Best Restaurants In Istanbul

Istanbul is a paradise for those who love food. The city is full of dining spots, from street food to fancy restaurants, offering a wide range of dishes. It’s easy to find something delicious, whether it’s köfte, kebabs, or sweet treats. But with so many choices, it can be hard to decide where to eat. Here are some of the best restaurants in Istanbul that you should try.

Best Doner Restaurants

Dönerci Engin Usta , Beyoğlu

Best Restaurants In Istanbul Dönerci Engin Usta

In his small eatery in Şişhane, doner master Engin Usta crafts “Bayburt style” doner, a unique blend with 20% sheep meat and the rest beef. He enhances the flavor by judiciously using tail fat. Engin Usta is known for marinating his juicy and delicious doner kebab to perfection, incorporating allspice and a hint of cinnamon in the mix. When you order doner for takeaway, it is accompanied by fresh radish, tomato, and green onion.

Bereketzade, Okçu Musa Cd. No:3, Istanbul |

Bayramoğlu Döner, Kavacık

Bayramoğlu Döner Istanbul

At Bayramoğlu Döner, the creation of doner starts with selecting the finest meat, followed by expert processing to ensure the most flavorful outcome, cooked to perfection over a wood fire. Prepare for a burst of flavor as the doner meat, combined with various side ingredients, is wrapped in lavash bread baked in a tandoor oven. The tandoori bread derives its distinct taste from a special, natural, and additive-free dough, thinly rolled and baked over an oak wood fire in the tandoor. With 30 years of experience, this eatery not only excels in the taste of its doner kebab but also its attentive service, pleasing both local and international guests.

Rüzgarlıbahçe, Cumhuriyet Cd. No:2, Istabul |

Metet Közde Döner, Kuzguncuk – Kadıköy

Metet Közde Döner Istanbul

Following its belief in the taste of local ingredients, Metet, with locations in Kuzguncuk, Göztepe, and Suadiye, incorporates a variety of regional flavors into its dishes. The meat is seasoned with fresh thyme from the Balıkesir Kepsut area; the tandoori lavash is made with brown flour sourced from Konya; ayran and yogurt use buffalo and cow milk, and the kunefe features goat cheese from the Çanakkale Ayvacık region. Metet specializes in serving doner cooked over embers. The unique flavors offered here make it worth the trip from the European side to the Anatolian side of the city.

Kuzguncuk: İcadiye Cd. No:39 
Çiftehavuzlar: Fenerbahçe, Operator Cemil Topuzlu Cd. No:35
Suadiye: Bostancı, Şemsettin Günaltay Cd. No:87 |

Ağababa Döner, Ümraniye

Agababa Istanbul

Ağababa Döner is highly regarded by its guests for its delicious kebabs, grills, soups, olive oil dishes, succulent home-cooked meals, appetizers, desserts, and notably its scrumptious doner kebab cooked over a wood fire. The restaurant also preserves traditional Ottoman food culture. Over time, it has become a destination for guests from both nearby and far-flung areas, known for its many years of experience and innovative approach. The specially marinated doner is a particular favorite among its offerings. Additionally, Ağababa Döner provides the convenience of curbside delivery.

Ümraniye: Esenşehir, Dudullu, Nato Yolu Cd No:229
Kadıköy: Osmanağa, Söğütlü Çeşme Cd No:20 |

Best Fish And Seafood Restaurants

Sur Balık, Arnavutköy

Sur Balik Istanbul

Sur Balık , which has been serving for seven years in the historical mansion of the old Abrakadabra, is an ideal spot for a leisurely dining experience with a great view. This place has truly set a high standard for fish appetizers in Istanbul. Their lakerda (pickled fish) is among the best in the city, and their mackerel marinade is also highly commendable. When it comes to cold appetizers, the artichoke fava and seasonal fish are must-try items on the menu.

Arnavutköy: No:52, Bebek Arnavutköy Cd 
Cihangir: Kılıçali Pasha, Akarsu Ykş. Shock. No:33
Golden Horn: Fatih, Kadir Has Cd. No:3
Sarayburnu: Sultan Ahmet, Kennedy Cad. |

Balıkçı Kahraman, Sarıyer

Balıkçı Kahraman Istanbul

Since 1996, Balıkçı Kahraman has been serving its customers in Sarıyer Rumeli Kavak. The restaurant specializes in bringing the unique flavors of traditional Black Sea cuisine to its guests with distinctive cooking methods. They promise to provide a perfect evening experience with their specialties like turbot fish cooked over a tandoor fire, tomato salad enhanced with special sauces, a variety of rich appetizers, and an array of delightful desserts.

