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Community Kitchen

  • Vegan Vegan
    ( 36 reviews )
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Kumbaracı Yokuşu 57/ A, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, Turkey, 34000

Jan 2015 re-opened here after move from Luleci Hendek Caddesi 27, Tophane. Offers vegan food with dishes like iskender and balls, Bosnian cevapi kofte, vegan lasagna and vegan baklava, seasonal menu with Turkish rice, stuffed peppers and eggplant, olive oil cold plates, plus smoothies and cookies. Sunday is wild mushroom day. Apr 2015 no longer offers a buffet. Open Tue-Sat 12:00pm-9:00pm.

Category: Vegan, Pizza, Middle Eastern, Turkish

Reviews (36)

First Review by Sacha

Cozy and friendly - Edit

This place is a little jewel: the atmosphere is very cozy and home-like; the owner very friendly; the food tasty and prepared with love, at a very reasonable price.
I will definitely eat here as often as I can during my visit. Highly recommended.

Pros: Very central location, Great atmosphere, Food made with love

Cons: Not a single one


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awesome vegan hangout - Edit

Fantastic food at a good price. If you need some inspiration to walk down the vegan path, you should try it. The "kebap" is amazing. Also try the baklava, and ask what makes it sweet ;) the space, a well-maintained ancient Beyoğlu brick structure, feels secure and spacious. Most of all, the host was absolutely warm and friendly. Join the community!

Pros: all vegan! super awesome kebap and baklava

Cons: nothing


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one of the best in istanbul - Edit

The place is very small but nice... street cats are hosted there, sometimes they can be interested in your food :)
the menu changes daily but they have some staple items such as vegan iskender and meze. The owner is very nice!
One of my favourite in istanbul

Pros: vegan 100%, kind owner

Cons: not much choice


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Absolutely most fantastic place in Turkey - Edit

Where to start! There are so many... Owner is so friendly, nice and helpful. Foods are so delicious and you will be totally full. There are also so many herbal teas. Owner is helping to street cats. I enjoyed with vegan roll on (vegan dürüm) by seitan. You can find also vegan kebabs and vegan cheeses. Do yourself a favor and visit Community Kitchen!!!


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Nice vegan kebab and vegan ayran - Edit

When there and it wasn't open, I was told they move sometimes to different address: İstiklal, İstiklal Cad. No:116, Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey (Hazzopulo Pasaji) there is a caffeine in the Pasaz it says Vegan on the window
They had only vegan kebab this evening it was nice.
I want to go there next time and try some traditional turkish dishes

Pros: Homemade

Cons: Not big variety


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Half way to heaven - Edit

If you're fit. young and healthy, slog it up the steepest hill in Istanbul, and half-way up, on the left, you'll find Oya's Community Kitchen. There'll be a cat or two outside, so you can't miss it. Oya is very kind and forgiving; I was knackered by the time I got there, but she didn't turn a hair. Even though the gradient tested my heart medicine to the limit, it was worth it. A delicious vegan version of a Turkish dona, with hibiscus tea to cool me down; delicious pizza, and carrot cake and banana-sweetened cookies to take away- what more could you want? Oya even made up some sunflower milk for me to try.

Istanbul's street food appears to be mainly vegan, with corn on the cob, pretzels and chestnuts available at every public square, but if you want to treat yourself, AND be treated well, get down to the Community Kitchen- and I do mean down; go up to Taksim Square, and then go DOWN the hill and save yourself a coronary!

Pros: Very kind and friendly staff, Delicious food, Cats!

Cons: Oya's sign's a bit small; you could miss the place


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Just eat there! - Edit

Its a small but really lovely restaurant. In one week we ate there two times! The food is very delicious. The effort she put in the vegan Iskender was worth it, even my meat eating boyfriend said: WOW! Its better than the "normal" one. YAMMY!

Pros: Delicious, Friendly, Cats

Cons: Small, Little bit dark


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Community Kitchen Istanbul - Edit

Lovely welcoming restaurant in Beyoglu district.The soups are delicious and my pumpkin soup was so tasty.The home made seitan is superb.A great option for vegans in Istanbul

Pros: Delicious seitan, Pretty interior, Lots of vegan options


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Turkish Delight - Edit

Oya serves up homemade food on two long tables that foster the feeling of dining at home among friends (both human and feline). Hearty meals take their inspiration from non-vegan Turkish favorites. Location is just a short walk down the hill from Istakal Caddesi, Istanbul's famous avenue teeming with shopping and dining options.


