We’ve put together a list of the best Italian restaurants in Istanbul that have successfully captured the essence of Italian cuisine, complete with inviting atmospheres and mouth-watering menus.
Italian food, one of the world’s most beloved cuisines, is well-represented in Istanbul. From iconic dishes like pizza, pasta, and risotto to classic desserts like tiramisu, these restaurants offer a taste of Italy’s diverse culinary landscape. Each spot brings its own unique twist to traditional Italian flavors, making them popular choices for food lovers.
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Best Italian Restaurants In Istanbul on the European Side
1. Paps Italian
Paps Italian, opened in 2015 in Karaköy’s Historic French Passage, is known for its Naples-style sourdough pizza and homemade pasta, crafted from chef Luigi Mariconda’s family recipes. With a second location at Emaar Square Mall since 2019, it’s a go-to for dishes like truffle ravioli and slow-cooked beef ribs. Don’t miss the tiramisu, a true family recipe, making it a favorite spot for lovers of Italian cuisine in a cozy setting.
Karaköy: Kemankeş Mah. French Geçit St. A Block No: 4 Karaköy | https://www.instagram.com/papsitalian/?hl=en
2. Serafina Kanyon
Born from a vow made by friends Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato while lost at sea, Serafina has grown from its original New York location, which opened in 1995, to 33 branches worldwide. The first Turkish branch, opened in Akmerkez in 2014, quickly expanded due to its popularity and now has several locations across the country. Known for its thin-crust pizzas, homemade pasta, and daily classic Italian soups, Serafina also boasts signature dishes like the seafood-rich ‘Linguine ai Frutti di Mare’ and the savory ‘Costine di Manzo’ beef ribs. Don’t miss the ‘Di Sofia’ pizza and ‘Panna Cotta’ dessert, both offering unique and memorable flavors. With its stylish, cozy atmosphere, Serafina is a must-visit for a delightful dining experience.
Akmerkez: Nispetiye Cad. Etiler;
Kanyon: Büyükdere Cad. No:185 Kat:1, İstanbul | https://www.instagram.com/serafinakanyon
3. Napoli Gourmet
Napoli Gourmet brings a slice of Naples to your table, not only through its flavorful menu but also with its authentic Neapolitan decor. A mini cocktail, crafted with a unique recipe, greets you as you place your order, providing a true Neapolitan welcome. With delectable pizzas and pastas served in generous portions, your taste buds are sure to embark on an Italian journey. Don’t forget to indulge in the tiramisu and espresso-accompanied panna cotta for dessert to complete your dining experience.”
Hüsrev Gerede Cad. No:38, Teşvikiye, Beşiktaş/İstanbul, https://www.instagram.com/napoligourmet.nisantasi/
Gina stands out as one of Istanbul’s renowned Italian restaurants, with locations in both Galataport and Kanyon. Not only does it serve its signature dishes, but Gina also introduces new flavors with each season. From Tuna Tartare and Bruschetta with Eggplant to Seafood Risotto and Buffalo Burrata, the menu is a culinary adventure. Don’t miss the Seafood Pizza, Neapolitan Pizza, Grilled Tenderloin, and a classic Italian Chocolate Tiramisu. Gina pairs its Italian dishes with a wide selection of wines and specialty cocktails to cater to varied palates.
What sets Gina apart is its decor, inspired by the story of Gina from 1950s Tuscany, who operated a family restaurant named after her. The Kanyon branch, in particular, is notable for its distinctive interior design.
Canyon: Büyükdere Cad., Levent ;
Galataport: Kılıçali Paşa Mahallesi, Beyoğlu | https://www.gina.com.tr/
La Scarpetta, offering a true Italian dining experience, gets its name from an Italian colloquial term related to savoring every last bit of a dish. The restaurant is committed to using only fresh, in-season ingredients, avoiding canned, dried, or frozen items. Not only is the ambiance and service delightful, but their wood-fired oven pizzas also stand out. The “La Scarpetta” pizza, featuring beef carpaccio, stracciatella cheese, fresh truffle, and more, is a menu highlight. Another signature dish is their slow-cooked veal shank served with saffron risotto and truffle sauce. The restaurant, located in a serene backyard in Etiler, away from city chaos, prepares most pasta and all bread, grissini, and dough varieties daily, offering a taste of Italy in every bite.
Dilhayat St. No: 16 Etiler | https://www.instagram.com/trattorialascarpetta/
5. Stefano by İsmet Saz
Stefano, run by Chef İsmet Saz, is a go-to spot for authentic Italian food. Located across from Galatasaray Island, it offers great Bosphorus views and has a chic, welcoming atmosphere.
The menu is diverse, featuring Italian staples like beef carpaccio, truffle risotto, and calamari, as well as regional Italian dishes. The restaurant is open all day, and if you book the chef’s table, Chef İsmet Saz will create a special menu and even help serve it, complete with wine pairings.
