Istanbul is a big and cosmopolitan city which can offer people so many trendy, fancy and fascinating restaurants with delicious food and an enchanting view. Being the fact that Istanbul is the unifying city of Europe and Eastern culture, it offers you a wide world cuisine. You may find restaurants with any kind of food you prefer.
For foreigner people, Istanbul can be the best point to explore new cultures via food. Enjoy not only the delicious foods, beverages or cocktails but the stunning views of the Bosphorus and Istanbul skylines. Discover the perfect spots for romantic dinner or having a good time with friends or drinking with joy or just a place to relax in Istanbul with an enchanting view.
So, are you asking for the best restaurants in Istanbul with a view? There is a list you may be interested in:
First, High-End Restaurants:
- SUNSET GRILL and BAR
Category: World Cuisine.
Details: An amazing place which combines Japanese, Mediterranean and Turkish dishes with the help of Executive chef Hüseyin Arslan and chef Hiroki Takemura. Sunset has a great menu and a sushi bar with an amazing view of Bosphorus. Sunset restaurant serves the best-grilled steaks in Istanbul. The restaurant has a highly professional and skilled kitchen and wait staff. It offers customers a quality service.
Average Price: Minimum Food Price: ₺80-100
Minimum Cocktail Price: ₺50-80
Location: Adnan Saygun Caddesi Yol Sokak No. 2 Ulus Parkı, Ulus; +90 212 287 03 57
Category: World Cuisine, Rooftop bar
Details: The founder of the restaurant Turkish-Swedish chef Mehmet Gürs opened Mikla in 2005. The menu reflects both Turkish and Scandinavian influences. The cherrywood-smoked loin of lamb is the must try. The restaurant offers a very spectacular panorama from the Golden Horn to the Bosphorus. Additionally, the restaurant is located on the rooftop of the chic Marmara Pera Hotel where you can enjoy your drink with a spectacular view.
Average Price: ₺276 – ₺552
Location: The Marmara Pera, 15 Mesrutiyet Caddesi, Beyoglu; +90 212 293 5656
Category: World Cuisine.
Details: With its remarkable view of the city and Bosphorus, Vogue Restaurant offers you tastes from the world cuisine including over 70 varieties of sushi and an extensive beverage list.
Average Price: ₺135 – ₺541
Location: Akaretler Spor Caddesi, No:92 BJK plaza A blok k:13 Beşiktaş, Istanbul; +90 212 227 44 04
- ULUS 29
Category: The Mediterranean and Turkish cuisine, Restaurant/Bar/Club
Details: Ulus 29 is a versatile restaurant in offerings. As a club, restaurant and a bar, Ulus 29 offers you an amazing view to relax and a wild club scene.
Average Price: ₺40 -₺850
Location: Adnan Saygun Caddesi Ulus Parkı İçi, Ulus; +90 212 358 29 29
Category: Turkish cuisine, rooftop restaurant.
Details: Safran Restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Intercontinental Hotel. It offers live Fasıl music and the finest dishes of Turkish and Ottoman cuisine with its authentic atmosphere. Also, want to note that this restaurant is Academie Internationale de la Gastronomie awarded.
Average Price: ₺120 -₺175
Location: Asker Ocagi Caddesi. No:1, Taksim, Istanbul; +90 212 368 44 44
- TUĞRA RESTAURANT and LOUNGE
Category: Lounge and Terrace bar.
Details: This is the best place for lovers. It has a stunning atmosphere that screams romantic. Tuğra Restaurant is located on the first floor of the original Çırağan Palace and offers live classical Turkish music, rich Ottoman decor, and dining experience.
Average Price: ₺200 +
Location: Ciragan Caddesi 32,34349 Istanbul; +90 212 236 7333
Secondly, if you choose none of the above and looking for a less fancy place and good value for money, then there are some places more for you to check and visit.
- 1- BEYKOZ COAST SOCIAL FACILITY
Beykoz Coast Social Facility offers you a unique décor with Ottoman ornaments and an amazing view of the Bosphorus while you can enjoy delicious dishes and high-quality service with a good value for money. It is highly recommended, especially for breakfast.
