Best Vegan Restaurants In Istanbul & What To Eat

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Post author Enes

Written by our local expert Enes

Originally from North Macedonia, Enes is a well-traveled enthusiast residing in Türkiye. He combines his extensive knowledge and avid wanderlust to bring you insightful narratives of his Turkish adventures.

Dive into the heart of Istanbul’s vegan scene with my ultimate guide, showcasing the rich flavors and vibrant streets this city has to offer. Whether you’re a vegan or don’t eat meat, this article on the best vegan and vegetarian dishes ensures you’re not missing out.

With insights from several locals passionate about plant-based living, discover top vegan restaurants in Istanbul, a testament to the excellent vegan market.

From the European to the Asian side of Istanbul, find vegan dining experiences that look as good as they taste, offering everything from a healthy vegan breakfast to a variety of sushi and fried sushi options, full of vegan creativity.

Seek out the best restaurants on both sides of the Bosphorus that cater to all tastes; where you can indulge in a vegan Istanbul restaurant serving dishes that are as good for the planet as they are for your taste buds, using primarily recycled or rescued ingredients.

There really is something for everyone in the thriving vegan food scene, whether you’re looking for a quick cafe bite or a full dining experience. And remember each place on this list, topped with vegan delights, contributes to a greater understanding of what Istanbul has to offer for those who cherish veggie dining.

Vegan Scene In Istanbul

But let me tell you, if you ever find yourself in Türkiye, you’re in for a real treat! This place is like a hidden gem for anyone on the vegan or vegetarian train. And just to set the record straight, we’re not talking about those places that slap a couple of faux-meat options on the menu and call it a day. No way!

Türkiye’s cuisine? It’s something else. Imagine a junction where centuries of influences – from the Greeks and Romans to the vibrant cultures of the Middle East and Europe – all mix together. What you get is this fantastic culinary treasure trove that’s just brimming with plant-based goodness.

And the best part? Knowing where to dig in.

So, if you’re down to explore some seriously tasty vegan eats that go way beyond the basics, Türkiye’s got your back. Trust me, it’s like discovering a whole new world of flavors you never knew you needed. Get ready to be wowed!

Vegan-Friendly Restaurants In Istanbul

Here are the best restaurants in Istanbul for vegans:

1. Veganarsist – Burgers

Veganarsist is a small restaurant with a surprisingly rich menu. It serves some of the best vegan burgers in Istanbul—the restaurant’s owner even won a vegan food contest with its burger. In addition to mouth-watering burgers, the place serves vegan meatballs and delicious traditional Turkish dishes.

Veganarsist is also famous for its savory vegan cakes, puddings, brownies, and biscuits. On the Veganarsist website, you can buy vegan meat, ayran, and other products.

The restaurant is located at Osmanağa, Canan Sk. 20/A, 34714 Kadıköy/İstanbul

2. KafeNAsanat – Best Turkish Breakfast

Women eating Traditional Turkish Village Breakfast served in restaurant. Meze
Fingers and meze are a-ok!

Located in the Beşiktaş area of Istanbul, KafeNAsanat is an eco-friendly and vegan-friendly café that prides itself on its recycled construction materials and strong stance against consumerism and animal exploitation.

It offers a relaxing atmosphere and a menu that features delicious vegan Turkish dishes, including vegan ravioli with extra garlic and an amazing breakfast. It is described as having a cozy atmosphere, comfy chairs, and super friendly people and is particularly noted for its Turkish breakfast and köfte dürüm.

The restaurant is located at Türkali, Nüzhetiye Karakol Sk. No:3, 34357 Beşiktaş/İstanbul​​​​.

3. Vegan Masa – Vegan Versions Of Turkish

Turkey Travel Blog_Vegan Guide To Turkey_Vegan Masa
Photo: Vegan Masa

Located in Besiktas, Vegan Masa is celebrated for its traditional Turkish favorites like lahmacun (a type of flatbread with toppings) and pide. It’s known for its fresh, made-to-order meals cooked in a stone oven. The restaurant is not only affordable but also offers unique items like vegan Ayran (a traditional Turkish yogurt drink)​​​.

4. YUZU Vegan Asian

YUZU is a vegan restaurant offering Asian cuisine with a minimalist theme and a homey terrace located in Kadıköy. The menu includes sushi, noodles, gyozas, curries, glazed tofu, and Pad Thai, making it the go-to place for vegan Asian dishes in Istanbul​​​.

5. Vegan Istanbul – Healthy Vegan Options

Vegan Istanbul, situated in Çukurcuma, is famed for homemade and healthy vegan Turkish food. You can pick dishes directly from the counter, with Turkish pasta and kombucha being highly recommended. The restaurant is known for its homely atmosphere and quality dishes at affordable prices, providing a quiet neighborhood feel​​.

6. Bi Nevi Deli Vegan Restaurant – Vegan And Vegetarian Dishes

Turkey Travel Blog_Vegan Guide To Turkey_Bi Nivi Deli
Photo: Bi Nivi Deli

In the upscale Etiler neighborhood, Bi Nevi Deli offers a seasonal menu with international flair, from pancakes and smoothie bowls to green goddess bowls and vegan Caesar salad. Their homemade vegan desserts, especially the vegan fruit tart with coconut cream, are a must-try

7. Vegan Community Kitchen – Vegan-Friendly Kebabs

This wonderful vegan spot is nestled in the colorful streets of Balat, Istanbul. It’s known for its delicious Turkish cuisine, especially the vegan Döner made with seitan.

