Restaurants in Turkey

In Turkey, the Özkanca family is synonymous with premier restaurants and cuisine. One of their best-loved ventures is located in the Istanbul Convention and Exhibition Centre just north of Taksim Square.

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.

Full of bright-green Eastern Barak pistachios, fragrant with syrup, brushed with sheep’s butter—yet somehow light—the baklava at Karaköy Güllüoglu Baklavalari sets the gold standard. Eat it at the nearby Karaköy docks while gazing at the magnificent mosques across the water.

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

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

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.

One of the most well-known meyhane restaurants in the city, Yakup 2 serves customers the classic line up of appetizers like artichokes, yogurt, and calamari, followed by innumerable courses of meat and rice dishes and a fruit-platter dessert.

Boisterous seafood palace that comes alive after dark. Order the grilled octopus (izgara ahtapot) and excellent zucchini-flower dolma (kabak cicegi dolmasi).

As the name implies, the restaurant is set in a hidden garden with a view of the small yacht marina. Specialties include stuffed calamari, which like all the fresh catches here, are cooked to specification upon ordering.

It’s neither as famous nor as trendy as other rooftop restaurants in the area (say, 360 or Mikla), but Konak’s views are just as exhilarating, and the food is hearty and cheap.

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

Concealed amid the business-class lounges, this spacious, sunlit restaurant looks as if it would be forbidden to steerage passengers, but it’s not.

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.