Eating & Dining

Turkish food: The best restaurants in Istanbul

June 25, 2018
If you have been to Turkey you know how toothsome Turkish food is, if you haven’t been there, you must! Turkish cuisine is as rich and diverse as the country’s culture. The best restaurants in Istanbul are the ones that serve the best authentic Turkish food. If you are thinking of heading there this summer, which is highly recommended, we have compiled a guide to help you navigate the beautiful city’s culinary offerings, these are the best restaurants in Istanbul.

Mikla

Turkish with a modern twist, this restaurant is one of the best culinary gems in Istanbul. Not only is it one of the best restaurants in Istanbul but Mikla is in the best 50 restaurants in the world, it is moving higher up the list with each passing year. Located inside Marmara Pera hotel, the restaurant offers a classy atmosphere, a wonderful view of the city in addition to the amazing food. Previous reservation is recommended; try to reserve an outdoor table if the weather permits as the view is quiet charming. Pro Tip: The fried sardines are almost too beautiful to eat, they are however immensely delicious so do not be afraid to dive right in!

Neolokal

Food that is pretty, artistic, and genuinely Turkish albeit with a twist, what more can you ask for in a restaurant? Overlooking the historic peninsula and the Golden Horn, the view is just as beautiful as the food. This restaurant is located inside Salt Galata, which is a former bank in Karaköy that’s been transformed into a modern art gallery. It serves contemporary interpretations of local dishes in a unique and exquisitely presented style. For a wonderful evening in Istanbul reserve a table in Neolokal, and check the art gallery in your way up to further enrich your Turkish experience. Pro Tip: Leave some room for the baklava with pistachio; it is not to be missed.

Beyti

This Turkish steak house has served meat lovers since 1945.  One of the most popular restaurants in the city, it represents traditional Turkish hospitality at its best. Located inside a modern Ottoman Turkish-style building, the restaurant serves delicious local grilled kebabs, alongside toothsome vegetables prepared with olive oil, and pastries filled with cheese, hungry yet? Pro Tip: If this is your first visit to the place, try the mixed grill plate as each and every kind of grill there is worth sampling.

Giritli

The most charming restaurant in Istanbul, this restaurant is located in a beautiful old building and has a lovely outdoor area. It is the perfect place to spend a summer night trying Turkish seafood. It is a walkable distance from Sultanahmet in the heart of Istanbul, and a definite must try for seafood lovers. Their appetizers are simply mouthwatering as are the grilled fish main courses. Pro Tip: They have an extensive menu that you can order from, but we highly recommend trying one of the set menus as they give you a chance to sample many delicious appetizers and provide good value for money.

Rumelihisari Iskele

The view cannot be rivaled as this restaurant lies in an Ottoman-era boat dock in the shadows of a medieval fortress right on the Bosporus. The sunset there is a view to behold. And most importantly, the food is just as inspiring as the view and the atmosphere. The seafood selection is varied and very fresh, and so is the appetizer menu. It is one of the best restaurants in Istanbul and one of the most popular restaurants by the Bosporus so reservations are highly recommended. Pro Tip: The grilled sea bass is just heavenly! And you cannot go wrong with calamari, whether it was grilled or fried.

Tatbak

Eat like an Ottoman emperor in this old Istanbul landmark! This restaurant was established in 1960, it has been known to serve the best Lahmacun, Turkish meet pie, in Istanbul ever since. The restaurant also serves a variety of Kebabs and other Turkish specialties. It is favored among locals as well as tourists for its simple yet elegant atmosphere and delicious food. Pro Tip: Try the Ayran, local yogurt drink with your Lahmacun for the most fulfilling and the most authentic Turkish experience.

Hafiz Mustafa 1864

Not a restaurant but a pastry and coffee shop, Hafiz Mustafa is one of the must visited eateries in Istanbul. It was originally opened as a rock candy shop in 1864, Hafız Mustafa made this place a landmark when he invented poğaça which is palm size bun with or without filling. The shop serves some of the best sweet treats in Istanbul, such as Turkish delights, baklava, halva and many more, all that alongside Turkish coffee and tea. Enjoy a lovely afternoon or evening relaxing in the large cafe in Sultanahment, which has a stunning 19th century ambience, and enjoy your freshly made dessert and coffee. And do not forget to take a treat to go; you will appreciate it when you get back home. Pro Tip: You absolutely must try the pomegranate Turkish delights; they are one of the most beautiful treats in the world.

To taste the amazing Turkish food see also:

Travel packages to Turkey