Istanbul

Restaurants in Istanbul

Mabeyin restaurant takes its name from the area between the harem (women’s section) and selamlik (men’s section) in Ottoman palaces where receptions and banquets were held for guests.

Kasibeyaz is one of three restaurants operating in a complex next to the Istanbul airport. It specializes in high-end versions of Turkish classics like cig kofte (raw meatballs), kebabs, and alinazik (puree of roasted eggplant with diced lamb).

At the picturesque Cebeci Han caravansary, this spot serves the city's tastiest kebabs.

Rancher Emre Mermer established the Dükkan butcher shop in 1998 to supply many of Istanbul’s elite restaurants.

In a neighborhood filled with snootily fashionable terrace cafés—where the waitstaff seem to make a special point of ignoring you—Atika stands out for its genial atmosphere of bonhomie.

Turkish ice cream is stickier and chewier than its Western counterpart—it stretches. You can’t get it anywhere but Turkey. The secret ingredient is salep, the ground tubers of wild orchids.

In the waterside Arnavutköy area, Dilara Erbay dishes up grilled fish at Abracadabra, housed in a wooden mansion.

The average day in Turkey is punctuated by round after round of tea and coffee, and shopping is no different. Since accepting a cup from a seller in the Grand Bazaar is regarded as interest in doing business, it may be better to stop in the few cafes inside the Grand Bazaar.

You might call Zarifi the first postmodern meyhane with a mission to revive lost elements of Beyoğlu’s past as a drinking, fun-loving ghetto from Byzantine days. Not to mention the food that went along with the mayhem.

Grab a seat in the garden of this Sultanahmet seafood restaurant. The mezes, small appetizer plates of roasted red peppers and marinated octopus, make for perfect snacks and are best enjoyed ith a glass of raki, Turkey's signature liquor.

Set right on the Bosporus, this relaxed Mediterranean eatery recalls the waterfront cafés of Mill Valley and Sausalito.

Squeezed between two ramshackle buildings on the western shore of the Golden Horn, Cipalikapi Balikçisi serves traditional Turkish fare with a focus on meze and fish.