This post’s last update check: 20 Aug 2021
In Istanbul, you can find something to eat on almost every corner. So, how do you find the best restaurants serving the best food in each region? Easy; you check out this list of the best restaurants in Istanbul for 2020.
1. Leb-i Derya
Leb-i Derya means “seaside” in Persian, it refers to its unique location which makes it one of the best restaurants in Istanbul. Istanbul is a place where the sea passes tenderly by caressing the mystical land and its magical history. Leb-i Derya is one of the best rooftop restaurants in Istanbul with a wonderful Bosphorus view. An elegant restaurant in the middle of old Istanbul which has a separate theme on each floor. It has a more refined menu than the original down the street. It’s an ideal place to enjoy delicious food and drink whether you fancy a small gathering of friends or you’re organizing a large meeting.
Leb-i Derya’s menu is similar to other taverns in the region. If you’re with a large crowd and you’re going to drink raki (the national drink of Turkey), you can reduce the amount per person by ordering a cheeseboard. The average price for a starter is between 18 – 20 TL. They’re quite rich and filling so if you’re planning to eat a main meal (meat or fish) then go easy on the starter. We highly recommend the marinated mackerel with zahter for 28 TL (a special Turkish spice), cherry stuffed dried aubergines for 24 TL, and grilled goat cheese in yufka for 30 TL (a round and thin sheets of unleavened flour dough)which are the house specialties.
For main dishes, prices are around 80-100 TL. Drink prices vary according to your choice of wine or raki. A glass of sparkling wine is 75 TL, one bottle is around 350 TL and a glass of rosé or white wine is 40-45 TL. A glass of red wine is around 38-52 TL, and a bottle price is between 160-320 TL depending on the year and brand. The price of a single raki varies between 26 and 35 TL according to the brand.
Leb-i Derya’s interior decor is designed to make you feel at home. At the top of the restaurant is the Captain’s Lodge, a small venue accommodating up to 20 people. For a street view, you should ask to be seated in the main hall, where there’s also live music. Below the main hall is a pocket tavern which is nostalgic and friendly. these various choices of Le. Leb-i Derya combines the best of Anatolian and Rumelian cuisine with today’s taste and will take you on a pleasant taste journey.
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Mikla’s Turkish and Scandinavian fusion dishes are described as a magnificent gastronomic journey. With its refined food and breathtaking views, Mikla takes the Turkish restaurant experience to a new level with its “New Anatolian Cuisine”. Choose Mikla for the best Istanbul views in the dazzling rooftop bar of the Marmara Pera. It is an irreplaceable place for your special days with your loved ones. Daily-changing fine dining menu offers different parts of Anatolian cuisine, giving you a chance to taste the rich cuisine of Anatolia from the best.
The 3 course a la carte menu is 350 TL. Cheese and honey platter for two, 75 TL. 6 glasses of wine compatible with dinner is 360 TL. The tasting menu with seven kinds is served to everyone at the table, 450 TL. You’ll have the chance to taste wines originally from other parts of the world and which are now produced in Mikla.
Mikla is rated one of the best 50 restaurants in the world for quality, taste and service and serves dishes inspired by traditional local ingredients and flavours. Mehmet Gürs, the main chef of the restaurant, is a worldwide known chef and carried Mikla to the “The World’s Top 50 Best Restaurants” list. All dishes have been created by the master chefs of Mikla whose presentation skills make each meal a work of art. Mikla is not only one of the best restaurants in Istanbul but also has a remarkable place in the world kitchen.
3. Maiden’s Tower
A mysterious, lonely and romantic tower in the middle of Istanbul. The 2500-year-old Maiden’s Tower serves every meal from breakfast to dinner. For a truly memorable dining experience you can arrive at the Maiden’s Tower by boat. Boats depart from Salacak and Kabataş. Once you step into the tower, you will find yourself in a unique atmosphere. You can have your breakfast with a wide variety of flavours, or have a romantic evening with tasty food and wines accompanied by the magical view of Maiden’s Tower.
Breakfast is 70 TL per person on weekdays and 95 TL at weekends, with entrance to the museum included in the price. You don’t have any menu at lunch, so you pay for the portions, stuffed meatballs for 30TL, pasta kinds from 30 to 40 TL, salads from 25-45 TL. For dinner, there are two different menus and prices are 225 TL or 275 TL. Drinks are not included so you’ll need to pay extra. The museum entrance fee is 30 TL for adults and 15 TL for students.