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sweet, yummy cafe - Edit

Excellent meal and homey atmosphere at this vegan cafe. We had amazing Bosnian koftes (made of white bean) and Iskender (doner with tomato) - Oya the chef/owner makes her own fantastic seitan from gluten & rice. She brought us a borek stuffed with spinach to try - also delicious. Vegan desserts, too -- baklava and chocolate cake. Good sage tea. Oh, and sweet cats to keep you company. Highly recommend!
Updated from previous review on Monday March 14, 2016


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You must eat here! - Edit

Hello dear cows!

Last week, my wife and I went to Istanbul for a 5-day trip. This place, the "community kitchen" is a must visit! Of the 5 days, we ate here, twice, since we liked the good food, the ridiculously low price and the kind owner.

Just ask her what you should eat (that's what we did) and I promise you it will be superb. Don't forget to give a tip, since the owner is too friendly and in my opinion could ask her visitors to pay more for the food. (When we gave a tip, we even got more food from her, to take with us to our Guesthouse. Too kind!)

For those interested: we had Vegan Kebab, Köfte, Ayran, Vegan powerballs and Apfelstrudle and Beetroot/lemon-pizza.

One more advice, pay close attention to the housenumber, since the "Community Kitchen" doesn't have a very obvious sign hanging outside, so you can easily miss it.

Pros: Warm atmosphere, Tasty food, Low price

Cons: Easily overlooked


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perfect meal in winter - Edit

Went here with two friends last night, had such a lovely experience. The atmosphere was warm, the food was incredible and abundant, and the price was quite reasonable. We essentially had a feast with 6 or 7 large dishes for us to share and hibiscus tea for only 99 TL. The owner/cook was super helpful when we told her that one of our party was gluten free, and she chatted with us throughout the meal. We will definitely be back the next time we are in Istanbul!

Pros: warm atmosphere, amazing food, large portions, reasonably priced

Cons: none!


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Super cozy lovely place! - Edit

We were surprised to find this lovely all vegan place in Istanbul. The owner is a warm hearted lady with a chilly cat.
In the community kitchen is space for about 40 people, so it's pretty small which made us feel like home :)

We ordered a mixed plate and a seitan kebab, brownies and a power ball for desert and everything was super delicious.


Pros: nice staff, free water, delicious, inexpensive food


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Very good food, homey and relaxed, friendly - Edit

We went to Community Kitchen our first night in Istanbul. We had meze and seitan Iskender Kebab. Everything tasted really good and it was a very cozy place. Perfect first night out!


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Amazing vegan place in Beyoglu - Edit

I'm very happy that Community Kitchen has re-opened. I've discovered Oya's restaurant a few years ago while visiting Istanbul, and it was a great experience. She was very friendly, her menu was always from fresh, local ingredients and the dishes were great. Every time I come back, I go to her place.

Since then she moved to a new place and it just even made her restaurant more amazing. Her food is really good, it's made with care and love. I really appriciate that she plays with colors and temperature, it's a great experience to eat at her place. Her shop welcomes LGBTQ folks.
Updated from previous review on Saturday November 28, 2015

Pros: great dishes, cozy atmosphere, local ingredients

Cons: no wifi


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Incredible Turkish Vegan Food - Edit

This is a great opportunity for vegans to sample traditional turkish food. The chef/ owner Oya makes vegan versions of dishes such as Iskander out of her home made seitan. It is delicious. She also makes Turkish "mezze" appetizers like grape leaves stuffed w quinuoa, and olive oil vegetable dishes. The atmosphere is beautiful and warm and prices are surprisingly low. Highly recommended!

Pros: Delicious, Beautiful place, Good prices


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Excelent vegan food in Istanbul - Edit

This place is cozy and serves very different but nice food. If you get tired ot the typical mezzes of the area, this is the place to have some particular turkish vegan cuisine.

Service is amazing and desserts are worth a try.


