Sponsored post: Last year at this time I was on a quick trip alone to Antalya. I needed to get away and get some peace of mind. And then there were a lot of exciting people who wanted to get in touch with me through the blog and exciting offers that were just waiting. Balıkçı meyhanesi – the nicest little restaurant in the middle of the old town of Kaleici – was one of them.
Actually, I first contacted Balıkçı Meyhanesi when I was in the city. I have heard very well about the restaurant from several places and decided to just have a look, when I was in town. I had especially heard, that their meze should be phenomenal and that of course they also had a lot of good fish (“balik” means fish in Turkish) and all sorts of other delicious traditional dishes.
Balıkçı meyhanesi is a really nice restaurant with really good traditional Turkish food. In fact, this is a place that is filled with turks every weekend and very often in the weekdays aswell. And they know their lice on the corridors very well, so to speak. They know what’s good and where to get it. So if you find a place, where it’s filled with locals, it’s just about hurrying in there and have a seat and some food, because it will definitely be excellent compared to “tourist-standards”. Another quality stamp is also if the place has been there for some years. This restaurant started in May 2016, so it has not been there that long, but has gained a lot of popularity due to the good local food and the lovely atmosphere.
It is also 4 experienced gentlemen, who own the restaurant in common. The brothers Özbaylar are busy businessmen and own 2 restaurants, 2 carpet shops and 3 hotels in the city with a total of 65 employees. So one must think that they know what they are doing. And that it certainly seems to me.
Music and charm:
I really thought it was just a small restaurant. Many of the houses in Kaleici are not so big, so it sets its natural limitations. But no. It turned out, that the restaurant was huge, on two floors and with a large courtyard as well. And it was filled to the breaking point, when I arrived on a Saturday night. It says a lot, when there is room for 300 people inside and outside. On the first floor there was a large Henna party who readily stood up, almost requiring me to take pictures of them (like our hen night or bachelor party).
And then there was music. The most beautiful Turkish music, that you can only be really happy with 🙂 Though some may think, it sounds noisy and like a different affair, I really love the old Turkish folk music. The kind where there is no song and where both drum, saz, violin and clarinet are in play. It gives a fantastic atmosphere for the amazing food.
There is music every night here. And a good mix of local folk music some days and other days of Turkish 80’s music or song (it’s on sundays, so avoid this day – or come depending on how curious you are about Turkish 80’s music).
Delicious local food:
The food is a chapter by itself and is more than delicious. It’s actually really, really good. Good ingredients, careful preparation and relaxed atmosphere. They have, for example, their own farm, where they breed the lambs they serve. Since it has specialiced in fish, I went all the way on this. I was recommended one of the house’s specialties Güvec – sizzling prawns in chili butter sauce, and then the grilled salmon. Uhhmm … that was super delicious. Especially the prawns I have trouble forgetting … I should also taste Calemares – fried squid, different meze, salad, etc. I loved it all … It was really good and with a really good (Turkish) white wine alongside 🙂
It’s a nice place to come with the family – especially if you are a “real” tourist and actually want to learn something about the country, the food and the culture. But .. the music (and the mood) can be a little bit high, later in the evening. A “Meyhane” is, what you will call a “Taverne” in Greece, a small restaurant with local food and Raki (or Ouzo if you are in Greece). In this case, they specialize in meze, fish and everything from the sea. And then Raki and good wine, nice atmosphere and authentic music.
They are open late, so it’s a place where you can sit and enjoy the food for a very long time. The prices are more than affordable and they have a many (mainly turkish) good wines to choose from.
If you are planning on a weekend, it may be a good idea to book a table first – just so you are guaranteed a seat. They are open every day from 19-02.
If you wonder YES, then this is sponsored by Balıkçı meyhanesi. But it is on my own initiative, that I contacted them and asked if they would like to join the blog. Fortunately, they had – and what an experience. I sincerely hope others will be inspired to visit and experience the restaurant, see how nice it is and taste the very good traditional local food.