Location: Gümüşsuyu Mahallesi Kemerüstü Sokak/Beykoz / 444 10 34
- 2- FLORYA SOCIAL FACILITY
Florya Social Facility is a place where green and blue match perfectly. The place offers delicious foods, calm and peaceful atmosphere with a good value for money.
Location: İtfaiye Arkası Florya / Yeşilköy/ 444 10 34
- 3- MODA PIER RESTAURANT
Moda Pier Restaurant is located on Moda’s historic pier. The place is the best for weekend breakfast experience for a very good value for money. However, the place does not offer alcohol.
Location: Caferağa Mahallesi, Moda Cd., 34710 Kadıköy/ +90 (216) 349 40 49
Istanbul is a big and crowded city in which people cannot find time to spend with their friends or family sometimes. In this kind of rush in life, food becomes that sweet break which brings family and friends together. Togetherness is one of the most important things in family and friend relationships. Sharing food or sharing a memorable moment with food is a beautiful and delicious way to provide this togetherness. On the other hand, it brings people together to meet and socialize with each other.
Food plays an important role for Turkish people and the culture. It symbolizes sharing, connectedness, good memories, and togetherness. In most of the Turkish homes, food gathers family members together and it is expected to be all members of the family in the table. It signifies respect for each other and good family bond. A sit-down dinner enables you to chat with people you love and find out what’s going on in each person’s life. This is a chance to elders pass on their stories or share their knowledge and advice from their experiences with the young ones and strengthen the bond of family, relatives, friends or neighbors.
The hadith: ‘’A man is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbor is hungry.'”, is very important to Turkish people and the culture, as well. Religious days such as Ramadan and Festival of sacrifice empower this idea. Throughout Ramadan, people fast to understand how hard is to be hungry and share their food with people in need. In the festival of sacrifice, people share their sacred meat with aidless people and their circle. Sharing food is important to show that you are a good neighbor and a believer.
Some of the Best Chefs and Their Restaurants in Istanbul
Istanbul does not have only acclaimed restaurants but also chefs. Most of these worldwide known Turkish chefs such as Kemal Demirasal, Mehmet Gürs, Civan Er and Maksut Aşkar have their own restaurants in Istanbul. Here are names of the restaurants and their location:
Kemal Demirsal- Alancha:
Alancha, Vişnezade Mahallesi, Şehit Mehmet Sokak No.9, Maçka, Istanbul/+90 212 261 35 35
Mehmet Gürs- Mikla:
Mikla, The Marmara Pera, Meşrutiyet Caddesi No.15, Tepebaşı, Istanbul/ +90 212 293 56 56
Aylin Yazıcıoğlu- Nicole:
Nicole, Tomtom Mahallesi, Tomtom Kaptan Sk. No:18, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul/ +90 212 292 44 67
Civan Er- Yeni Lokanta:
Yeni Lokanta, Kumbaracı Yokuşu No.66, Tünel, Istanbul/ +90 212 292 25 50
Maksut Aşkar- Neolokal:
Neolokal, Salt Galata, Bankalar Caddesi No.11, Karaköy, Istanbul, Turkey, +90 212 244 00 16
Famous and Local Dishes of Turkey
All seven regions have their own traditional special foods and people’s taste of food changes from one region to another in Turkey. For instance, in Western regions, olive oil dishes are famous while spicy foods are famous in Eastern regions in general. Also preparing style and ingredients of foods can change one to another. Since Istanbul is a big city, you can find almost every local foods of the regions.
Here are some of the best known and popular local dishes:
Kebap&Döner: They are very popular both in Turkey and other countries. So, I assume that you don’t need information. Also, they are the most popular street foods. So you can find easily when you travel around.
Mantı: it is likely to say that you can think of mantı as something like dumplings. Mantı has two main ingredients: the dough and grounded beef or lamb filling. Generally, it is served with yogurt and hot tomato sauce.
Lahmacun: Lahmacun, also known as Turkish pizza, is made with minced meat on the thin dough. Generally, It is served with lettuce and lemon. Most people squeeze lemon on it and roll.
