Top 10 Best Restaurants in Istanbul

Istanbul is one of the places in the world that offers the best restaurants and amazing food experience. Delicious turkish cuisine is formed by the effects of Asian and European continents.

By 2022 October, Michelin Guide has included Istanbul to its list. Many restaurants entered the list but only a few of them got a star. You can check out our Detailed Guide for Michelin Starred Istanbul Restaurants to find out more!

Istanbul has great restaurant offerings and wide range of selection of food. The best eat in Istanbul consists of wide variety of Turkish cuisine from sea bass to kebab. Also new age chefs are bringing their own interpretation to Turkish cuisine and opening new restaurants that brings fresh look to the eat in Istanbul. Finding a restaurant in Istanbul easy but check out list for the great selection of restaurants in Istanbul.

Traditional Turkish Food is also fine dining

When you think about fine dining restaurants Istanbul is your place. Even the ice cream has a approach of traditional Turkish food. We have listed the best restaurants in istanbul and also the food that we enjoy and love. Besten restaurants istanbul and the food are easy to find as long as you have your list ready. Fine dining restaurants in Istanbul are much. One of the popular choices in Istanbul is the sea bass in Sunset Grill Bar but other than Sunset Grill Bar there many other new age restaurants in Istanbul that brings a new approach to traditional Turkish cuisine. Many restaurants in Istanbul got listed in Michelin Star in Istanbul restaurants list, in which we will be sharing in another list about best restaurants in Istanbul.

Our Top 10 List as follows

  • Nicole
  • Mikla
  • Sunset Grill Bar
  • Aheste
  • Yeni Lokanta
  • Mahkeme Lokantasi
  • Murver
  • Neolokal
  • Lokanta 1741
  • Alaf

Nicole Restaurant

Nicole restaurant
Best restaurant in istanbul

Niceole is a fine dining restaurant with mediterrian touch of turkish cuisine. It has an extensive menu from sea bass to Cerkez Cheese, which is an astonishing turkish food that has emerged from the west of Istanbul. Nicole also offers tasting menu which has amazing lemon grass puree.

Nicole is located in Beyoglu, Taksim. You can walk to the restaurant from Sishane or Taksim metro station in 10-15 minutes. Even though it is in Taksim it offers a tranquality and a great view, so we suggest you to go there before the sunsets. Nicole is one of the restaurant in istanbul that offers a wide scenic istanbul view in which you can see Hagia Sophia to Topkapi Palace and also the Bosphorus. They are also one of the award winning restaurants in Istanbul in which they have been listed in Michelin Guide.

Another traditional turkish cuisine that you can taste here is their Kunefe, which is native to the south east side of Turkey. Another Ottoman cuisine type of dishes that you can taste is Quail’s Hole.

Mikla Restaurant

Mikla Restaurant

Mikla has been one of the best restaurants in istanbul for a long time. Mikla restaurant offers breath taking view with fine dining concept. They are located in top of Marmara Pera Hotel, in which you should be careful as there are two Marmara Pera Hotel. The one in Taksim square goes by Marmara Hotel and the other one near the end of Istiklal street is Marmara Pera Hotel.

As Mikla takes its position as one of the best restaurants in istanbul for so long, they keep their position by changing its meal course based onthe seasonality. You can find from sea bass to native greens of the western Turkey. Moreover. Mikla also offers amazing food that is competible with vegan diet as well. The Chef Mehmet Gürs known by this restaurant, that brought him fame. Also in this restaurant quince desert is specifically famous.

Sunset Grill bar Restaurant

Great restaurant in istanbul
Amazing foods

Sunset Grill Bar restaurant is known for two things. First one is, it is one of the best restaurants in Istanbul and the second one is the after parties that they offer after the dining. As it offers one of the best menu selection in Istanbul restaurants, it is also one of the best eat in istanbul that money can buy.

It’s fine dining restaurant menu offers variety of selection that makes them best eat in Istanbul. They have different Turkish cuisine from meat but also Japanese sushi menu as well. This restaurant has amazing view, great vibe and also a party spot right next to your dining table. It offers great selection of vines in that includes exlusive Bordeux wines to the carefully picked Chateux de Rothschild wines.

Aheste Restaurant

Aheste Restaurant
Aheste has an amazing taste menu

Aheste doesnt have a view, or many tables like the other restaurants in Istanbul. However what Aheste offers different from the restaurants in istanbul is their turkish touch in every food they make. They have amazing tasting menu that consist more than 10 dishes. They have turkish food mixed with mediterranean cuisine that gives taste explosion in your mouth.

Restaurant is located in the heart of Istanbul in Pera, which is one end of Istiklal street and as the region consist of old buildings restaurant doesnt have much tables. So before you go to Aheste restaurant be sure to make a reservation.

Also since restaurant is located in Asmali Mescid area, after the dinner you can find many bars, clubs of things to do after the dinner.

Yeni Lokanta

Yeni Lokanta restaurant is located in the side streets of Istanbul, where you can easily access if you get off at Sishane metro station. Yeni Lokanta has strenghten it’s position in best restaurants in istanbul by being in the Michelin Guide. As one of the best restaurants in istanbul Yeni Lokanta offers great tasting menu with wine paring.

