Restaurants in Istanbul
Istanbul not only bridges the cultural and geographical gap
between Europe and Asia, but also blends its culinary offerings.
Eating out in Istanbul restaurants gives diners a taste of the
splendid fusion that can be created by combining the traditional
cuisine of the two continents.
Dining options abound in Istanbul. If in doubt, head for the Sultanahmet area which has the most restaurants. Traditional Turkish fare such as turbot with saffron and raspberry, or cinnamon flavoured chicken kebabs, can be enjoyed at restaurants in the Edirnekapi and Ortaköy areas, while the best seafood is in Kanlýca. Istanbul restaurants serving a fusion of Turkish, Mediterranean, and Asian cuisine are found in Beyoglu and Sisli, while Taksim and Ortaköy are home to some excellent cafés.
With so many restaurants in and around the city, diners will find somewhere to eat any time of any day. Menu prices are generally quite fair and generally you get what you pay for. A tip of at least 10 percent is customary. At most Istanbul restaurants reservations are either required or strongly recommended.
An aptly named restaurant, 360 is situated on a rooftop terrace and has beautiful views and a sleek concrete and glass design. The menu offers fusion cuisine featuring Turkish, Mediterranean, and Oriental ingredients. Signature dishes include the '360 Alternative pizza' and their 'Death by Chocolate' is phenomenal! Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Friday, and dinner only on weekends. Reservations required.
Address: Tomtom Mahallesi, Istiklal Cd No:8 D:163, BeyoÄŸlu/TepebaÅŸÄ±/BeyoÄŸlu/Ä°stanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 251 10 42
Cezayir serves Turkish cuisine with an international influence; Indian spices are used in a Turkish samosa, and other menu favourites include the salmon carpaccio and the börek (grilled spinach and cheese pastry). With wicker chairs and pale yellow walls, the mood in this restaurant is very calm and relaxed. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Reservations essential.
Address: KuloÄŸlu Mh., Hayriye Cd. No:12, BeyoÄŸlu/Ä°stanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 245 99 80
Set in a 19th century mansion overlooking the Golden Horn, Asitane (one of Istanbul's Ottoman Empire names) serves authentic Ottoman cuisine, featuring Central Asian, Anatolian, Middle Eastern, and Balkan influences in some of its 500 year-old recipes. Veal in apple sauce and cinnamon flavoured chicken kebabs are just two of the delicious menu options. Open daily for lunch and dinner, and brunch on Sundays. Reservations recommended.
Address: EdirnekapÄ± Mahallesi, Kariye Cami Sk. No:6, Fatih/Ä°stanbul, Turkey.
Telephone: +90 212 635 79 97
The House Café (Ortaköy)
Boasting two terraces on the Ortaköy's waterfront, this trendy restaurant's décor blends beautifully with its seaside location. While the menu features excellent seafood dishes, the pizza with pears, honey, and Roquefort is also sublime. Open daily, reservations required.
Address: YÄ±ldÄ±z Mh., Salhane Sk. No:1, BeÅŸiktaÅŸ/Ä°stanbul, Turkey.
Telephone: +90 212 227 26 99
The Körfez lies nestled in a cove on the Asian side of the Bosphorus Straight, with tables set on a deck right over the water and a view of the bridge. Körfez is often purported to be the best seafood restaurant in Istanbul; start the meal with Turkish vegetable starters or from a selection of seafood appetisers. Fish meals are salted lightly and grilled to perfection. The restaurant provides a ferry for customers coming to dine there from the European side of the straight. Open daily except Mondays. Reservations essential.
Address: Anadolu HisarÄ± Mh., Körfez Cd. No:78, Beykoz/Ä°stanbul, Turkey.
Telephone: +90 216 413 4314
The Feriye Lokantasi is a multi-purpose venue with its own bar, café, conference hall, and two separate seasonal venues for the one restaurant. The best way to enjoy this facility is on the outdoor terrace on a balmy summer evening. The menu, like the venue, is flexible and based on what is seasonal, offering Turkish cuisine cooked in the ottoman tradition. The menu offers delicious meals such as grilled turbot, with saffron and courgette balls, in raspberry puree. Open daily for lunch and dinner, reservations required.
Address: YÄ±ldÄ±z Mh., ÇÄ±raÄŸan Cd. No:40, BeÅŸiktaÅŸ/Ä°stanbul, Turkey.
Telephone: +90 212 227 22 16
Located on the top two floors of the 18 storey Marmara Pera Hotel, this gourmet restaurant offers a glorious 360 degree vista of the lights of Old Town. Chef-owner Mehmet Gürs prepares Turkish and Scandinavian meals such as sautéed scallops with vegetable risotto, and ragu beef cheeks with porcini mushroom soup. An absolute favourite is the lamb escargot for mains, followed by a tachio and tahini ice-cream dessert. Reservations are essential.
Address: The Marmara Pera MeÅŸrutiyet Caddesi 15, BeyoÄŸlu, Ä°stanbul, Turkey.
Telephone: +90 212 293 56 56