Although prices are quite high, some people like The Maiden’s Tower for its mystical atmosphere and ambience. Its unique location and history combined with the amazing view, makes it one of the best restaurants in Istanbul. For dinner, there is a strict dress code and children are not allowed. You’ll need to book ahead for an evening meal as it gets very busy. It’s much quieter at lunch time so you should be able to get a table more easily.
Breakfast is available from 09:00 to 13:00 on weekdays and from 10:00 to 13:00 on weekends. From 12:00 you can order lunch at the main restaurant on the bottom floor. Dinner starts at 19:45. Shorts, capri pants and tracksuits are not allowed and if you have children under the age of 7 with you, you’ll need to go during the day. The “Kuledebar”, located on the top floor of the tower, is open from 09:00. Kızkulesi Restaurant is accessible only by boat.
Boat times are as follows:
Salacak / Üsküdar – Kızkulesi starts at 09:15 and ends at 18:30. There’s a trip every 15 minutes. Evening boat hours are from 20:15 to 00:30. You must make a reservation for dinner.
Kabataş – Kızkulesi: At weekends hourly between 10:00 – 18:00. For dinner, you can go to the Maiden’s Tower from 20:00 to 21:30. The last boat back from the tower to the city is 00:30.
4. 360 Istanbul
The multi award winning 360istanbul; one of the first places that come to mind when you think of landscape views in Istanbul. Located on the top floor of the historical Mısır Apartment from the 19th century, 360 Istanbul serves delicacies from around the world alongside modern Turkish cuisine. 360 is open for lunch and dinner, offering a twist on the modern Turkish meze fused with international cuisine and an exclusive wine selection to compliment it. In the evening and at weekends it transforms into 360club with live music, shows and talented DJ performances. It offers unforgettable moments with its unique texture, high-quality service, delicious menu, and panoramic view and entertainment.
They offer a main course menu called “Legends of 360” and prices are around 70-100 TL. Grilled meat and fish meals, 90-120 TL. They offer “meze to share” served to everyone at the table, cold mezes for 25-30 TL, hot mezes for 40-45 TL, desserts are around 30 TL. Soft drinks are around 20 TL, a glass of wine is around 35-45 TL depending on the year, special cocktails 50 TL.
360 restaurant offers a pleasant experience no matter what time of day you visit. You’ll enjoy an unforgettable day in the historical apartment of Beyoğlu with delicious food and drink celebrating the harmony of East and West. 360 Istanbul’s rich and delicious menu is prepared by the famous chef Mike Norman. Its unique ambiance, cuisine, entertainment and vibe make 360 Istanbul one of the best restaurants in Istanbul city.
Related Post: Istanbul’s Top 5 Rooftops
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5. Asitane Restaurant
Asitane Restaurant invites you to the table of the sultans. The recipes here are truly authentic and based on the findings of gastronomical scholars who have studied how the sultans feasted. Some are from documents in the libraries of Beyazit and Millet; some from the book “A Feast Book” on the circumcision feast of the sons of Suleyman the Magnificent; and some are even from the culinary records of the palace kitchen! In this place you will feast like sultans. Asitane carries the forgotten tastes of the Ottoman to the present-day with its special summer and winter menus, by adding more than 200 historical recipes to its archives. To keep these authentic tastes alive, Asitane periodically organizes special weeks such as “Fatih Sultan Mehmet Period Foods”, “Aphrodisiac Dishes from Ottoman Palaces”, “Fish and Seafood in Ottoman Palaces”.
Asitane Restaurant has a menu for each season and prices change accordingly. However, soups and salads are between 30 TL and 50 TL, cold and warm appetizers are around 40-55 TL. Main courses are between 55-80 TL while desserts are between 35-45 TL. We recommend a cold appetizer, “Halva Platter from the Palace” for 45 TL. As a main course, “Mutanjene” (Lamb stew cooked with apricots, Rezaki raisins, almonds, and dried figs) for 78 TL and “Stuffed Melan” for 80 TL.
The quality and taste of the dishes served to the sultans and guests in the palaces of the Ottoman Empire have been brought to the present day using authentic recipes. With its interior decoration and delicious food, Asitane Restaurant brings the past to life in the most delicious way. It’s special and historical atmosphere takes you back to the Ottomon times while you are feasting like a sultan. It is a unique place to experience the Ottomon kitchen from the original recipes, which makes Asitane one of the best restaurants in Istanbul.
