We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Istanbul restaurants

Surrey, UK
Level Contributor
7,098 posts
16 reviews
Save Topic
Istanbul restaurants

As we always have people coming to the forum requesting information on good restaurants, and as the old restaurant sticky has been removed (and it was very out of date and rambling), I wanted to start a new one.

Please post with reviews/suggestions of any restaurant you have visited in the past 12 months (things change very fast in Istanbul) so we can have a good resource for people.

Please don't post anything else on here - so it can be a good sticky. If you have other restaurant questions, please start a new thread.

I will start off with my favourite Istanbul restaurant and will be back with more.

Sarnic Restaurant - Sultanahmet

We have been here many times over the past 14 years - including to celebrate our first holiday together, our engagement, our marriage and two anniversaries!! This restaurant is very special to us because it reminds us of 'life events'.

It is, I think, the most romantic setting you could imagine - that is why we keep coming back. Deep in an underground cistern behind the Aya Sofya, lit only by candlelight (and an open fire in the winter) it is a cool retreat from the summer heat but a cosy haven in the winter. It is a little like a medieval fantasy........

The food is very good with Turkish specialities (although varies as they seem to change chef frequently) - and in fact has improved in recent years - but it is the atmosphere that makes the Sarnic truly unique. We are vegetarian (and it doesn't have the best vegetarian menu - but still a good choice especially if you eat fish).

It isn't cheap - but if you don't drink alcohol (which can triple your menu) it isn't too bad and no more than other restaurants in the area.

It is behind the Ayasofya and you can find details at: www.ayasofyakonaklari.com/en/sarnic.jsp

Edited: 15 June 2010, 21:29
208 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
2 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
141. Re: Istanbul restaurants

There are many great restaurants with variety kitchens in İstanbul. Turkish cusine is very rich.

You have to choose a restaurant carefully for a satisfying experience in İstanbul.

Here are top recommended restaurants for dinner:

Sofyalı Restaurant : Asmalı Mescit Mahallesi., Sofyalı Sokak No:9, Beyoğlu Reservation: +90212 252 38 10

Cumhuriyet Meyhanesi : :Balık Pazarı Sahne Sokak No:27 Beyoğlu Phone: 0 212 243 64 06

5 th Floor : Soğancı Sokak No: 7 Kat 5 Cihangir Beyoğlu Phone: +90 212 293 37 74

Develi Kebab : Tepecik Yolu No: 22 Etiler Phone : +90 212 263 25 71

360 İstanbul : İstiklal Caddesi, Mısır Apartmanı Kat: 8 No: 163 Reservation : +90 212 251 10 42

Munferit : Yeni Çarşı Caddesi 19 Galatasaray Beyoglu Rezervation: +90 (212) 252 50 67, Sunday Closed

Here are recommended restaurants for lunch:

Num Num : Kanyon Shopping Center

Kitchenette : Taksim Square

Kasap Döner : İstiklal Street

The House Cafe : Ortaköy

Here are recommended restaurants for breakfast:

Corinne Hotel : Turnacıbaşı Caddesi Isik Sok. No: 41 Beyoglu ( Nearby İstiklal Street )

for further information you may visit myblog :http://myistanbool.blogspot.com.tr/

Newcastle upon...
Level Contributor
73 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
142. Re: Istanbul restaurants

My recommendations would be:

Kasap Osman on Hocapasa Sokak in Sirkeci for heavenly doner kebabs

Boncuk Meyhane on Nevizade Sokak in Beyoglu for excellent meze, fish, raki and live music

Hayvore on Turnacibasi Sokak in Beyoglu for fantastic Black Sea food

Sofyali 9 Meyhane on Sovyali Sokak in Asmalimescit for a more relaxed meyhane experience and great food

Ciya in Kadikoy for absolutely everything on the menu. Delicious!

I'm starving now...........

Edited: 03 April 2014, 14:03
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
95 posts
97 reviews
Save Reply
143. Re: Istanbul restaurants

Thank you for this very informative and useful thread - I have a list of places I would like to try now :-)

I was wondering if there are more recommendations for Beyoglu - Taksim Square and Istiklal Avenue area, there have been a couple of recommendations for the area, but nothing has really jumped out at me yet.

Thanks in advance

Level Contributor
3 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
144. Re: Istanbul restaurants


   I need your advice July I have Birthday and I will be in Istanbul. i wish to go with my family 4 adults at a good restaurant in the evening with beautiful views and excellent Turkish cuisine. in restaurant must be a live Turkish music or traditional dances. Can you give me names of restaurant and the approximate amount of how much they cost?

