Food and drink
A traditional mix of hot and cold starters – including dishes such as artichoke in olive oil, chard stuffed with meat and rice, and octopus salad – followed by kebabs and grilled fish, washed down with beer, wine, or rakı. I’m no liver fan, but the Anavut ciğeri (Albanian fried liver) is actually quite good.
The setting in an old house gives Sofyalı a cosy feel, although it’s always bustling and lively with couples and groups.
You might have to flag a waiter down with your request, but it will be met speedily and politely.
Smack-bang in the middle of the Beyoğlu nightlife, in the popular Asmalımescit area.
Meze portions range from 3 to 12 lira depending on the dish, with seafood the most expensive. Main-dish kebabs are around 12 lira; fish prices vary (be sure to ask before ordering).
Tables to book
Unless you’re with a group, make sure to get a table on the sidewalk or in the downstairs area. The upstairs salon is less attractively decorated and doesn’t allow for as much people-watching. Reservations are a must on weekends.
- Seasoned travellers
- People watching