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Nevizade Sokak, Beyoğlu

Behind Çiçek Pasajı and Balık Pazarı
Turkey's insider take:

Tucked away behind the fish market just off İstiklal Caddesi, Nevizade Sokak is possibly Istanbul's liveliest street. On weekend nights you'll literally have to shoulder your way through the crowd moseying along the narrow passage that's full to the gunwales with cafés, bars, and meyhanes. A meyhane is a Turkish tavern, evolved through the country's centuries-long proximity to Greek culture, and a night at one basically involves the marathon consumption of the trademark anise-flavored tipple Raki, along with the protracted ingestion of meze (starters, usually displayed on a large tray that's brought to your table), salads, fish main dishes, and a fruit dessert. Most places do a fixed-price menu, so it's worth asking in advance. The meyhanes here are virtually back-to-back, with almost year-round outdoor seating. Neyle Meyle is consistently good (12 Balıkpazarı Nevizade Sokak; 90-212-249-8103), although they're all more or less of the same standard, so use your instinct and sit wherever you can find an empty table. Book ahead or get in early for summer evenings and weekend nights.

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