Top 15 Best Restaurants in Istanbul (Insider Guide Advice)

Istanbul offers wide range of Turkish cuisine at the variety of well established, good and luxury Istanbul restaurants. Istanbul also offers wide range of world cuisine such as Mediterranean, Japanese, Italian, French, Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Portuguese and Thai food. Istanbul offers wide range of quality restaurants in its every districts and neighborhoods.

Of course it is not possible to mention all the hundreds of world class and quality Istanbul restaurants here, so we gathered the best restaurants in Istanbul for you as they are very popular and has world class service as well as award winning on the variety of world’s best restaurants lists.

Insider Advice: Kickstart your Istanbul adventure with the Istanbul E-Pass or Istanbul Tourist Pass. These passes provide free access to around 70+ top attractions, tours and essential local services in the city with around 70% savings.

Our Pick of Top Best Restaurants in Istanbul

Turk Fatih Tutak – in Sisli Bomonti

€€€€ · Modern Cuisine, Turkish

Turk Fatih Tutak is one of the best fine-dining restaurants in Istanbul, located in the Bomonti district of Sisli, and offers a modern and sophisticated selection of typical Turkish flavors by chef Fatih Tutak. With an unwavering devotion to his Turkish roots and a profound respect for local produce and traders, Chef Tutak brings the flavors of his homeland to your plate with a fresh, innovative spin.

Turk Fatih Tutak is not just a restaurant, but a culinary theatre. The open kitchen design allows guests to witness the magic behind the scenes, to see the artistry that goes into each dish, making the dining experience even more immersive. The restaurant is famous for its delicious, acidic and smoked notes, superb ravioli.

The modern, chic ambiance of the establishment further amplifies the allure, offering a comfortable, stylish setting where you can savor the best of contemporary Turkish cuisine. At Turk Fatih Tutak, every meal is an immersive journey that showcases the love for Turkish terroir and the talent of one of Istanbul’s finest chefs.

Address: Cumhuriyet Hacıahmet Silahşör Cad, Yeniyol Sk. No:2, Sisli

Mikla Restaurant – in Taksim, Beyoglu

€€€ · Mediterranean Cuisine, Modern Cuisine

Mikla Restaurant is an award winning restaurant of Mehmet Gürs, located in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, the Chef-Owner who pioneered the contemporary restaurant scene in Istanbul on the roof top floor of the fashionable the Marmara Pera Hotel. One of the 1 Michelin starred restaurants in Istanbul.

The dining experience at Mikla is one that engages your senses from the start to finish. Sample the lightly boiled and grilled octopus tentacle enhanced with a slightly sweet lacquer, or the pickled green bean salad with purslane and apple vinaigrette offering a delightful tanginess. Each dish is an adventure, a fascinating creation that keeps you captivated with every bite. In a nod to inclusivity, Chef Gürs ensures a vegan menu is always available for those preferring plant-based cuisine.

Mikla is not just about tantalising food; it’s also about the whole experience. The restaurant offers a sweeping 360° view of Istanbul, adding an extra layer of pleasure to your meal. As you feast on the creatively plated delicacies, let your eyes feast on the mesmerising cityscape that stretches out before you. Indeed, dining at Mikla is a multifaceted sensory indulgence, the beauty of which extends from the plate to the breathtaking panorama.

Address: The Marmara Pera, Mesrutiyet Str. No:15, Beyoglu, Istanbul

Don’t Miss: Camlica Tower

Discover Istanbul like never before from its most spectacular vantage point – Camlica Tower. This iconic tower will offer you a breathtaking 360-degree city panorama that will leave you in awe.

Nestled atop Istanbul’s picturesque hilltops, Camlica Tower stands as a true architectural wonder, seamlessly marrying culture, history, and contemporary design. Soaring to a remarkable height of 369 meters, it proudly claims the title of Turkey’s tallest structure, providing an unrivaled vantage point from which to admire the breathtaking panoramic vistas of Istanbul.

You are able to have great dining experience here with a range of optional delights – choose from breakfast, lunch, or dinner to complement your experience.

While the tower is situated on the Asian side of the city, uphill along Uskudar, there is also private hotel transfers in air-conditioned luxury.

Book Your View, Seat & Meal + Transfer

Fenz Istanbul – in Istinye, Sariyer

€€ · Seafood, Mediterranean, Asian

Nestled along the enchanting shores of Istinye, Sariyer, FENZ Istanbul emerged in September as a culinary haven, swiftly capturing the hearts of gastronomy enthusiasts. Boasting a chic decor, a prime marina location, and unparalleled views of the Bosphorus, FENZ Istanbul presents a synthesis of Mediterranean and Asian cuisines on its captivating menu. The mastermind behind the culinary wonders is Chef Tolga Bozok, orchestrating a symphony of flavors that has become a sensation.

