Top best restaurants in Istanbul to enjoy the gastronomy + local tips

Istanbul is a city unlike any other, and its food culture reflects that. The mix of cultures in this vibrant and lively city creates the perfect fusion for the culinary world. If you’re looking for a great meal while you’re in town, there’s something for everyone in Istanbul. From Turkish cuisine to international favorites, here are some of our best restaurants in Istanbul and favorites in this international city!

Top Restaurants in Istanbul

This year more than 50 restaurants in Istanbul awarded with Michelin stars. Majority of the best restaurants below are listed on the 2023 Michelin-starred restaurants in Istanbul.

Nicole Restaurant

  • Tomtom, Tomtom Kaptan Sk. No:18, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Nicole Restaurant is the perfect place for an intimate dinner and recently earned a Michelin star for its fantastic dishes. Located in the heart of Beyoğlu, the menu features contemporary Turkish cuisine with a magnificent view of the Old Town, Princes’ Islands and beyond.

The chef adds a new twist to traditional recipes by adding subtle changes that increase the flavor palate. Take, for example, dolma, a typical stuffed vegetable dish to which smoked yogurt is added to give new life to familiar flavors. The wine list is extensive and in addition to their classic dishes, guests are presented with seasonal menus to choose from. With attentive service, Nicole Restaurant aims to provide guests with an unforgettable dining experience!

360 Istanbul Taksim

  • Tomtom Mah. İstiklal Cad. No:163 K: 8, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Located in Taksim, 360 Istanbul represents the best of Istanbul by combining the concepts of Food, Atmosphere, Entertainment and Ambiance for a true 360 degree experience! Serving modern Turkish cuisine mixed with international favorites, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner and has earned many international awards for their creative menu of fresh dishes and drinks!

Located on the top floor of a historical Egyptian Apartment, 360 Istanbul has panoramic views of the Bosphorus and city like no other restaurant in town! Hosting famous artists and world-renown DJ’s, the restaurant offers live music and performances in the evening with diverse and exciting entertainment programs for guests to enjoy the night after their meal.

Neolokal

  • Arapcamii Mahı, Bankalar Cd. No:11, 34420, 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Using Mother Earth as inspiration, Neolokal Restaurant serves sustainable food, using only the freshest ingredients from a nearby farm. Chef Maksut Aşkar believes that those who do not know and cannot protect their traditions cannot have a future. Leading other young aspiring chefs, the Neolokal kitchen offers traditional recipes and blends with unique and creative products that may disappear if they are not consumed.

Putting a spin on Turkish heritage produce in local and global classics, Aşkar gives away his recipes online so that others can enjoy his meals at home in a sustainable setting. With floor-to-ceiling windows, the restaurant hosts a bright atmosphere with exceptional views of the Bosphorus and Golden Horn. With attentive service, guests are sure to enjoy this exceptional new way of dining!

Mikla Galata

  • Asmalı Mescit, The Marmara Pera, Meşrutiyet Cd. No:15, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Adventure awaits you in the stylish Mikla, with the option of a three-course fixed-price à la carte or seven-course tasting menu. Earning a Michelin Star, the menu and restaurant reflects the Turkish-Scandinavian background of Mehmet Gürs, who combines respect for tradition with a sense of innovation. His interpretation of traditional Turkish plates and the daily-changing menu focuses on ‘noble’ Anatolian produce, such as hamsi fried anchovies paired with a crisp Cappadocia white wine.

With outstanding food, a breathtaking view, proper service and inspiring music, Mikla was voted one of the best restaurants in Istanbul and remains on the The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list since 2015. From the eighteenth floor of the Marmara Pera hotel, enjoy stunning views of Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia while overlooking the Bosphorus Strait! After dinner, be sure to finish with a nightcap upstairs in the rooftop bar of The Marmara Pera.

Tütsü By Düvee Besiktas

  • Dikilitaş, BJK Fulya Süleyman Seba Kompleksi, Hakkı Yeten Cd. No:10B, Beşiktaş/İstanbul

Located in Besiktas, Tütsü By Düvee offers smoked flavors right in the heart of Istanbul! Breeding their own cows, raising them from calves, and only feeding them a special mix of natural feed, grasses and herbs, this farm-to-table restaurant offers some of the most tender and tasty barbecue meats in Istanbul at an exceptionally affordable price. Serving Smoked Brisket, Ribs, Burgers, Bratwurst, and Frankfurters with a mix of soups, sides, and desserts, TUTSÜ invites you to the meeting of the fire and the meat.

