat is used in two ways, some restaurants turn meat into minced meat and add vegetables then cook it by the fireside. Some cook the meat separately and serve it with a vegetable sauce. We recommend you eat kebab with vegetables and spices in Zübeyir Ocakbaşı.


17. Donerci Sahin Usta

Şahin Usta is a street vendor in the Grand Bazaar specializing in doner. The meat and onion mixture here is delicious for some, but not tasty for others. If you want a doner meal from Şahin Usta, but you are not sure, you can buy one and taste it, if you like it, you can buy it again. This place is better than some restaurants for Istanbul döner kebab.

More Information

Open Hours: 11:00 – 17:00, Closed on Sundays
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0216) 526 52 97

Kebabs You Can Eat in Donerci Sahin Usta

Doner Kebab

Döner is created by cooking specially marinated meat on a skewer. Since the meat is cooked with a fire that is not too hot, only the surface is cooked. The cooked surface is finely cut to create a portion. As it is cooked in a vertical arrangement, its excess fat does not remain on the meat. Served with lavash, pitta bread or rice.

18. Metet Doner

After ordering at Metet Doner located in Kuzguncuk, salad and yogurt are served as a treat. The taste of doner kebabs is indisputable. The restaurant is not very luxurious. It’s not too big, but you will enjoy the best doner kebab in Istanbul here. The friendly waiters make you feel welcome. If your path passes through Kuzguncuk, don’t leave without eating at Metet Doner. This doner is in the best kebaps in Istanbul.

More Information

Open Hours: 11:00 – 22:00
Location: View on Google Maps
Phone Number: (0216) 553 33 33

Kebabs You Can Eat in Metet Doner

Doner Kebab

Döner is created by cooking specially marinated meat on a skewer. Since the meat is cooked with a fire that is not too hot, only the surface is cooked. The cooked surface is finely cut to create a portion. As it is cooked in a vertical arrangement, its excess fat does not remain on the meat. Served with lavash, pitta bread or rice.

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5/5 - (3 votes)

Yasin Berkay

I am eager to leave my comfort zone and push myself to try new things. The best way to do it is by traveling. So I keep exploring the world and myself.
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