Best Restaurants in Istanbul: Know What to Eat at Where!

Choosing a place in a city you don’t know well can be upsetting. Especially in Istanbul, there are food spots everywhere but you can’t be sure if they are good or not. So, here are our restaurant recommendations for you to enjoy your meals at the finest places throughout the day in Istanbul.

Here are the best restaurants in Istanbul suggestions for you to try for each meal of the day in Istanbul.

Table of Contents

Breakfast Spots in Istanbul

Breakfast (kahvaltı) is the most important meal of the day if you are in Turkey. In Istanbul, there are so many places that focus on giving breakfast service to their customers for a proper way to start the day.

Brekkie Croissant & Cookie

Starting your day with a table that’s perfectly fit for Instagram during your vacation is the best way to treat yourself. Brekkie Croissant & Cookie is at Kadıköy, Moda. As can be understood from its name, they serve croissants, sandwiches, and other pastries.

Historic Çınaraltı Family Tea Garden

A gigantic plane tree which is over 800 years old will welcome you to Çınaraltı Garden in Çengelköy. The name Çınaraltı literally means “under the plane tree” in Turkish. There, you can either bring your own food or order what you want. Bringing drinks is prohibited because of the cafe’s policy.

Namlı Gurme

Right next to Galata Bridge, Namlı is one of the best places to start your day. A variety of cheeses, eggs, olives, and meats are waiting for you there. Also, there are numerous types of omelets to dip your bread in.

Emirgan Sütiş

Sütiş started in 1953 in Istanbul and now they have 15 branches all over the city. It is one of the most famous brands in Istanbul for its service and quality. Their Emirgan branch has an amazing view of the Asia side and the Bosphorus.

The sea breeze will make you crave more and enjoy your food even more. Don’t forget to order simit, menemen, and börek for your breakfast there.

Beyaz Fırın

Beyaz Fırın is located in several locations all over Istanbul. Most of their branches are on the Asia side and some are on the European side. Fırın means “bakery” and “Beyaz” means “white” in Turkish. So they can be called “White Bakery”. 

For that they are a bakery, you can expect to see various choices of pastry for breakfast. Especially their lemonade is one of the best in Istanbul but if you are not fond of juices while eating breakfast, Turkish tea is always the safest option. Also, their breakfast pan includes fried halloumi cheese, fried eggs on sourdough bread, fried jambon, sautéed mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and avocado.

Spots Lunch or Brunch in Istanbul

If you couldn’t have a proper breakfast or skipped it, lunch will be your savior. After spending most of your energy seeing places and exploring Istanbul, you will need an energy refreshment.

Limonlu Bahçe

Located at Beyoğlu, Limonlu Bahçe has the prettiest atmosphere you’d ever experience. As “bahçe” means “garden” in Turkish, prepare yourself to enjoy some greenery while eating. Thanks to their diverse menu, they have vegan and vegetarian options as well.

After eating at Limonlu Bahçe, you can continue exploring mosques and museums, or just keep exploring the culture of Istanbul streets. Because it is located at Beyoğlu, you can reach anywhere easily.

Yanyalı Fehmi Lokantası

Opened in Kadıköy in 1981, Yanyalı Fehmi Restaurant is one of the historic and traditional places to eat your lunch in Istanbul. They have two signature dishes. The first one is a meatball wrapped in thinly sliced eggplants with eggplant puree. The other is Yanya meatballs.

If you are vegetarian, but still want to try this place, worry not because they also have vegetarian options. There, you can enjoy soups, olive oil dishes, breads, grilled vegetables, pasta, and so many other options.

Fıccın Restoran

Even if you are in Turkey, there’s nothing stopping you from tasting different cuisines. Located in Beyoğlu, Fıccın Restaurant specializes in Circassian cuisine. However, their menu features both Turkish and Circassian dishes such as mantı. Fıccın, on the other hand, is a layered pastry stuffed with meat which is similar to shepherd’s pie.

360 Istanbul

360 Istanbul is also another restaurant in Beyoğlu where you can have a tasteful lunch. With a panoramic view of Istanbul across the Bosphorus Strait, you will surely have a great time being there. Their menu combines international flavors and dishes with traditional Turkish touches.

Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi Selim Usta

Simple yet delicious, Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi Selim Usta is one of the places where you eat Turkish meatballs with pilav, ayran, and pickles. Operating since 1920, you can see that they sure know how to prepare good köfte for your palate.

Top Fine Dining Restaurants in Istanbul

Now that the sun is settling and your stomach is ringing its bells, it’s time to fancy yourself with something delicious during your Istanbul trip.

Eva Bosphorus Restaurant

Who can say no to having a dinner with the view of Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Bosphorus? At Eva Bosphorus Restaurant, Istanbul is beneath your feet just for you to have a great time. Don’t forget to take a panoramic picture of the scene.

