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 for a full course menu including wine.

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:

Giritli (Seafood | €€€€) is a seafood restaurant in a restored Ottoman house located in a quiet residential area at a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The food is delicious and on offer are over twelve different meze plates and perfectly-cooked fish choices. One can also take one of the two tasting menus, in which case wine is included in the prices. You may choose to sit in the garden during summer.
Go to Google Maps   |  +90-212-458 2270   |  Go to web site   |   See photos

Balikci Sabahattin/ Sabahattin the Fisherman (Seafood | €€€€). 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 and Giritli are the two restaurants that can sufficiently attract a local clientele.
Go to Google Maps   |  +90-212-458 1824   |  Go to web site   |   See photos

Khorasani (Kebab | €€€) is an ocakbaşi (grill house) quite close to the hotel. It specializes in Antep and Antakya cuisines which include mezes and classic kebabs such as şiş (roast skewered meat), fistikli (minced lamb studded with pistachios) and the alinazik (eggplant purée with yoghurt and ground meat balls). It is the best kebab restaurant in the Sultanahmet area.
Go to Google Maps   |  +90-212-512 1227   |  Go to web site   |   See photos

Lokanta 1741 (Experimental Turkish | €€€€€)) is a fine dining restaurant situated in the historical Cağaloğlu Hammam. The chef Durukan Özgen’s menu is a satisfying subtle reimagining of traditional Turkish dishes. Cosy rooms with fireplaces connected together with a closed courtyard during the winter and an open terrace between magical hammam domes during the summer constitute a nice atmosphere. Their tasting menu is especially recommendable Closed on Sundays.
Go to Google Maps   |  +90-533-145 1741   |  Go to web site   |   See photos

Aslan (Lunch only | Turkish | €) is a modest sized 'esnaf lokantasi’ (a shopkeepers’ restaurant), Turkish alternative to fast-food restaurants. Located steps away from the Grand Bazaar, it is on the second floor of a building. 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 taken. Closed on Sundays.
Go to Google Maps

Sefa (Lunch only | Turkish | €) is another casual restaurant in this area. In this simple and clean restaurant, on offer are typical traditional dishes at extremely reasonable prices. You can order from an English menu or, like many other customers choose from the bain marie -the vegetable dishes are particularly appetising. No alcohol served. No reservation taken. Closed on Sundays.
Go to Google Maps


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

Karaköy Lokantasi (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. It 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 setting and a friendly atmosphere. Children under 18 are not accepted.
Go to Google Maps   |  +90-212-292 4455   |   Go to web site   |   See photos

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. Their nicely cooked fried lamb, grilled octopus, smoked beef and the chocolate frappe are especially recommendable.
Go to Google Maps   |  +90-212-327 0750   |  Go to web site   |   See photos

Ali Ocakbasi (Kebab | €€€) ) is a kebab restaurant located in the yet-to-be-developed part of the upcoming Karaköy neighborhood. The restaurant occupies one cosy floor and a roof-top terrace (open only during the summer). Both floors have spectacular views overlooking the historic old town, Galata Bridge and the Golden Horn. Apart from all the classical kebab dishes, their menu also includes many vegetarian and small starters.
Go to Google Maps   |  +90-212-293 1011   |  See photos

Pandeli (Lunch only |Turkish | €€). Around the turn of the century, Pandeli, the son of a Greek shepherd from Nigde, moved to Istanbul and started what was to become a legendary culinary career. Located on the upper level of the Egyptian Spice Bazaar is serving since 1901 and is an Istanbul classic where Queen Elizabeth and Gorbaçov have dined. You can pay a visit to the restaurant when you want to take a breath of old Istanbul and have a delicious meal. Everything in the menu -comprising of almost-forgotten Turkish dishes- is appetizing. The restaurant does not serve alcohol.
Go to Google Maps   |  +90-212-527 3909   |  Go to web site   |   See photos


In Beyoglu (a short taxi ride):

Aheste (Mezes | €€€) (meaning "slowly" in Turkish) is an inviting bistro-like venue offering a small but appealing menu consisting mainly of hot and cold mezes with some contemporary twists. It has a friendly, laid-back service and hip-yet-cozy atmosphere. Very popular these days, hence a reservation in advance may be necessary.
Go to Google Maps   |  +90-212-243 2633   |  Go to web aite   |   See photos

Yeni Lokanta (Experimental Turkish | €€€€€) means ‘new restaurant’ in Turkish and chef Civan Er certainly puts his own twist on Turkish cuisine, employing unorthodox ingredients and unusual presentation while staying within the culinary comfort zones of most Turkish diners. In our experience, the result is very satisfying. Both the decor and drinks list are notable. Closed on Sundays.
Go to Google Maps   |  +90-212-292 2550   |  Go to web site   |   See photos

Four upscale fine dining restaurants that we highly recommend are Turk Fatih Tutak, Mikla, Neolokal and Borsa Kandilli (this one for its spectacular views overlooking the Bosphorus). The first three are chef restaurants with their menus based on Turkish cuisine, offer a unique eating experience. They are in a price range of around 100 Euros per person.


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