Casual, hip, crowded, Geyik is the physical form of running into friends on the street and having a chat while someone is bringing you top quality cocktails. The staff here is friendly, chatty and actually helpful in deciding for a cocktail.
Fitzgerald once said “Here is to alcohol, the rose-colored glasses of life”. I think this explains perfectly how it feels to stand outside Geyik in a crowd too big for the pavement; it’s uncomfortable but the top notch drinks make it perfectly enjoyable. And during calmer hours, sharing seats with the regulars (neighbourhood cats) is equally uncomfortable but even more enjoyable.
Just a warning, Geyik is a popular place. Through the hard work of the founder and owner Yağmur the cocktail bar became one of the best known bars in Turkey in the matter of a year or two and has never strayed from its quality since. You’ll still see her watching from the side with one eye making sure everything runs smoothly. The crowd here is mixed when it comes to profession, age, vibe and all that, but it doubtlessly pertains to a certain tax bracket.
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What to order:
Geyik has quite a cocktail menu and will provide bar classics upon request. If it’s not a chaotic Friday night (and even then) waiters tend to stop and ask what kind of flavours you are looking for. Be ready to answer if you want something sour, fresh or sweet. With that, they go through house cocktails and you choose one. It’s a simple conversation. But for those too anxious to have that, they can also give you a menu card. Having a strict cocktail taste myself, I can’t give you the best recommendations here but their Dede and Bramble were quite good when I last had a sip.
What to know:
Service closes somewhere around 1am and at 2am they close it down. One of the waiters/bartenders has recently won the best bartender award in a fancy competition. His name is Emre, has light brown (qualified blonde in Turkey) hair and a moustache. Say hi to him for me and ask him where the after party is.
There is no point in sitting inside in Geyik, though there are a few seats. It’s best to make your friends circle near the entrance and enjoy chatting and drinking outside. Instead of pooling up your empty glasses in the pots around, you could just hand them to a waiter and win some sympathy points.
This place is also, one of the good coffee places in the neighbourhood. It used to have a strong coffee programme and still has a high standard for it. You can sit on the low seats in the front and people-watch with some coffee or drinks in the afternoon (not morning).