Surrounded by water, its no wonder that Istanbul is famed for its fish restaurants. For those of you who love fish and seafood, the choices are everywhere, from simple roadside restaurants to top gourmet establishments. A city filled with traditional dishes, the fresh fish dishes are famous here whether simply grilled, parchment baked, or otherwise.
Our concierge is constantly on the lookout for the best fish restaurants in Istanbul, and in service to guests looking for an amazing meal, here is our current top ten:
1. Ahirkapi Balıkçısı
Right in Sultanahmet this place is quite deceiving in looks, but well worth a vote of confidence. The perfect Turkish dive filled with locals drinking raki, the menu is simple and affordable, and the dishes are as mouthwatering as they come. With tables on the sidewalk in summer, order your fish grilled and accompanied by a cold beer..
Keresteci Hakkı Sk 12-52
2. Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı
When fresh fish undergoes the inspiration of an artistic chef, you know you're in the presence of greatness. This restaurant has been around since 1923 and remains one of the best fish eateries in Istanbul. Its no wonder that gourmands in the know flock here for the originality of the food, the specially-produced olive oil, and the gorgeous view. We recommend the skewered sole or the sea bass baked in parchment. Ask our concierge to reserve seats for you, as the place can get quite crowded.
Arap Cami Mh.,
3. Balıkçı Sabahattin
In English, it’s the Fisherman and rightly so, as this family run restaurant really knows about all things fish. Located in an elegantly restored Ottoman mansion right behind the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, this is the place to go for fish dishes, salads, and desserts. The specialty of the house is seafood, with mouthwatering mussels, prawns, calamari, and more.
Seyit Hasan Sk No:1, Cankurtaran
4. Sultanhmet Fish House
This Aegean and Mediterranean style seafood house opened in 1994 and is one of the most highly recommended in Sultahanhmet. Delicious tastes in great atmosphere make for a great eating experience with well prepared mezes including sardines, mackerel, and octopus in olive oil; saffron flavored sea bass cooked in a terracotta casserole; and other unique dishes. With hanging antique lamps and colorful textiles, the atmosphere is inviting and cozy.
Prof. Kazım İsmail Gürkan Cd No:14,
5. Fürreyya Galata Balıkçısı
A tiny place in the Galata district right near the Galata Tower, Fürreyya Galata Balıkçısı may have only a few tables, but the husband and wife team really know how to wow their customers. Try the grilled fish with caramelized onions in a wrap to send your taste buds to heaven and back.
Serdari Ekrem Sk 2/B, Galata
6. Yüksel Balık
In the Yeşilköy marina, this lovely restaurant boasts a restful garden and a view of sea. It’s no wonder that the eatery boasts a great reputation with locals for its impeccable service and perfectly prepared local fresh fish and seafood.
Liman Sk No:2,
7. Kandilli Suna'nın Yeri
Right on the Bosphorus, this restaurant is the perfect setting in which to enjoy a beautifully prepared and presented day's catch. Dine here with your significant other or a group of friends and you will see why locals and visitors come back again and again.
Kandilli İskele Cd No:17, Üsküdar,
Open since 1964, Kiyi is a tradition for locals who just can't get enough. Picture paneled wooden walls with paintings of famed Turkish artists adding warmth to the already glowing atmosphere. Enjoy great hot and cold starters and main dishes made from fresh seasonal fish as you enjoy a view of the sea.
On Istanbul's Asian side in the Moda district, Koco has been around for more than 50 years. A seaside fish house sitting on top of a sacred spring, this may be a reason why there's so much magic in the meze, warm starters, and fresh grilled seasonal fish.
Moda Cad. No:265,
Also known as 'The Fish and Wine Center', this is a place to wine and dine in elegant surroundings that include a spectacular view of the Bosphorus. Though all sorts of drinks are served, wine is the specialty, and there are many options to go with the varied menu that includes Poseidon fish balls, marinated sea bass, baked octopus, stuffed calamari, and so much more.
Cevdet Paşa Cd No:58,
If you’re ready to come enjoy the sights and tastes of Istanbul, start planning your trip today by booking your stay with Hotel Büyük Keban. Our concierge is always available with recommendations or to make reservations at the best eateries in the city.