At last !! Things are starting to look up for Belek restaurants. There have always been a couple of reasonable restaurants in Belek but recently a few have significantly improved the choice, which means I have to update this page considerably. I must say it's a task I'm pleased has come about.
There are an incredible number of small places opening up in Belek and Kadriye that are shops-come-cafe bars that sell basic things like bread,water,soft drinks,& sometimes even Efes beer.You can often sit outside & consume these.Most do snacks,kebabs,soup,burgers,etc. And they can be a very welcome sight if you're walking.But here we'll look at more "restaurant-like" places which serve a full menu choice.
Small cafes abound if you feel you just have to stop & have a drink.Most seem to have Efes beer in the chiller.
Some Belek restaurants have been established for a few years now;Gardners Wine Bar, Chillout Bar, Sunset restaurant. Some of the NEW places have simply had a change of ownership and revamped the menu,the decor,and the staff. Cafe Istanbul has brought an element of slightly more refined dining, while Deniz's bar & restaurant has significantly improved the quality, the choice and the service.
Others,notably The Players Lounge and Spice Garden,are totally new, The Spice garden being Belek's first genuine authentic Indian restaurant.
So,lets have a look at them.
If you're looking for a hearty English breakfast or good British classic food,Gardners is a popular spot,especially for golfers needing that ambiance to recount the longest drive,the putt that shaved the hole,or the misfortune that put a lake in the line of your chip shot.
It's also a favourite place to watch sport,with it's multi screen options to watch Sky or other broadcasts.I've had the privilege of being one of two Welshmen among forty English supporters when Wales beat England 30 -3 in the rugby 6 Nations.Amazing how the conversation reverted to golf & football so quickly!!!
But that's the sort of place it is;relaxed,social,but serves some good food.
Gardner's is a popular place for Belek golfers to gather for a post-round inquest,or to watch live sport & entertainment.
The Mambo Lounge,(formerly Moods)was previously regarded as the "in-place" to eat amongst Belek restaurants.The interior is quite modern,with a "Witherspoons" feel to it,but on a smaller scale.Despite this most people prefer to sit outside,where the fountain offers a nice backdrop to "people-watching".
The food is not Michelin star quality,but it is a step up from the average European/Turkish eatery.It offers a good selection of food with sauces that give the meals a little twist & add value.You'll pay a little more than average in Belek but you'll find it's worth it.
However,Mambo now has a bit more competition.
Mambo Lounge is probably the most popular of the Belek restaurants.A smart interior & a menu to match.
This Belek Restaurant is a favourite of mine.I took my grandson there with his mum & dad & my wife.We hadn't been there before but someone told me they did a good T-bone steak.Well,you've got to try that,haven't you?
The place was empty when we arrived,so we had a drink & had a look through the menu.It looked good,but why was it so quiet?The waiter was superb & entertained our one-year-old grandson while we deliberated.We decided to go for a walk & come back later.I'm glad we did go back.Everything was excellent.The food,the service.They entertained the little one;they could not have done more.
The Chill Out Bar,a lovely t-bone steak,excellent service,& a nice atmosphere.They could not do more to make you welcome.
The Sunset is an established Belek restaurant.The food and service can vary depending on how busy they are, but generally it's good.Has large screens for watching major sports events.Plenty of outside seating to enjoy a cold beer.
Another restaurant that has rejuvenated itself.Yunus,the proprietor,is very much the driving force but he has a very good chef and waiters to back him up.Situated right next to Cafe Istanbul,you could be left with an awkward choice.But Deniz offers quite substantial portions, and with the delicious meze before your main course or starter, you need a good appetite. The steaks and fish dishes are excellent.For special occasions Yunus will cook lobster or chateaubriand (minimum 2 persons).Mmmmmm!
This restaurant has made a genuine attempt to move away from the "same old,same old" menu that seems to be the standard in Turkey.
Cafe Istanbul still offers the fish,the steaks, the pastas, but usually with a twist and more refined presentation. More attractive though are the "SPECIALS" ,normally posted on the blackboard.Here you'll find those totally different dishes. Charon and her staff are very much at the forefront of trying to change the choices available in Belek restaurants and it's proving very popular with tourists and residents alike.
Like all new restaurants Cafe Istanbul will develop and push the boundaries, which are boundless of course.
New boy on the block but impressive.The modern, crisp decor is a breath of fresh air. The proprietor,Ed, was a professional golfer but has turned his hand to the catering.
Like Cafe Istanbul Ed has been keen to offer something a bit different, and he has gone very much down the popular classics route.Steak & ale pie,classic burgers,duck in soy sauce, fish and chips, plus the standard steaks and breakfast dishes.
A new business is always a learning curve, but I think the Players Lounge is learning very quickly.You must try this place.Top end of Belek centre, past the Mosque and Mambo Lounge.
Belek's first authentic Indian restaurant with Indian chefs.Many restaurants offered curry as a dish, but it was pretty hit and miss.Some were good,some awful. Now Belek can boast a genuine Indian restaurant with a full Indian menu.I wish them every success as this is well overdue.
Again, a new restaurant on a learning curve.We ate on the first official opening night and unfortunately they ran out of some items and I think they were surprised how busy they were.
But first nights are always difficult and they probably learned a lot that night.We look forward to trying it again.
What constitutes hot,medium or mild are things they'll adjust as they get more feedback.It's a tricky balance. I wish them well.
Pinokio is an established restaurant specialising in PASTA. Very popular,along with The Caddie Bar at Kadriye beach, with the "Ladies who do lunch".Pasta and wine just seem to go hand in hand.It must be an Italian thing.....long, leisurely lunches and no mention of football or rugby.
Hard work keeping up with Sef Ali;this is his 3rd location in 5years!A typical menu with a mixture of Turkish and some European.The food is always good. Now located along the road from Carrefour and Migros supermarkets.
To book your Fairways Villa16 holiday,contact Jeff at :
Fridays from 7pm,Asian and Oriental buffet. 50tl per person. Includes: onion bahjies, samosas, Chinese spring rolls,Vegetable Roti, Chicken satay. Types of " hoppers". Main courses include Birianies,Chicken and lamb curries,Butter chicken,Vegetable noodles,sweet and sour chicken, and chicken devil. Booking required, see Kadriye Restaurants for details.