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Okayish - Edit

Community kitchen is a warm and cosy shelter close to Istiklal caddesi. The interior is really nice, and so is the staff.
I had the vegan Iskender plate, which was sauteed seitan with a sprinkle of tomato sauce and some homemade almond yoghurt.
I have to say that I would not return there for culinary reasons - the food was okay, but slightly overpriced, a bit cold and flat in terms of taste.
If you are looking for a calm, LGBTQI*-friendly place to hang out, go there.

Pros: Nice staff, Nice interior, LGBTQI* friendly

Cons: Food has not much taste, slightly overpriced


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Very nice food nad atmosphere - Edit

The food is really delicious,the people very friendly and the prise is moderate.
I loved it to be there,its like in a family. Thank you for that!!!

Pros: excellent food, nice vibe, friendly stauff


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Best place for vegans! - Edit

I enjoyed vegan kebab and a mushroom plate at this place and it was really good! The staff is really friendly, the atmosphere is calm and relaxed. The place is cozy and clean. Don't miss this place but bring some time, since it could take a bit longer if there are a lot of people.


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A vegan gem in the heart of Istanbul!! :) - Edit

I cannot say enough good things about Community Kitchen - I went here several times during my trip to Istanbul and kept coming back because I loved everything about it!
Firstly, the owner is so friendly, warm and welcoming; she makes you feel like you're at home and she is so knowledgeable about the vegan diet and properties of different ingredients. The atmosphere is so cozy, mellow, relaxing and inviting (as the name suggests, like a community) and there are 2 adorable cats who like to lounge around, while delicious vegan food is being prepared with love and care.
I was so happy to find VEGAN doner kebab (!!) and really enjoyed the mushrooms available on Sunday. I was lucky enough to celebrate my birthday at Community Kitchen and was presented with a DELICIOUS chocolate and banana cake and a special meal made for me :) It was wonderful!! I also took part in a Sunday morning cooking class and went along with the owner to a local market to choose all the fresh ingredients and enjoy a lovely vegan breakfast made by one of the stall owners, before returning to the kitchen to prepare a delicious mezze of dolmas and muhamarra. Nothing but positive things to say about this place, I had a wonderful experience each time I went there and it really felt like my home in Istanbul!! Vegans visiting Istanbul....go to Community Kitchen, go!!

Pros: Cozy and inviting atmosphere, Vegan doner! Vegan everything!, Wonderful and friendly owner


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probably the best vegan place in Istanbul - Edit

vegan Turkish cuisine, all the Turkish dishes you taught you cant eat or never even try you can find in the vegan version of it , and its amazing! all is home made and in high quality , Im living in Istanbul few years and the "community kitchen" made my vegan life from happy to much more happy :) , I recommend you to try the vegan "Iskandar" ,vegan "dolma" and you can also take away with you to the airport vegan "doner" , for breakfast there is also vegan omelet( from chikpeas flower) and home made vegan cheese .


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Community kitchen is absolutely outstanding - Edit

We ate here last night. It's sole-proprietor, and the owner/chef is incredibly creative. She makes traditional Turkish dishes and others, but using ingredients and approaches (to omelet, to yoghurt) that I never would have though of but will immediately attempt when my wife and I get home. Make sure you try or take-away dessert, her baking is amazing.

The restaurant is about a block away from one of the most active late-night districts, so come any time and there's plenty to do afterwards.

If you're vegan or vegetarian you have to stop here.

Pros: Excellent food, Excellent chef, Excellent space and atmosphere


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Very much a community - Edit

This place feels very much like a community. While we were there several regulars came in who were about to break their fast fro Ramadan. The owner had already prepared several dishes for them, which they also gladly shared with the others at their table. It was nice to be away from home and yet also have a very strong friendly, homey feel.

There were only two dishes on the menu, but they were both great. The seitan was wonderful, and the mixed veggie plate had a delicious selection of many different dishes. We also had the delicious ginger lemonade, which was made fresh, by hand, while we watched.

Pros: Food, Atmosphere, Cat


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Lovely location, lovely food - Edit

The two of us shared a Mezze Plate (25TL) and a seitan dish (18L) and we had a local wild green sauteed in oil and with peppers for no charge, so maybe it was part of the mezze plate? Or maybe it was just part of the special vibe we felt upon entering on a quiet mid-day Sunday.

The seitan was the best I've ever had, ever, and I guess it's because of the added bean flour in addition to the wheat gluten. We got a huge bag of takeaway seitan for 10TL.

