Turkey

Restaurants in Turkey

Starched white tablecloths, the smell of spices, and plenty of bustle and clamor accompany the plates of spicy kebaps at Istanbul’s favorite Anatolian restaurant.

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.

At this French-meets-Turkish restaurant, set near the stone-carved Uçhisar Castle, all of the tables overlook green valleys and snow-covered peaks.

One of the many meyhane-style restaurants in the bohemian Asmali Mescit neighborhood, Refik distinguishes with its cuisine and storied past. A long-time haunt of leftist intellectuals, the walls are covered with photos, newspaper clippings, and memorabilia of the last 50 years.

Booked up nightly by a sophisticated crowd. The fish is generally fantastic, and priced accordingly.

Forget the burger-joint visions the name connotes: this elegant rooftop spot is one of the city’s most sophisticated dining destinations.

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 anise-flavored liquor. The city is full of them, but Bonçuk, where strolling fasil musicians entertain diners, is one of the best.

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.

It would be a crime to miss the Süleymaniye Camii mosque, an Ottoman masterpiece; it would be sadder still not to visit this nearby sweet shop. Decked out in weathered marble, this vintage cubbyhole specializes in boza—a cross between pudding and a beverage, which is made from fermented bulgur.

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.

Babylon concertgoers gather at the music venue's sister site for smoked-salmon pizzete and pan-Mediterranean salads.

Architects and designers hold lunch meetings over bowls of just-like-mom’s bulgur.

The height of glamour, atop the hotel Marmara Pera, Mikla has some of the best vistas in town. Swedish-born star chef Mehmet Gürs’s Mediterranean-inspired dishes don’t come cheap, but for the patrons here, money really doesn’t matter.

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.