Restaurants in Turkey
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.
Forget the burger-joint visions the name connotes: this elegant rooftop spot is one of the city’s most sophisticated dining destinations.
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.
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.
Architects and designers hold lunch meetings over bowls of just-like-mom’s bulgur.
Boisterous seafood palace that comes alive after dark. Order the grilled octopus (izgara ahtapot) and excellent zucchini-flower dolma (kabak cicegi dolmasi).
Locals have a love-hate relationship with Kazim Usta: they complain about its high prices and less-than-stellar service, and yet they still pack the place for its unmatched seafood. The stuffed mussels and sea bream are the best around.
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.
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.
Concealed amid the business-class lounges, this spacious, sunlit restaurant looks as if it would be forbidden to steerage passengers, but it’s not.