Food is one of the things you should research about when planning a trip. We know just the place that will prove to be your food fantasy! Istanbul has gained its well-deserved reputation for its flamboyant food scene and thus becoming one of the most popular tourist attractions. Over the years, this city has hosted an increasing number of foreigners who find themselves mesmerized by the aura created by the blend of scenic views of the city and its modern/semi-modern cuisine. Be it traditional food served in generous amounts or high-end modern cuisine, Istanbul has all the ingredients to fulfill your food dream! Here is a list of 15 best restaurants in Istanbul:
#1 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Nicole
Located on the top floor of the luxury hotel TomTom Suites, Nicole offers one of the best fine dining experiences in Istanbul. Combining the contemporary cuisine with seasonal ingredients, chefs produce aromatic dishes offering an unforgettable palatal balance. From the arrangement of silverware on the tables, expensive tablecloths to tasteful but minimal décor – Nicole can easily prove to be your most anticipated gastronomical journey. The menu changes every six weeks so that you get to enjoy something different every time you go to Nicole.
#2 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Deraliye Ottoman Palace Cuisine Restaurant
Located in Sultanahmet, a minute away from the train station, Deraliye Ottoman Palace offers one of the most exquisite fine dining experiences in the entire city. Having something for everyone – Turkish, fusion, vegan, gluten-free options, Middle Eastern, Halal. The food is presented in the most appealing way. Receiving tons of positive reviews, this modern looking restaurant has managed to stick to its traditional culinary roots.
#3 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Sans Restaurant
A classic fine dining restaurant perfect for business lunches, dinners, special occasions and formal celebrations. An evergreen garden, equipped with seating for up to 120, offers a soul soothing silence. Sans has been awarded the most revered title in the culinary industry – Chaine de Rotisseurs. The menu gets updated after every 2 months. Dishes that received most positive reviews are: Slow cooked beef rib with lemon risotto and a pomegranate reduction, Fig Dessert served with Pistachio ice cream and Oven baked red bream with sautéed vegetables.
#4 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Matbah Ottoman Palace
Located near Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia, Matbah promises to take you back in time. Dishes from Ottoman cuisine are made according to their original recipes without a single alteration. Bar service is also available. It has a large outdoor space that is open during the summers and covered during cold weather. A pleasant ambiance is created by the trees growing through the restaurant. The only hint of green are these trees in otherwise bright and white looking restaurant.
#5 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – El Amed Terrace Restaurant
Go easy on your pocket and enjoy all the traditional Turkish deliciousness this place has to offer. Located on the perfect spot to enjoy Bosphorus’s view during sunset – a breathtaking site adding to your culinary experience. Positive reviews about the staff being friendly. One of the best places to go for lunch or evening munching.
#6 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Rumelihisari Iskele
Located on the Bosphorus shore, it offers a dining experience under the twinkling lights of the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bosphorus Bridge. The chefs Noori and Mehmet are cooking for this restaurant since its first day i.e; 1992. The restaurant is famous for its seafood. The restaurant also offers homemade baklava as a dessert.
#7 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Giritli Restaurant
Housed in a two-story building with an eye-catching garden, Giritli is one of the best tourist eateries in Sultanahmet. Seafood, being the specialty of this place, is prepared with special herbs as was done in ancient Turkey. Enjoy your summer nights strolling in the twinkling garden or sipping your drinks under the mesmerizing moonlight.
#8 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Olive Restaurant
The Olive restaurant is a perfect place for both casual business lunches and more formal dinners. The food offered here is a lighter version of traditional Ottoman cuisine. The most enticing aspect of décor is the full-length glass windows offering a panoramic view of the surrounding area. Apart from Turkish and European influenced items, the highlight of the menu is “Levzine” a type of cinnamon flavored almond helva served with a sweet sherbet.
#9 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Topaz
If you have a taste for minimalism this is the place for you to go. From floor to ceiling windows, Topaz offers a breathtaking view of the Bosphorus. These windows are complemented by round hollow glass chandeliers, starched tablecloths and blossoming flower arrangements in elongated glass vases. Cuisines offered include Mediterranean, Ottoman and international. Highlights of the menu are Grilled Octopus ‘Babalake’, Langoustine and Sea Scallop Royal and Baked Lamb.
#10 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Seasons Restaurant
The neoclassical building that today houses the Four Seasons Hotel were once a prison in Ottoman empire. Its location offers great views of Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque. The hotel also has a spa and fitness center. The restaurant in the glass pavilion inside the hotel is lovely during midday and romantic at nighttime with both indoor and outdoor areas. The service at the restaurant is exceptional which extends to meeting the needs of guests with food allergies.
#11 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Aqua Restaurant
Aqua restaurant is located inside the Four Seasons Hotel. The name reflects the theme of the hotel. The meals offered are breakfast, lunch, and dinner created by the extraordinary Executive Chef Sebastiano Spriveri and his sous chef. Italian cuisine is the highlight of the menu with Mediterranean and Turkish highlights including classics like perfectly cooked Risotto and creamy yet light Tiramisu. A brunch is also served on Sundays in the form of a buffet. A separate menu for children is also available.
#12 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Zuma
Zuma is a Japanese restaurant. It has several branches in London, Hong Kong, and New York. The restaurant offers authentic seafood prepared by Chef Rainer Becker. The featured items in Zuma’s menu include fried soft-shell crab with wasabi mayonnaise, yellowtail sashimi with garlic pickles, baby spinach and ponzu sauce. The sushi at this place is like none other. The venue includes five different dining areas for you to choose.
#13 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Tuğra Restaurant & Lounge
Tugra restaurant is located on the first floor of beautiful Ciragan Palace facing the Bosphorus. The delicacies of the Tugra restaurant include Ottoman and Turkish cuisines and ‘Turkish Fusion’. One of the best experiences of Ottoman dining is offered by Tugra. Along with mouth-watering cuisine, Tugra is embellished with antique decoration from Ottoman empire. A beautiful terrace offers a spectacular view of mighty Bosphorus. Traditional specialties include Lamb Kulbasti and Testi Kebab.
#14 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Asitane
The specialty of this restaurant is “Ottoman Court” cuisine. The chefs at Asitane have worked really hard to resurrect the long-lost recipes of the Ottoman Court. The menu here changes a lot to provide you with enough variety to choose from. The flavors are much more diverse. The décor does not shout too loud. It just rightly complements the dishes. The is the place to go if you are looking for a place that serves true “Ottoman Cuisine”.
#15 of 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul – Beyti
Being open since 1945, Beyti is one of the oldest and most popular meat restaurants in Istanbul. Over time, Beyti has expanded both financially and in size. It offers the best hand selected cuts of meat and has made this far in the industry only by staying true to its humble roots. Beyti, the founder of the restaurant, oversees the selection and preparation process of meat himself and as a result, has gained the present stature that is met by no other meat restaurant in Istanbul. Most noteworthy feature of Beyti is that there are indoor and outdoor dining areas also the terrace. Most of all Beyti is famous for its good hospitable service.
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