Sarıyer,Rumeli Kavağı, İskele Cd. No:15 |

Kıyı Balık, Sarıyer

Kıyı Balık Istanbul

Kıyı Balık, renowned for its traditional cooking techniques and meticulous fish selection, has been operating for 54 years in a two-story building in Tarabya. The restaurant is as renowned for its appetizers as it is for its fish dishes. Must-try items include lakerda (pickled fish), roasted peppers, mackerel kippers, and pickles. Hot appetizers, like shrimp butter and cheese casserole and eggplant pan with yogurt, are also highly recommended. The decor of Kıyı Balık deserves a special mention; the wooden walls of the restaurant are adorned with works from contemporary painters and photographers, adding to its charm and ambiance.

Tarabya, Haydar Aliyev Cd. No:186 |

Rumelihisari Pier, Sariyer

Rumelihisari Pier Istanbul

The restaurant, set in the historic Rumelihisarı ferry pier building owned by the Turkish Maritime Enterprises, is a long-time favorite among Istanbul locals, thanks to its stunning Bosphorus view and seaside location. The sea-facing part of the restaurant is entirely made of glass, allowing these windows to open in good weather, seamlessly blending the lounge with the sea. Beyond the beautiful setting, Iskele restaurant is famous for its delicious appetizers and fish dishes.

Rumeli Hisarı, Yahya Kemal Cd. No:1 |

Best Steak Restaurants

Gürkan Şef Steakhouse

Gürkan Şef Steakhouse

Gürkan Şef, a standout name in the steakhouse scene, made its entry into Istanbul’s gastronomy world with its first branch in Nişantaşı in 2014. The brand’s journey began a year and a half before the opening, with the founding team undergoing special training in Argentina to craft the restaurant’s menu. The restaurant’s design, executed by “Bobo,” aligns with its concept, with every aspect from exterior design and interior decoration to menu content reflecting the essence of steakhouse culture. Gürkan Şef offers mouth-watering dishes using meat from fully developed heifers specially fattened for quality. The menu includes a variety of choices like entrecôte, lamb chops, beef ribs, hamburgers, meatballs, Turkish delight, T-bone, and New York steak, making it a delightful place for meat lovers, though choosing from their extensive menu might be a challenge.

Etiler: Tanburi Ali Efendi Sk. No:1 
Nişantaşı: Teşvikiye Vali Konağı Cd. No:96 |


Günaydın Istanbul

Originally a small butcher shop established in 1965, Günaydın has evolved into a renowned restaurant with a reputation extending beyond Turkey’s borders. Founded by Cüneyt Asan, known as the ‘professor of meat,’ it’s an inspiring success story in the meat industry. Günaydın offers three distinct concepts to cater to varied tastes: butcher & steakhouse, meatball & doner, and kebab, making it a favorite destination for meat enthusiasts. Its steakhouse menu, like its other concept offerings, is tantalizing. Here, carefully chosen meats are expertly cooked after being aged in dry-aged cabinets and then served to customers. Guests can choose from options like T-bone steak, New York steak, Dallas steak, veal chop, or other delectable meats available on the menu.

Acarlar Mah. 1. Kısım 6. Caddesi C Kapısı K 1 Acarkent İstanbul

Şenlikköy, Yeşilköy Halkalı Cd. Bakırköy/İstanbul |


Best Restaurants In Istanbul Nusr-Et

Nusr-Et, a well-known steakhouse, has expanded its reach to 142 locations in 16 countries since its inception in 2012. Recognized with the ‘5 Star Diamond Award’ by the ‘American Academy of Hospitality Sciences’ in 2014, Nusr-Et offers a range of mouth-watering meat dishes. Guests can enjoy everything from succulent hamburgers to Dallas steak, and from lamb cage to veal delight. Opting for the restaurant’s specialties is a wise choice, as the meats are infused with the chef’s creative touch, enhancing their flavors. For dessert, the famous Nurs-Et carrot slice baklava is a must-try.

