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Restaurants in Istanbul

Beyoglu buzzes with eateries from trendy rooftop restaurants, such as 360Istanbul and Leb-i Derya Richmond, to a fresh fish meyhane (tavern) on Nevizade Sokak. In Old Istanbul, traditional kebab dinners are the order of the day, including Hamdi Restaurant in Eminönü and Sultanahmet Koftecisi in Sultanahmet. In Asian Istanbul, Kadiköy has the best selection. Most restaurants stay open till midnight every night. Service is not usually added, so add at least 10%.

Top-end

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  1. 1. Mikla - Top-end: (More than TL60 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Mikla, Istanbul. Courtesy of Istanbul Yiyecek Icecek

    Mikla is a romantic restaurant on the rooftop terrace of Tepebasi's Marmara Pera Hotel. Diners need to book ahead for the table with the best view and dressing up is the norm. Dishes are a Mediterranean-Istanbul-Scandinavian fusion, including smoked lamb loin with walnut pesto and anis crème brulée with yoghurt sorbet. Afterwards, lounge on cushions by the pool sipping cocktails.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Fri 12pm-3.30pm; Mon-Sat 6.30pm-11.30pm

    Address

    Marmara Pera Hotel, 167 Mesrutiyet Caddesi, Tepebasi, Istanbul 34430

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 212 293 5656

    Transport

    Bus to Sishane or Tepebasi

    Website

    Mikla Restaurant website

  2. 2. Balikci Sabahattin - Top-end: (More than TL60 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Located in a quiet part of Sultanahmet, Balikci Sabahattin is a delightful restaurant in a 1920s house. Locals come from all over Istanbul for its consistently good-quality seafood dishes. The dark-wood floor and kilims (rugs) make it cosy on chilly evenings, but there's also a quiet courtyard for summer dining. Reservations are strongly recommended.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 12pm-1am

    Address

    1, Seyit Hasan Kuyu Sokak, Sultanahmet, Istanbul

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 212 458 1824

    Transport

    Tram to Sultanahmet

    Website

    Balikci Sabahattin Website

  3. 3. Çok Çok - Top-end

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    The menu at Çok Çok is a discovery of modern Thai cuisine innovated by a culinary master whose resume includes personal chef for the Thai royal family. Here, thanks to the fresh, organic ingredients, even humble pad Thai is elevated to the restaurant's speciality and vegetarians are also catered for. The bar features a tempting variety of inventive cocktails, plus a healthy wine cellar. 

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    Cost

    Main courses 18TL-36TL; prix-fixe lunch 24TL; dinner 54TL

    Opening hours

    Tue-Sun 12pm-12am

    Address

    Mesrutiyet Cad. 51, Istanbul, Turkey

    Telephone

    0212/292-6496

    Website

  4. 4. Tugra - Top-end: (More than TL60 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Tugra, Istanbul. Courtesy of Ciragan Palace Kempinski

    Tugra is located inside the Ciragan Palace Kempinski, a former Sultan's palace-turned-hotel near Besiktas. In 2007, the restaurant was given a contemporary makeover but the menu remains a twist on Ottoman cuisine. Try dishes like lamb kulbasti (grilled with herbs) and kabuni rice dessert. Its terrace with river views make this a popular location. Smart dress and reservations recommended.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Thu-Sun 7pm-11pm

    Address

    32, Ciragan Caddesi, Besiktas, Istanbul 34349

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 212 259 0394

    Transport

    Any bus along Besiktas-Ortakoy Road

    Website

    Ciragan Palace Kempinski Website

Mid-range

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  1. 5. Ya&Re'n - Mid-range: (TL30-TL60 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Ya&Re'n is a popular Beyoglu meyhane (tavern) specialising in fish. Start with mezeler (cold appetizers) such as cacik (yoghurt and garlic) or esme (spicy pepper dip), then move on to the fresh fish of the day, usually simply grilled. Wash down with raki (aniseed spirit) and enjoy the alfresco tables on the lively street, regularly buzzing with folk music.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 12pm-1am; winter closed Sun

    Address

    35, Asmalimescit Mahallesi, Beyoglu, Istanbul

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 212 245 4578

    Transport

    Bus to Tarlibasi Çaddesi

  2. 6. Leb-i Derya - Mid-range: (TL30-TL60 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Leb-i Derya, Istanbul. Courtesy of Emma Levine

    Beyoglu restaurant Leb-i Derya Richmond offers Ottoman dishes with a twist, such as 40-spice beef fillet or lime and ginger chicken. There are views across the Bosphorus and in the summer the roof retracts. Inside the sleek, white restaurant, locals love the Sunday brunch and mojitos, and most nights there's a DJ playing soft jazz.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Thu 11am-2am; Fri 11am-3am; Sat 10am-3am; Sun 10am-2am

    Address

    6/F, Richmond Hotel, 227 Istiklal Caddesi, Beyoglu, Istanbul 80670

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 212 243 4375

    Transport

    Bus to Taksim

    Website

    Leb-i Derya website

  3. 7. Ara Café - Mid-range: (TL30-TL60 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Ara Café, Istanbul. Courtesy of Emma Levine

    Owned by Istanbul photographer Ara Guler, the popular Ara Café in Galatasaray is lively and friendly. Locals love the walls covered with his amazing black-and-white prints, the 1920s stained-glass windows and the courtyard. The menu includes dishes such as walnut and cheese ravioli, crisp ciger borek (deep-fried cheese pastries) and steaks.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Sun-Thu 8am-12am; Fri & Sat 8am-1am

    Address

    8A, Tosbag Sokak, Istiklal Caddesi, Galatasaray, Istanbul

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 212 245 4104

    Transport

    Bus to Taksim

  4. 8. Hamdi Restaurant - Mid-range: (TL30-TL60 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Many Istanbul establishments boast wonderful views, and Hamdi Restaurant has the best over busy Eminönü harbour and Golden Horn. It serves a range of traditional kebabs like lamb beyti (ground meat wrap) and non meat-eaters can opt for simple grilled fish and meze (small dishes). Save room for Turkish coffee and baklava, baked downstairs. Diners should make a reservation for a terrace table.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 12pm-12.45am

    Address

    17, Kalcin Sokak, Tahmis Caddesi, Eminönü, Istanbul

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 212 528 0390

    Transport

    Bus or tram to Eminönü

    Website

    Hamdi Restaurant Website

  5. 9. The House Cafe - Mid-range: (TL30-TL60 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    The House Cafe in Ortakoy is a comfortably casual restaurant that doubles as an after-hours bar. There's a large terrace with a Bosphorus riverfront location and wooden-floored interior. The huge European menu includes breakfast of eggs Benedict, lunch of sea bass bruschetta, and unusual pizzas like pear, roquefort and walnut. Locals love it for an after-work sundowner.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Thu 9am-1am (kitchen closes 11pm); Fri & Sat 8am-2am (kitchen closes 11.30pm); Sun 8am-12am (kitchen closes 10.30pm)

    Address

    1, Salhane Sokak, Yildiz Mahallesi, Ortakoy, Istanbul

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 212 227 2639

    Transport

    Boat or minibus to Ortaköy

    Website

    The House Cafe Website

  6. 10. 360Istanbul - Mid-range: (TL30-TL60 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    360Istanbul, Istanbul. Courtesy of 360Istanbul

    Beyoglu's 360Istanbul makes the most of its top-floor uninterrupted panorama and attracts a mixture of high-society, casual and trendy diners. The menu varies from platters to share, A La Turka pizza, sushi, crispy sole fillet and Thai. It turns into a stylish late-night club at the weekend with cocktails, beautiful people and DJs.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Sun-Thu 12pm-3am; Fri & Sat 12pm-4am

    Address

    8/F Misir Apartment, 163 Istiklal Caddesi, Beyoglu, Istanbul 80600

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 212 251 1042

    Transport

    Look out for the small sign for Misir Apartment. Climb the stairs or wait for the tiny lift to the top.

    Website

    360Istanbul Website

Budget

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  1. 11. Zencefil - Budget: (Less than TL30 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Zencefil is generally known as a vegetarian restaurant, but chicken and seasonal fish dishes sneak their way onto the menu. Most of the dishes are vegetarian though, such as thick bean soup, huge salads and pies. Located in Beyoglu, its fresh green decor and courtyard make it a popular choice for afternoon coffee and cheesecake.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Mon-Sat 9am-12am

    Address

    8, Kurabiye Sokak, Beyoglu, Istanbul

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 212 243 8234

    Transport

    Bus to Taksim Square

  2. 12. Hala - Budget: (Less than TL30 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Hala in Beyoglu serves gozleme (traditional pancakes) stuffed with cheese, potato or spinach, or manti (tiny Turkish ravioli). There are also chicken dishes, plus a lovely hingal, a potato-stuffed pasta. The food is fresh (women make pancakes on the premises), as well as being homely, good value and filling.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 10am-1am

    Address

    26, Çukurlu Çesme Sokak, off Büyük Parmakkapi Sokak, Istanbul Beyoglu

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 212 293 7531

    Transport

    Bus to Taksim

  3. 13. Çiya - Budget: (Less than TL30 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    There are dozens of kebab restaurants in Istanbul, but Çiya Kadikoy stands out for the sheer choice. The menu includes all Turkish varieties of kebab, including lamb with pine nuts, fresh coriander and pomegranate seeds. Even vegetarians are catered for with spicy vegetable patties skewered and grilled, and a selection of huge salads.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 12pm-10pm

    Address

    44, Guneslibahce Sokak, Caferaga Mahellesi, Kadiköy, Istanbul

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 216 336 3013

    Transport

    Bus or ferry to Kadikoy

    Website

    Çiya Website

  4. 14. Daruzziyafe - Budget: (Less than TL30 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Located in the grounds of Suleymaniye Mosque, Daruzziyafe is on the site of the former soup kitchen. The food is more varied these days, with a selection of lunchtime starters, such as mercimek (lentil soup), borek (pastries) and zeytinyagli bamya (olive oil beans). If the weather is good, stick to the garden.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 12pm-11pm

    Address

    6, Sifahane Caddesi, Suleymaniye, Istanbul 34430

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 212 511 8414

    Transport

    Tram or bus to Beyazit or Eminönü

    Website

    Daruzziyafe Website

  5. 15. Sultanahmet Koftecisi - Budget: (Less than TL30 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Sultanahmet Koftecisi is the best of Divan Yolu's budget eateries and a favourite with locals. It's also a good place for a quick lunch, particularly for meat-eaters. It specialises in kebabs, especially its kofte (succulent minced lamb), but vegetarians have a limited choice. Save room for the wonderful asure, a cold pudding with dried fruit, nuts and beans.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 10am-11.30pm

    Address

    12, Divanyolu Çaddesi, Sultanahmet, Istanbul 34122

    Telephone

    +90 (0) 212520 05 66

    Transport

    Tram to Sultanahmet

    Website

    Sultanahmet Koftecisi Website

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