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Restaurants in Istanbul

In spite of rich Central Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean influences, restaurants in Istanbul aren't known for excellence. But what many Istanbul restaurants lack in culinary innovation they tend to make up for extensive menus and excellent views of the city and beyond.

Some of the best restaurants in Istanbul with such panoramas include the chic 360 Istanbul, in Beyoglu, and Ulus 29, set back in a beautiful hillside neighborhood. In general, it's best to avoid dining out in the Old City, or Sultanahmet, where the restaurants cater to tourists. For a more traditional meal, consider Asitane, which offers a selection of lamb dishes (bonus: the large menu is written in English).

Another option in a similar vein is Ciya Sofrasi, which serves more exotic combinations such as mumbar, or sheep intestine filled with rice and lamb. If you're a less adventurous eater and in the mood for standout seafood, try the modestly decorated Balıkçı Kahraman. Also consider checking out the district of Ortakoy, near the Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, which has some peaceful spots.

  • 360 Istanbul

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    It may be one of the hottest restaurants in town, on the old embassy row, but 360’s modern-fusion cooking isn’t the only reason to come. The other ... More
  • 5 Kat

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    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 f... More
  • Abracadabra

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    In the waterside Arnavutköy area, Dilara Erbay dishes up grilled fish at Abracadabra, housed in a wooden mansion. More
  • Asitane

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar Dollar
    Thirtysomething owner Batur Durmay speaks fluent English and guides diners through his extensive list of dishes. Durmay’s family funded painstaking... More
  • Aşşk Café

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    Set right on the Bosporus, this relaxed Mediterranean eatery recalls the waterfront cafés of Mill Valley and Sausalito. (The resemblance is no acci... More
  • Atika

    In a neighborhood filled with snootily fashionable terrace cafés—where the waitstaff seem to make a special point of ignoring you—Atika stands out ... More
  • Babylon Lounge

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    Babylon concertgoers gather at the music venue's sister site for smoked-salmon pizzete and pan-Mediterranean salads. More
  • Balikçi Sabahattin

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    Grab a seat in the garden of this Sultanahmet seafood restaurant. The mezes, small appetizer plates of roasted red peppers and marinated octopus, m... More
  • Bebek Balıkcı

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar Dollar
    Most visitors don’t make it to the northerly, beautiful neighborhood of Bebek, though they should (it’s like the Marin County of Istanbul). The bes... More
  • Bogaziçi Borsa

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar Dollar
    In Turkey, the Özkanca family is synonymous with premier restaurants and cuisine. One of their best-loved ventures is located in the Istanbul Conve... More
  • Bonçuk

    The meyhane (drinking house) is the Turkish version of a tapas bar, where small mezes and fish are washed down with glasses of raki, a bracing anis... More
  • Cercis Murat Konaği

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    After a 35-minute ferry ride from central Beşiktaş to Bostanci, on Istanbul’s Asian side, you can walk along the water to this modern restaurant wi... More
  • Changa

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar Dollar
    Siraselviler Caddesi leads to one of the trendiest neighborhoods of Cihangir, where much of Istanbul’s expatriate community lives. Many of them hav... More
  • Cibalikapi Balikçisi

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar Dollar
    Squeezed between two ramshackle buildings on the western shore of the Golden Horn, Cipalikapi Balikçisi serves traditional Turkish fare with a focu... More
  • Çiya Sofrasi

    PRICE RANGE: Dollar Dollar
    On the city’s Asian side, you’ll find Çiya Sofrasi, past the splendorous Kadiköy fish-and-produce market. As you pick your dishes from the no-nonse... More

Explore restaurants in Turkey for more options.

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