Restaurants in Turkey
West of the central tourist area of Sultanahmet, the neighborhood of Samatya is home to this long-time area restaurant. Develi has been serving southeast Anatolian cuisine to locals and expats since 1966.
If you’re not quite ready to plunge into Turkish culture the moment you arrive, pop in for one last half-caf Venti skinny latte before you leave the airport. The comfy chairs make it a good place to read a newspaper, and it’s normally quiet.
Goldsmiths, rug lords, and copperware kings pack into the homey Subaşi for fortifying white beans in tomato sauce and chicken stuffed with rice.
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 lure is the view of Istanbul, spreading out beyond the floor-to-ceiling glass windows.
In a shopping mall near Levent, the center of upscale modern Istanbul, Osmani has a fresh and sharp range of Turkish food flavors. This is where health-conscious, time-strapped professionals dine in efficient comfort.
The average day in Turkey is punctuated by round after round of tea and coffee, and shopping is no different. Since accepting a cup from a seller in the Grand Bazaar is regarded as interest in doing business, it may be better to stop in the few cafes inside the Grand Bazaar.
Since 1920, this workingman’s dive has remained hugely popular despite serving only two main dishes: meatballs and lamb skewers.
Pick up an exotic-flavored ice cream to eat on the pier.
Sunset, when the mosques and minarets glow like fire and the city lights twinkle, is the time to hit this spot on the top floor of the Goethe Institute.
The antiques-filled restaurant, known for its home-style stews, is set in an old Ottoman row house under the shadow of the Blue Mosque. Reserve a window table for the 8 p.m. light show.
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.
On a street lined with carpet shops near the Arasta Bazaar, this restaurant, whose owners hail from Turkey’s eastern Lake Van area, serves up the region’s puffy breads, herb-flecked otlu cheese, and addictive tahini spread.
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.
Quality sushi is an exceptionally rare find in Istanbul, but thanks to international chain Zuma, it now can be had opposite the Radisson Blu hotel in Ortakoy.