The owner, Oya, focuses on creating a sense of community, offering vegan cooking classes and hosting a market for local street cats on Sundays. Although the menu is small, it’s crafted with attention to detail, showcasing dishes like vegan kebab.

The Vegan Community Kitchen is located at Ayvansaray, Lavanta Sk. No:14, 34087 Fatih/İstanbul​​​​.

8. Vegan Dükkan Lokanta – Best Vegan Food Made With Organic Ingredients

What To Eat In Turkey - Turkish Food - Manti

In the Beyoğlu district, Vegan Dükkan Lokanta stands out for its dedication to vegan and organic ingredients. Owned by Tarkan, who has been a vegan for 17 years, this restaurant and adjacent vegan store offer a range of vegan products, from snacks to essential cooking ingredients.

Opened in 2004, the store is a treasure trove for vegans, while the restaurant, which opened next door in 2022, specializes in traditional Turkish vegan dishes. It avoids fast food staples in favor of items like vegan manti and kebab.

It’s located at Cihangir, Sıraselviler Cad, Soğancı Sk., 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

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Others Vegan Restaurants In Istanbul

  • 9. Bi Nevi Deli. Offers a mix of Turkish flavors and international dishes in Istanbul’s upmarket Etiler neighborhood​
  • 10. Falafel Koy. Praised for serving the best falafel and hummus in Istanbul​​
  • 11. Vegan Dünyası. A cozy café known for coffee, desserts, and a variety of vegan products​​
  • 12. Cigkofteci Ali Usta. Specializes in vegan çiğ köfte, a traditional Turkish dish made without meat​​
  • 13. Wegain. Known for its vegan desserts and a buffet style that includes a wide range of vegan options​

Vegan Food In Istanbul I Suggest You Try

Find Athens street foods like Dolma, greek traditional appetizer. selective focus stuffed vine leaves for sale on market. Close-up. Top view

  1. Çiğ Köfte
  2. Kuru Fasulye
  3. Stuffed Vine Leaves
  4. Misir
  5. Simit
  6. Vegan Corba
  7. Lentil Kofte
  8. Kisir
  9. Acili Ezme
  10. Imam Bayildi

Let me walk you through some must-try vegan delights that’ll have your taste buds dancing with joy.

First up, Çiğ Köfte. Initially, this dish involves raw meat, but the vegan version is a game-changer. Imagine a spicy, tangy mix of bulgur wheat, tomato paste, and a blend of herbs and spices; all hand-kneaded into this mouth-watering masterpiece. It’s often served wrapped in lettuce or with a side of lemon to squeeze on top. Perfect for a light, refreshing bite any time of the year.

Then there’s Kuru Fasulye, a comforting white bean stew that’s a staple in Turkish homes. Cooked with a tomato-based sauce and a variety of spices, it’s simple, hearty, and utterly delicious. Paired with some fluffy rice or fresh bread, it’s a warm hug in a bowl, especially during those cooler months.

Stuffed Vine Leaves, or as you might hear, “Sarma,” are these delicate little rolls filled with a mixture of rice, pine nuts, and aromatic herbs. Served cold with a slice of lemon, they’re the perfect pick-me-up snack or a starter, especially in the warmer seasons. They’re like little bites of happiness, really.

Vegan In Istanbul - Misir, corn cobs

Misir, or grilled corn on the cob, is a street food favorite. Picture walking down a bustling Istanbul street, and there’s that smoky, sweet aroma in the air. That’s misir for you. Seasoned with salt, spices, or a squeeze of lemon, it’s the ultimate summer snack.

Ah, Simit, the undisputed king of Turkish street food. Think of a sesame-crusted bread ring that’s crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and absolutely divine when fresh. Paired with Turkish tea, it’s the breakfast of champions or a snack any time of the day.

Vegan Çorba (soup) varieties in Istanbul will make you rethink everything you know about soups. From rich lentil soups to tomato-based delights and beyond, there’s a comforting bowl for every palate. It’s like a warm hug on a cold day.

Lentil Köfte—now that’s a treat! Imagine spiced lentil and bulgur wheat patties, vibrant with herbs and shaped by hand. Served with lettuce or wrapped in flatbread, it’s a simple yet incredibly satisfying meal.

Kisir is another bulgur wheat marvel. It’s a spicy, tangy salad mixed with tomato paste, herbs, and pomegranate molasses. It’s refreshing, with a delightful crunch from fresh vegetables. Perfect for those light lunches when you want something quick yet bursting with flavor.

Acili Ezme is for spice lovers. A fiery blend of tomatoes, peppers, onions, and a whole lot of seasoning, it’s a kick of flavor that goes well with just about anything. A staple side dish that adds zest to your meals.

Last but not least, Imam Bayildi—a dish so good it’s named after a fainting Imam. Picture tender eggplants stuffed with a savory mix of onion, garlic, tomatoes, and olive oil, then slowly baked to perfection. It’s a rich, melt-in-your-mouth kind of dish, enjoyed throughout the year but especially beloved in eggplant season.

Find Word On Vegan Friendly Istanbul

And there you have it, a whirlwind tour of Istanbul’s vibrant vegan scene, which is as rich and diverse as the city itself. From the bustling streets of the European side to the serene vibes on the Asian side, each restaurant and dish we’ve explored is a testament to the city’s love affair with vegan and vegetarian cuisine.

Whether you’re craving a traditional Turkish breakfast, a hearty vegan kebab, or innovative dishes like sushi and fried sushi, Istanbul has you covered. Every bite not only satisfies the palate but also offers a glimpse into the heart of Turkish culture, all while being kind to the planet. So, next time you’re in Istanbul, let your taste buds lead the way and discover why this city is a paradise for vegans.

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