1) Meze by Lemon Tree – With serious yet whimsical service, generous pours of raki, and a remarkable Aegean appetizer spread featuring deliciously unusual tastes (think sautéed seasonal greens like nettles and dandelions), Meze offers something for everyone. Try the grilled whole fish or the succulent loin of baby lamb as a main dish. Meşrutiyet Caddesi, 83/B, Beyoğlu.
2) La Mouette – Atop the terrace of Beyoğlu’s Tomtom Suites hotel, La Mouette commands a superb view of the old city and features a creative menu using locally-sourced ingredients. A creative version of the Turkish staple Arnavut ciğeric (Albanian-style liver) brings to mind a simply sublime foie gras. The yoghurt panna cotta is a divine dessert choice. Tomtom Kaptan Sokak 18, Beyoğlu.
3) Rumelihisari – Nestled into an Ottoman-era boat dock on the Bosphorus in the shadows of a medieval fortress, the location is enough reason to visit. Yet the delicious fish sandwiches for a quick lunch, or cold meze followed by hot starters and main dishes, prove that this gorgeous spot offers much more than a great location. A timeless Istanbul staple. Yahya Kemal Caddesi I, Sariyer.
4) Fish at Suada Club –The jetset fave Fish, opened last year by the founders of the hotspot 360, has created another great venue on the Galatasaray island on the Bosphorus near Kuruçeşme, home already to an eclectic mix of restaurants, nightclubs and even a pool club. As the name implies, Fish features a great selection of fresh seafood along with an unusual selection of meze. Galatasaray Adasi, Kuruçeşme.
5) Mikla – Since 2005, Turkish-Swedish chef Mehmet Gürs has been creating exquisite and innovative cuisine atop the chic Marmara Pera hotel rooftop. His restaurant, Mikla, boasts not just a dazzling view of the city below, but also Turkish and Scandinavian influences seamlessly intertwined: think cherrywood-smoked loin of lamb, pistachio-crusted lamb chops, and an excellent selection of Turkish wines along with artisanal eastern cheese plates. Meşrutiyet Caddesi 15, Tünel.
6) Çiya – This treasure trove of culinary exploration is billed by its passionate chef-owners as “A Garden of Lost Cultures and Forgotten Tastes”. A rich assortment of dishes takes you on a journey spanning Mesopotamia to the Ottomans, the Balkans to the Caucasus and Asia to the Arabian Peninsula. Three locations in Kadiköy.
7) Beyti – Chef Beyti Güler has created a bastion of carnivore cuisine – grilled meats, lightly seasoned, cooked in Balkan style. As the only living Turk (and only one of two in history) to have had a type of kebab named after him (eyelet of lamb), you can bet that here, quality and expertise go hand in hand. Orman Caddesi 8, Florya.
8) X – Perched atop the 90-year-old Deniz Palas with a commanding view of the Golden Horn, the stylish restaurant X is located within the premises of the Foundation for Culture and Arts, a non-profit group that organises some of the city’s best-known cultural events. Renovated in 2009 after decades of neglect, both are symbols of Istanbul’s cultural resurgence and unique ability to blend old and new, east and west. The menu mixes Mediterranean influences, from Anatolian “wedding soup” to brick-oven pizzas. Sadi Konuralp Caddesi 5, Şişhane.
9) Daruzziyafe – Spend a lovely afternoon in the courtyard of the Suleymaniye Mosque, enjoying delicious and simple fare prepared in the 500-year-old kitchens of the landmark architectural gem itself. Sifahane Sokak 6, Suleymaniye.
10) Giritli – Hidden away in a quiet corner in the Sultanahmet district is this elegant yet comfortable fish restaurant. Highlights include the grilled octopus in olive oil, seafood and orzo salad, and the olives stuffed with walnuts and feta. The reasonable fixed-price menu includes bottomless glasses of local wine, raki or beer, and the rooftop terrace is more than lovely. Keresteci Hakki Sokak, Cankurtaran/Ahirkapi.
For more information about dining options in and around the city, please do not hesitate to contact Hotel Buyuk Keban. If you choose to book your stay with us, our receptionist at the front desk will be more than happy to help you. Dine and sleep in style! Contact us today!