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Istanbul

112 expert recommended restaurants

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Muzedechanga

Middle Eastern 95 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Winner of Wallpaper magazine's 2007 award for best-designed restaurant (in the world!), the glass-enshrouded venue…serves up a concise but delicious menu of international dishes coordinated by Kiwi chef Peter Gordon. — Concierge

A wonderful menu of originals such as soft goat’s cheese on katmer (imagine the Indian paratha-like bread) are dished up with the utmost attention to good service. — Insight Guides

Designed by the Autobahn group, this funky restaurant is located inside the Sakip Sabancı Museum. — Rough Guide

This museum restaurant is noted for its neo-60’s interior of unpolished oak and black-leather banquettes. Try the olive oil–braised celery root enlivened with tangerine, and rosy lamb... — Travel + Leisure

A beautiful, lush setting just a stone's throw from the Bosphorus, a Mediterranean-inspired menu, and a sophisticated ambiance makes this restaurant in the Sakıp Sabancı Museum a draw in its own right. — Fodor's

Balikci Sabahattin

Middle Eastern 90 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

One of the few consistently good, high-quality restaurants... still cranking out top-quality treasures from the sea. — Frommer's

A fish joint based on the meyhane tradition but with a more formal standard of service, this restaurant has an excellent reputation for its very simple output of meze and the catch-of-the-day menu. — Concierge

Grab a seat in the garden of this Sultanahmet seafood restaurant. — Travel + Leisure

A fish restaurant in the refreshingly down-to-earth streets beside Cankurtaran station, just a five-minute walk from touristy Sultanahmet. — Rough Guide

Everything works well at this delightful fish restaurant. They have a long and delicious menu, having been in business since 1927. — DK Eyewitness

Akdeniz Hatay Sofrasi

Middle Eastern 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This cavernous, spotless emporium may not suit those in search of a romantic dinner, but it serves the very best southeastern Turkish food in the city. — Rough Guide

Located next to the Historia shopping mall, this huge Syrian restaurant has a devoted following and is known for its mezes (be sure to order the smoky eggplant dip called mütebbel) and... — Lonely Planet

Popular with locals, this restaurant specializes in the Arab-influenced cuisine of Hatay. — Fodor's

Delicacies arrived in rapid succession: a tinglingly fresh salad of oregano leaves, confettied with red strips of tomato and green olives; a succulent dome of firik pilav. — New York Times

This large, friendly restaurant offers delicious southeastern Turkish offerings, including juicy metre-long kebabs studded with pistachios, and succulent lamb with rice cooked inside a salt shell. — DK Eyewitness

Ciya Sofrasi

Middle Eastern 88 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A very well regarded place on a pleasant pedestrianized street. — Rough Guide

"The air here is thick with cumin and sumac. It's a living canon of the very best of Turkish cuisine in Istanbul." —David Prior — Condé Nast Traveler

Known throughout the culinary world, Musa Dağdeviren's lokanta showcases dishes from the region surrounding the chef/owner's home city of Gaziantep. — Lonely Planet

This modest eatery, headed by Musa Dagdeviren, formerly of the California branch of the Culinary Institute of America, has become an international phenomenon. — Frommer's

On the city’s Asian side, you’ll find Çiya Sofrasi, past the splendorous Kadiköy fish-and-produce market. — Travel + Leisure

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Mikla Restaurant

Middle Eastern 87 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Mikla is the newest hit of the Istanbul Yiyecek Icecek A.S. ("eat drink") ventures. — Frommer's

Swedish-born star chef Mehmet Gürs’s Mediterranean-inspired dishes don’t come cheap, but for the patrons here, money really doesn’t matter. — Travel + Leisure

Mikla provides a magnificent dining experience – if you can get a reservation. — DK Eyewitness

Local celebrity chef Mehmet Gürs is a master of Mod Med, and the Turkish accents on the menu here make his food memorable. — Lonely Planet

Sophisticated dishes of domestically sourced ingredients offer unique flavor combinations rarely seen in traditional Turkish cuisine. — Fodor's

Khorasani Restaurant

Middle Eastern 85 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

When considering ocakbaşıs, the word stylish doesn’t often come to mind. Succulent, yes. Smoky, sometimes. But stylish? Hmm. — Lonely Planet

Ask most tourism representatives, restaurateurs, and waiters in Old Istanbul to recommend a restaurant, and most will offer Khorasani Ocakbaşı and Kebabhouse. — Afar Magazine

One of Sultanahmet's most outstanding restaurants emphasizes the Arab- and Kurdish-influenced cuisine of southeastern Turkey, from where the restaurant's owners hail. — Fodor's

This new, smart standout in a sea of mediocrity brings not only good food, but good recipes from the Gaziantep and Antakya regions of Southeast Anatolia to the neighborhood. — Frommer's

Up stairs, selections from the Ottoman Cuisine,seasonal fish, pasta and stir-fried meals are served. And the top floor is decorated like a café in Nişantaşı with wide square tables. — Time Out

Asitane Restaurant

Middle Eastern 84 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Thirtysomething owner Batur Durmay speaks fluent English and guides diners through his extensive list of dishes. — Travel + Leisure

This is an outstanding eatery specializing in Ottoman cuisine. They serve some rare and obscure recipes inspired by records found in the Topkapı Palace. — DK Eyewitness

This elegant restaurant next to the Chora Church serves Ottoman dishes devised for the palace kitchens at Topkapı, Edirne and Dolmabahçe. — Lonely Planet

There's a menu in honor of Fatih Sultan Mehmet (the Conqueror) May through June, while vegetarian main-course selections are on the menu year-round. — Frommer's

One of Istanbul's most distinctive restaurants serves seasonally changing menus based on the traditional cuisine of the Ottoman court. — Fodor's

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Yeni Lokanta

83 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Loved by local foodies, Yeni Lokanta has an attractive tiled interior with a backlit bar as its focal point. — Lonely Planet

Rising chef Civan Er...puts a unique and contemporary twist on traditional Turkish dishes, using ingredients sourced from local producers in different regions of the country. — Fodor's

Three years after opening his modern Turkish bistro, chef Civan Er remains at the top of the game with Anatolian-inspired dishes like dried eggplant-stuffed manti and green beans cloaked in yogurt. — Travel + Leisure

The menu changes seasonally but always offers a unique vision of Turkish food. Traditional recipes and ingredients are given a contemporary twist. — Frommer's

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Hamdi Restaurant

Middle Eastern 83 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This is a good alternative to the overpriced mediocrity of Pandeli Lokantasi only steps from the entrance to the Egyptian Spice Market. — Frommer's

A meal here offers views of the Old City, Golden Horn and Galata, as well as tasty food and a bustling atmosphere. — Lonely Planet

The main draw at this popular restaurant, located behind the Spice Bazaar, is the spectacular view over the Golden Horn from the upper floors. — DK Eyewitness

Starched white tablecloths, the smell of spices, and plenty of bustle and clamor accompany the plates of spicy kebaps at Istanbul’s favorite Anatolian restaurant. — Travel + Leisure

This longtime grillhouse is an Istanbul institution, with its huge selection of kebabs. — Fodor's

Kantin

Middle Eastern 83 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Customers can enjoy them in the Euro-style bistro and patio upstairs, or order take-out in the downstairs bakery along with desserts, bread, cheese, and gourmet condiments. — Travel + Leisure

Şemza Denizsel finds the freshest ingredients for her daily menus... that feature simply prepared but delicious Turkish dishes emphasizing meat and vegetables. — Fodor's

One of the city’s best bistros. — Lonely Planet

But what to do when all one wants is a simple, unassuming, wholesome, and flavorful (late?) lunch event? Kantin provides that experience. — Frommer's

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Changa

International 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Innovative, fusion-style dishes combine flavors and ingredients from Turkey and around the world, presented with aesthetic flair. — Fodor's

A number of eateries in İstanbul attempt fusion cuisine, but few do it well; this sophisticated restaurant is one that does. — Lonely Planet

One of Istanbul’s top dining experiences, Changa is located in a stunning setting at the Bosphorus-side Sakıp Sabancı Museum. — DK Eyewitness

Opened in 1999, this was one of the pioneers of fusion food in the city. — Rough Guide

Siraselviler Caddesi leads to one of the trendiest neighborhoods of Cihangir, where much of Istanbul’s expatriate community lives. — Travel + Leisure

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Karakoy Gulluoglu

Dessert 81 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Buttery, nut-filled baklava, often eaten with a generous dollop of chewy Maraş ice cream, takes pride of place here and draws in sweet-toothed families from across the city. — Rough Guide

This Karaköy institution has been making customers deliriously happy and dentists obscenely rich since 1947. — Lonely Planet

Full of bright-green Eastern Barak pistachios, fragrant with syrup, brushed with sheep’s butter—yet somehow light—the baklava at Karaköy Güllüoglu Baklavalari sets the gold standard. — Travel + Leisure

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Hunkar

Middle Eastern 80 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Istanbullus wax lyrical over the traditional Turkish and Ottoman cooking served here. Hünkar is famous for its begendili kebap and roast lamb. — Frommer's

If you decide to spend a day or half-day shopping here, consider taking a break and eating at Hünkar, one of the best lokantas (restaurants serving ready made food) in the city. — Lonely Planet