Kurufasulye: Kurufasulye is the most popular dish in Turkish homes. It is technically beans that cooked with or without meat. It is served with pilav (rice), pickles and onions.
Coffee Break with a View in Istanbul
1-Pierre Loti Cafe:
Pierre Loti café has a history of its own. It is named after Pierre Loti (Julien Viaud) who was a French naval officer and wrote novels under the pen name of Pierre Loti. He was in love with this café for its spectacular view of Istanbul.
Location: Eyüp Merkez Mahallesi, İdris Köşkü Cd., 34050 Eyüp / +90 (0212) 497 13 13
The place has a wonderful view that you may enjoy your coffee with.
Location: Kuruçeşme Mahallesi, Muallim Naci Caddesi, No 64/B, Beşiktaş, İstanbul
Bebek kahve is a shabby chic café with an amazing view in Bebek.
Location: Bebek Mh. Cevdet Paşa Cd.- Beşiktaş, İstanbul
As a franchised café, Bebek Starbucks is a popular spot to drink coffee and relax with a beautiful view.
Location: Bebek Mh., Cevdet Paşa Cd. No:30, 34342 Beşiktaş/İstanbul
Must Try Famous Desserts in Turkey
In Turkey, people are very keen on desserts. They have too many dessert types. Also, you are likely to see lots of baklava shops, sweet stores, and patisseries on the streets. You should visit them and try desserts with a cup of tea or Turkish coffee.
It is very debatable when it comes to the origins of Baklava. The Greeks and many other countries in the Middle East could argue that baklava is theirs. But the fact that it doesn’t matter where it belongs, it is very delicious. If you like desserts with syrup, you will love it. There are endless varieties of baklava. You can choose baklava that is made with hazelnuts, walnuts, pistachios and more. Also, the shapes and size are various. You can choose your baklava shaped as squares, rolls, diamonds or spirals. Baklava is also served with kaymak which is local sweet clotted cream or with a vanilla ice-cream in some dessert shops.
Künefe is a dessert with sugar syrup like baklava but it is crafted with a piece of aged cheese (kaşar). It is the great combination of the salty cheese, the sweet syrup, and the crunchy wheat. It is also likely to be served with ice cream or kaymak in some places.
- Halka Tatlısı/ The Brothel Dessert:
It is not its name what makes it famous but its delicious taste. Halka tatlısı is like a sticky churro. It is syrup soaked rounds. It is the most famous street-side dessert.
- Maras Ice Cream:
Maras ice-cream is one of the oldest and the most popular desserts in Turkey. This ice cream is made with goats milk, sugar and salep (special powder). What makes it famous is the sellers. They will show you some tricks and a quick show when you want to buy.
- Lokum/Turkish Delight:
You should have heard Turkish lokum. It is very world-wide and famous. It is a tiny snack that normally served alongside Turkish coffee. Turkish delight has a wide variety, it will be hard for you to choose.
- Sütlaç/ Rice Pudding:
Sütlaç is made with rice, sugar, rice flour and milk. It is a mild dessert so you will not be as guilty as you eat baklava.
- Aşure/ Noah’s Ark Pudding:
Most of the people believe that aşure is what Noah made it up as a celebratory dish when the waters subsided. It is made with pretty much everything such as beans, nuts, dried fruit, pomegranate, sugar etc. Aşure differs from region to region and people to people.
What to Do in Istanbul in 3 days?
Well, there are so much to do. You may visit cultural sites such as Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic arts, Dolmabahce Palace etc. Besides, Istanbul is the paradise of shoppers. If you love shopping, then you may want to see Grand Bazaar and the boutiques alongside the streets. Also, the Eminonu Egyptian Spice Bazaar is a famous gastronomic spot. On the other hand, you can visit the restaurants that I addressed before. There are so many places to eat delicious foods, try local dishes and have a fun night with an amazing view in Istanbul.
Is Istanbul Safe to Travel?
In general, Istanbul is a safe city but you need to be careful about your properties while traveling , especially in crowded places and streets. Like in every other big cities in the world, there are always some places and chance with safety risks.