Kuruçeşme: Muallim Naci Cad. No:11
Erenköy: Yener Sok. No:5 D:1A, Kadıköy | https://www.instagram.com/stefanobyismetsaz/
6. Il Cortile Ristorante Pizzeria
Il Cortile, tucked away on a side street near the Galata Tower, is a charming restaurant set in the courtyard of a historic building. Originally built as the Ecole St Pierre French primary school in 1842, the building is now a boutique hotel and a local landmark. The restaurant’s name, “il cortile,” means courtyard in Italian, fitting for its unique location.
Run by experienced chef Nihat Sancar, the restaurant offers a wide range of Italian dishes, from gnocchi and risotto to lasagna, pizza, and pasta. Seafood and meat lovers will also find plenty to enjoy, with popular dishes like shrimp ravioli, beef cheek, octopus carpaccio, and seafood lasagna. Don’t miss out on their delicious desserts like panna cotta and creme brulee. It’s a peaceful spot away from the Beyoğlu crowds, where you can enjoy great food in a historic setting.
Galata Tower St. No:14 D:20 Beyoğlu | https://www.instagram.com/ilcortileistanbul/?hl=en
7. Antica Locanda
Antica Locanda, located in Arnavutköy, is a chef-driven restaurant that opened its doors in 2011. The founder and chef, Milan-born Gian Carlo Talerico, is a master in the kitchen, carefully selecting ingredients and preparing fresh dishes daily. The restaurant offers a diverse menu featuring Italian flavors from various regions, from the mountains to the coast, and from the north to the south of Italy. With a blooming garden open in the summer months, it’s a great place to experience the chef’s expertise in everything from appetizers and pizzas to pastas and desserts.
Sales Square St. No: 12 Arnavutköy | https://www.instagram.com/ANTICALOCANDAIS/
Opened in late 2013 by Michelin-starred chef Michael White, Morini remains a hot spot in Zorlu Center. Known as the “pasta king” in America, White’s signature pastas and special recipes are now in the hands of chef Mihta Yıldırımtaş. The menu is regularly updated with seasonal ingredients and offers a variety of starters, pizzas, pastas, and salads. The dessert menu is so tempting that you’ll want to try multiple options, so consider ordering a few to share. Be sure to make a reservation to enjoy the culinary delights at this restaurant located in Beymen.
Zorlu Center Meydan Katı, Beşiktaş | https://www.instagram.com/istanbulmorini/
Cipriani, a world-renowned Italian restaurant, has opened its doors in Istanbul’s Maçka Palas building. With its authentic flavors, presentation, and decor, the restaurant transports you straight to Italy. Specializing in regional Italian recipes, Cipriani is quickly becoming one of the city’s top dining destinations.
Macka Palas, Macka Cd. No:33/C, Şişli/Istanbul | https://www.instagram.com/cipriani/
Cecconi’s, known for its handmade pasta, seafood, and Northern Italian dishes, is located in the backyard of the Palazzo Corpi building in Beyoğlu. Originally from Venice, the restaurant has branches worldwide. Open for dinner and offering Sunday brunch, some must-try items include lamb chops with spinach and wild mushrooms, and risotto with wild mushrooms. Their pizzas featuring black truffle, zucchini flowers, and ricotta are also popular choices.
Evliya Çelebi Mah. Meşrutiyet Cad. No: 56 Beyoglu | https://www.instagram.com/cecconisrestaurants/
Eataly, a world-famous brand, has an Istanbul branch in Zorlu Center. The venue offers a wide range of products, from chocolates to deli items, and has two restaurants for Italian cuisine. Terrazza Italia, led by Chef Claudio Chinali, is on the terrace floor. The restaurant offers traditional recipes with a modern twist, like “Spaghetti Al 5 Pomodori” with five types of tomato sauce, and “Lasagne Verdi Al Ragu” with green lasagna. Don’t miss their sourdough pizzas and save room for dessert. The other restaurant, Pizza E Cucina, offers traditional pizzas cooked in wood ovens and high-quality pastas.
Zorlu Center Köprü Katı, Beşiktaş | https://www.instagram.com/eatalytr/?hl=en
12. Da Mario
Da Mario, serving since 1993, is a top spot for Italian cuisine in Istanbul with locations in Etiler and İstinyePark Mall. The restaurant offers salads, fresh pasta, and tasty pizzas. The artichoke salad with parmesan and avocado is a menu highlight, and their risotto is a must-try. With a rich pizza menu, you’ll have a tough time choosing just one. The restaurant’s friendly and comfortable vibe makes it a great choice for business meals or a cozy Italian dining experience.
