Antalya Restaurants & Bars – A Few Places We Liked…

It’s fair to say that it’s taken us a few visits to really click with Antalya…but we don’t like to be defeated – and, thanks to Barry running in Runatolia for the last couple of years, along with a quick overnight trip to watch our favourite Turkish band, Duman, at the Jolly Joker, it’s meant we’ve been back in the city three times in the past couple of years. With each visit, we’ve dipped our toes in, wandered, got on buses, got lost and, more importantly, got a bit more of a feel for the city – and a feel for a good few Antalya restaurants & bars…

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know we’re bar people. If we find a good bar where we’re comfortable, we’re happy. If we can find somewhere to get good food at a good price – we travel on a budget – we’re happy. Whether Antalya is changing with time and that is matching us more, or whether we’re just becoming more familiar with the city and finding what was always there, we really couldn’t say. Whatever the case, each time we visit Antalya, we love it more and more – and this time, we left the city feeling really happy and looking forward to the next time we’re there.

Antalya Bars

Antalya Restaurants & Bars – Filika and Benzin

This post is a just a little mention of the places we’ve found over the last couple of years where we’re happy to wander in, plonk ourselves down after a long day’s exploration (or running) and enjoy a chill out with a beer – and maybe some food…

Filika – Kaleiçi

The photo above shows two places – one we’ve loved for a while and one that was a ‘find’ last year. The bottom centre photo is Filika. We wrote about Filika back in 2011 in a post about finding a haven wherever we are in Turkey. Filika was our Antalya haven in 2011 and we still visit now. An out and out bar with live music on at nights and rock hard chairs…just how a bar should be! Filika is also where we were introduced to the music of Kazım Koyuncu. So, as long as Filika is around, we’ll be bobbing in for a beer or two and some live music.

Benzin Cafe – Işıklar

The multi-coloured seats and walls you can see in the other photos are last year’s find, Benzin Cafe. There’s a Benzin in Lara, too, just across the road from the Jolly Joker Concert Hall, actually.

Both are great places just for sitting and chilling. Loads of staff and loads of customers, Cadillac car seating areas – we always opt for a table – and lots of chatter. A good atmosphere. On this year’s visit, we ate at the Işıklar Benzin on the day before the run. Pizza and pasta dishes can be recommended – Barry wanted pasta as a pre-run energy boost and I wanted pizza because it was my birthday. Pizza is allowed on birthdays…and other times too…

Chef Fish House, Kaleiçi, Antalya

Antalya Restaurants & Bars – Chef Fish House on the edge of Kaleiçi

Chef Fish House – Kaleiçi

We noticed an influx of balık ekmek places this year around Kaleiçi. We love our balık ekmek (fish in a half bread) at Popeye’s Boat in Fethiye – but the balık ekmek places around Kaleiçi had a choice of various seafoods.

The place in the photo above, Chef Fish House, also did full plate meals, and, despite the pouring rain on the night we were there, there were groups of people having a full meyhane-style seafood meal, complete with rakı.

Me and Barry did what we do best – balık ekmek and a beer. But not just any normal ‘balık.’ There was a choice of prawns, mussels, whiting, kokoreç (fish offal), calamari…and on and on…Very cheap, and, as we’d had köfte and Antalya piyaz at Topçu Kebap the day before, seafood was a good change.

Gizli Bahçe, Kaleiçi, Antalya

Antalya Restaurants & Bars – Gizli Bahçe, Kaleiçi

Gizli Bahçe – Kaleiçi

And then there was this year’s accidental find. Actually, most of our finds in Kaleiçi are accidental because we’re always lost – but we like to think we can be forgiven on this one, given that ‘Gizli Bahçe’ means ‘Secret Garden.’

We wondered if it was a new place…until we got home and saw the date on the entrance sign we’d taken a photo of. Since 1997, apparently. Like we said, maybe we’re only just starting to discover places in Antalya that have been there all along.

We stumbled into Gizli Bahçe as soon as we arrived in Antalya. After a bit of a trauma (of the exaggerated type) trying to drive through the city centre and trying to find a parking spot, as driver, I needed a beer…

As passenger, Barry needed a beer…

Tetchiness hadn’t infiltrated the day just yet – and Gizli Bahçe – the first bar we saw and so automatically walked into – was our emergency mood rescue and also just so happened to be our ideal sort of place. Great music, open fire, rock hard chairs (again), a constant chatter and comings and goings day and night. An old Kaleiçi building with a tarpaulin-covered rear garden that leaked just a tad in the rain. So cosy and welcoming, though…

We returned here a few times while we were in the city and Gizli Bahçe is probably going to be the first place we head for next time we’re back in Antalya.

We all want different things from travel: Luxury hotels, pensions, hostels, Blue Flag beaches, mountains, ancient ruins, amusement parks, swimming pools, whatever…

Us…if we find our comfortable chill places where we can sit, relax and chat, then the rest falls into place. Slowly, slowly, we’ve found those Antalya restaurants & bars – and, in the future, we know we’ll find more besides…

(These) Antalya Restaurants & Bars – Useful Info

  • Filika Bar is on Paşa Camii Sokak in Kaleiçi.
  • Gizli Bahçe is on a narrow side street between Karadayı Sokak and Izmirli Ali Efendi Sokak in Kaleiçi.
  • Chef Fish House is on the corner of Mescit Sokak (Kaleiçi) and Atatürk Caddesi.
  • Benzin (Işıklar) is on the corner of Fevzi Çakmak Caddesi and Atatürk Caddesi. Close to the park area and the sea.

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Comments

  1. How great to find a place that you love more and more each time you visit it. 🙂

  2. Now this is a big request, but could you go into all theses places with a dog to see which ones we can take Jake to.

    • Hmm, now that’s a good question. We didn’t see anyone in these places with dogs…but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be allowed, I guess. Benzin has a big outside seating area, for instance so maybe you could sit with Jake there. 🙂

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