The restaurant with a long name “Gaziantep Közde Künefe Kebap Salonu” is currently my favorite place in all of Istanbul. The city of Gaziantep, which is in the name, is considered the gastronomic center of the entire Turkish cuisine and the restaurant honors this reference with the quality of its dishes.
Gaziantep Közde Künefe Kebap Salonu is one of those places where I would like to taste the menu from the first to the last item. And since I was showing my parents and sister around Istanbul during my last visit, we took on this task together. The food at this place is not only well-seasoned but also cheap. For example, these grilled chicken wings with bulgur, grilled vegetables, and flatbread cost 75 lira, which is about 4 EUR.
Gradually, we tasted most of the kebabs, beyran and ezogelin soups, cheese dessert künefe or excellently prepared fresh ayran. The spicy ezme salad with peppers and tomatoes, which is served as a side dish to meat dishes, was one of the best I have eaten in Turkey.
The vegetable salad here costs 30 lira, which is about 1.60 EUR. The salad is not only perfectly seasoned but also looks great.
The service in the restaurant was fast and willing, appetizers or flatbread were always on the table just a few moments after ordering. Fresh flatbread is grilled on a charcoal grill before serving.
You can choose kebab and other meat directly from the street, it is prepared in advance on skewers, everything is displayed in a cooling box behind the window. If you walk around the restaurant several times during the day, it is interesting to watch how the amount of displayed food decreases as the restaurant serves more and more satisfied customers.
It is possible to sit inside the establishment, but there are also a few tables on the street. Reservations are not necessary, we always came without one and were immediately seated. The restaurant does not accept card payments. If I could recommend only one single place to eat in the whole of Istanbul, it would be this one.
More information can be obtained by clicking on the map link:
Accommodation in Istanbul
I wholeheartedly endorse the Mest Hotel located directly in the heart of Istanbul. The hotel is elegantly renovated, the breakfasts are incredible and the views are spectacular. I last stayed here in the fall of 2022 and will definitely be back again.