Etiler, Nisbetiye Cd No:87, 34337 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

Beyazıt Mahallesi Çarşıkapı Nur-u Osmaniye Caddesi Sandal Bedesteni Çarşısı, 34126 Fatih/İstanbul

Bebek, Cevdet Paşa Cd. 69/A, 34342 Beşiktaş/İstanbul |

Elbet Steakhouse

Elbet Steakhouse Istanbul

Steakhouse, first gaining attention in Etiler 16 years ago, continues to maintain its high standards of taste and quality. The restaurant carefully sources its meat from private farms in Thrace, ensuring the animals are naturally fed. This meat is then aged to enhance its aroma before being expertly cooked and served with delightful sauces. The menu is extensive, offering a variety of choices. Among the most popular items on the steak menu are the T-bone and Toscana steaks. The Dallas steak, available either plain or with mustard sauce, is also a must-try. The Beef rib Asado, slow-cooked for 8 hours, leaves a memorable taste. Additionally, don’t miss the truffle parmesan fries, another highlight of this restaurant, which is also known for its irresistible burgers.

Beşiktaş: Akat, Yaren Sk. No:6 D:21 
Acibadem: Akasya Avenue

Best Italian Restaurants

Paps Italian

Paps Italian Istanbul

Paps Italian, opened in 2015 and led by Neapolitan chef Luigi Mariconda, is nestled in the historic French Passage in Karaköy. This restaurant is celebrated for its Naples-style sourdough pizza. Paps Italian is also known for its delightful homemade pasta, especially the “Ravioli al Tartufo.” This dish features homemade truffle ravioli filled with porcini mushrooms and fresh burrata cheese, topped with 24-month-old Parmesan cheese and fresh thyme. A highlight on the menu is the beef ribs, which are slow-cooked for 8 hours and served on a bed of truffle mashed potatoes. For dessert, the tiramisu, made following the chef’s mother’s recipe, is a must-try.

Karaköy: Kemankeş Mah. French Geçit St. A Block No: 4 Karaköy |


Serafina Istanbul

Serafina is a Italian restaurant known for its seasonal menus and special flavors. This place is famous for its thin-crust Italian pizzas and homemade pasta. Don’t miss their classic Italian soups, which are different every day. Highlights of the menu include “Linguine ai Frutti di Mare” with shrimp, mussels, squid, clams, and tomato sauce, and “Costine di Manzo,” a dish of lightly cooked beef ribs served with risotto and asparagus sauce. Their “Di Sofia” pizza, made with a secret recipe, is a memorable flavor. For dessert, the “Panna Cotta” made with Madagascar vanilla and orange Italian cream is a must-try.

Akmerkez: Nispetiye Cad. Etiler ;
Canyon: Büyükdere Cad. No:185 Floor:1, Istanbul |

Trattoria La Scarpetta

Best Restaurants In Istanbul Trattoria La Scarpetta

This Italian restaurant offers a true Italian dining experience. They only use fresh, seasonal ingredients and avoid canned, dried, or frozen products. Their wood-fired oven pizzas are particularly good. The pizza “La Scarpetta,” with beef carpaccio, stracciatella cheese, fresh truffle, truffle oil, mozzarella, and tomato sauce, stands out. Another highlight is their slow-cooked veal shank with saffron risotto and truffle sauce, “L’ossobuco Senza Osso Con Risotto Allo Zafferano, Salsa di Tartufo Nero.” They make most of their pasta, bread, grissini, and dough fresh daily. The restaurant is stylishly set in a quiet backyard in Etiler, away from city noise.

Etiler, Dilhayat Sk. No: 16, 34337 Beşiktaş/İstanbul |

Best Vegan Restaurants

Veganarsist, Balat

Veganarsist Istanbul

Veganarsist Balat offers vegan versions of traditional Turkish dishes. It has a balcony with a view of Balat and a terrace overlooking the Golden Horn. The menu is diverse, with delicious options like soy mince pastry, vegan menemen, gluten-free sausage pan, and bread with cashew sauce. You can also enjoy vegan meatballs, lahmacun, hamburgers, ravioli, and many other tasty dishes. Their stuffed vine leaves are very popular. Veganarsist also has a branch in Kadıköy.

Balat: Ayvansaray Leblebiciler Sok. No: 18 ;
Kadıköy: Osmanağa, Canan Sk. 20/A; 
Bahçelievler: Siyavuşpaşa, Okul 3 Sokak No:16/A |

Vegan Masa

Vegan Masa Istanbul

Vegan Masa, Turkey’s first vegan restaurant specializing in lahmacun and pita, quickly became popular for its tasty dishes, attracting even non-vegans. You must try their stone oven-baked lahmacun. The menu also features vegan versions of pita with minced meat and sausage, stuffed meatballs, plateau soup, vegan ayran, and even milk desserts and kadayıf made vegan.

Türkali, Mısırlı Bahçe Sk. No: 8/A |


Best Restaurants In Istanbul Yuzu

If you’re a fan of Far Eastern cuisine and follow a vegan lifestyle, YUZU restaurant is a great place to explore. Created by Ayça Konuralp, who lives a vegan lifestyle with her family, YUZU is particularly famous for its vegan sushi. The glazed tofu and gyoza are also highly recommended and popular among guests.

