Restaurants in Istanbul


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With Europe on one side and Asia on the other, it’s no wonder the cuisine in Istanbul is an eclectic mix of flavours from both continents. Expats who relocate here will love this combination and the fusion food that has evolved from the city’s location.
 
The tourist area of Sultanahmet features the largest selection of restaurants while traditional Turkish fare, with flavours such as cinnamon and saffron, can be found in the restaurants around Edirnekapi and Ortaköy. A tip of between 10 and 15 percent is customary in most restaurants, while some restaurants may include the service charge in the bill. Expats should make sure to check their bill thoroughly.

There is no shortage of restaurants and cafés in Istanbul, serving all types of food.
 

Recommended restaurants in Istanbul

 
Cezayir
Traditonal Turkish fare with an international influence served in a relaxed and colourful atmosphere.
Tel: (212) 245 9980

360 Istanbul
Situated on a rooftop terrace, this aptly named restaurant serves delicious fusion food with prevailing Turkish, Mediterranean and Oriental flavours.
Tel: (
212) 251 1042

Taksimoda Café
A New York-style café with breath-taking view over the Taksim Square serving a great variety of cuisine.
Tel:(212) 334 8500

Asitane
Set in a 19th century mansion and serving mouth-watering authentic Ottoman cuisine, Asitane looks out over the Golden Horn.
Tel: (
212) 534 8414

The House Café (Ortaköy)
Trendy seaside eatery serving a delicious selection of café food.
Tel: (
212) 227 2699

Çintemani Restaurant
Located in the Ritz Carlton hotel, this laid back eatery serves delicious international cuisine with particular attention to Mediterranean and Asian flavours.
Tel: (212) 334 4444

Feriye Lokantasi
Multi-purpose restaurant serving seasonal cuisine which is great on summer evenings on the outdoor terrace.
Tel: (
212) 227 2216


Mikla
Offering breath-taking views of the old town, Mikla serves gourmet Mediterranean cuisine from the top two floors of the Marmara Pera Hotel.
Tel: (
212) 293 5656

 

Saf
Perfect for a light meal, Saf serves organic food in a relaxed atmosphere at the Hayal Kahvesi in Club Sporium Akatlar.

Tel: (212) 282 7946

Some other tips from our Expat Expert:
  • Sunset – fabulous location over the Bosphorous. Serves Western, Turkish and Oriental food.
  • Ulus 29 – close to Sunset, similar views and similar food.
  • Beyti – fairly far out, beyond the airport, but a must visit for Turkish food. This restaurant serves some of the best grilled meat in Istanbul.
  • Changa – this is located in the Sabanci Museum on the Bosphorus and rounds off a visit to the museum perfectly. The museum, incidentally, was originally a house belonging to an industrial family of Turkey. They have donated it to the state and it houses an excellent collection of calligraphy as well as travelling exhibitions.
  • Several options are available in the malls - a good Japanese Noodle House is Wagamama, found in Kanyon Mall, and Istinye Park Mall has a good Italian Restaurant called Mezzaluna, and a Mongolian Barbeque Restaurant called Gomongo. Akmerkez Mall has an excellent Italian Restaurant called Paper Moon but this is on the pricey side. Le Pain Quotidien is a French-style café in several malls.
In addition, there are several fish restaurants, cafés and tea gardens along the Bosphorous. The Bosphorus location always pushes prices up and some of the fish restaurants can be quite expensive. For a simple fish meal with a great view, try Fish Var in Istinye. The tea gardens in Emirgan, close by, are also excellent spots to sit by the Bosphorus and have a light snack.

There are a number of Starbucks, Gloria Jean’s and other international coffee houses all over Istanbul.

One more unique spot in Istanbul is Ortakoy Square. The beautiful Ortakoy Mosque is in this square as are stalls selling knick knacks, and a whole gamut of restaurants from mid-priced cafés to street stalls selling typical Turkish fare (try Kumpir – a baked potato with your choice of toppings). Ortakoy square is right on the Bosphorus and is a fun and lively place to visit.
 

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Our Istanbul Expert

Shireen's picture
Bombay, India
Bombay, India
Shireen Mistry has recently returned to Bombay after living in Istanbul for 5 years. Her time in Istanbul (2003-2008) was...
Shireen


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