Etiler: Dilhayat Sok. No:7 Etiler ;
İstinye Park: Tarabya Bayırı Cad. No: 11 D:519 | https://www.instagram.com/damarioist/?hl=en
13. Marcello Ristorante
Marcello, situated on the top floor of The Stay Hotel, offers a menu crafted by Executive Chef Luigi Mariconda from Naples and focaccia chef Massimiliano Nardo from Genova. Using signature ingredients imported from Italy, the restaurant serves a range of delicious dishes. One standout is the Focaccia tipo Recco, which comes with homemade pesto sauce and is a must-try.
The Stay Nişantaşı, Teras katı, Harbiye, Abdi İpekçi Cad. No: 30, Nişantaşı/İstanbul, https://www.instagram.com/marcelloilristorante/
14. Brio Istanbul
This charming restaurant offers a cozy and welcoming setting. You can choose to sit indoors when it’s chilly or enjoy the terrace or garden in warmer weather. The place is famous for its pizzas, and one standout is the “Primavera” pizza, loaded with goat cheese, eggplant, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, and mushrooms. Don’t miss out on their fresh, handmade pasta, and be sure to try their mushroom risotto “Funghi.”
Uskumruköy, Kilyos Cad. No: 322 Sariyer | https://www.instagram.com/brioitalianistanbul/
15. Da Vittorio Ristorante, Mövenpick Hotel Bosphorus
Da Vittorio Ristorante is another top spot for Italian cuisine in Istanbul, located on the terrace of the Mövenpick Hotel Istanbul Bosphorus with a stunning view of the water. The restaurant is known for its extensive menu and handmade dishes, all under the guidance of award-winning Sicilian chef Vittorio Sindoni. The setting is both elegant and inviting. The chef’s pizzas and pastas are made from carefully chosen ingredients and are sure to delight. Other menu highlights include baked beef ribs, grilled tenderloin, and Milanese schnitzel. For dessert, don’t miss the classic Amalfi-style tart and a unique tiramisu made with ricotta cheese and pear.
Balmumcu Mah. Barbaros Blv. No:165 Beşiktas| https://www.instagram.com/davittorioristorante.ist/?hl=en
16. Imperia Ristorante
Imperia Ristorante in Yeniköy is dedicated to authentic Italian cooking. They make their own sourdough pizzas in the Neapolitan style, as well as delicious pastas with a variety of sauces. They also offer tartines and have vegetarian options. You can start your meal with classic Italian soups like roasted tomato or vichysoisse, and enjoy sides like patatas bravas and brie melt. Their tartines, including bruschetta, Milanese, Tolia, and Nova, are must-tries.
The restaurant is open every day except Monday and even sells their own sourdough bread on Saturdays.
Bilgi St. No:15, Sariyer/Istanbul | https://www.instagram.com/imperiaristorante/?hl=en
Best Italian Restaurants In Istanbul on the Anatolian Side
Fauna in Ataşehir started as a small restaurant with just 5 tables but has now expanded to 22 tables and an open kitchen. Owner and chef İbrahim Tuna, who began his career in the early 2000s, describes Fauna as a cozy neighborhood spot. He’s very particular about sourcing ingredients, prioritizing organic producers. The pasta here is made fresh to order, with standout dishes like roasted eggplant pasta and Karakaya lamb neck ragu pasta. Their soups are made with seasonal vegetables and no thickeners; the neck soup with artichoke and yogurt is a hit. Don’t skip their white chocolate and vanilla pudding for dessert; it’s a must-try.
Işıklar Cad. Ahmet Muhip Dıranas St. No: 9/B Ataşehir | https://www.instagram.com/faunarestoran/?hl=en
Trattoria da Rosario is one of Istanbul’s oldest Italian restaurants and is located in Koşuyolu. The restaurant has a cozy atmosphere, surrounded by trees and charming decor. They go the extra mile for authenticity, using flour imported from Italy and cooking in an oven that was also brought from Italy. If you’re a fan of spaghetti made on a parmesan wheel, make sure to ask which nights they offer this special dish when you’re making your reservation.
Koşuyolu mah. Kalfaçeşme Sk. No:22, 34718 Kadıköy/İstanbul | https://www.instagram.com/rosariorestaurant/?hl=en
19. Aida Vino e Cucina
Aida offers a true Italian experience, from the food to the lifestyle. The restaurant serves homemade pasta, risotto, ravioli, and other Italian favorites, all made from original recipes. The menu changes with the seasons, so if you spot their chestnut and porcini mushroom soup, don’t miss out. Plus, if you’re lucky, you might even get to enjoy your meal with live piano music.
Caferağa, No:10, Ressam Şeref Akdik Sok. No:10, Kadıköy/Istanbul | https://www.instagram.com/aidavinoecucina/
Nello’s serves up a range of delicious Italian dishes, from pastas and pizzas to gnocchi and desserts. Don’t miss their burrata cheese pizza and seafood pasta, which are must-tries. If you happen to visit on a Monday, be sure to taste their freshly made gnocchi—it’s a treat for the taste buds.
Halay St. No:10, Kadıköy/Istanbul | https://www.instagram.com/nellosistanbul/?hl=en