Best Places to Eat in Istanbul
The magical city of Istanbul with all its colors and culture is a travelers dream. A mix of the Western and Asian influences it is a unique experience like no place else. And that holds true for its palette. The local food served here boasts of Turkish, Mediterranean and Middle eastern cuisine. Get ready for a culinary experience of a lifetime. Here are some great places you can check out.
Ortaköy... (Source: Kıvanç Niş)
Asitane located in Edirnekapi, the location is quite remote. However, if you are visiting Chora Church, one of the many attractions in Istanbul, and if you want to try the food of the Sultans, it is worth a trip to this amazing restaurant. The food that they serve here is created from the recipes dated back to 500 years ago including the recipes from the royal kitchen.
Here are some reviews :
Housed in a 19th-century Ottoman mansion (now converted into the Kariye Hotel), Asitane Restaurant is a highly recommended restaurant to get a feel of the real historical taste of the Turkish culture. The menu changes seasonally - although some typical dishes don't, such as almond soup, stuffed calamari, seasonal salad with beetroot and hibiscus, hassa boregi (aged skin bag cheese from goat's milk, yogurt, green olives, walnuts and tarragon wrapped inside wafer), muntancana (stewed lamb served with pearl onion) and mahmudiyye (chicken flavored with honey served with almond, apricot, cinnamon, dried grape and flavored rice). Asitane Restaurant has a gorgeous summer terrace and an aromatic rose garden overlooking the Chora Church (Kariye Church). Enjoy your serbet and / or wine, whilst sampling the small dishes (hot and cold appetizers). Go for sharing everything - as there is so much that is so good. The staff is overly well-behaved, kind and they speak very good English. Share your appetite with them and they will arrange your meals' size such that you will get to taste everything you want.
Its hard to find a good authentic ottoman food in Istanbul and if you are after such a place than 'Asitane' should be your choice. Don't expect anything fancy other than the delicious food. The menu consist of starters, main course and seafood. I highly recommend you to try seafood somewhere else but the rest is unique. I will not get into the details of the menu as it changes seasonly, the staff is very well informed and helpful. There is a big chance that you will be visiting beautiful Chora Church which sits right next to this place if you do, don't miss this threat.
You can reserve the table online through their website.
Price Range : $7 - $40
Hours: Daily noon-midnight
Add : Kariye Camii Sokak No: 6 34240 Edirnekapi, Istanbul
Tel: +90 (212) 635 7997
Fax: +90 (212) 521 6631
Albura Kathisma located in the busy Akbiyik Street in Sultanahmet, is a cosy and beautiful restaurant offering diners an eclectic food menu comprising both European and Turkish cuisine. Albura boasts of a classy decor and a wonderful location with the restaurant being built on top of ancient ruins. If you ask for it, the owner might even take for an insightful private tour!
Make sure you try their special platter 'The Harem's Charm' (sliced lamb sautéed with onions, tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms and thyme; rolled in slices of fried aubergine and topped with tomato sauce)
Here's a review :
I chose this favorite haunt as our farewell to Istanbul dinner. My friends were suitably impressed with the food, the service and the setting. We shared a selection of meze and then chicken in a clay pot that is ceremoniously broken open. The waiters were great and encouraged us after dinner to go down the subterranean excavations of the Byzantine palace. We then came upon the other side at the Palatium. Have eaten at Albura several times and have never been disappointed.
This was by far the best restaurant I visited in Istanbul. The food was delicious and the service was great. The menu has ample vegetarian choices. The soups and salads are amazing. The waiters are very friendly and efficient, the restaurant is clean, and the best thing is that you can visit an historic site that was part of the Basilica Cistern and Topkapi Palace at the back of the restaurant. Make sure to ask to be taken there. I will definitely go back when I visit Istanbul again.
Hours: 9 a.m. - 2 a.m.
Price Range: $19-$71;
Address: Cankurtaran Mahallesi Yeni AkbIyIk Caddesi No:36-38, Sultanahmet, Istanbul 34400
Tel: +90-212-5179031, +90-212-5189710
E-mail : email@example.com
Ciya Sofrasi is one of the best bets while in Turkey, as the owner and Chef Musa Dagdeviren who hails from the southeastern Turkey is sort of a culinary anthropologist, collecting recipes from around Turkey and other Ottoman empires. The eatery serves some of the most memorable and uniquely seasoned dishes such as galye, stew of lamb, quince, apricot and chestnuts. Desserts are equally remarkable. The menu changes everyday and is seasonal. It always features a variety of vegetarian dishes too.
