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Istanbul restaurants

Istanbul's standard of cuisine might not live up to the highest international mark, despite a recent influx of chefs from abroad; even promising exports seem to wither drastically on the journey here. However, menus at most Istanbul restaurants are ambitious and worldly, and atmosphere helps fill the gap: Visitors are often taken aback by the profusion of stylish restaurants with stunning views, such as Ulus 29, Leb-i derya, and 360 Istanbul. But it's not all milk and honey: Traditional meyhanes (taverns) like those located along Nevizade Sokak in Beyoğlu offer a chance to enjoy a variety of Turkish meze, fish, and raki (the local anise-flavored firewater), often to the accompaniment of live music. The historic quarter of Sultanahmet has less to offer in terms of quality dining, though we've listed a few spots worth checking out. And for scenic views and more peaceful surroundings farther up the Bosphorus, head to Ortaköy's Banyan. In Istanbul, the price of the food does not always reflect the quality: look for cheap eats at spots like Çiya, Kurkan Balık Evi, and Zubeyir Ocabaşı.

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Zubeyir Ocakbaşı, Istanbul

On a busy backstreet parallel to İstiklal Caddesi, Zubeyir Ocakbaşı is where locals go for top-notch barbecued meat. A casual, inexpensive joint,...more

Editors' Pick
Zarifi, Beyoğlu

A meyhane is a Turkish tavern where alcoholic drinks and plates of traditional meze (appetizers) are served. Zarifi is a meyhane with a twist that, for better...more

Editors' Pick
Ulus 29, Ulus

One thing Istanbul is not short of is fine-dining establishments with a view; the likes of 360 Istanbul, Leb-i derya, and Mikla are teeming year-round with the...more

Editors' Pick
Sofyali 9, Beyoğlu

In the center of the once-bohemian but now increasingly commercial Asmalımescit area just behind Tünel Square, Sofyalı 9 sits like a brightly...more

Editors' Pick
Nevizade Sokak, Beyoğlu

Tucked away behind the fish market just off İstiklal Caddesi, Nevizade Sokak is possibly Istanbul's liveliest street. On weekend nights you'll literally...more

Editors' Pick
Müzedechanga, Emirgan

It's a fair trek up to the Bosphorus village of Emirgan, but a worthwhile journey on many counts. A 30-minute (traffic-contingent) cab ride from the city...more

Editors' Pick
Mozaik, Sultanahmet

Despite being overrun with hotels and guesthouses to accommodate the majority of the city's visitors, Sultanahmet is relatively short on decent places to eat:...more

Editors' Pick
Leb-i derya, Beyoğlu

A chic, glassless greenhouse stands in the middle of this hip but unpretentious rooftop place, with a bar counter lined with slatted white wood chairs round the...more

Editors' Pick
La Brise, Beyoğlu

This Parisian-style bistro opened in March 2008 and is doing such a good job of serving up convincing French fare that it's become immensely popular: Book a...more

Editors' Pick
Furkan Balık Evi, Istanbul

Ask any Istanbullu about the best place to get fresh fish in the city, and he or she will likely direct you to the Galata Bridge, where a small market on the...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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