This family-run restaurant has an admirable record for serving tasty Turkish food, including delightful and little known Ottoman dishes. — DK Eyewitness

Classic Ottoman/ Turkish cuisine at its best. — Rough Guide

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Develi

Middle Eastern 80 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

West of the central tourist area of Sultanahmet, the neighborhood of Samatya is home to this long-time area restaurant. — Travel + Leisure

The succulent kebaps here come in many guises and often reflect the season – the keme kebabi (truffle kebab) is only served for a few weeks each year, for instance. — Lonely Planet

It is no exaggeration to say that you have not really eaten a kebab until you have tucked into a Develi one. — DK Eyewitness

Established in 1912, this famous place is noted for its excellent kebabs, cooked Gaziantep style, and a range of southeastern Turkish speciality starters including hummus. — Rough Guide

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Banyan

Thai 82 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

The menu here travels around Asia, featuring Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes including soups, satays and salads. — Lonely Planet

Inventive Asian fusion cuisine featuring jazzed-up versions of all the usual suspects – dim sum, tempura, wok-fried noodles – and throwing in a few surprises too. — Rough Guide

This top-floor hot spot takes full advantage of its position overlooking Ortaköy and the Bosphorus, with an amazing outdoor terrace that in the crisper months is heated by an open fire pit. — Frommer's

This location is no longer in operation. Until recently Istanbul's vibrant dining scene was sorely lacking in Asian food, which is why Banyan's arrival... — Fodor's

Asian fusion may be le dernier cri by Western standards, but it's still finding its feet in Istanbul, in tandem with the city's farouche flirtation with health food. — Concierge

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Galata House

Middle Eastern 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Both the location and the cuisine are unusual at this Georgian restaurant situated in a rambling old house that used to serve as the British jail in the early 1900s. — DK Eyewitness

This restaurant offers all the comfort of eating in your own living room with small, cosy rooms, an outdoor terrace lit by fairy-lights and a menu of hearty Georgian cuisine. — Rough Guide

The menu reaches into Caucasian territory, with Georgian dumplings, blini, borscht, and chicken and pea salad with yogurt and dill. — Frommer's

This would have to be one of the most eccentric restaurants in town. — Lonely Planet

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Fes Cafe

Cafés 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

A trendy mix of traditional and new, with designer tables spilling out onto a quiet cobbled street. — Rough Guide

The original Fez Café began as a tiny cafe serving much-needed caffeine and sugar for the boost required to make it through a grueling day wandering the Grand Bazaar. — Frommer's

This stylish cafe just outside the Nuruosmaniye Gate is an excellent place to relax over lunch or a coffee. — Lonely Planet

Funky black-and-white Lucite chairs and fresh flowers on the wooden tables provide a shot of modern style in the heart of the Grand Bazaar. — Fodor's

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Yakup 2 Restaurant

Middle Eastern 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

Once the most popular restaurant amongst the journalistic and media elite, Yakup now caters more for groups and tourists. — DK Eyewitness

One of the most well-known meyhane restaurants in the city, Yakup 2 serves customers the classic line up of appetizers like artichokes, yogurt, and calamari. — Travel + Leisure

When it comes to meyhanes (taverns) you don’t get much more popular than Yakup 2. — Insight Guides

The regular clientele keeps coming back to this Istanbul meyhane for the consistently good mezes, kebaps, and fair prices. — Frommer's

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The House Cafe Ortakoy

International 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

In 2002, a little cafe opened in a house in Nisantasi. But the creative (and enormous) soups, sandwiches, and salads gained such a following that House Café burst at the seams. — Frommer's

The largest and one of the most popular branches of this chain of upscale eateries is directly on the waterfront, with chic furnishings and two enormous open-air terraces. — Fodor's

With ten branches scattered around İstanbul and a spanking-new boutique hotel opened up next door, this chain of modern eateries is a hit with the young and affluent. — Rough Guide

The colourful salads, snacks and main courses are excellent and the funky decor is amazing, especially the ornately carved bar and octopus chandeliers. — DK Eyewitness

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Refik

Middle Eastern 79 The TripExpert score is determined by calculating the general consensus of expert reviewers. Learn more →

This little restaurant has been an institution in the neighborhood since its inception in 1954, remaining in its own unassuming -- unimpressive even -- time warp. — Frommer's

Refik is an icon of Bohemian Beyoğlu. The restaurant retains its faded plastic tablecloths and bygone era ambience. — DK Eyewitness

One of the many meyhane-style restaurants in the bohemian Asmali Mescit neighborhood, Refik distinguishes with its cuisine and storied past. — Travel + Leisure

Modest rakı-infused Turkish joint, a meeting point for local intellectuals, specializing in Black Sea cuisine. — Rough Guide

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