Khedive's Villa (Hıdiv Kasrı)
overlooking the Bosphorus...
a wonderful place for restaurant
dining, no matter what your budget.
simple workers' eateries and sidewalk
cafés to posh culinary
uniformed waiters, Turkish
cuisine is savory, flavorful, not over-spiced, and
the value-for-money good. (Drinks prices are inflated, however.)
If you have a food allergy, click here.
in Sultanahmet cater
mostly to foreign visitors with more European-style
prices. Although the food can be good
and the prices moderate, there is
less authentic Turkish food here than
elsewhere. I often walk
for 10 minutes to Sirkeci, Hocapaşa or Eminönü.
railroad station, the ferry docks, Egyptian
(Spice) Bazaar and Galata
Bridge, some of the best restaurants
just south of Sirkeci
Hotel has a dozen
small eateries patronized mostly
by locals, with good food, friendly
service and low to moderate prices. More...
One quite fine, popular restaurant with a view here, and plenty of inexpensive eateries, including a prime place for the famous Istanbul
fish sandwich. More...
This district south of the Grand
Bazaar near the Sea
of Marmara shore has
been a seafood mecca since Byzantine times.
You can enjoy an excellent fish dinner
here if you follow
these tips. More...
Want a cheap
fish dinner? Here it is!
The district around the Grand
Bazaar and Süleymaniye
Mosque has lots of
interesting places to eat, from refined
Ottoman court cuisine to simple but
delicious plates of beans. More...
Want an Ottoman-style meal where everyone
sits around a huge tray laden with
succulent kebap, salads and
vegetables and scoops up morsels with
flat bread? Then you want to head for Fatih,
among the most traditional areas of
The 19th- and 20th-century city north of the Golden
Horn is the more upscale part of the city, but
has the better bargains in food. The little side-streets
Caddesi are packed with basic eateries, smooth
restaurants, trendy bistrots, artsy cafés, jolly
and pastry-shops. This is where Istanbul's young,
hip, well-heeled and not-so-well-heeled come to promenade,
sip, chat and dine. More...
on the Asian
shore of the
Bosphorus south of Üsküdar,
has a vibrant restaurant scene in its
colorful market area only a few minutes'
walk from the Kadıköy ferry dock. More...
The European and Asian
shores of Istanbul's marvelous
maritime highway are dotted with excellent
sea-view restaurants, many of which
specialize in seafood. Although the
price of fish has escalated, and many diners
now opt for kebap instead,
everyone enjoys the great variety of meze (hors
d'oeuvres), wine, beer, rakı and
The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality operates numerous restaurants in prime locations around the city, many of them historic locations first rescued from deterioration by Mr Çelik Gülersoy and his team at the Turkish Touring and Automobile Association. Known as BelTur restaurants, they include the imperial pavilions in Yıldız Parkı and Emirgan Forest, the hilltop Khedive's Villa (Hıdiv Kasrı) overlooking the Bosphorus, the Gülhane Parkı restaurant, and one on the Golden Horn.
Moderately-priced, with good service and attractive surroundings, they are popular with local Muslim families because of the atmosphere and because no alcoholic beverages are served.
Turkish dining has traditions, practices and etiquette that differ in some ways from European dining. Read these tips to enjoy your dinner. More...
—by Tom Brosnahan