The quality of service is exceptional and served food is fresh. You can go Eva Bosphorus without a second thought.

Turk Fatih Tutak

A two-Michelin restaurant in Şişli, Turk Fatih Tutak takes culinary to exceptional levels combined with traditional Turkish cuisine techniques with modern times. The ingredients are imported and used daily for freshness.

Banyan Restaurant

Banyan Restaurant is right across to Bosphorus and it is a delicious stop for visitors who crave Asian cuisine. The restaurant also has an open terrace for you to experience the Bosphorus effect. Their dishes feature Asian and Thai spices for extra taste, the best for visitors who want some spiciness.


Deraliye is the Sultanahmet’s heart and specializes in dishes originating from the Ottoman culture. Some popular choices are goose kebabs, chicken with apricot, and stuffed melon. Also, with a wide variety of appetizers, dishes, and desserts, it will be a feast for everyone who goes there.

Hanzade Terrace Restaurant

Hanzade Terrace Restaurant has a panoramic view of Istanbul in Emirgan. The ambiance is pleasant with dim lights that are accompanied by acoustic music playing in the background. There are only 7 tables, so make sure that you give them a call if it’s busy or not. The menu features meat and fish plates, and drinks, including alcohol. There’s also a rooftop terrace with sea views that’s open during spring and summer.

Best Meyhanes in Istanbul

Meyhanes are a great option to spend your night in Istanbul if you want to drink rakı and eat lots of mezes.

Güneşin Sofrası

Güneşin Sofrası is one of the most known meyhanes among the locals of Istanbul. It is down the street of the famous Kadıköy Bull Statue. There, you can see the culture itself from traditional settings, wooden chairs and tables, mezes, and songs.

Tarihi Cumhuriyet Meyhanesi

Due to its location in Beyoğlu, Tarihi Cumhuriyet Meyhanesi is wrapped around the history itself. Just 10 minutes walk away from Taksim, you can reach there pretty easily and cherish your trip with a glass or two of rakı.

Safa Meyhanesi

Safa Meyhanesi is located in the Yedikule Neighborhood. Established in 1985, Safa Meyhanesi has seen history itself. It has seen the last period of the Ottoman Empire and the tavern still protects its heritage to carry on the nostalgia of the old days.

Its red brick walls, old-fashioned curtains, and flamboyant door are the main attractions for people who go there. Apart from that, you can also taste centuries-old appetizers of Armenian dishes and have fun with traditional Turkish music.

Asmalı Cavit

Asmali Cavit is another great meyhane in Beyoğlu decorated with many posters and pictures of the tavern culture of Old Istanbul. It welcomes its customers with this nostalgic decoration. With its warm dishes and great mezes, a magical journey is awaiting your palate. If you don’t like fish, there is always an option for meatballs.

Agora Meyhanesi 1980

Agora Meyhanesi is at Balat and it offers a cosmopolitan ambiance with fresh, homemade food. Agora’s owner tried to recreate the district rakı culture which is obvious that he’s successful at it. Everything on the menu is great, olive oil comes from their own fields which is another great example of quality.

Top Dessert Spots in Istanbul

Ending the day with something sweet is always important in Turkish culture. It can also be said that Turkish people have a sweet tooth compared to some cultures.

Hafız Mustafa 1864

Established in 1864, the main focus of Hafız Mustafa is desserts. Baklava, kadayıf, cakes, puddings, anything sweet you can find. There are a total of 13 branches in Istanbul and most of them are in Fatih and Beyoğlu districts, the European side.

Faruk Güllüoğlu

Established in 1843, Güllüoğlu should be the only place where you eat baklava and sherbet desserts. With its own stores and franchises, you can find Güllüoğlu almost everywhere in Istanbul. If you are diabetic, they also sell baklava for diabetic people.


Baylan is a pastry shop located in Kadıköy. Founded in 1919, their history of preparing desserts is on another level. Different from Güllüoğlu and Hafız Mustafa, Baylan focuses on more chocolate and is proficient in desserts with cake. They also have several signature desserts which are:

  • Trüf
  • Kup Griye
  • Adisababa
  • Montebianco
  • Karamel
  • Moncheri

Çikolata Dükkanı

Çikolata Dükkanı is a new establishment located in Kadiköy, Moda. They got popular in past years with only two places. The reason for that is they name their desserts with girl names and focus on preparing their desserts with Belgium chocolate.

Popular desserts of Çikolata Dükkanı:

  • Asuman
  • Mualla
  • Ferhunde
  • Feride
  • Piraye
  • Müjgan


Kukis is located at Acıbadem and Suadiye with only two shops. Kukis’ fame comes from the cakes they make. Along with the cakes, they also make delicious cookies, mousses, cups, pies, and cheesecakes.