145. Re: Istanbul restaurants

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 01 May 2014, 12:05
New York City, New...
3 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
146. Re: Istanbul restaurants

you are recommending num num, kitchnette and house cafe for lunch? interesting. really interesting. and in kanyon shopping mall. where are you living only in levent district? they are not businessmen they are tourists. they don't need to eat at fast food restaurants they need to eat at original turkish restaurants. you are in a very wrong way mate.

New York City, New...
3 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
147. Re: Istanbul restaurants

the most important thing is taste for you. now as an istanbulite i will recommend you the treasure in the sunk ship.


emin usta , karagümrük. Adres:Prof Naci Şensoy karabulut sok cad. No:6Telefon:0212 621 00 83

develi etiler, Etiler Mh. Tepecik Yolu No:22, Istanbul (0212) 263 2571 (or fenerbahçe kalamış marina is also beautiful)

çiya sofrası, kadıköy bazaar

döner :

the most delicious döner in the town is at karadeniz döner ve pide salonu (beşiktaş bazaar, near the black eagle statue)

dönerci şahin usta: near the nuruosmaniye mosque at the kılıççılar gate of grand bazaar. çemberlitaş district (5 minutes walking from sultanahmet)

turkish cuisine:

ciya sofrası ( kadıköy bazaar)

hacı abdullah lokantası : on the istiklal street just 10 meters inside the ismail aga mosque street (Hüseyinağa Mh., 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul (0212) 293 8561)

ice-cream: yaşar usta (bostancı traffic lights)

grandola : arnavutköy central district


yalı balık: yeniköy center, keep the street which is in front of the mcdonalds on the main street.

ismet baba: arnavutköy center.

suna abla'nın yeri (the place of sister suna :)) at the kandilli part of istanbul but the taste of fish and view is takes your breath away. speechless. try rakı also at this place.

if you try them you will thank me after the taste of your first bite. these are original turkish taste and only at emin usta( karagümrük) is not a common place for tourist so maybe taking a turkish guide would be better for you. i don't think that they can talk english.

and the golden shot: self cooking restaurant. in turkey self cooking restaurants are much popular than other countries actually i didnot see any of them in other parts of the world.

in bostancı (asian side of istanbul) çınaraltı is a very popular destination and the prices are eligible.

for watching bospohorus go to the "mangerie bebek" you can find the adress on internet. they have own website.

for night out go to zelda zonk on karaköy district, good music especially house and pop, r&b etc.

360 for sure,

if you are a couple and want to have a new york like romantic drink and view. visit "vida pera" (not vida, just 10 meters upside of the street, second door at the right side when you walk upside. downside of babylon") at the asmalımescit distric in beyoglu.

nu pera is also good option for you.

breakfast: go to kale kahvaltı restaurant, this is also a good option in hisar part of bosphorus,

lokma : is a good option just near the kale both of them are good but i prefer lokma all the time.

coffee: go to cihangir part of beyoğlu and try rose marine, smyrnia, cihangir kahvesi (at the middle of crossroads) , journey and whitemill are also cozy options.

moda is antoher option for istanbul coffee districts. try mambocino coffee or typical starbuck because it is well located. there are tens of coffeshops in moda street and they are like london or paris like coffees.

cut and keep this recommendation list in you pocket. :))

New York City, New...
3 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
148. Re: Istanbul restaurants

try nomads

Level Contributor
1,484 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
149. Re: Istanbul restaurants

If you stay in Sirkeci/Sultanahmet and want to taste real good genuine turkish food, take the tram to Yusufpasha. Walk 100 m on the right side and visit Neden Urfa. Absolutely delicious, low priced, extremely good value for money. No alchohol as it always is with genuine non-touristic turkish eating places. Alternatives are Sur and Seref in Fatih near the acvaduct, but Neden Urfa is easier to get to.

Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
4,034 posts
90 reviews
Save Reply
150. Re: Istanbul restaurants

Because some of the reviews on this thread are a few years old, I thought I would mention the five restaurants where we dined during our May 2014 visit to Istanbul that I truly highly recommend: (1) Pasazade restaurant in Sirkeci, with its excellent Ottoman cuisine and lovely location on a pedestrian-only street; (2) Imbat restaurant in Sirkeci on the top floor of the Orient Express hotel, with its delicious food and amazing rooftop outdoor dining and views; (3) Sultanahmet Koftecisi on Divan Yalu, with is tasty kofte and quick service right near Sultanahmet Square; (4) Ciya Sofrasi in Kadikoy, with its yummy southeastern Turkey unique cuisine and just a few minutes from the Kadikoy ferry dock; and (5) Kasap Osman, on Hocapasa Street in Sirkeci, with its well-seasoned kebabs. All are reasonably priced with good service. I recommend reservations for the first two, Pasazade and Imbat, during the main tourist season.

Edited: 11 June 2014, 17:45
Reply to: Istanbul restaurants
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted