Some of the most memorable nights in Turkey are likely to be those when you take yourself out of your comfort zone and fully immerse yourself in Turkish culture. One way to do this is to eat at a traditional meyhane, another is to head to a Türkü music bar. In these places, there is always live music, which often turns into a giant singalong, with many being lured onto their feet to click their fingers, dancing in the traditional Turkish manner. Mektup is a good example of this, and conveniently located on a side street off Istiklal Caddesi. Able to accommodate up to 150 guests, this is a large and lively bar, and it's worth making a reservation as it usually fills up (particularly on the weekends). It makes a good introduction to traditional Turkish music culture, and don't be surprised when everyone (but you) seems to know every word to every song. Sadly, it is one of the places where it's prudent to check your bill twice. Also, don't assume that any snacks that are brought to your table unrequested are complimentary—they will be added onto your bill at the end. Alternatively, opt for the fixed-price menu that includes unlimited drinks.
20 İmam Adnan Sok
Our Rating Neighborhood Beyoğlu Hours Tues-Sun 10:30pm-2:30am Transportation Metro/bus Taksim, then walk Phone 0212/251-0110 Web site Mektup
Map20 İmam Adnan Sok Istanbul
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.