Architected by Mahmut Anlar, FENZ Istanbul’s design mirrors simplicity, sophistication, and joy, creating an inviting ambiance. Located at one of the most exquisite spots along the Bosphorus, the venue offers a breath-taking panorama that complements its three-tiered layout encompassing a Lounge, Fine Dine Restaurant, and Roof Bar. Guests are invited to embark on a transcendent gastronomic journey that spans continents.

FENZ Istanbul takes pride in curating a culinary experience where seafood, meats, vegetables, and fresh herbs converge through diverse cooking techniques. By harmonizing the richness of the Mediterranean with the depths of Asian flavors, FENZ introduces dishes that resonate with high notes of taste, leaving an indelible mark on discerning palates. As you dine amidst the captivating backdrop of the Bosphorus, FENZ Istanbul promises an unforgettable fusion of flavors and views.

Address: Istinye Cd. 12-1 A, 34460, Sarıyer, Istanbul
Instagram: @fenzistanbul

Neolokal – in Karakoy

€€€€ · Turkish, Modern Cuisine

Nestled in the heart of Karaköy, within the culturally rich Salt Galata, Neolokal is where Chef Maksut Aşkar and his enthusiastic team honour and reinvent their culinary heritage, crafting an engaging gastronomic narrative that connects past and future. The Neolokal team aims to serve its visitors genuine food inspired by mother earth and modelled and designed from traditions. One of the 1 Michelin starred restaurants in Istanbul.

Consider the inventive ‘cupcake’, a finely spiced delight made of bulgur, paired with a scrumptious chicken preparation. This is enveloped in a rich cream velouté and a full-bodied chicken demi-glace, and crowned with a crispy potato chip for an added layer of texture. Each plate is a demonstration of culinary craftsmanship that masterfully balances tradition and novelty.

But the allure of Neolokal is not confined to its food alone. Housed in the historic Salt Galata building, the restaurant boasts large windows and a fabulous terrace that offers panoramic views of Istanbul’s cityscape, from the intricate rooftops to the majestic mosques. The views serve as a striking backdrop that enhances the entire dining experience, making each visit a memorable encounter with the evolving story of Turkish cuisine.

Address: SALT Galata, Bankalar Avenue, Karakoy, Istanbul

Aheste Restaurant – in Asmalimescit, Beyoglu

€€ · Turkish

Hidden away in the Pera district, Aheste Restaurant shines like a culinary gem in the city. With its unique blend of modern mezze and traditional Turkish specialties, it offers an unforgettable dining experience. One of the finest Michelin starred restaurants in Istanbul.

This charming establishment immediately charms with its modern spin on mezze, blending traditional Turkish fare with innovative culinary techniques. Here, you can savour classics like the grilled lamb heart and delight in creative vegetarian-friendly concoctions, such as an inventive quartet of rice preparations. Aheste takes you on a gastronomic journey, crafting a bridge between the old and the new and offering an unforgettable experience in the heart of Istanbul.

Address: Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi, Meşrutiyet Caddesi No:107/F, Beyoğlu, Istanbul

Alaf Restaurant – in Arnavutkoy, Besiktas

€€€ · Turkish, Modern Cuisine

Alaf Restaurant, nestled in the charming Arnavutkoy district of Besiktas, is a vibrant culinary destination that dances on the tastebuds of those who dare to explore. Guided by the creative vision of Chef Deniz, Alaf’s cuisine is a colourful tapestry of culinary influences that range from the nomadic Yörük heritage to the fertile plains of Anatolia. One of the finest Michelin starred restaurants in Istanbul.

The heart of Alaf’s kitchen is the wood-fired oven, a symbol of culinary tradition where authenticity is masterfully intertwined with modern cooking techniques. Each plate becomes a diverse journey of discovery, an explosion of flavours set against the backdrop of a bustling rooftop cocktail bar. Alaf is indeed a memorable celebration of taste, ingenuity, and Istanbul’s effervescent charm.

Address: Arnavutköy, Kuruçeşme Caddesi No:19, Beşiktaş, Istanbul

Pokémate Restaurant – in Nisantasi, Sisli

Pokémate Restaurant (fresh Hawaiian Poké Bowls – Take Away Available) is a unique and fantastic Hawaiian restaurant in Istanbul providing its guests a new generation sushi experience that you have never tasted anywhere before. The restaurant is situated in the modern Nisantasi neighborhood of the city, within walking distance from Taksim.

