Filizler Köftecisi in Tuzla, Istanbul - Food & Restaurant Review

Summer’s a good time to dine outdoors and looking for some nice cozy restaurant where you can sit down, relax and enjoy a good meal while overlooking wonderful views of outdoors (perhaps with a garden, pool, or sea views) without having to go to beach resorts or spending too much from your pocket - would be a great break after a long and busy week.

And that’s exactly what my family and I were looking forward to one weekend.  And while we roamed around the Asian side of Istanbul, we went all our way to Tuzla Sahil which is known for its beautiful seafront with picnic areas and parks as well as a long line of good restaurants and cafes. Tuzla Sahil lies in the eastern coast of Istanbul, along the Marmara Sea in the peaceful and quiet town of Tuzla, a suburb of Istanbul.

After a nice and breezy stroll along the beautiful seafront one afternoon (my son also enjoyed spending some time at the children’s playground), we decided to check out several restaurants where we can dine in. Most of them were fish and seafood restaurants competing with several grilled meatball restaurants which didn’t seem surprising to me because this is what Tuzla Sahil restaurants are known for. Finally, we decided to check out Filizler Köftecisi - a restaurant we’ve heared from our friends that's known to have the best köfte (meatballs) in the country. We didn’t have the chance to visit here before, so we thought that now's the right time to try out their famous meatballs. 

The Filizler Köftecisi restaurant is conveniently located right next to the Tuzla Emniyet Müdürlüğü (which makes it so easy to find) and near to several bus stops right across the Tuzla Sahil. As we entered the front door, we were warmly welcomed and lead to the upper floor where we got a table setting for four people and a beautiful sea view from its glass windows.

The restaurant’s interior is made of wood which exudes a breathable, warm and cozy atmosphere especially in the hot summer days – a kind of feeling which reminds me of dining in tropical Asian restaurants. The interior decorations were simple but with a classic touch. It wasn’t crowded when we got there and only a few tables were occupied which made the place more peaceful and quiet – just the right ambience that my family and I were looking for.

Known to the Turkish locals as one of the best places to eat in Istanbul, the restaurant boasts of being selected as the best köfte maker in Turkey in the year 2012. The slogan that says, “Türkiyenin en iyi köftecisiyiz,” translates in English as "We make the best meatball in Turkey." This has been published in the Hürriyet Daily News (one of the country’s leading newspapers) and a screenshot of the publication had been framed in poster-size which no guest could ever miss noticing upon entering the restaurant (see image below).

But that’s not it, guests may also immediately notice the numerous wood-framed photos of Turkey’s famous personalities (celebrities and politicians) who were happily dining at the restaurant if ever they will go to the upper floor. These framed photos fill up the wall along the narrow stairway leading to the second floor of the restaurant.

Added to that, we've also noticed several handwritten notes of appreciation from their satisfied patrons expressing their satisfaction for the menus they had and overall for the restaurant's service itself.  The notes or written feedback were placed under the thick glass that covered each table. I guess the management probably encourages their guests to leave peçete notları or write notes either on a small piece of paper or even on table napkins for feedback (well, that’s really cool!).

Since the weather was really hot and slightly humid, we decided to skip the soup as our starter and decided to go with the meze consisting of piyaz (a salad of white beans, onions, red and green peppers drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice). We also added a plateful of patates kızartması (fried potatoes), and a few pieces of toasted Turkish bread.

For the main course, we decided to have Filizler köfte (their signature meatballs that's really so good), biftek (beef steak), and tavuk pirzola (grilled chicken cutlets) with a glass of bubbly ayran, a Turkish yogurt drink. My husband and I shared each other’s order so we could try out how each menu tastes like and each portion size is enough to get one’s appetite truly satisfied. The köftes were really good but we also liked the taste of the other menus we ordered. Perhaps its because I am not so much a fan of köftes for I always prefer grilled chicken instead. Added to that, the biftek that we ordered also was served sizzling hot on a wooden platter alongside a slightly spicy sweet and sour sauce and with two kinds of potatoes (one mashed and the other fried).  The meat was tender and slightly juicy which really tasted so deliciously good.

Their tavuk pirzola was the best I ever had in Turkey – perfectly grilled and marinated in a finger-licking barbecue sauce. Served alongside two kinds of pilav or pilaf (a Turkish pilaf and bulgur pilaf), salted cucumber pickle, mashed potatoes, grilled green pepper and tomatoes, this menu is truly satisfying. After pairing our menus with a bubbly glass of ayran, we ended up having a really sumptuous meal at a fairly reasonable price – not pricey. Yet even if it was, it would be well worth it.

There were several desserts, too ranging from the traditional Turkish desserts dondurmalı irmik helvası, kaymaklı incir tatlısı, baklava, revani, sütlaç, tiramisu, kemalpaşa, etc. to choose from but because my husband is diabetic, we decided to just skip the desserts. Instead, they offered us a glass of Turkish tea (most restaurants in Turkey usually do) and that made our dinner even more complete.

My Conclusion

I am not so sure if I should be rating Filizler Köftecisi as the best köfte maker in Turkey. Well, I haven't had the chance yet to explore the numerous köfteci restaurants that also claims to have the best köftes in the country but I've been able to try out several köftes in some not-so-fancy restaurants that seemed to be like hidden gems in the world of Turkish meatballs.  However, it would be much more fitting for me to say that Filizler Köftecisi do really serve “one of the best köfte in the country” and we do love the way they present their menus, too.  I would say that "they're one of the best" because I do believe that there may still be other meatball restaurants out there who can also offer the same (if not better) than they do but they just need to be discovered, too.  But all in all, our dining experience at Filizler Köftecisi is truly a great one and I can definitely recommend to those who are constantly looking for a Turkish köfte adventure (like we do) that Filizler Köftecisi is one good place not to be missed when you’re out and about in the Asian side of Istanbul.

Note:  They also opened a branch in Uskudar just right across the Maiden's Tower. J

Restaurant Information:
Adress:  Cumhuriyet Caddesi No:135 Tuzla / İstanbul
Telephone: 0216 395 91 06


  1. Çok güzel bir mekan. Gidilmesi görülmesi yemeklerinden yenilmesi gerek.

  2. Kesinlikle! Makaleme yorum yaptiğiniz için teşekkür ederim. :-)