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Apr 06
Reviews (Eats)
Fürreyya: Best Little Fish House in Galata

Tiny Fürreya: Size isn't everything

From the outside, Fürreyya Galata Balıkçısı, a tiny new restaurant in Beyoğlu’s quaint Galata area, doesn’t look like much. Two tables, two stools at a short counter, a smoky grill and not much else. But inside this modest fish shack beats the heart of a more ambitious place. The friendly husband and wife team who own the place and share kitchen duties used to run a restaurant in Istanbul’s upscale Bebek neighborhood, and it’s clear that Fürreyya is in experienced hands.

Located on a busy corner only a stone’s throw from the 13th-century Galata Tower, the restaurant offers a great (and affordable) alternative to eating at one of Istanbul’s fancier fish restaurants, where often you pay too much buck for the bang. Fürreyya’s menu is basic, the bulk of it devoted to whole fish either grilled over hardwood coals or fried in a light dusting of flour. The exceptionally fresh fish, a selection of whatever is in season in the waters around Istanbul and other parts of Turkey, is found in a small refrigerated display case outside the restaurant.

But the menu also holds some very rewarding surprises. Balık köftesi are delicious fish cakes cooked over the charcoal grill and served with a squeeze of homemade basil aioli. On occasion, Fürreyya serves up its tasty take on mantı, tortellini-like miniature pockets of dough that are usually filled with ground meat but here are made with fish. The highlight of the menu, though, may be its most humble offering: the balık dürüm, a tortilla-like wrap filled with grilled fish and caramelized onions. At 4 lira for a dürüm, it’s one of Istanbul’s best and tastiest deals.

Fürreyya’s owners have plans to expand their restaurant, but for now they are making do with their tiny space, saying it allows them to focus on quality. If the restaurant is full, they will happily take your order and wrap it up to go. From there you can take your food and eat it in the pleasant square that lies in the shadow of the nearby Galata Tower, where you can sit down on a bench and enjoy your lucky catch.

Address: Serdar-i Ekrem Sokak 2, Beyoğlu (Kuledibi)
Telephone: 212-252-4853

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7 Responses to “ Fürreyya: Best Little Fish House in Galata ”
  1. If it wasn’t for Istanbul eats, I don’t think we would have ever tried this place. It’s so tiny that you can easily miss it. We had the fish wrap, seafood salad and calamari. Fish wrap priced at 6 TL was extremely good value for money. The combination of fish, caramelized onions, cheese and arugula wrapped in crispy tortilla bread is to die for. The seafood salad was also very original. Though the service is slow, they take their time to prepare a fresh meal right in front of your eyes, so it well worth the effort. I highly recommend it and can’t wait to go back and try other dishes on the menu. Thanks Istanbul eats for letting us know a hidden jewel in Istanbul!

  2. Thanks to your excellent website, I ate my way across your delicious city on my recent visit. The Fürreya Fish House was one of my favorite meals in the city. Thanks for the tip!

  3. Thanks for the feedback and glad you enjoyed it! Furreya is one of our favorite places.

  4. I must have walked by this place 50 times and never noticed it. Since I read about it first on Istanbul Eats, I’ve been there 4 times for the Balik Durum. A tasty unique snack when you’re not in the mood for a sit down fish meal or a Balik Ekmek (or a out of season farm raised Çupra with a loaf of bread). This place is just special. No frills, quality ingredients and slight variations that make all the difference (a hard thing to find in Istanbul a lot of the time).

    Great find!

  5. Porphyrogenitus

    Mar 19, 2010

    This is without a doubt my favorite place for cheap eats in Istanbul. A real treasure. Note that it’s recently been renovated and expanded, so it has several more tables. But it’s still cozy, delicious, and affordable.

  6. We were in İstanbul for the weekend break and went to Fureyya to try their durum.It was really delicious and the people are so nice.

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