Lacivert Restaurant combines the flavours of Mediterranean cuisine with the organic products of the Anatolian region. It is known for its relaxed and family-oriented warm atmosphere, and diverse seafood options. Offering a unique view of the Bosphorus, Lacivert is sure to provide a great dining experience at any time of the day, and if you’re a late riser you’ll find they do a splendid brunch. Its atmosphere, view and the delicious food make Lacivert one of the best fine dining restaurants.
A meal for two people including alcoholic drinks will normally cost around 450 TL. It is famous for its “Seafood Soup” for 68 TL, and “Salted fish” served for two, 120 TL per person. They offer lots of different seafood starters between 50-120 TL.
Booking is recommended at the restaurant which also organises a private boat tour for businesses, and other special dinners. You can have a romantic meal in a luxurious setting by the sea or get your friends together for a celebration. It’s location just next to the sea and the view of the bridge makes Lacivert one of the best restaurants in Istanbul.
Related Post: The Best Fine Dining Luxury Restaurant in Istanbul
7. The Doctor Steak House
Doctor Steakhouse is one of the best meat restaurants in Etiler. The owner, Doctor İnanç is not a doctor, but he is well known by people who like to eat meat in Istanbul. The nickname “Doctor” comes from the fact he cuts the meat with the precision of a surgeon. Here, the meat is served with common accompaniments such as sushi, Turkish delight, cage, neck with Dr Steakhouse’s taste. Doctor İnanç calls his restaurant “the Butcher of the Etiler” since you can either dine in or take out your meat.
The Doctor Steakhouse prices vary by meal. Starters range from 40 TL to 95 TL and main courses range from 85 TL to 240 TL. T-bone steak is 140 TL and “Lamb Cage” special is 295 TL.
This place is all about the meat. No scenery, no live music. Just a carnivores’ paradise. They produce every meat product in the restaurant, and buy the ingredients from its original regions of Turkey to reach the best quality and taste. It is the best restaurant in Istanbul for the meat lovers.
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Çiyas’ chefs add the ancient secrets of Mesopotamia to the dishes of the Balkans, enriching the glory of the Ottoman Empire with the flavours of the Caucasus. Asian spices are infused with the taste of the Arabian Peninsula. And the result is unique, innovative dishes which taste great. There are also local dishes available.
Çiya table has a price range between 29 TL and 150 TL. Soups and starters are 10-15 TL. It is known for its famous kebabs which are around 45-80 TL and “Walnut Dessert” for 15 TL.
The chefs here strive for perfection and in 2015, 2017 and 2019 the restaurant was awarded a “Certificate of Excellence”. It offers something for everyone and is visited not just for the setting and ambience but for rich flavours. It’s location is easy to access in the center of Kadıköy. Çiya offers really delicious kebabs for affordable prices, that makes it one of the best restaurants in Istanbul.
9. Nusr-Et Steakhouse
Nusr-Et understands the Turkish steakhouse culture of combining great food with good fun. You should have heard Nusr-et by his famous signature gesture, “the Salt Bae”, but the real reason for its name comes from the fresh well-made steaks. You’ll love the warm atmosphere and eating at Nusr-Et means eating at the heart of Istanbul’s steakhouse culture.
Nusret Istanbul menu prices are going around 70 TL for the appetizers, main courses starting at 160 TL. For two people, a meal with alcohol will cost around 700 TL on average. It is famous for its “Lokum”, which means a Turkish Delight but it is also used for soft things, is a mouth-watering soft steak for 180 TL. Also “Rack of Lamb” is a popular choice which is served for two person, 450 TL. You may prefer “Carrot Slice” as dessert for everyone at the table, for 33 TL each.
Nearly everyone in Istanbul knows the quality of Nusr-Et. It’s one of the top 10 restaurants in Istanbul and visitors come not only for the food but also to meet the Salt Bae himself who has a very interesting success story and loves to chat. It is a choice of celebrities and high society in Istanbul. The high quality meat and Nusr-et’s unique service makes the restaurant undeniably the best restaurant in Istanbul for steak lovers.
Related Post: 9 Dishes of Famous Turkish Chefs That You Should Try
You can also view our The Best Restaurants in Istanbul Foursquare List.
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