Cicek Pasaji is the narrow Nevizade Street to taste Turkish delights

The Çiçek Pasajı, which translates to Flower Passage, is an elaborate historic passage at Galatasaray Square on stiklal Caddesi in the district of Beyoglu filled with restaurants.
Every evening, foreigners and the local Turks occupy the tables as they eat, laugh, talk and linger over numerous plates of meze, seafood, succulent kebaps, sweet desserts, and glasses of beer, milky Turkish rakı or wine.
The Turks happen to be fond of congenial, long group dinners, as a result of which the Cicek Pasaji has become somewhat of a hotspot. However, despites its name, there are no flowers there.
The L-shaped courtyard Cicek Pasajiis actually the courtyard of Cite de Pera, which is among Turkey’s first European-style buildings built in the late-19th-century during the Ottoman Empire.
During the peak of the early 20th-century, posh shops were housed in the ground floor of the Cite de Pera building in the Cicek Pasaji courtyard, and the floors above had offices in them.
By 1960s, the Cicek Pasaji had become a bunch of meyhanes (tavernas) for workmen where good but inexpensive food and strong drinks were served.
By then, there shops there just simple restaurants, and makeshift tables were setup in the Çiçek Pasajı, just square slabs of marble placed on top of beer barrels surrounded by low three-legged stools. Soon, Istanbul’s craftsmen, minor merchants and taxi drivers started visiting to eat, shout, sing, talk, and drunk.
It was a cheerful place, with catamites, itinerant musicians, pimps and vendors circulating freely—and getting plenty of business.
A century later after having been built, the Cite de Pera building collapsed in the late 1980s as a result of a fire and was shut down.
Fortunately, the 80s and 90s tourism boom in Turkey marked the restoration, renovation and reopening of the Cite de Pera as a more high-class eating-and-drinking spot for a somewhat wealthier class of patrons. A modern canopy was installed in place of a patchwork of tarps to shield the Cicek Pasaji from the elements.
Today, the Cicek Pasajihas plenty of restaurants, where dining is evidently more expensive, refined and sedate.
As for the former crowd that frequented the Çiçek Pasajı, they all switched to Nevizade Sokak, another narrow street in Istanbul lined with little restaurants. While Nevizade Sokak itself is filled with chairs, diners, tables and waiters in good weather, it cannot match the cheerful atmosphere of the Çiçek Pasajı, which now welcomes women as well.
As for its name, there are actually no flower shops in the Çiçek Pasajı, there are quite a few in the neighboring Sahne Sokak. However, apparently, flowers were being sold at most of the shops in the Cicek Pasaji in the late 1950s, and there were fewer restaurants there at that time.
Today, an upscale Meyhane (taverna) experience is offered by the restaurants that line the passage. A large number of foreigners and locals now visit the Cicek Pasaji to relish the lovely architecture and lively atmosphere.
Thus, the history of the Cicek Pasaji began from dining on a square of plywood to dining off a slab of marble to the upscale restaurants that are there now. Even after so many years, the Cicek Pasajihas maintained its European style elegance.
Considering the option of an arrival visa Turkey offers, tourists from the United Kingdom may apply for a visa after landing in Turkey and may pay a visit to this iconic passage.