Why stick with safe and familiar food options when you visit Istanbul? Throw away that McDonalds cheeseburger and step out of your comfort zone. Challenge your taste buds and open up your pallet to the delicious cuisine that the restaurants in Istanbul’s European Peninsula offer to its many hungry visitors.
1. Hafiz Mustafa 1864
1864? Don’t let its age fool you! This bakery, ice creamery, café and tea room has been providing stellar service with the same taste and same flavor since the late 1800’s. An ideal spot for sweet tooths, this gem offers delicious baklava and Turkish delight. Why not taste some baklava and lokum with a hot cup of Turkish coffee or black tea? Many Turkish deserts await you at Hafiz Mustafa. Don’t forget to bring some back for your friends!
2. Sultanahmet Buhara Kebab House
Ranked #1 of 10,561 restaurants in Istanbul on Trip Advisor, Sultanahmet Buhara Kebab House will not disappoint. Located near the Grand Bazaar, this kebab house specializes in all things barbecue. If you’re seated towards the back you’ll be able to see the kebabs being cooked just over your shoulder. With very friendly staff and top notch service, we’re sure you’ll be craving kebabs when you get home!
3. Seatanbul Cafe Restaurant
Are you a seafood lover? Seatanbul Cafe Restaurant is your best bet for fresh fish. Why not let your taste buds delight with some grilled sea bass cooked with rich saffron flavor? Although the restaurant’s specialty is seafood, many also have great things to say about their chicken kabobs. Tourists just love the fact that this restaurant is located away from the hustle and bustle of Sultanahmet tourist traps that are known for jacking up menu prices. Seatanbul Cafe Restaurant also boasts beautiful views of the Sea of Marmara. Just make sure you ask for rooftop seating!
4. Meze by Lemon Tree
With a cozy, romantic atmosphere, Meze by Lemon Tree serves a wide selection of cold and hot meze for everyone to enjoy. Don’t worry if you’re confused by the different kinds of meze as the staff is extremely patient in explaining them to their customers. It’s a small restaurant with only ten tables, so make sure you reserve your table beforehand. Don’t miss the banana desert topped with honey, almonds, pistachios and clotted cream served with or without chili sauce!
Beautifully presented food, dazzling views and fine wine is what you can expect at Mikla. While it is a little pricey, the cherrywood-smoked loin of lamb, pistachio-crusted lamb chops, Eastern cheese plates and wide selection of wine are well worth it. Not to mention its chic yet unpretentious Marmara Pera hotel rooftop where you can watch the sunset and have a drink or two at the bar. Some have noted the light portion sizes, so make sure you don’t eat here if you’re ready to eat a cow.
Check out our blog for more restaurant options. We’re located near many of Istanbul’s top restaurants. Contact Hotel Büyük Keban today to feed your appetite, and stumble back to your hotel room with a full belly!