Recommended Restaurants

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 for dinner. A 10% tip is customary, which sometimes is added to the bill by the restaurant itself. In our price categories, one '€' sign corresponds to a price of around 10 Euros per person for a full course menu including wine.

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 Beyoglu areas. Evening rush hour in Istanbul may cost an hour’s ride in traffic and this prevents us from suggesting restaurants in other areas.

At walking distance from our hotel

Balikci Sabahattin/ Sabahattin the Fisherman (Seafood | €€€€). It has been our favourite restaurant in our area 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, tables still spill out 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 part of the city which is largely inhabited by tourists, Sabahattin is the only restaurant that can sufficiently attract a local clientele. Phone: 0212-458 1824. Address: Seyit Hasan Kuyu Sokak, Cankurtaran. Click here for the web page.

Giritli (Seafood | €€€€) is a seafood restaurant in a restored Ottoman house located in a quiet residential area at a 10-minute walk from the hotel. The food is delicious and on offer are over twelve different meze plates and perfectly-cooked fish choices. One can also take one of the two tasting menus, in which case wine is included in the prices. You may choose to sit in the garden during summer. Phone: 0212-458 2270. Address: Keresteci Hakki Sokak, Cankurtaran, Ahirkapi. Click here for the web page.

Khorasani (Kebab | €€€) is a newly opened kebab restaurant quite close to the hotel. It specializes in Antep and Antakya cuisine and is the best meat restaurant in the Sultanahmet area. Phone: 0212 5121227. Address: Ticarethane Sok. 9 Sultanahmet.

Aslan (Lunch only | Turkish | €) is a modest sized 'esnaf lokantasi’ (a shopkeepers’ restaurant) which is located steps away from the Grand Bazaar. It is on the second floor of a building and is in business since 1988. On offer are delicious Turkish dishes. There is a bit more of waiter service than is typical for these kinds of restaurants. Highly recommended. No reservation needed. Closed on Sundays. Address: Nuruosmaniye Cad. 17,Cagaloglu, Vezirhan Cad. No:66, Cemberlitas.

Sefa (Lunch only | Turkish | €) is another ''esnaf lokantasi’ (a shopkeepers' restaurant) in this area, 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, like many other customers choose from the bain marie -the vegetable dishes are particularly appetising. No alcohol served. No reservation needed. Closed on Sundays. Address: Nuruosmaniye Cad. 17,Cagaloglu, Sultanahmet.

Near Galata Bridge (not far, but taxi or tram recommended)

Karaköy Lokantası (Mezes | €€€). This is our favourite restaurant in the whole city! 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 menus offering a variety of traditional Ottoman and Turkish cuisine. Highly recommended to anyone who likes traditional food, a cool traditional setting and calm environment. Phone: 0212-292 4455. Address: Kemankes Caddesi 37, Karaköy. Click here for the web page.

Mürver (Turkish | €€€€€) is a new fine-dining restaurant that stands out with its breathtaking Bosphorus view and with its different fire cooking methods. The menu includes seasonal ingredients such as handmade dried and rested meat, as well as many other dishes and mezes. Phone: 0212-327 0750. Address: Kemankes Caddesi 57, Karaköy. Click here for the web page.

Neolokal (Experimental Turkish | €€€€€) is housed in the Salt Galata building which was previously a bank, and now home of a modern art gallery and a stylish fine-dining restaurant. With fantastic views overlooking the Golden Horn and Galata, this restaurant showcases both local and seasonal ingredients in its dishes that aims to add exciting twists to the conventional Anatolian cuisine. Closed on Sunday and Mondays. Phone: 0212-244 0016. Address: Salt Galata, Bankalar Cad. Karakoy. Click here for the web page.

Pandeli (Lunch only |Turkish | €€) ), located on the upper level of the Egyptian Spice Bazaar is serving since 1901 and is an Istanbul classic where Queen Elizabeth and Gorbaçov have dined. You can pay a visit to the restaurant when you want to take a breath of old Istanbul and have a delish meal. Everything in the menu-comprising of almost-forgotten Turkish dishes- is appetizing. The restaurant does not serve alcohol. Phone: 0212-527 3909. Address: Misir Carsisi No:1, Eminonu.

At Beyoglu

Yeni Lokanta (Experimental Turkish | €€€€€) means ‘new restaurant’ in Turkish and chef Civan Er certainly puts his own twist on Turkish cuisine, employing unorthodox ingredients and unusual presentation while staying within the culinary comfort zones of most Turkish diners. In our experience, the result is very satisfying. Both the decor and drinks list are notable. Closed on Sundays. Phone: 0212-292 2550. Click here for the web page.

Aheste (Mezes | €€€) (meaning "slowly" in Turkish) is an inviting bistro-like venue offering a small but appealing menu consisting mainly of hot and cold mezes with some contemporary twists. It has a friendly, laid-back service and hip-yet-cozy atmosphere. Very popular these days, hence a reservation in advance may be necessary. Phone: 0212-243 2633. Address: Mesrutiyet Cad. No: 107/F, Beyoglu. Click here for the web page.

Zübeyir Ocakbasi (Kebab | €€€). Our favourite among hundreds of kebab restaurants in Istanbul, the one which always seems to be packed with people having good time. Here they serve good food, without taking themselves seriously. The restaurant, which occupies two cozy floors is dominated by an ocakbaşı,(a 'kebab house' but which also literally means ‘seat next to the oven’) a long hearth topped by a copper hood, where the meat is grilled over hardwood coals. It’s a bit like a sushi bar, with a few seats available grillside, where you can watch the chef do his thing. Phone: 0212-293 3951. Click here for the web page.

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