In Istanbul, you can have something to eat on almost every corner. So, how do you find the best restaurants in Istanbul serving the best food in each region? Easy! You check out this list of the best restaurants in Istanbul. Let’s start this tasty journey so that you can choose your own Istanbul best restaurant!
After enjoying the view of the Bosphorus at all these restaurants, if you want to experience the Bosphorus closer, you should check out these Bosphorus tours.
1. Fatih Tutak -TURK
TURK Fatih Tutak has a global twist on traditional Turkish cuisine, located in Istanbul if you want to have a taste of the chef’s carefully curated menu. TURK has two Michelin stars and provides a rich experience, unlike any other restaurant of its caliber. The chef Fatih Tutak was born and raised in Istanbul, and during his formative years of cooking around the world, decided to open his restaurant with a global vision.
As he proclaims on this website, with the mission of preserving and protecting traditional Turkish recipes, with their influence from the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and Anatolia, he is sure that he can nurture both your appetite and your mindscape. We do not want to give away too much about the exquisite restaurant, you must make a reservation for this surprise experience.
Recommended Dish: Grilled lamb accompanied by fermented vegetable juice or mackerel cooked in its own oil with the sharp taste of kaffir lime.
Tip: Visiting the restaurants featured in this post is an exciting way to experience Istanbul. However, keep in mind that these restaurants are located throughout the city. Renting a car is a smart option if you want to maximize your time and explore more. To make things easier, keep this link open in a new tab for easy access later.
Neolokal has a crew that primarily cares about tradition and nature; their main goal is to be inspired by mother nature, prepared with traditional recipes that stood the test of time. They have the goal of preserving products that have almost gone out of use with time and reviving those ingredients in their fresh yet grounded approach to cooking. If you wish to try out MICHELIN Restaurants in Istanbul, NeoLokal has been selected by the Michelin Guide 2023, located in Karaköy, Istanbul. You should not miss this experience and make a reservation as soon as you can.
Recommended Dish: A meatball seasoned with light spices, made with bulgur, pine nuts, and hazelnuts (İçli Köfte)
3. Lokanta 1741
Lokanta 1741 is located in the beautiful and 300-year-old Cagaloglu Hammam. With its beautiful and historic location, Lokanta 1741 provides a delicious selection of food inspired by Ottoman culture. Do not miss out on the chance of trying out their special cocktails, their authentic yet innovative menus of seafood and kebab varieties prepared for you by the best chefs in Istanbul. Lokanta 1741 is also recommended by the 2023 Michelin Guide Istanbul, making it one of the best spots for a taste of fine dining istanbul 2023. You can make a reservation by following the link here.
Prices range between 20 – 50 Euros.
4. 360 Istanbul
The multi-award-winning 360 Istanbul is one of the first places that comes to mind when one thinks of landscape in Istanbul. Located on the top floor of the historical Mısır Apartment dating back to 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 mezes by fusing them with international cuisine. In the evening, on the weekends, it transforms into 360club with live music, shows, and talented DJ performances. It offers unforgettable best Istanbul restaurant moments with its unique texture, high-quality service, delicious menu, panoramic view, and entertainment.
360 restaurant offers a pleasant experience no matter what time of day you visit. You will enjoy an amazing day in the historical apartment of Beyoğlu with delicious food 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.
Tip: Planning a trip to Istanbul? Beware of the notorious traffic that can eat up most of your time. To make the most of your trip, consider staying close to the city center, museums, other popular attractions and most of the restaurants in this article. Beyoglu area is an excellent option for its central location and easy accessibility. Check out the hotels in the area by clicking on this link that opens in a new tab. Keep reading to find out more!
Photo Credit: @pandeli
Located in the historical Mısır Çarşısı, Pandeli is a restaurant that has been serving its happy customers for over a century. Pandeli is a spot that cannot be missed by true foodies, as they serve delicious and carefully prepared traditional Turkish delicacies, such as mezes of various sorts. You should not miss the liver served in Pandeli, as they are exceptionally talented in this item of the menu.
Recommended Dish: Spiced chicken cooked in a wood-fired oven.
6. Alaf – Kuruçeşme
Photo Credit: @alaf
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Alaf Kuruçeşme consists of a small shop at the entrance and the restaurant upstairs. You can stop by the restaurant for a delicious fine dining experience. If you want to try out various fireside meals and observe the Turkish rakı culture, you can get seated on the ground floor and watch the lively street, submerged in the local culture. The crew at Alaf Kuruçeşme brings to you delicacies from all over Turkey, prepared with products made here, providing an authentic and elevated taste of Turkish cuisine. You can contact Alaf Kuruçeşme through the information given below:
Photo Credit: @murver
Mürver Restaurant is located in a central position, making it easy to find, and it’s even better when you get there with the beautiful scenery of the historical peninsula, Topkapı palace and the Bosphorus surrounding the place, giving Mürver a special place among Bosphorus view restaurants.
You should try the cocktail bar before dining at Mürver. They serve a menu prepared with a mixture of seafood and meat, and provide a delicious experience with meals cooked on open fire, which makes your dining experience have a distinct authenticity and taste. The ambience and music only adds to the beauty of the restaurant.
Recommended Dish: Grilled Lamb Backstrap with tahinni piyaz and crispy potatoes
Mikla’s Turkish and Scandinavian fusion dishes will take you on a magnificent gastronomic journey. Thanks to its refined food and breathtaking views, Mikla brings the best Istanbul restaurant experience to the next level with its “New Anatolian Cuisine”.
Choose Mikla for the best Istanbul views on the dazzling rooftop of the Marmara Pera. It is an irreplaceable place for special occasions with loved ones. Daily-changing fine dining menu offers different aspects of Anatolian cuisine, giving you a chance to taste the rich cuisine of Anatolia from the best.
PS: You can take a sunset Bosphorus tour that you can book here after this delicious experience!
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 flavors. 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 are 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. The tasting menu’s price is 160 Euros.
Lacivert Restaurant combines the flavors of the Mediterranean with the organic products of Anatolia. 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 are a late riser, you will find out that they do a splendid brunch.
Its atmosphere, view, and delicious food make Lacivert one of the best fine dining restaurants in Istanbul. They also make very good Turkish coffee and serve it in great cups. There is a tradition of drinking Turkish coffee after a meal in Türkiye. You should definitely order one and enjoy it after your meal.
Recommended Dish: Make sure to taste various Seafood on the menu.
Booking is recommended at this best Istanbul restaurant, which also organizes private boat tours for businesses and other special occasions. You can have a romantic meal in a luxurious setting by the sea or get your friends together for a celebration. Its location by the sea and its view of the bridge make Lacivert one of the best restaurants in Istanbul.
Check out the HeyTripster readers’ top-rated Istanbul attractions:
Çiyas’ chefs add the ancient secrets of Mesopotamia to the dishes of the Balkans, enriching the glory of the Ottoman Empire with the flavors 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 and traditional Turkish foods available at this Istanbul restaurant being one of the most famous traditional turkish restaurants.
The chefs here strive for perfection, and in 2015, 2017, and 2019, the restaurant was awarded with a “Certificate of Excellence”. It offers something for everyone and is visited not just for its setting and ambiance but also for its rich flavors. It is easy to access as located in the center of Kadıköy. Çiya offers really delicious kebabs for affordable prices, which makes it one of the best restaurants in Istanbul.
11. Nusr-Et Steakhouse
Nusr-Et combines great food with great fun. You must have heard about Nusr-et by his famous signature gesture, “the Salt Bae”, but the real reason behind his fame is the fresh steaks. You will love the warm atmosphere, and eating at Nusr-Et, the best Istanbul restaurant, means eating at the heart of Istanbul’s steakhouse culture.
Many people know the quality of Nusr-Et. It is one of the Istanbul best restaurants, and visitors come here not only for the food but also to meet the Salt Bae himself, who has an interesting success story and loves to chat. Celebrities also frequent this place. The high-quality meat and Nusr-et’s unique service make the restaurant undeniably the best restaurant in Istanbul for steak lovers.
12. Endam Leb-i Derya
Leb-i Derya means “seaside” in Persian and refers to this restaurant’s unique location, which makes it one of the best restaurants in Istanbul. It is also one of the best rooftop restaurants in Istanbul, with a wonderful Bosphorus view. This elegant restaurant has a separate theme on each floor. It is an ideal place to enjoy delicious food whether you are organizing a small gathering or a large meeting.
Leb-i Derya’s menu is similar to other taverns in the region. If you are a large group, you can order a cheeseboard. The average price for a starter starts from €5. They are quite rich and filling, so if you’re planning to have a main course, then go easy on the starter.
We highly recommend the marinated mackerel with zahter (a special Turkish spice), cherry-stuffed dried aubergines, and grilled goat cheese in yufka (a round and thin sheet of unleavened flour dough) which are the house specialties.
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 is also live music.
Below the main hall is a pocket tavern that is nostalgic and friendly. These various choices of Leb-i Derya combine the best of Anatolian and Rumelian cuisine with today’s taste. This restaurant will take you on a pleasant taste journey.
13. Chef Erdal Kocatas Mansions, Six Senses
Besides operating as a hotel, Six Senses is home to two restaurants, a bar, a coffee lounge, and a patisserie, each bringing their own touches to the table, but among them and the others, Chef Erdal’s Kocatas Mansions restaurant stands out as one of the Istanbul best restaurants serving traditional Turkish delicacies.
At this best Istanbul restaurant, you will enjoy the view of the Bosporus in a historical, luxurious mansion whilst having tasty kebabs and mezes of Adana, a well-known city in Türkiye. Chef Erdal is there to guarantee this. Plant-based options are provided for special diets.
Spago is founded by the master chef of the same named 2-star Michelin restaurant in Beverly Hills. The master chef, Wolfgang Puck, is so good at what he is doing that he has organized the Academy Awards parties for 25 years in a row. At Spago, you will surely be delighted with eclectic tastes. The menu is altered each season for fresh ingredients with the motto of farm-to-table, combining Californian, Asian and Italian cuisines.
PS: You should definitely discover famous Turkish chefs and their special recipes while you are visiting the places to go in Istanbul!
There is not much to debate when it comes to the quality of this restaurant. You will be treated like a Hollywood star here. Your eyes will have a feast, as well as your mouth, on Spago’s rooftop overlooking Macka Park towards Bosphorus.
14. Efendy Etiler
Photo Credit: @efendy
Efendy Etiler specializes in meat, and each of their meals are inspired by traditional cuisine and bring new and innovative recipes. The chefs at Efendy work with special techniques, adding to their menu special cheese and spices that come from different regions, and they provide a modernized menu for their customers. Their crew prioritizes the time tested Turkish hospitality, and the cozy yet modern atmosphere of the restaurant makes dining there a one of a kind experience among famous restaurants in istanbul. You can access their menu through their website, and contact Efendy though the information given below:
Also, if you are looking for a local food tour in Istanbul, have a look here:
Now that you have plenty of information about the best restaurants in Istanbul, all that is left is to pick one for an unforgettable dinner, but how about breakfast? Here is our blog for the breakfast in Istanbul options!
You can also view our The Best Restaurants in Istanbul Foursquare List.