The name Poké is after the world-famous traditional Hawaiian dish, in which 3 large sushi rolls are served open on a plate. Pokémate Restaurant offers a healthy, fast, delicious way to cook your own plate, your own sushi in a concept that you can create your own Poké (Fresh Poke Bowls) here. The restaurant also offers some delectable specialties, like Sushi Burgers, Sushi Hotdogs, delicious starters like dynamite shrimps, edamame with truffles and wakame salad, various acai smoothie bowls and choice of desserts such as vegan desserts and mochi ice creams.

With its wide range of products, most of which are homemade, it ensures that you enjoy your visit every time you visit. The restaurant also offers the cooked versions of the dishes for those who do not prefer raw products. They also offer vegan and gluten-free options. You are also able to order online from their website.

Address: Tesvikiye Mah., Poyracik Sk. No:10/A, Nisantasi, Sisli, Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 225 00 55
Instagram: pokemate.nisantasi

Aman da Bravo Restaurant – in Bebek, Besiktas

€€ · Modern Cuisine, Contemporary

Stepping into Aman da Bravo in the fashionable district of Bebek is like being whisked away to the trendy terraces of the Côte d’Azur. Here, the pulsating city vibe gives way to a relaxed, upscale atmosphere, a sanctuary where the hustle and bustle of Istanbul seem a world away.

Aman da Bravo showcases the finest of modern ‘bistronomy’, where premium, locally-sourced ingredients take center stage. In the hands of their talented chefs, these ingredients transform into dishes bursting with robust flavours that seamlessly marry simplicity with sophistication. Enhanced by international touches, every meal at Aman da Bravo is a hip, culinary experience that beautifully reflects the rhythm of modern Istanbul.

Address: Bebek Mahallesi, Bebeköy Sokak No:5, Beşiktaş, Istanbul

Karaköy Lokantası – in Karakoy, Beyoglu

€ · Turkish

Ensconced in the heart of Istanbul’s energetic Karaköy district, Karaköy Lokantası is a vibrant epicurean destination that effortlessly combines traditional Turkish cuisine with an ambiance that’s both charming and stylish. With its selection of 80 mezze, traditional dishes, and sharing platters, the restaurant offers a delightful dilemma to diners.

At Karaköy Lokantası, the menu is a compelling homage to traditional Turkish fare, but what truly stands out is the spectacular variety of mezze – over 80 different types, to be precise. From delicately light hummus and tzatziki to crispy dumplings lavished with a creamy yoghurt sauce, each plate is a masterstroke of balance and flavor. Don’t miss out on the lamb börek, a traditional pastry dish that encapsulates the essence of Turkish comfort food. Beyond mezze, the menu extends to a host of sharing platters and traditional dishes, making this culinary experience one to be shared and savoured with friends and family.

Address: Kemankeş Mahallesi, Kemankeş Caddesi No:57, Karaköy/Beyoğlu, Istanbul

Pandeli Restaurant – in Eminonu

€ · Turkish, Traditional Cuisine

A visit to Pandeli Restaurant feels like stepping back in time. Nestled above the Egyptian bazaar, the restaurant’s traditional Turkish decor, blue mosaics, and historical charm are as much of a draw as its food.

The menu holds true to the traditional Turkish dishes, enticing you with the likes of grilled aubergine salad, wood-fired spicy chicken, and roast lamb served with fluffy rice. Pandeli’s commitment to time-honored Turkish cuisine, combined with its captivating setting, makes it a cherished dining destination.

Address: Rüstempaşa Mahallesi, Balık Pazarı Kapısı Sokağı No:1/2, Mısır Çarşısı İçi, Eminönü/Fatih, Istanbul

Araka Restaurant – in Yenikoy, Sariyer

€€€ · Creative, Modern Cuisine

Tucked away in the lush, serene district of Yeniköy in Istanbul’s northern reaches, Araka Restaurant is a heartening retreat from the city’s bustling pace. Araka restaurant has an amazing façade and welcomes its guests with Zeynep Pınar Taşdemir’s highly original style in its cozy, romantic interior and a rear terrace. One of the 1 Michelin starred restaurants in Istanbul.

You’ll find excellent fine dining with vegetables and herbs. A signature dish that beautifully represents Chef Zeynep’s flair is the pumpkin puree, infused with the vibrant freshness of za’atar. It is through such dishes that the chef gracefully marries the spicy, savory flavors with tangy undertones, presenting an exciting culinary adventure that truly allows the regional produce to shine.

Araka Restaurant, with its idyllic setting, innovative dishes, and dedication to seasonality, offers an unforgettable dining experience. It is a testament to Istanbul’s diverse and evolving culinary landscape, capturing the essence of the region’s rich flavors and inviting you to embark on a gastronomic journey like no other.