The tasting menu consists of almond sauce smoked celeriac, or traditional turkish dishes like Zahter. More over buffalo milk ice cream is worth the try. Lastly, if you havent tried the Turkish food called Turkish dumplings, Yeni Lokanta is one of the best restaurants in istanbul that you can try them!

Mahkeme Lokantasi

Mahkeme Lokantasi

Mahkeme means court house, this place used to be a court house during the Ottoman Empire Era.

Mahkeme Lokantasi is located in the narrow streets of Karakoy. It is one of the best restaurants in istanbul to drink traditional Turkish alcoholic sprit Raki. For Raki, you put 1 portion of Raki and 3 portions of water and it turns into white, then you should add ice and drink it afterwards. As the alcohold isnt good alone, Mahkeme Lokantasi offers amazing turkish snacks and great mediterranean cuisine based snacks to eat while drinking.

As it is in a narrow street, the Turkish Food between the ancient walls buildings of the city offers a great atmosphere to enjoy your food and your drink. You should definately try fish bomb, Girit Ezmesi (Turkish Tapas) and Atom (spicy turkish yogurt).


On top of the Novotel, Mürver offer amazing scenic view from Hagia sophia to bospohorus. It is one of the best restaurants in istanbul which combines oriental delicatisies with essance of western culture. One of the best dishes to try out in this restaurant is their grilled octopus. In additional, grilled fish is also a great choice too. Mürver also has an amazing selection of cocktails which offers great view and a great taste.

As Mürver defines a good meal. They change menus to reflect the seasons spirit and ingredients. All meals seem to be celebrations of the seasons of life and nature. A special shoutout needs to go out to the fruits of the brick oven as this is what makes everyone love vegetables! It perfectly supports a dry beef starter. The Dry Beef starters are an excellent dish that contains beef smoked with Juniper and topped with charred Peach and Sürmene cheese. Typical şekerpares are small but overwhelming turkey desserts. Vegan version is a little more overwhelming. Aside from ice cream, the dessert includes pistachios, peas and cherry compote.


Superior taste in istanbul

Neo as you know is new and lokal is local. So you can expect new age cooking methods are compining with the local turkish foods.

Meat has a specific role int he turkish dishes so with the new age cooking methods, Anatolian’s meat culture is combined to serve great and appealing food. In the meat dishes you should definately try meatballs in this restaurant.

Moreover, six different fruits and vegetables are a hit in this restaurant. Turkish dishes and Turkish culture cultivates fruits and vegetables in thich Neolocl reflects them all.

Lokanta 1741

Lokanta 1741 brings past to the future

Old Istanbul is a place where not much residents live but they mainly go there either for work or for school trips. However, Lokanta 1741 is here to change that.

Lokanta 1741 is located on top of Cagoglu Bathhouse, in which it is a unique situation as a restaurant is located on a Turkish bath. The bathhouse that Lokanta 1741 is located on top is actually built in 1741 and actually still works as Turkish bath house. It would be interesting to go on a turkish bath first and later on for some meat dishes but we are sure thats not your plan.

Lokanta 1741 offer traditional food based on hot and cold turkish dishes. In turkish they are called Zeytinyagli, which translates simly to olive oil. They can be consumed both hot and cold and served like a tapas (Turkish meze). One important aspect is that Lokanta 1741 serves both in the lunch and diner.

Top foods continues as Saffron Kebab, Misket Lemon Fava, Kabak Kalve and Semizotu Mancasi. Moreover this restaurant also serves great cocktails with interesting dome view of the old istanbul. Cocktails include local herbs and spices that you cannot find in your hometown.


Definately the best tasting menu in Turkey
One of the greatest restaurants in Turkey

Alaf is located right in the Kurucesme which offers one of the best bosphorus view that you can find in the city. Alaf known in the list of the best restaurants in istanbul and the chef is known his gastro-bistro style. Alaf restaurant has the effect of the Anamur region on its foods, as the restaurant owner chef Deniz Temel is also born there. In his restaurant, he prepares his food with the inspirations of his home town. This effect can be seen in every dish that he prepares from the starters to the ice cream that his restaurant makes.

Turkish foods are prepared with woodfire, in which the smell of smokyness gets into the food. The food prepared in a special way where all the parts of a lamb is used so that non of the part goes into a waste, moreover every part has its special place to be used as well. Offals has also a special place in this restaurant which we high encourage you to try it.

Thani bulgur kofte, eksi maya bread and sumak soup in tea glass are special to this restaurant that you should try. Also you can get a tasting menu with wine paring, that is also good for a romantic evening.

To learn more about Alaf, you can check our detailed article about Alaf where we mention the heritage of the food they are serving. Check out Alaf – One of the Best Restaurants in Istanbul!

Turko Loco

Hey! I am Eren living in Istanbul. Throughout my life I have traveled many countries across the globe. As I live and work in Istanbul, I will be sharing the best spots not only as a touristic purposes but also what locals do, eat and live too! Whenever I visit a city, I am always more into what locals do rather than traditional touristic stuff. That's why I have started this blog to share the best local experience in Istanbul and show you the real face of Istanbul.

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