Passing by Latife Hanım Meyhanesi on Bekar Sokak off İstiklal Caddesi, you wouldn’t think twice about the nostalgia it exudes for the first years of the Turkish Republic. The standard portrait of Atatürk looms, photographs of early Republican-era women line the walls, and Bülent Ersoy and Zeki Müren records play on repeat.
What surprises is that Latife’s menu and prices are much better than those at Taksim’s other, let’s say, shambling meyhanes. Once the mezes arrive, the transportation to a different era is complete. Before us are mung beans, zucchini almond paste, lakerda (pickled bonito) and fava-bean paste made with olive oil specially imported from Cyprus. As for the main course, we recommend starting with octopus in a clay pot (though it is a bit pricey), and moving onto the liver dish (which comes with plenty of onions). At the end of the meal, try the Cypriot macun (a gooey traditional Ottoman candy). Even though it may leave your mouth feeling a bit odd from the stickiness, it has an interesting taste.
Latife Hanım Meyhanesi sets itself apart from its local competition with its inventive meze options and is worth every kuruş. For those who enjoy their rakı best with a cigarette, there’s even a small smoking area.
|Venue name:||Latife Hanım Meyhanesi|
İstiklal Caddesi, Bekar Sokak 22/A
|Opening hours:||Daily 12.00-00.00|