It really is a shame that Istanbul isn't known as a 'food capital' of the world. Turkish food alone is already to die for! The many flavors, spices, and more from this Mediterranean and Middle Eastern country will tantalize your taste buds unlike any other. But the capital city of the country itself, also, has a ton of excellent cuisines to offer. From fusion menus to their traditional dishes, Istanbul is a culinary adventure that foodies should check out! After all, it's part of the fun of traveling to this city in the first place. When you get here, these are the best places to dine in!
Source: Ulus 29 Instagram Page
If you want to talk upscale and luxury, Ulus 29 is one you won't be disappointed in. Founded in 1993, it has offered a high-class culinary experience to those lucky enough to afford to eat here. Gastronomy is the name of the game here as the place banks on traditional cuisines with their own modern touches. And it's not just Turkish cuisine either! Offering up seasonal menus that change every couple of months, it's all about preparing the best dishes with the freshest ingredients around. Not to mention pairing them with their mind-blowing selection of 4,500 bottles of fine wine!
Located in Beyoğlu, a district of Istanbul
on its European side that overlooks the Bosphorus, Râna Meyhane is all about the Ottoman cuisine. For those in need of a history lesson, Turkey was once part of the Ottoman Empire up until the 1920s. And although the republic fought hard for its independence, many influences of that time remain here. Râna Meyhane is one good example. Working with Ottoman cuisine mainstays such as chicken, fish stock, yogurt, and the like, this place keeps that part of the country's history alive. With that said, their beef ravioli with strained yogurt is to die for!
Source: Râna Meyhane Facebook Page
Sunset Grill & Bar
Its name alone should probably already tell you what kind of place Sunset Grill & Bar is. Perched atop a hill on Ulus Park, this place overlooks various parts of the city, not the least of which the beautiful coast of the Asian side. The magnificent views from here are what make it a top hotspot for romantic dates. But what about the food? Sunset Grill & Bar arguably serves the best Japanese food in all of Istanbul. Master sushi chef Hiroki Takemura even opened a sushi bar here at some point. That's the type of high-caliber cuisine you can expect here!
Source: Sunset Grill & Bar
With a motto like 'food for the soul,' it's no wonder Banyan has become one of the most popular places on this list. But what 'soul' is this restaurant actually referring to? Istanbul's Asian soul, of course! If you want your fair share of dim sum whilst in the Turkish capital, this is the best place to satisfy your cravings. Easter menus flourish in this place, especially since, with whatever dish they prepare, they focus on making them as healthy as possible too! Talk about 'good for the soul,' they're also good for the body!
Source: Banyan Restaurant
St. Regis Brasserie
Now, why not go back to the European side of Istanbul. And when it comes to Europe and haute cuisine, the fine foods of France will often come to mind! This is why the St. Regis Brasserie is among the go-to hotspots for foodies in the city. Offering up unique Turkish takes on classic French dishes, it's a fusion you never thought you needed! Think pan-fried black bream that's as succulent as ever. Or mascarpone cheesecake that's rich in sweetness but light tin texture. Pair those off with a bottle of their finest red wine and you've got yourself a winner that not even Parisian restaurants
Source: St. Regis Brasserie
A restaurant atop a luxury hotel in Istanbul? Yes, please! This is the type of luxury dining you'll get in Mikla! Perched atop The Marmara Pera
hotel, the place's sleek decor, dim lighting, and upscale ambiance help upgrade your culinary experience. Most especially when the menu here is a delicious fusion of Scandinavian and Turkish cuisines. It's an unexpected mix that's as unexpected as ever! Some smoked buffalo yogurt, beef tenderloin, and olive oil-braised Sakız artichoke will make for great main courses. While for dessert? Sweet raspberry sorbet unlike any other! Your mouth is already watering, isn't it?
Source: Mikla Facebook Page
Not only is the Maiden's Tower one of Istanbul's top tourist attractions, but it's also a great place to have lunch and dinner! Located on an island surrounded by Bosphorus, the strait of Istanbul, though it's not easy to get to via public transport, all your efforts to get here are worth it. And it's not only because that it's a must-visit site, but also because of the delicious daily menus on offer here. Serving up traditional Turkish food left and right, it's arguably the most authentically local culinary experience you'll get out of all the places on this list!
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Who knew Istanbul has a ton of great places to eat in? You can't consider yourself a 'foodie' if the Turkish capital isn't in your bucket list of places to visit for excellent food! You'll be missing out on a lot of excellent hotspots!
Food from any of these Istanbul hotspots will taste great even in the comforts of your own luxury home