Restaurants in Istanbul

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Istanbul’s dining scene is so large that visitors might be compelled to spend a week here just to eat at all the best restaurants. At high-end establ... Read More

Istanbul’s dining scene is so large that visitors might be compelled to spend a week here just to eat at all the best restaurants. At high-end establishments like Mikla and Nicole, Turkish chefs are using the country’s stellar ingredients to turn out modern fare; meanwhile, the classic joints like Kofteci Arnavut (grilled kofte) and Halil (crispy lahmacun) remain crowd favorites. Perhaps most exciting is the proliferation, over the past half-decade or so, of restaurants serving truly authentic versions of regional fare (Hayvore for Black Sea cuisine and Antakya Hatay Sofrasi for the Syrian-influenced dishes of southeastern Hatay province). For any visitor, a meyhane experience is a must: skip the overhyped joints in Beyoglu and head to the Asian side for a raki-fueled meal of meze and grilled fish at Cunda Balik.

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  • Basta! Restaurant in Istanbul

    David Hagerman

    Basta!

    Durum (wraps) are a dime a dozen in Istanbul—unless they're the ones made at Basta!, a spot in up-and-coming Moda. You’ll find this local favorite, a... Read More

  • Ciya Sofrasi Restaurant in Istanbul Getty Images
    Ciya Sofrasi

    Long before “New Anatolian” became the fashionable way to eat, there was chef Musa Dagdeviren, who traveled Turkey’s backroads in search of traditional... Read More

  • Cunda Balik Restaurant in Istanbul Courtesy of Cunda Balik
    Cunda Balik

    Named after Cunda Island in the Turkish Aegean, this spot is a short walk from the Bostanci ferry terminal on Istanbul’s Asian side. Expect classic... Read More

  • Damla Restaurant in Istanbul David Hagerman
    Damla

    More than 25 years ago, the Tufan brothers took over this shop from its original Greek owner. Damla is still one of the best places in Istanbul to enjoy... Read More

  • Gram Bebek Restaurant in Istanbul Courtesy of Gram Bebek
    Gram Bebek

    At this postage-stamp-size café a couple of blocks from the Bosporus, chef Didem Senol's light touch and fresh flavors shine bright on the menu. The... Read More

  • Halil Restaurant in Istanbul David Hagerman
    Halil

    This hole-in-the-wall at the edge of Kadikoy market specializes in the southeastern Turkish specialty of lahmacun, thin, crispy, char-flecked flatbreads... Read More

  • Hayvore Restaurant in Istanbul Courtesy of Hayvore
    Hayvore

    Hayvore, which specializes in dishes from Turkey's Black Sea coast, sits just off the pedestrian thoroughfare Istiklal Caddesi. You’ll recognize a... Read More

  • Kantin Restaurant in Istanbul Courtesy of Kantin
    Kantin

    Chef Semsa Denizsel—often referred to as Istanbul's Alice Waters—was the city's first advocate of seasonal cooking. More than 15 years after its opening... Read More

  • Kofteci Arnavut Restaurant in Istanbul David Hagerman
    Kofteci Arnavut

    The expertly grilled kofte served at this shop—lightly charred and crusty outside, juicy within—have been drawing crowds for more than 70 years. Arnavut... Read More

  • Mikla Restaurant in Istanbul Courtesy of Mikla
    Mikla

    In 2012, chef Mehmet Gurs reoriented Mikla’s menu away from Europe and introduced dishes highlighting ingredients from Turkey, becoming the progenitor... Read More

  • Mucver Restaurant in Istanbul David Hagerman
    Mucver

    Turkish home-style dishes are the main attraction at this cute corner café run by a professional caterer and her husband. Expect a great salad selection... Read More

  • Nicole Restaurant in Istanbul Courtesy of Nicole
    Nicole

    Don't let the Bosporus and Sea of Marmara view from this rooftop restaurant distract from what's on the plate at this serene venue headed by Cordon Bleu... Read More

  • Yeni Lokanta Restaurant in Istanbul Courtesy of Yeni Lokanta
    Yeni Lokanta

    Three years after opening his modern Turkish bistro, chef Civan Er remains at the top of the game with Anatolian-inspired dishes like dried eggplant... Read More

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