Restaurants in Istanbul

Since 1920, this workingman’s dive has remained hugely popular despite serving only two main dishes: meatballs and lamb skewers.

Thirtysomething owner Batur Durmay speaks fluent English and guides diners through his extensive list of dishes. Durmay’s family funded painstaking research in Ottoman archives to reproduce former sultans’ fare.

If the name of this rooftop bistro in the city's Beverly-Hills-type neighborhood of Bebek betrays a certain European flavor, it’s not by accident.

Sunset, when the mosques and minarets glow like fire and the city lights twinkle, is the time to hit this spot on the top floor of the Goethe Institute.

This museum restaurant is noted for its neo-60’s interior of unpolished
oak and black-leather banquettes. Try the olive oil–braised celery root
enlivened with tangerine, and rosy lamb chops, from the smart
modern-Mediterranean menu.

On a street lined with carpet shops near the Arasta Bazaar, this restaurant, whose owners hail from Turkey’s eastern Lake Van area, serves up the region’s puffy breads, herb-flecked otlu cheese, and addictive tahini spread.

In the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, the Pera neighborhood has staged a comeback of recent years, reclaiming its title of the hippest neighborhood. Adding to the neighborhood's bohemian vibe is Nu Teras, a rooftop dance club for the young and well-to-do.

Quality sushi is an exceptionally rare find in Istanbul, but thanks to international chain Zuma, it now can be had opposite the Radisson Blu hotel in Ortakoy.

Even if contemporary Turkish art isn’t your cup of çay, visit Istanbul this repurpose warehouse museum for its stylish café and waterfront terrace.

The antiques-filled restaurant, known for its home-style stews, is set in an old Ottoman row house under the shadow of the Blue Mosque. Reserve a window table for the 8 p.m. light show.


A romantic restaurant with live jazz performers and sophisticate-filled outdoor tables.

Siraselviler Caddesi leads to one of the trendiest neighborhoods of Cihangir, where much of Istanbul’s expatriate community lives. Many of them have started businesses like Changa.

From the outside, it’s just another soot-streaked, film-noirish Istanbul apartment building. But once you enter and take the tiny elevator to the fifth floor, you’ll find a rooftop restaurant with fairy lights and a staggering view of the Bosporus.

Vogue’s location on the top floor of Besiktas Plaza also represents a status that includes top-tier clientele, cuisine, and cost.