CLOSED: Govinda - Beyoglu

  • Vegetarian Vegetarian
    ( 12 reviews )



KM Celebi Mah Ipek Sokak 15/1, Beyoglu (at Parallel to Istiklal St), Istanbul, Turkey

Restaurant and cafe chain is now serving in Beyoglu with the first branch in Turkey. Reported closed to HappyCow, June 2014.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Lacto, Indian, Organic

12 Reviews

First Review by AndreaVeg

Oops - Edit

I tried to eat there but when I opened the door the smell coming from this restaurant just hit me. The mix of steam, heat and smell was a red light so I head to another place.

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Scary place - Edit

The food was all right if a bit boring, but the scary religious environment freaks me out. Visited in the fall of 2011.

Pros: Location

Cons: Religious chanting as background music

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  Contributions +13

enjoyed my veg lunch! - Edit

was walking around taksim square area to find a restaurant that serves some kind of veggie dish. and voila, passed by Govinda's! had the veggie of the day and a portion of rice. really enjoyed my food! also ordered the chapati but it was not that chapati but didn't enjoy it at all.

the lady who served us is originally from mashaad in iran and moved to uzbekistan where she become a devotee.

Pros: tasty veggie of the day, tasty rice

Cons: chapati was not good

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Decent vegetarian fare! - Edit

I liked this Govinda. The staff are English-speaking, attentive, and friendly. The food was exactly what you'd expect from a Govinda. It was fairly priced and the portions were adequate. I'd say there there might be a bit too much fried food on the menu, but hey, you're in Istanbul probably on holiday, so roll with it.

It's sort of your basic vegetarian experience, but in a good way! I went a few times during my week in Istanbul and it suited me just fine. Note that they're located a good tram ride out of the tourist area of Sultanahmet and environs. To me that's anything but a negative, but you might find it less than convenient. I look at it as a way to see parts of town that I wouldn't otherwise get to see. Just take the Besitkas tram to Findikli and hike (and I do mean hike!) up the hill. Or, since it's right off Istiklal cad. it's super easy to get to if you're in that area already. Either way, it's a good, safe place for vegetarians to eat, and I don't take that for granted.

Pros: Service, Value, Vibe

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SG213 17 May 2012 - You can also take the tram a few more stops to Kabatas, then get the Funicular to Taksim. If you like walking, going up the hill from the Tophane stop is a bit easier. Maybe not as much fun as hiking up the hills though :)  

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Not Indian and not great - Edit

Just come away from a very disappointing experience. I don't know if it has changed owners but the menu is extremely limited and cold drinks-they had still or fizzy water. It is ridiculous to claim that it has any real Indian connection-falafel balls are notIndian-even Marsala Chi is some spices in a tea pot-no boiled milk. It is cheap and it is vegetarian thats about it. Wont be making a return trip.

Pros: cheap

Cons: limited menu, not Indian

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Good, but... - Edit

I've been to Govinda's in Istanbul a few times now and I like the place, however, there is a slightly too much emphasis on carbohydrates on the menu. The main menu item is the "plate of the day" and this is especially good value on Mondays when it's half price. This consists of the cooked vegetable dish of the day, plus rice, pakora, falafel and either salad (vegan) or lentil raita (vegetarian).

The problem is that, and this may just be my personal taste, but, even though the pakoras and falafels are fine, there is only one subji or hot vegetable dish, and apart from the raita, there is not usually another cooked sauce available. This makes things a bit dry, and cold-ish. They need something like a chunky cooked dhal or spiced bean garnish to balance things out a bit more. Maybe even something with tofu or soya chunks would be good.

Pros: Purely vegetarian, Healthy tasting food

Cons: Needs more hot dishes

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I did my birthday gathering here - Edit

Unbelievable but this small-sized restaurant took 30 people that day. I did my birthday celebration for the first time after years and Govinda made it one to remember! I am told that this is also their first birthday reception.

They even made a big vegan birthday cake for me.

Pros: Excellent location, Delicious food, Nice people

Cons: Foods are bit cold

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Good place - Edit

The place, the staff and food were all great. It's moderately priced and the vegan options are clearly marked and the menu is in English.. Be aware though that the burgers are not burgers, they are big patties of fried potato, very tasty though. I went twice while I was in Istanbul and was sad to see it completely empty both times.

Pros: Good food, staff and location., Vegan options marked, English menu

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A culinary & spiritual oasis - Edit

Tucked away behind Iskitial Caddessi is Govindas. The restaurant is very clean and provides a good range of delicious vegan & vegetarian food at very reasonable prices. The atmosphere inside the restaurant is very relaxed and the staff are friendly. I liked the place so much I went twice during my week long stay in Istanbul.

Pros: Generous portions, friendly staff, good value

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Good and not too expensive - Edit

I stayed in Istanbul for a few days in the new year 2010-2011 and visited this restaurant twice. I took the vegan lunch of the day both times, it included a starter soup (lentils) and bread and a plate that included tasty rice and a vegan saslik that was vegetable in a stick covered with a pastry and deeb fried. The cakes were not vegan, but there was self-made vegan flap jack. The place was very neat and stylish and was situated just by the Istiklal Cadesi and Taksim Square.

Pros: cheap, stylish, good location

Cons: more spices please

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lovely food - Edit

Went there for my birthday lunch on Jan 23, 2011. The place was lovely. The food was amazing. I knew I was in the right place when the guy taking our order was wearing 'secret society of vegans' clothing! We weren't sure what to order so they made up some sample plates for us, some veggie, some vegan (obviously one plate was totally vegan, the other totally veggie). Lovely soup too. A great place to eat and pretty cheap - we all left with big smiles on our faces.

Pros: excellent food, right off main shopping drag, good value

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a good shanti place - Edit

it's a relaxing place, nice and clean, with a very friendly staff. the food was good, expecially the Dahl soup and the veg burger. try it!

Pros: friendly staff, quiet place, not expensive

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