photo credit: Jeremy Chen

Taksim image




$$$$Perfect For:Date NightSpecial OccasionsDrinking Good CocktailsBusiness MealsBig Groups


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There are restaurants to pop into for casual dinners, ones for fancy occasions, and others for team mixers when snacks at the bar won’t do. Taksim is all of those places. But at its core, it’s a spot to gather with people you like for any occasion. This celebratory Turkish place is like a catchy song of summer—not quite a Greatest Of All Time banger, but still a groovy hit you’ll want to play on repeat.

This SoMa spot from the people behind Lokma—the casual Turkish restaurant in the Richmond—is a semi-formal affair. The multi-level dining room looks like an industrial loft with hanging orb lamps and big windows that let in tons of natural light. Cloth napkins emblazoned with the restaurant’s name rest on every table. And the menu of mezes, salads, housemade bread, and large plates have high-end prices to match. But if you want to show up in a slightly worn-out band tee and slurp some oysters at the bar overlooking the wood-fired oven, by all means, go for it. You’re just here to have a good time.

Taksim image

photo credit: Jeremy Chen

This is the most elevated Turkish restaurant in the city, so prepare to be wowed by presentation. And don’t expect traditional kebaps and pides like at the excellent Tuba or A La Turca—this is a contemporary, bolder take on Turkish food. Dishes range from perfectly fine to fantastic. The golden branzino is balanced with salty sea beans. The plump king shrimp wrapped in finely shredded kadaif are a dream over sweet pomegranate molasses. Then again, the tad-dry roast chicken lacks a flavor punch. Yet everything is what you’d want in front of you over convivial conversations about water signs or last night’s birthday bar crawl that got out of hand. As for the cocktails, get them. The inventive beauties will add to the party, infusing Mediterranean ingredients like urfa pepper and carob molasses.

Taksim’s charm is that it also operates with a likable coolness, a smooth track that hooks. Pleasant servers will never rush you, a fact we're very much into (you won't be if you have somewhere pressing to be). You’ll have time to savor every drop of your refreshing Greek or Italian wines and chat in depth about the last time you had ouzo. Need a reservation at a crowd-pleasing spot that checks all the boxes of a great restaurant? Taksim is it. You’ll never be upset to go here. 

Food Rundown

Taksim Trio Of Dips With Pita Bread

The best way to start the meal, even if you end up in the throes of indecisiveness—you choose just three of the nine dips offered. Let’s decide your destiny: tzatziki (garlicky, creamy), smoky baba ganoush (the ideal embodiment of smoke and flame), and tomato marmalade (very oniony). Our least favorites are the oddly melty whipped labneh and the white lentil puree.
Taksim image

photo credit: Jeremy Chen

Two Butter Poached King Shrimps

The plump shrimp are thick and buttery, and wrapped in beautifully baked kadaif (phyllo noodles). Swipe them around the sticky sweet pomegranate molasses or dip them in the bell peppery muhammara, or both at the same time. Do what you have to do, just get it on your table.
Taksim image

photo credit: Jeremy Chen


This branzino surprasses most other branzinos in town. The skin is crispy, and the meat is juicy. The all-star dish is accompanied by some fluffy pilaf topped with anchovies, and the secret weapon—crispy, salty sea beans that light up your mouth.
Taksim image

photo credit: Jeremy Chen

Lamb Chops

We’re not mad at the beautiful and thick-skinned manti stuffed with ground lamp, or the grilled halloumi, or the crispy romano beans that all surround two smoky, charred lamb chops. This is a solid choice, even if the dish feels like it’s actually several sides put together.
Taksim image

photo credit: Jeremy Chen

Anson Mills Polenta

Want to surpass your monthly quota of parmesan and cream? You need one of Taksim’s heartier dishes, and one of our favorites here. This is a layered situation that includes diced vegetables as the base, and a kadaif-wrapped soft-boiled egg.
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