Restaurants in Turkey

The shoebox of a café off Selçuk’s main square serves a variety of meze appetizers, as well as grilled meats. But the specialty is Turkish veal meatballs, which Selçuk Köftecisi has been making for the past 50 years.

Beyoglu is known for its raucous drinking houses, or meyhane, where meze are an excuse for rivers of raki. This is the insiders' favorite: a brick-walled dining room illuminated by chandeliers that sets the scene for house specials like ficin, a spiced meat pie. The best part?

Siraselviler Caddesi leads to one of the trendiest neighborhoods of Cihangir, where much of Istanbul’s expatriate community lives. Many of them have started businesses like Changa.

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.

Mabeyin restaurant takes its name from the area between the harem (women’s section) and selamlik (men’s section) in Ottoman palaces where receptions and banquets were held for guests.

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.

Vogue’s location on the top floor of Besiktas Plaza also represents a status that includes top-tier clientele, cuisine, and cost.

Pick up an exotic-flavored ice cream to eat on the pier.

Near the entrance to the National Park, Degirmen (the name means windmill) is set in a sprawling park complete with horse stables, a duck pond, and a fairground.

Created by the editors of T+L for Regent Seven Seas Cruises

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.

When Semsa Denizsel opened Kantin in 2000, she wanted to both remind Istanbullus of their culinary heritage and introduce them to the idea of slow food.

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.

In Istanbul, big business takes place in the skyscrapers in the Levent neighborhood, and those working in that area often dine at Kösebasi.

In the waterside Arnavutköy area, Dilara Erbay dishes up grilled fish at Abracadabra, housed in a wooden mansion.