It is not easy to recommend restaurants that would suit every taste, but our guests have generally been pleased with the list that we have prepared for them. We ourselves like to go to most of them. Reservation is usually needed to get a table. A 10% tip is customary. Although there are plenty of good restaurants in other areas of Istanbul - especially on both shores of the Bosphorus - we confine ourselves to a big extend to Sultanahmet and to close by Beyoğlu. Evening rush hour in Istanbul may cost an hour’s ride in traffic and this prevents us from suggesting restaurants in other areas. Click on the small images to see a photo of each restaurant; you can also click on the name of each place to see its location and its proximity to our hotel on the map.
Balikci Sabahattin/ Sabahattin the Fisherman (Seafood | $$$). It has been our favourite for many years. Long time ago Sabahattin inherited a tiny fish restaurant on a street running parallel to the current one. It was so small that there was hardly any room inside, so he began putting tables out on the street. The current building, which he took over several years ago, is a restored Turkish house. Although sufficiently spacious, many tables still spill out in the summer onto the little square in front. The fish and the meze (hors d'oeuvres) are delicious and the general atmosphere is very pleasant. In this area Sabahattin is the only restaurant that attracts a local clientele. Phone: 0212-458 1824, Address: Seyit Hasan Kuyu Sokak, Cankurtaran. Click here for the web page.
Rumeli Restaurant (Turkish & World | $$). It is housed in a renovated print-works and is on a side street very close to the hotel and is a charming small restaurant with stone walls and clean white tablecloth. It has wood fire in the winter and, in the summer, sitting outside on the pavement is quite pleasant. A good choice for lunch as well as dinner. Phone. 0212-512 0008. Address: Ticarethane Sok. 8, Sultanahmet.
Giritli Restaurant (Seafood | $$$). It is a seafood restaurant with a "set menu" and is in a restored Ottoman house located in a residential area at a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The food is delicious, and your meal will include over twelve different meze plates followed by perfectly-cooked fish (you have a choice here). Wine is included in the price of the set menu (€45 pp). You may choose to sit in the garden during summer. Phone: 0212-4582270. Address: Keresteci Hakki Sokak, Cankurtaran, Ahirkapi.
Khorasani Restaurant (Kebab | $$). It is a newly opened kebab restaurant very close to the hotel. It is a nicely decorated restaurant that specializes in Antep and Antakya cuisine and is the best meat restaurant in the Sultanahmet area. Phone: 0212 5195959. Address: Ticarethane Sok. 39, Sultanahmet. Click here for the web page.
Nar Restaurant (Turkish | $$) (recommended for lunch). It is housed on the top floor of the luxury goods retailer Armaggan, close to the Grand Bazaar’s Nuruosmaniye gate. The restaurant offers a fine selection of traditional Turkish cuisine and is a good choice especially for lunch. No reservation needed for lunch. Closed on Sundays. Phone: 0212-522 2800. Address: Nuruosmaniye Cad 65, Nuruosmaniye..
Sefa Lokantası (Turkish | $) (open only during lunch). It is the best 'esnaf lokantasi' (shopkeepers' restaurant), Turkish alternative to fast-food restaurants. In this simple and clean restaurant on offer are typical traditional dishes at extremely reasonable prices. You can order from an English menu or choose from the bain marie -the vegetable dishes are particularly appetising. No alcohol served. No reservation needed. Address: Nuruosmaniye Cad. 17,Cagaloglu, Sultanahmet
Karaköy Lokantası(Mezes | $$). Tucked into the street behind the yet-to-be gentrified wharf district at Karakoy, this family-operated meyhane (a traditional restaurant where the menu consists predominantly of mezes) has great food, personable service and tasteful décor. With blue tile walls and old style stone floors it is reminiscent of the Turkish Republic of the 1930s and has a daily-changing lunch and dinner menu offering a variety of traditional Ottoman and Turkish cuisine. Highly recommended to anyone who likes traditional food, a cool traditional setting and calm environment. Closed on Sundays. Phone: 0212-292 4455. Address: Kemankes Caddesi 37, Karaköy. Click here for the web page.
Agora Meyhanesi (Mezes | $$) One of the oldest meyhanes of the city with a big choice of traditional Istanbul mezes, an interesting ambience resembling the old times and a good clientele. Address: Vodina Cad 128, Balat Click here for the web page.
Safa Meyhanesi (Mezes | $$). The most athmospheric and oldest tavern of Istanbul with a wide range of mezes, all tasty, fresh and good value. Walking into Safa Meyhanesi is a little like stepping back in time, transported to another age. Dinner res: 0212-585-5594.
Ece 9 Restaurant (Turkish | $$$). Ece Aksoy is a well-known chef who closed her big restaurant along the Bosphorus a year ago to open a much smaller, intimate restaurant in Beyoglu. The small size of the restaurant makes it possible for her to use fresh ingredients which she buys from marketplaces in and around İstanbul. A good choice for vegetarians too. Selections may change according to what is at hand on the day, but all are fine examples of Istanbul mezes and dishes our grandmothers used to make. Jams served in our breakfast are also made by herself. We recommend booking a place at one of the two long tables. After dinner you can go to Off Pera, a tiny neighbourhood bar just around the corner, for a final glass of wine or coffee before heading back to the hotel. Recently opened by two young women, one a production manager and the other a mathematician, it is very popular among certain clientele. The Turkish music night on Tuesdays is great fun. Phone:0212-245 7628. Address: Oteller Sok No: 9, Tepebasi, Beyoglu. Click here for the web page.
Yeni Lokanta (Turkish | $$$). Yeni Lokanta (literally New Canteen) is the new restaurant of the chef Civan Er. All dishes exhibit ingredients and traditions derived from all regions of Anatolia to bring unique creations with high palatability. This new restaurant is highly popular and mostly it is impossible to find a table within the range of one week; therefore it is advisable to book well ahead. Lunch+ Dinner. Res.0212-292-2550.Click here for the web page.
Antiochia Restaurant (Turkish | $$$). Antiochia is a cozy restaurant that specializes exclusively in cuisine from the eastern Mediterrenean Turkish city of Antakya which is known for its multi-ethnic population. The area is famed for its spicy foods and grilled meats, but also for some unusual meze options that are rich in spices and layers of flavor, reflecting the culinary influence of the many ethnicities Phone: 0212 2440820 Address: Asmalımescit Mah., general Yazgan Sok. 3/C Tünel, Beyoglu.
Zübeyir Restaurant (Kebab | $$). Our favourite among thousands of kebab restaurants. It always seems to be packed with large groups having a very good time, serving traditional ocakbaşı fare, specializing in grilled meats. Lunch + Dinner. Res.0212-293-3951.