Pinarbasi (Source: avlxyz)
Here are some reviews :
We're going to go out on a limb here, and say that this is the best lokanta in the city. We love the simple modern interior and ever-friendly staff, and we adore the food everything from the delicious self-service meze spread to the icli kÃfte (spicy meatballs rolled in bulgar and deep fried) to the plentiful vegetarian choices. Two dishes wowed us on a recent visit: a stew of fresh apricots, chestnuts and lamb; and katmer fÄŸeker hamun kaymak (sweet pistachio flaky pastry with clotted cream). Next-door is owned and run by the same people, and is just as impressive. If these places served alcohol, weâ€™d move in permanently.
Istanbul chef, Musa Dagdeviren's vison, is to 'preserve the best of the forgotten foods from the countryside', 'the food of the real people'. It is unlikely you will eat better, more authentic, fresh, seasonal foods than at this amazing restaurant. Even serving '1,000 customers a day', dishes are not repeated daily; this food is an inspiration. And yes the waiters are not friendly, they take their place right alongside French and Chinese waiters; who cares, the food is sublime. I would make it a point to eat in this restaurant every time I am in Istanbul.
Open Hours: 11:00 - 22:00
Price range: $5 - $20
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Address: Guenslibahce Sokak No. 43, Kadikoy - Istanbul
Call : +90 216 330 3190
Since you mentioned you're a foodie and looking to explore the local cuisine. Instead of just trying one or two local eateries, I would strongly suggest you shell out some cash and on a food tour. A great way to explore the city and its culinary delights. There are two great tours to choose from. Check them out.
Street food (Source: Kimtaro)
Turkey with its variety of cuisines makes for a mouthwatering feast. You will be left forever wanting to return. There is just so much to discover, learn and experience that you're quite at a loss. Thus a food tour is a great option. And Turkish Flavours culinary tour is one of the best and unique experiences ever. Here you don't just get to eat but also cook some incredible dishes if you like.
Turkish Delight (Source: Augapfel)
Here's a snippet :
If you're a foodie visiting Istanbul, Selin Rozanes from Turkish Flavours can tailor tours highlighting the city's top food and wine destinations, including local markets, restaurants and specialist food shops. In the morning or late afternoon you can join Selin at her authentic 1940's home in Nisantasi experience a Turkish cooking class and taste what you have cooked! Turkish Flavours also coordinates culinary tours throughout Turkey delivering unforgettable experiences and an insight into the Turkish way of life.
Here's a review :
Many restaurants and cafes in the tourist ares of Istanbul serve a somewhat predictable selection of food, often a little bland, no doubt to make it acceptable to all. Therefore it was a great experience to be introduced to the best of Turkey's authentic food and its ingredients by Selin. We stopped at so many stores in the spice market at Eminonu and at the markets at Kadikoy (on the Asia side of Istanbul) where Selin explained the different foods, including cheeses, seafoods, sweets, fruits, spices etc, and we tasted many different items. There was plenty of opportunities to buy any items you fancied (a great idea if you are self-catering). Following our market tours, we visited an excellent restaurant where we tasted many traditional dishes using ingredients we had seen and tasted in the markets (and not those of the tourist area restaurants). All in all a wonderful day, but take the advice to have a very light breakfast and make no dinner plans -- it is certainly a very filling day!
Address : Vali KonagI Caddesi UÄŸur Apt 14/3 Nisantai Istanbul 34365 Turkey
Contact : 00905322180653
Fax : 009021223133189
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Price : (Taste Istanbul Food Tour) from US$ 155.00 per person
Another really great recommendation, Istanbul Eats. If you're really looking to explore street food, this is it ! The company started by two expats Ansel Mullins and Yigal Schleifer who have lived in Istanbul for years. A historian and a journalist, they have explore the city in and out and wanted to share their experiences. These are the places that no one has written about. Thus was the product a little book called Istanbul Eats and running successfully for sometime now culinary tours.
Istanbul :: Street Food... (Source: tomislavmedak)
Here's a snippet :
With more than 12 years of combined experience eating their way through Istanbul, the IstanbulEats.com team brings you into the best undiscovered local eateries you might not always find on your own. We're talking about serious food for serious eaters, hold the frills. Beyond the kebab - and what you will find listed in most guidebooks - lies a wide range of unique Turkish regional cuisines and restaurants with hints of Balkan, Caucasian and Middle Eastern cooking. With Istanbul Eats as your trusty guide to Istanbul, the culinary Babel of the country, you will know what to eat and where to eat it.
They currently offer 3 tours - Cosmopolitan Beyoglu, Culinary Secrets of the Old City and The Kebab Krawl. Check them out here.
Here's a review :
We had high expectations for this tour and they were completely met! we just loved the way how we went through the various types of food and getting insights on each of them. It was lovely to find out the common roots some turkish meals had with our national dishes, but also fun facts about pistachio, pudding and so on. I loved the fact that the final stage was near the aqueduct which is such a cool thing to be around. Bottom line is that you will spend a day wondering around having fun, eating until you drop and having an experience which will be a constant source of stories when you get back home.
Contact : email@example.com
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