Restaurants in Turkey
From abundant mezze platters to succulent meat dishes, from fresh seafood to mouth-watering deserts, Turkey's culinary culture is a rich and diverse as its history. Restaurants in Turkey serve a variety of specialties to please all tastes, and vary from region to region. If you're along the water, you can't go wrong at the seafood restaurants located in all the coastal villages. Don't skip a visit to the Bodrum fish market, where you can select morsels from the day's catch and have it cooked to order in the adjacent restaurant.
Some of the best restaurants in Turkey—and in the world—are located in Istanbul. Join locals as they savor specialties like lahmacun—a thin, minced meat-topped flatbread that diners top with veggies—kebab platters, pide (flatbread pizzas), and more at the beloved Tatbak, or head into the hills above town to indulge in the chef's tasting menus, European-influenced fine dining, and panoramic views at Ulus 29. Another Turkey restaurant creating a buzz is the trendy eatery at the Istanbul Modern Museum, where you can choose to enjoy thin-crust pizzas, salads, and Turkish dumplings in the contemporary dining room or on the riverside terrace.
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.
This museum restaurant is noted for its neo-60’s interior of unpolished
oak and black-leather banquettes. Try the olive oil–braised celery root
enlivened with tangerine, and rosy lamb chops, from the smart
The Tugra was the calligraphic seal of the Ottoman Sultans. No doubt the restaurant of the same name now located in the sumptuous 19th-century Ciragan Palace on the western shore of the Bosphorus would get one of approval.
On the city’s Asian side, you’ll find Çiya Sofrasi, past the splendorous Kadiköy fish-and-produce market. As you pick your dishes from the no-nonsense counter, keep in mind that Çiya’s owner, Musa Dağdeviren, may be Turkey’s first globally recognized foodie brain.
Don’t miss the red mullet and smoked octopus at this 110-year-old restaurant.
In the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, the Pera neighborhood has staged a comeback of recent years, reclaiming its title of the hippest neighborhood. Adding to the neighborhood's bohemian vibe is Nu Teras, a rooftop dance club for the young and well-to-do.
Most visitors don’t make it to the northerly, beautiful neighborhood of Bebek, though they should (it’s like the Marin County of Istanbul).
Kasibeyaz is one of three restaurants operating in a complex next to the Istanbul airport. It specializes in high-end versions of Turkish classics like cig kofte (raw meatballs), kebabs, and alinazik (puree of roasted eggplant with diced lamb).
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.
Famished after haggling for kilims at the Covered Bazaar? It’s worth tracking down to this macho kebab dive colonized by gaggles of mustached vendors.
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.
The food is fresh, healthy, and reasonably priced at this buffet-style international restaurant. You can find surprisingly good Turkish meze, such as stuffed grape leaves and smoked eggplant with lemon, at the salad bar in the center island.
Vogue’s location on the top floor of Besiktas Plaza also represents a status that includes top-tier clientele, cuisine, and cost.