Looking forward to our return.

Pros: Vegan, Fresh, Friendly


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Excellent food and friendly people! - Edit

Their food is the tastiest I ever tried! Such a welcoming atmosphere there. I totally loved the pies, they were so original and different. But the best thing was that after I ate there I was very energetic for the rest of the day and I felt relaxed, calm and so light. The chef of the place is very friendly. I loved this cafe so much that I was coming there every day almost for a week. The last day they made a farewell party for me! I will miss this cafe, really.


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Could be good, but has some difficulties - Edit

Although price inflation is a problem everywhere in Istanbul, it seems that Community Kitchen got a lot more expensive after they moved to their new premises.

Most of the dishes were 18TL, but there was no menu and just the 2 or 3 things they had available at the time.

This place is clearly a labour of love for the person running it and presumably their regular contributors - there were people making some desserts at the table beside us when we entered - but it just feels disjointed for outsiders.

18TL isn't actually an outrageous price compared to other places in Istanbul like Parsifal etc., but those other places don't have the DIY ethic - instead, they have proper menus, more fully considered portions, table service, no trays of food left lying around in the open etc.

Currently, this place feels more like a community or social centre for aspiring vegan cooks, and while that's not a bad thing at all, it just doesn't seem to be that compatible with the concept of a commercial cafe or restaurant.

I hope they can improve some of these aspects but it's not somewhere I would return to that quickly until they do.

Pros: Good potential with interesting dishes

Cons: Unsure if it's commercial or community


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Reviewer Avatar
Vegan

  Contributions +45

delicious homemade seitan but a bit expensive for the servings - Edit

I must say I had here the best seitan of my life and I live in Berlin which is one of the vegan friendly cities there is. Besides that, at the time of my visit, the place was not crowded so I had the opportunity for s friendly chat with the owner. I had the seitan served with almond cheese and pieces of bread within the sauce, a couple of vegan dolma and a slice of cake as a dessert. I was served also a delicious ibiscus cold tea drink. The Food was amazing but I found the portions a bit small and the cake was very average for the price (6,5 TL). In total I paid 24 TL which I considered expensive regarding the portions and the average for the city. Nevertheless it is worth a go. Note: there was no open buffet at the time of my visit and the directions link here is not updated. Use the address in the description.

Pros: delicious homemade food , nice interiors/decor , vegan Turkish cuisine

Cons: a bit on the expensive side, small portions


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Didn't let us in - Edit

After a rainy day we finally reached this place. We came in as hungry, vegan and wet foreigners looking forward to vegan food. There were many tablets with food and a group of people were already sitting there, when a female staff came and told us we can't stay because they have a closed birthday party today. We told her we were thought it is open regular. She said she posted on Facebook ONE DAY BEFORE THAT TONIGHT IT'S A CLOSED PARTY. We asked her where else to go to find a place with food that is truly vegan. She told us about a place near Galata tower we already knew that it was a bad place and another one at the asian side, where we could only get by ferry (it was about 21 pm and strong rain). She told us she's sorry but we can't stay and handed us two small baked balls and we left. I know she tried to act friendly, but in the end we were forced to cooke something at our place.
Usually i feel really connected with vegan people, even in new cities, just because every vegan know how hard it is to find vegan food as a tourist and how thankful you are for anything. But here WE WEREN'T ALLOWED TO STAY.

IT'S NOT KIND TO SEND TWO VEGAN, HUNGRY TOURISTS BACK IN THE RAINY NIGHT, BECAUSE YOU POSTED ONE DAY BEFORE THAT YOU HAVE A CLOSED PARTY TONIGHT, EVEN IF THERE IS PLENTY OF FOOD! If possible i would give ONE COW at most because she tried to be friendly.

Cons: posted one day before they are closed, weren't allowed to stay as tourists

1 Response

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textsalat 25 Jun 2015 - Sorry, AnnaLeonie, but what would you expect them to do if someone booked the restaurant for a closed party? Let you (and maybe others) in nevertheless? A restaurant owner cannot invite you to his guests birthday party. And honestly - when should they post this on FB? Weeks in advance? Who would scroll through old postings before going to a restaurant? Don't think this is a fair review. You didn't have a reservation and were neglected, so this is 'shit happens' for you, but not at all the restaurant's fault.