The smoke flavor comes from oak trees in a local forest, and the meats are smoked in the oak kiln for 9-14 hours without marination for the purest, juiciest flavors. Served on a metal platter with wax paper, as true barbecue should be, the casual atmosphere can often be experienced with Rock and Blues music in the background, and a variety of classic whiskeys available for pairing. With a local store serving cheese, dairy and fresh meat available as well, this famous establishment is a must-visit on your trip to Istanbul!

Sultanahmet Koftecisi

  • Alemdar Mahallesi, Divan Yolu Caddesi, No:12 Fatih, İstanbul

Sultanahmet Koftecisi is a historical meatball place in the  Fatih district, serving juicy meatballs and Turkish classics for four generations. Since 1920, its well-known meatballs have been a favorite of Istanbul citizens and tourists alike. The secret to perfect kofte (meatballs) is the best natural ingredients. What started as a tiny shop owned by a small family, has now become an authentically favorite representation of Turkish culture worldwide.

The kofte are made with a secret recipe that has been passed down through the generations, and they are grilled to perfection. Carefully selected meats and barbecued without using any spices, this humble restaurant is now a house-hold name in Turkey. The menu features a variety of meatball dishes, as well as other Turkish classics such as lamb shish kebabs and rice pilaf. Located in the heart of Istanbul, whether you are looking for a quick bite or a leisurely meal, Sultanahmet Koftecisi is the perfect place to enjoy some of Istanbul’s best food while exploring the local attractions.

Mahkeme Lokantasi Galata

  • Azapkapı, Perşembe Pazarı Cd. No:14, 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Mahkeme in Turkish means “Court” and Mahkeme Lokantasi Galata is located in Galata Court Street, right across the historical Genoese Court, from which its name was inspired. Situated in an old Inn that was built in the 1840’s, you can see marble stairs in the building which are worn with the 180-year history.

Slightly off the beaten path of the main Karakoy street, during the day, the restaurant offers lunch and small dishes to local shopkeepers, but in the evening the atmosphere changes and it becomes a lively tavern with outstanding appetizers and meals prepared by master Chefs. Enjoy your meal in the outdoor seating area, or host a business dinner or gathering in one of the historical private rooms. With its rich menu of local Turkish cuisine, this historic restaurant offers a unique dining experience for guests from around the world!

Matbah Restaurant Sultanahmet

  • Cankurtaran, Caferiye Sk. No:6 D:1, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul

Located in a former 19th century hospital, the Matbah Restaurant Sultanahmet offers a selection of exclusive dishes once served at the court of Ottoman Sultans. With a Winter Garden, Summer Garden and Sultan’s Lounge, guests have the opportunity to experience different atmospheres within the restaurant, with the decor taking inspiration from the historical royal gardens and palaces of Ottoman times.

Located in the heart of the old city in Istanbul and surrounded by all the major historical and cultural sights, Matbah Restaurant Sultanahmet offers you an exceptional experience mixed with the Ottoman grandeur and Turkish hospitality. A Michelin Star recommended restaurant in 2023, this is an absolute must-try on your visit!

Oligark Restaurant

  • Kuruçeşme, Muallim Naci Cd. No:58, 34345 Besiktas/Istanbul

Experience the best of Istanbul at this versatile restaurant and nightclub. During the day enjoy a Traditional Turkish breakfast, or make a reservation in the evening for the fine dining restaurant.

With craft cocktails, and a variety of different atmospheres, guests can choose to have an intimate white tablecloth experience, or enjoy the summer dancing the night away while overlooking the glittering lights of the city and Bosphorus. Reserve a seat or table in advance, and enjoy delicious food and exciting atmosphere, in this beautiful dining and nightlife spot!

Ruby Ortakoy

  • Yıldız, Ortaköy Salhanesi Sk. No:5, 34349 Besiktas/Istanbul

Ruby provides breathtaking views of the cityscape from its waterside location. With Istanbul’s Bosphorus view and unique flavors, an evening spent at Ruby is a rewarding way to catch a glimpse of this amazing city!

The menu features a variety of traditional Turkish dishes mixed with international fare  as well as small plates for sharing. The specialty craft cocktails are not to be missed! With great events, parties and live performances the restaurant and the nightclubs of Ruby wait for you in Ortaköy where the pulse of night life is always alive!

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