Recommended Restaurants

It is not easy to recommend restaurants that would suit every taste, but our guests have generally been pleased with the list that we have prepared for them. We ourselves like to go to most of them. Reservation is usually needed to get a table for dinner. A 10% tip is customary, which sometimes is added to the bill by the restaurant itself. In our price categories, one '€' sign corresponds to a price of around 10 Euros per person.

Although there are plenty of good restaurants in other areas of Istanbul - especially on both shores of the Bosphorus - we confine ourselves to a big extend to Sultanahmet and to close-by Beyoglu areas. Evening rush hour in Istanbul may cost an hour’s ride in traffic and this prevents us from suggesting restaurants in other areas.

At walking distance from our hotel

Balikci Sabahattin/ Sabahattin the Fisherman (Seafood | €€€). It has been our favourite restaurant in our area for many years. Long time ago Sabahattin inherited a tiny fish restaurant on a street running parallel to the current one. It was so small that there was hardly any room inside, so he began putting tables out on the street. The current building, which he took over several years ago, is a restored Turkish house. Although sufficiently spacious, tables still spill out onto the little square in front. The fish and the meze (hors d'oeuvres) are delicious and the general atmosphere is very pleasant. In this part of the city which is largely inhabited by tourists, Sabahattin is the only restaurant that can sufficiently attract a local clientele. Phone: 0212-458 1824, Address: Seyit Hasan Kuyu Sokak, Cankurtaran. Click here for the web page.

Giritli (Seafood | €€€€) is a seafood restaurant with a "set menu" and is in a restored Ottoman house located in a residential area at a 10-minute walk from the hotel. Your meal will include over twelve different meze plates followed by perfectly-cooked fish (you have a choice here). Wine is included in the price of the set menu (€40 pp). You may choose to sit in the garden during summer. Phone: 0212-458 2270. Address: Keresteci Hakki Sokak, Cankurtaran, Ahirkapi. Click here for the web page.

Khorasani (Kebab | €€) is a newly opened kebab restaurant quite close to the hotel. It specializes in Antep and Antakya cuisine and is the best meat restaurant in the Sultanahmet area. Phone: 0212 5121227. Address: Ticarethane Sok. 9 Sultanahmet.

Aslan (Lunch only | Turkish | €) is a modest sized 'esnaf lokantasi’ (a shopkeepers’ restaurant) which is located steps away from the Grand Bazaar. It is on the second floor of a building and is in business since 1988. On offer are delicious Turkish dishes. There is a bit more of waiter service than is typical for these kinds of restaurants. Highly recommended. No reservation needed. Open only during lunch hours. Closed on Sundays. Address: Nuruosmaniye Cad. 17,Cagaloglu, Vezirhan Cad. No:66, Cemberlitas.

Near Galata Bridge (not far, but taxi or tram recommended)

Karaköy Lokantası (Mezes | €€€). This is our favourite restaurant in the whole city! Tucked into the street behind the yet-to-be gentrified wharf district at Karakoy, this family-operated meyhane (a traditional restaurant where the menu consists predominantly of mezes) has great food, personable service and tasteful décor. With blue tile walls and old style stone floors it is reminiscent of the Turkish Republic of the 1930s and has a daily-changing lunch and dinner menus offering a variety of traditional Ottoman and Turkish cuisine. Highly recommended to anyone who likes traditional food, a cool traditional setting and calm environment. Phone: 0212-292 4455. Address: Kemankes Caddesi 37, Karaköy. Click here for the web page.

Mürver (Turkish | €€€€) is a new fine-dining restaurant that stands out with its breathtaking Bosphorus view and with its different fire cooking methods. The menu includes seasonal ingredients such as handmade dried and rested meat, as well as many other dishes and mezes. Phone: 0212-327 0750. Address: Kemankes Caddesi 57, Karaköy. Click here for the web page.

At Beyoglu

9 Ece Aksoy (Turkish | €€€). Ece Aksoy is a well-known chef who closed her big restaurant along the Bosphorus some years ago to open a much smaller, intimate restaurant in Beyoglu. The small size of the restaurant makes it possible for her to use fresh ingredients which she buys from marketplaces in and around Istanbul. A good choice for vegetarians too. Selections may change according to what is at hand on the day, but all are fine examples of Istanbul mezes and dishes our grandmothers used to make. We recommend booking a place at one of the two long tables ordering the tasting menu (for two). During later hours of the night, there is old Turkish music in the background and some more people come in for a late night drink and for the friendly ambience. Closed on Sundays. Phone: 0212-245 7628. Address: Oteller Sok No: 9, Tepebasi, Beyoglu. Click here for the web page.

Yeni Lokanta (Experimental Turkish | €€€). Yeni Lokanta (literally New Canteen) is the new restaurant of the chef Civan Er. All dishes exhibit ingredients and traditions derived from all regions of Anatolia to bring unique creations with high palatability. This new restaurant is highly popular and it is sometimes difficult to find a table; it is advisable to book ahead. Closed on Sundays.Phone: 0212-292 2550. Click here for the web page.

Antiochia (Turkish | €€€) is a cozy restaurant that specializes exclusively in cuisine from the eastern Mediterranean Turkish city of Antakya which is known for its multi-ethnic population. The area is famed for its spicy foods and grilled meats, but also for some unusual meze options that are rich in spices and layers of flavor, reflecting the culinary influence of the many ethnicities. Closed on Sundays. Phone: 0212-244 0820. Address: Asmalimescit Mah., General Yazgan Sok. 3/C Tünel, Beyoglu. Click here for the web page.

Zübeyir Ocakbasi (Kebab | €€). Our favourite among hundreds of kebab restaurants in Istanbul, the one which always seems to be packed with people having good time. Here they serve good food, without taking themselves seriously. The restaurant, which occupies two cozy floors is dominated by an ocakbaşı,(a 'kebab house' but which also literally means ‘seat next to the oven’) a long hearth topped by a copper hood, where the meat is grilled over hardwood coals. It’s a bit like a sushi bar, with a few seats available grillside, where you can watch the chef do his thing. Phone: 0212-293 3951. Click here for the web page.

Mikla (Fusion | €€€€). The menu reflects the chef-owner Mehmet Gürs' Turkish-Scandinavian background and alongside the outstanding food and the breathtaking view, it is no surprise that the restaurant was voted as one of the best, and continues to enjoy raving local and international reviews. Closed on Sundays. Phone: 0212-293 5656. Address: The Marmara Pera, Mesrutiyet Caddesi 15, Beyoglu. Click here for the web page.

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