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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 (taverns) 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%.

Leb-i Derya, Istanbul.             Courtesy of Emma Levine
1

Balikci Sabahattin

Traditional house

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.



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

Kordon Restaurant, Istanbul. Photo by Koray Erkaya, courtesy of Kordon Balik Restaurant
2

Kordon Restaurant

Waterfront business lunches

Located in the peaceful village of Cengelkoy, Kordon Restaurant is an elegant restaurant at boutique hotel Sumahan on the Water with a large terrace by the Bosphorus. Try fresh fish dishes such as shellfish with soy sauce, shrimp casserole and succulent grilled bonito. This is a lunch-time favourite with local businessmen and it also gets busy during summer weekends, so reservations are recommended.



Opening Hours

Daily from 12pm; last orders 9.30pm

Address

51, Kuleli Caddesi, Çengelköy, Istanbul 34684

Telephone

+90 (0) 216 321 0473

Transport

Boat or bus to Cengelkoy

Website

Kordon Balik Website

Tugra, Istanbul. Courtesy of Ciragan Palace Kempinski
3

Tugra

Palatial surroundings

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.



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

Tugra Website

Mikla, Istanbul. Courtesy of Istanbul Yiyecek Icecek
4

Mikla

Poolside terrace

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.



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 Website

360Istanbul, Istanbul. Courtesy of 360Istanbul
5

360Istanbul

Stylish top-floor dining

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.



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

Ara Café, Istanbul. Courtesy of Emma Levine
6

Ara Café

Photographer's Café

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.



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

7

Hamdi Restaurant

Harbourside kebabs

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.



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

Leb-i Derya, Istanbul. Courtesy of Emma Levine
8

Leb-i Derya

Riverfront Sunday brunch

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.



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

9

The House Cafe

Waterfront eating

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.



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 Café Website

10

Ya&Re'n

Lively fish restaurant

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.



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

11

Zencefil

Healthy and serene vegetarian

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.



Opening Hours

Mon-Sat 9am-12am

Address

8, Kurabiye Sokak, Beyoglu, Istanbul

Telephone

+90 (0) 212 243 8234

Transport

Bus to Taksim Square

12

Sultanahmet Koftecisi

Locals' favourite kebabs

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.



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

13

Daruzziyafe

Restored soup kitchen

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.



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

14

Hala

Homely traditional dishes

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.



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

15

Çiya

Kebabs galore

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.



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

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