Address: Kapali Bakkal Sokak No:8, Yenikoy, Sarıyer, Istanbul

Nicole Restaurant – in Taksim, Beyoglu

€€€ · Modern Cuisine, Turkish

Nicole Restaurant is located in Beyoglu district of Istanbul and the name Nicole is inspired from mother Agnes Marthe Nicole, who healed numerous patients in this historic building that was used as a Franciscan monastery until the early 20th century. One of the 1 Michelin starred restaurants in Istanbul.

The restaurant offers a refined cuisine where traditional Turkish recipes meet Middle Eastern spices cuisine served at a chic terrace that has a magnificent view of the Istanbul historical peninsula, the Prince Islands and beyond. The wine cellar of Nicole is vert impressive that includes chateau style local wine producers from the Aegean, Thrace and Anatolia regions as well as imported varieties.

Through these innovative interpretations of timeless recipes, Nicole Restaurant manages to strike a delicate balance between the old and the new. The result is a dining experience that honours tradition, embraces innovation, and ultimately, caters to the modern palate seeking a fresh taste of Turkish cuisine.

Address: Tomtom dist. Tomtom Kaptan Str. No:18, Beyoglu, Istanbul

Calipso Fish Restaurant – in Kucukyali

€€ · Seafood

Located in Kucukyali coastal road, on the Asian side of Istanbul, Calipso Fish Restaurant is an excellent fish restaurant that its partners has 30 years of Seafood Gastronomy experience.

The restaurant is famous for its unique flavors that include carefully prepared Aegean herbs, cold and hot appetizers, fastidiously chosen fish, fish specials and sauced sea shells and wonderful selections of deserts and wine. Calipso Fish also gained “The Best 50 Restaurant Oscars” awards with votes of food lovers and gourmet masters after first year of its opening.

Address: Turgut Ozal Boulevard, Cumhuriyet Str., No:2 Kucukyali, Istanbul

Lokanta 1741 Restaurant – in Alemdar, Fatih

€€ · Turkish

Lokanta 1741 is a charming contemporary restaurant nestled right next to the historic Cağaloğlu Hamam. With its romantic rooftop terrace offering panoramic views, Lokanta 1741 serves Turkish culinary classics that have been charming palates since 1741, albeit with a contemporary spin.

Led by a skilled chef who delights in introducing unexpected textures and flavours, this restaurant nonetheless remains firmly rooted in tradition. An evening at Lokanta 1741 is a journey that intertwines past and present in the most flavourful way.

Address: Alemdar Mahallesi, Profesör Kazım İsmail Gürkan Caddesi No:34, Cağaloğlu Hamamı, Fatih, Istanbul

Matbah Restaurant – in Sultanahmet

€ · 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

Mürver Restaurant – in Karakoy

€€€ · Grills, Turkish

Situated in the vibrant neighborhood of Karaköy, Mürver sets the bar high with its incredible views of the Bosphorus, a menu focused on dishes prepared in a wood-fired oven, and an impressive selection of wines. The heart of this culinary adventure is the open kitchen, where fire and smoke imbue the dishes with a delicious, primal depth that captivates the senses. Standout creations like the butter-soft grilled octopus are prime examples of Mürver’s culinary philosophy.

Mürver is not just about delectable dishes. This trendy rooftop restaurant houses a fabulous cocktail bar, where you can indulge in crafted libations as you bask in the radiant vibe of Istanbul’s nightlife. The sublime terrace unfurls the city’s charms before your eyes, making every visit to Mürver more than just a meal – it’s a panoramic feast for all senses. This is Istanbul dining at its finest, a perfect blend of taste, ambiance, and vista that keeps you coming back for more.

Address: Kemankeş Caddesi No:57-59, Karaköy, Istanbul

Asmali Cavit – Asmalimescit, Istiklal Street

Located in the famous Asmalimescit Street of Beyoglu, Asmali Cavit can be considered as one of the best Meyhanes (Taverns) in Istanbul.

This award winning traditional meyhane serves in a very authentic atmosphere and famous for its mezes (starters) such as kryptonite-green, true octopus salad and hot starters such as yaprak ciger (thin slices of liver fried with onions) and muska boregi (a fried triangle of phyllo dough stuffed with ground beef and onions) and finally the main dishes of great fresh fish and kofte (meatballs) and more. The list may go on and on. If you are looking for a traditional Turkish tavern, than head out to Asmali Cavit.

Address: Asmalı Mescit Str. No 16, Beyoglu, 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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