The 12 Best Restaurants in Istanbul

By Olivia Cuccaro

The best places to eat in Istanbul are deliciously diverse. Feast like an Ottoman Emperor on fabulous traditional cuisine at Asitane or try cutting-edge fusion delicacies at Mikla. In summer, be sure to dine alfresco on the many rooftop and terrace restaurants that offer breathtaking views of Istanbul and the glittering Bosphorus Strait. The city’s position between prominent European and Asian countries allows for cuisine inspired by international styles and ingredients, while exquisite seafood is regularly at the forefront of Istanbul’s best restaurants. These are our picks of the best restaurants in Istanbul, Turkey.

Ulus 29

ulus 29 - best restaurants in istanbulOpened in 1993, Ulus 29 is the perfect place to view Bosphorus and the bridges of Istanbul from the restaurant’s terraces in the summer. Ulus 29 centers on gastronomic concepts with traditional cooking methods to offer regional cuisine with seasonal freshness. The restaurant makes its own dry-aged meats as well as ice cream and pasta for an authentic experience when searching for where to eat in Istanbul. Opt for gastronomy-focused dishes, classic Turkish fare or sushi. A wine list of roughly 4,500 bottles includes labels  Enjoy cocktails at the Teras Bar, or choose a lively evening at the Ulus Club 29 to dance along to international DJs on the weekends.

Râna Meyhane

râna meyhane - best restaurants in istanbulAt Râna, formerly known as Topaz, the best of Mediterranean and Ottoman cuisine come together. Overlooking the Bosphorus, the serene atmosphere of Râna recalls the stone it is named after in its geometric design that is complemented by modern decor. The restaurant offers two tasting menus: modern and traditional. The first comprises innovative dishes like goose liver terrine with cranberry marmalade and walnut, while the latter includes classics like Turkish ravioli with beef and strained yogurt. Râna’s wine list has acquired national recognition with an award from local magazine Gusto and the staff is happy to provide pairings on request.