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“Vegan/Vegetarian Food” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Govinda Istanbul - CLOSED

Govinda Istanbul
Price range: $2 - $8
Cuisines: Indian, International
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Dining on a budget
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Seating
Neighborhood: Beyoglu
London
Level Contributor
76 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Vegan/Vegetarian Food”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2012

Although it is easy to find wonderfully fresh salads and vegetables in Istanbul sometimes I miss having a cooked meal. This Govinda restaurant was tucked away at the side of the Taksim. We ate there on a weeknight (Thursday). It is quite small with about 8 tables (think that's about right but there might have been a couple more). It was very quiet the night we were there with only one other table occupied although a couple of people did come in for takeaway.

I had a vegan plate which contained rice and curried vegetables. I can't remember what else but it was well cooked and tasty. I also ordered chutneys as these came separately. My friend ordered the tofu and enjoyed this. It is a bit of a novelty being able to order tofu in Turkey as it does not appear on the menu in mainstream restaurants. (actually it probably doesn't in the UK either).

I didn't think that the portions were very big but I am very greedy. I ordered a pudding - a chocolate brownie cake thing. It was very good and afterwards I did feel full. They also do teas and coffees. I had a vegan chai which was great.

The waiter spoke English and was happy to describe dishes and help with ordering.

  • Visited June 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
3 Thank Suemercer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

15 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    6
    2
    1
    2
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Biggleswade, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A vegetarian gem in the heart of bustling Istanbul”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 3, 2012

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. We liked the place so much we went twice during our week long stay in Istanbul.

  • Visited April 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank Trevor196345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
41 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Great vegetarian restaurant near Istiklal caddesi”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2012

This was an amazing find, though it is not so easy to find. From Istiklal caddesi (the main walking street in Istanbul), if you are coming from the Taksim metro station, it is only a few blocks down: just take a left on the side street just before the McDonalds; then, take the first left, and the restaurant will come up on your right. It is an intimate little vegetarian place. The menu (in English and Turkish) has a limited list of foods, but everything we tried was fresh, well- made, and delicious. The service was welcoming, kind, and friendly. I recommend the vegetarian platter, which is 12 TL and includes a sampling of various dishes. The staff were also very nice to our children. It was so relaxing to be in a restaurant and not have to ask whether this or that offering had meat in it. Also, it was not very expensive: two adults and two children left very full, and the total was 63 TL (about 36 USD). We will definitely go back to Govinda!

  • Visited February 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
7 Thank mrbaker1917
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Delicious vegetarian and vegan food in Istanbul”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 9, 2011

Trying to find vegetarian food in Turkey is not really a difficult problem compared to some other countries, however it is more likely to be cold dishes and mezes, or simit, all of which are delicious but can be repetitive.

So I was very pleasantly surprised to accidentally stumbled upon the Govinda restaurant in Istanbul, close to the central Taksim area on Ipek Sk. They serve a variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes, influenced by Indian tastes although not too spicy.

The veg. plate of the day is a good option as it combines tasty falafel/pakora pieces with subji (hot spiced veg. of the day), rice and chickpea raita (or salad as vegan option).

The prices are quite reasonable, and the place is open until 10pm every day.

One minor quibble is that if you want to make up your own meal from some of the individual items listed on the menu, it can be a bit confusing because it doesn't give pictures of each dish, and you can't see them behind a service counter. This can also be a problem for some of the desserts because it's difficult to see what the difference is between Burfi and Gulab Jamun, for example, just from reading the menu. People may not know also that chutney goes well with Samosa, since they are separate items on the menu.

Still, the possibility of having nutritious and tasty vegetarian food in a central location more than makes up for this. There is one other fully vegetarian restaurant near to Taksim square but I think the food in Govinda tastes healthier somehow and the prices are a bit better.

  • Visited December 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
5 Thank SG213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Istanbul
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“The best Vegetarian Food in town!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2011

Economic and tasty food.Govinda Restaurants are known around the world. Besides Indian vegetarian meals we offer colourful salads made from fresh vegetables and you can find the features of international cuisine. Lovers of spicy, characteristic tastes and those devoted themselves to the healthy reform diet like our meals the same way.

  • Visited June 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
4 Thank nrsimhakrsna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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