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Very delicious - Edit

They have very tasty vegan iskender kebap with almond yogurt. But prices are expensive for students.
Location is very fine. Staff is very friendly. And I like community kitchen's decoration

Pros: Very good taste, Good location, friendly staff

Cons: expensive


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delicious traditional turkish vegan dish! - Edit

Having eaten too many Çiğköftes already (one of the few vegan things of traditional turkish cuisine I had found so far), we searched for a vegetarian/vegan place and found Community Kitchen. We had a really delicious vegan iskender döner with almond-yoghurt that, according to my brother (who had eaten a lot of normal iskender döner before), tasted just as good. The hibuskus icetea and the cookie for desert were really tasty. You should relly visit this place if you visit Istanbul - not just for vegans or vegetarians :)
Updated from previous review on Saturday September 06, 2014

Pros: friendly, warm atmosphere, delicious food, low-budget prices


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Great food served with a smile - Edit

I first heard about this place on Couchsurfing. There was an event posted there regarding a vegan potluck (I think this might be a weekly thing on Tuesdays). I was travelling alone in Istanbul so went along. The place is located in a nice street not far from Galata Tower. Everyone was really welcoming and friendly towards me and I had a nice evening chatting to people about the Istanbul vegan scene etc. From what I gathered from two Dutch girls at the potluck, you can also volunteer in the kitchen, helping to chop veg and bake cookies etc.
At the end of the evening, I asked whether they would be open for breakfast in the morning as my hostel was not very vegan-friendly and they said yes. The next morning I went back (they recognised me from the night before)and was greeted with a big genuine warm friendly smile. Breakfast consisted of: a smoothie, oats with homemade almond yoghurt and fruit pureé, a platter containing mini burgers, salad, mini lasagne, homemade almond cheese, jam and nuts, a huge basket full of bread, a cookie, tea and a glass of homemade almond milk! I was stuffed and didn't need to eat for the rest of the day. And all that for 15 TL! Very affordable, tasty creative food served by passionate, friendly and down-to-earth people. I definitely recommend this place!

Pros: very friendly staff, affordable, location


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Fantastic find! - Edit

By a magical accident I was staying across the street from this place during my week in Istanbul. I cannot say enough great things about it! I ate there three times, and each time was delicious. It's not a traditional restaurant, but the food and drink is free-flowing and very reasonably priced and everyone is warm and welcoming (the second night I was there, I stumbled in on their weekly potluck, and even though I didn't have anything to contribute, they refused to let it matter). They are also very accommodating to food allergies, which made my life sooo much easier. If I'm ever in Istanbul again, I will seek this place out. I can't recommend it highly enough!

Pros: Delicious food, Friendly staff, Extremely reasonably priced

Cons: Not a lot of seating, Hard to spot from the street


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Lovely place, good food - Edit

Visited Community Kitchen this evening, on the last day of my stay in Istanbul. It's off down a side-street, but not far from the main road and easy enough to find if you use the map - but it's not very obvious when you get there (although to be fair, I am very unobservant). Look for the board outside!

It's definitely worth finding! Really nice food, very nice, friendly woman who runs it, and a nice ambience. This is my last day here, but if/when I return to Istanbul (I'm here on business) I suspect I might visit it every night!

Pros: Good food, Friendly staff, Nice vibe

Cons: Took me a couple of minutes to spot it


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An enchanting start-up - Edit

I visited this place August '14 and was truly enchanted. The Community Kitchen only just started when we showed up (group of 8, two families), and its still a work in progress. It is the most wonderful place though, and I fully recommend it. The food is a mix of Turkish and more continental dishes, serving one set daily menu. Don't worry about the lack of choice, though, the owner/chef is a fantastically inventive and skilled cook, as well as a kind and welcoming host. I had dinner here three times now, including an original turkish dish I forgot the name of, vegetarian döner and a seitan lasagne. All were fresh and tasty. Water, tea and hibiscus tea are free to take. In general, make sure to visit this place, it is fantastic, but bear in mind its not a regular restaurant: most of the food is made by volunteers, prices are exceptionally low and the place is amazing mainly because of the energy and enthusiasm of those that continuously contribute to it.

Pros: Great food, Fantastic, kind owners, Very low prices

Cons: Interior is still being worked on a bit


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