Boasting their own craft brew, the two-page drinks menu is divided by imports and house brews (granted, not all imports were available at the time). That said, if you want imported beers you are better off heading to House of Hops and Barley or Beer Hall. Yes, Populist crafts their own brew, making it one of the few (albeit, growing) microbreweries in town, let alone the country. Their specialty is their craft beer. So, why not support it and this great trend?
Now, the crafts are good but the food is great. Populist first marketed itself as a “gastropub,” in line with the likes of Mom’s Pub or Kozmonot. Admittedly, the “gastro” of “gastropub” seemed to be lacking. But that’s not a bad thing. You’ll find standard pub-food items like chicken wings, a variety of fries (including curly fries), burgers and other sandwiches. Maybe their menu doesn’t scream creativity, but it doesn’t necessarily matter in this context (a bar). Especially when each dish is excellent, even the salads – an item often overlooked in many a bar.
Finally, a word about the décor because it’s beautiful. Populist has a great terrace on the entrance level. There are picnic tables (unfortunately with a big umbrella in the middle) great for groups and there are two-seaters, which are great for one-on-one chats. That said, this is a popular place for the after-work crowd, so it fills up fast. If you cannot find yourself a seat outside, count your blessings because the interior is beautiful. The bottom floor is lined with tiles while the walls toggle between a variety of slogans (“Serve the People” or “Burger is the Answer”) and black and white portraits. Regardless of where you are sitting, take a walk through the joint and go up the staircase. There, you’ll find the machinery from the old factory right in front of Populist’s bright beer tanks.
Curly fries with Cajun spices (because where else are you getting curly fries in Istanbul?)
Populist – Bomontiada
Merkez Mahallesi, Silahşör Caddesi, Birahane Sokak Tarihi Bomonti Bira Fabrikası No. 1