Caferağa, Şair Latifi Sk. No:41, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul |

Best Michelin Restaurants

TURK Fatih Tutak

Istanbul Michelin Restaurants Turk Fatih Tutak

Chef Fatih Tutak, famous for his Michelin Star status, has impressively maintained the two Michelin Stars he earned last year. At his restaurant, Turk, he skillfully reimagines Anatolian flavors, diving deep into the roots of Turkish cuisine to create traditional dishes. Turk stands out for its unique approach to each dish, treating every plate with the precision and creativity of a work of art.

Cumhuriyet Hacıahmet Silahşör Cad, Yeniyol Sk. No:2, 34440 Şişli/İstanbul |


Istanbul Michelin Restaurants Mikla

Mikla, known for its outstanding quality, is a restaurant that has deservedly won a Michelin Star. Located with a view of historic Istanbul, it has been popular since its opening in October 2005. Mikla, named after the Viking word for Istanbul, offers a menu that combines Turkish and Scandinavian flavors. It’s famous for its elegant dishes and stylish presentation, with ingredients coming from different parts of Anatolia.

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


Istanbul Michelin Restaurants Neolokal

Neolokal, under the guidance of Chef Maksut Aşkar, continues to hold both its Michelin Star and Green Star from last year. This restaurant is celebrated for blending modern touches with traditional Anatolian cuisine. Neolokal’s dishes provide a flavor of Anatolia’s culinary history, connecting traditions to future generations. The restaurant’s dedication to using local and sustainable produce is clear in each dish, justifying its Michelin Stars.

Azapkapı, Mahı, Bankalar Cd. No:11, 34420, 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul |

Best Ethnic Restaurants

Nha Ginza Ginza

Nha Ginza Ginza

You can savor pho, a delightful Vietnamese dish, at Nha Ginza in Sultanahmet and Ortaköy. Their menu includes fried Vietnamese spring rolls cha gio, tempura chips, various shrimp dishes, and goi cuon made with rice dough. They also serve dishes based on jasmine rice paired with delicious curry sauces.

Nha Ginza’s famous pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup, combines contrasting flavors and is a must-try. Their menu also features fried noodles, fried rice, and fried bananas for dessert, offering a taste of Vietnamese cuisine suitable for many palates.

Mecidiye, Osmanzade Sk. No. 21, 34347 Beşiktaş/İstanbul |


Best Restaurants In Istanbul Saruja

Saruja, located in Fatih, Istanbul, serves cuisine influenced by the Middle East, Turkey, and the Balkans. This restaurant is famous for its fettah, various lahmacun styles, casserole dishes, and a type of meatball called kebbeh. On the lahmacun menu, there are four unique Syrian styles, including ones with pomegranate syrup, tomato, hot Armenian style, and Aleppo spice.

For side dishes, Saruja offers a range of salads and stuffed meatballs. Popular salads include taboule and fattule, made with bulgur and fresh vegetables, and an arugula salad with plenty of greens. Their stuffed meatballs come in five different varieties, each distinguished by unique ingredients and cooking methods.

Akşemsettin, Akşemsettin Cd. NO:31-A, 34080 Fatih/İstanbul |


Ficcin Istanbul
@ficcin content

Fıccın is a restaurant that offers a mix of traditional Circassian and Turkish cuisine, known for its delicious olive oil dishes, appetizers, meals, and desserts. If you’re a fan of traditional tastes, you should try their signature dishes like Circassian ravioli, velibah, Circassian chicken, okra soup, and corn nettle soup. Fıccın combines popular Turkish dishes with its traditional Circassian menu, making it a friendly and delightful place to visit any time of the day.

Asmalı Mescit Mh İstiklal Cad. &, Kallavi Sk. No:13/1, 34430 Beyoğlu |

Delhi Darbar

Delhi Darbar Istanbul

Delhi Darbar in Sıraselviler, Istanbul, is renowned for its spicy Indian and Pakistani dishes. Before beginning your meal, make sure to order Pani puri and pakora for a taste of traditional Indian starters. Also, don’t miss out on trying their chapati, a traditional Indian bread. A must-try at Delhi Darbar are the Biryanis, flavorful dishes cooked with aromatic basmati rice. This restaurant is a top choice for anyone looking to enjoy authentic Indian and Pakistani cuisine.

Cihangir, Sıraselviler Cd. No:25, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul |