Best Restaurants in Sultanahmet Old Town, Istanbul

In the heart of Istanbul, nestled between the layers of time and civilization, is Sultanahmet – a neighborhood known as the ‘Old City’, a melting pot of history, culture, and gastronomy. But within this grandeur and charm, where do you find the best culinary spots to sate your appetite after a day of sightseeing? Here we explore the maze of food and flavor that Sultanahmet offers, as well as the best restaurants in Sultanahmet, the Old town.

Restaurant & Dining Scene

Sultanahmet is the pulsating heart of the Fatih district, an area that harbors the city’s rich historical heritage, including grand palaces, magnificent mosques, and lively bazaars. But alongside these iconic sites, another form of history is being served up in the charming eateries and restaurants of the neighborhood – a delicious chronicle of Istanbul’s culinary journey.

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The food and dining scene in Sultanahmet is an exciting amalgamation of traditional Turkish cuisine, seafood delights, Ottoman inspired dishes, and international flavors, making it a haven for food lovers. Walk along the narrow, winding streets, and you will stumble upon the city’s vibrant culinary landscape, a testament to its rich and diverse heritage. Here, aromas of freshly baked bread, simmering kebabs, and aromatic spices waft through the air, inviting you into the centuries-old establishments and cozy cafes lining the streets.

Historical restaurants, like the famous Konyali Restaurant at the Topkapi Palace, serve up classic Ottoman dishes, allowing you to taste the culinary legacy of the empire. Small eateries and local Lokantas provide hearty Turkish dishes, including the savory ‘Iskender Kebap’ and the sweet ‘Künefe,’ satisfying both your hunger and your wanderlust. For a more refined dining experience, restaurants like Matbah offer Ottoman palace cuisine with a modern twist in an elegant setting, demonstrating the versatility of the neighborhood’s culinary offerings.

Best Restaurants, Places Eat & Drink in Sultanahmet, the Old Town

In Sultanahmet, every meal is not merely a dining experience but a journey through time, a narrative that tastefully combines the area’s rich past with the vibrant present. Whether you’re seeking a quick bite in between your historical exploration or a leisurely meal overlooking the Bosphorus, Sultanahmet offers an impressive array of gastronomic treasures that cater to every palate and preference. So, lace up your walking shoes, bring your appetite, and get ready to dive into the heart of Istanbul’s culinary scene. Let the food expedition begin! Here’s our pick of the best cafes & restaurants in Sultanahmet, the Old Town, Istanbul.

Deraliye Restaurant

€€ · Turkish

Nestled in the heart of historic Sultanahmet, Deraliye Restaurant stands as a vivid tribute to the grandeur of the Ottoman Empire. The restaurant’s extravagant decor, with its riot of colours, immediately commands your attention and sets the stage for the culinary journey to come.

Relish delectable goose, lamb or duck kebab accompanied by spicy rice, all prepared in a traditional tandoori oven. Deraliye promises an immersive exploration of Ottoman cuisine, serving up rich, indulgent flavours in an environment that evokes a bygone era.


Address: Divanyolu Caddesi, Alemdar Mahallesi, Ticarethane Sokak No:10, Sultanahmet, Istanbul

Matbah Restaurant

€ · Turkish, Country cooking

Located in the shadow of the majestic Hagia Sophia, Matbah is a fascinating restaurant that presents Ottoman Palace Cuisine in a historic and elegant ambiance. Offering an unmatched journey into centuries-old recipes, it truly is a gastronomic journey back in time.

With its stately summer and winter gardens, this restaurant serves dishes reminiscent of Ottoman Sultan-era fare. Specialities such as Balli gemici Böregi, a crispy fried filo pastry brimming with seven Turkish cheeses and accompanied by juniper honey, revive historical culinary traditions. Each dish on the menu is annotated with its year of origin, bringing history alive one delectable bite at a time.

Address: Caferiye Sokak No:6/1, Sultanahmet, Istanbul


Top Selling Dining Experiences & Food Tours

For both first time visitors and the ones want to experience and enjoy the gastronomy of Istanbul, we highly recommend the below unique and tailor made culinary tours. You can feel free to book one of the below top selling Istanbul culinary and food tours.

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