Karakoy Balıkcisi, does not even have ‘the restaurant’ connotation with its name. The name simply means: Karakoy Fish Seller. ‘Tarihi’ used at the beginning of the name is just an adjective meaning ‘Historic’, and founded in 1923 it is ‘historic’. Its location is rather quirky: just behind the Karakoy Fish market and adjacent run down coastline, in the very interesting and historic Ironmongers’ Market.
This unassuming, two story box-like place is open only for lunch, and they don’t serve any alcohol. Most customers are people working in Karakoy neighborhood and their business connections. And of course anyone who has had the chance of tasting their fabulous specials find a reason to come all the way from wherever they are. And mind you, in Istanbul’s heavy traffic, traveling just for lunch requires quite some time and a strong will.
The days’ fish along with their daily prices, and the other menu items are announced on a blackboard written with chalk. The most famous duo are the Fish Soup, and the Sea Bass cooked in Paper. Their fish soup is probably the best in town. They only use the fresh natural ingredients, that is no frozen shrimp or whatsoever. You can consult the stuff about what’s the best catch of the day.
Upon the strong demand the owners opened an evening venue, just next door. Called ‘Griffin Balık’ this second place has a stunning view of the old city. But the atmosphere in the original lunch place is ‘original’.