The good news about Ankara is that it not only has stellar nightlife, a fact often missed by the casual tourist, but it has a culture of eating that is on par, usually within the same neighborhoods. Which means that your time in a happening location doesn't have to end once you get the dinner bill; quite the contrary, if you're going to get the most out of Ankara then your time will just be beginning.
In your tour of the capital's more modern side, travelers will usually start out at Kizilay Square, the main hub for public transportation. Walk east through the Kizilay neighborhood and you'll immediately encounter a maze of streets known for their dining options. The majority are just south of Ziya Gökalp Caddesi, with most relying on cafe-style ambiance and outdoor seating to lure in customers, although Turkish favorites Masabaşı Kebapçısı and Tarihi Mutfak Lokantası are highlights of traditional cuisine. Also a highlight? The scattering of doner shops in the area; it's the highest number in the city.
There's also quite a pile-up of restaurants south in the Kavaklıdere neighborhood in the triangle of streets that consists of Bülten Sokak, Bestekar Sokak, and Tunalı Hilmi Caddesi. Again, outdoor seating and cafe dining are the big draw here, although you just may find the platters at Profesör enticing and the convivial atmosphere at a place like Bistro Boteco to your liking.
The Bahçelievler neighborhood, just west of Ankara's most important monument (Anıtkabir), is home to about two dozen restaurants on and near Aşkabat Caddesi. From traditional Turkish joints with flair like Roka to waffle mastery like Levent Waffle and the excellent fast food at The Bigos, the variety and quality is spot-on in Bahçelievler.
Moving toward Ulus (the old city), the revitalized Hamamönü neighborhood is great place to enjoy, yes, even more cafe dining. It's literally all there is here beyond the crafts fair and the lovely Ottoman-style houses. Still, there's no shortage of wi-fi for those who need it. A bit more authentic and off-the-beaten-path are the selection of Turkish restaurants on Kazım Karabekir Caddesi and just south of the Altınpark in Aydınlıkevler.
Of course that isn't all, but these are the places in Ankara where there is enough selection, quality, and atmosphere to get your meal on right. For further information, take a look at our individual area pages.