Refik is one of Istanbul’s oldest and best-known meyhanes opened by Refik Aslan in 1954. He ran this meyhane until his death in 2011 and now his son, with the same name, Refik Aslan Jr., runs the family business. Father Refik’s place was the heart of this bohemian neighborhood where novelists, poets and intellectuals are frequent visitors. Today, photos of these famous visitors are still displayed on the walls of the meyhane.
Its simple interior design makes you feel at home and the low volume Turkish classical music is ideal for long chats with friends while enjoying delicious mezes that change seasonally. The triangle shaped pastry and fried liver are house specialties and always on top of my list, followed by fresh fish according to season.
You’ll need a reservation especially for the weekends but you may find a seat on weekdays if you arrive early.