Istanbul

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Istanbul’s booming restaurant scene changes by the minute. Nowadays, you can eat fabulously, especially if you favor meze (cold starters that magic ordinary meals into banquets). Fish restaurants line the Bosphorus shoreline (try bugulama, a popular fish casserole). Don’t restrict yourself to Sultanahmet either; Beyoglu is also known for dining.

Top Restaurants in Istanbul

360 Istanbul Restaurant

Istanbul's dining hotspot is as popular for panoramic Sea of Marmara views as it is for fine fusion dishes like cherry tomato, arugula, and caperberry-topped shellfish spaghetti. Dress to kill and reserve ahead.

Istiklal Street, Mısır Apartment 8th Floor No: 163 Beyoglu, +90 212 251 10 42 - 43, http://www.360istanbul.com/eng/restaurant.html
Tags: expensive | notable chef | smart splurge | trendy | jim's pick

Balikci Sabahattin

Tucked in the back streets of Sultanahmet is a cozy, wooden, Ottoman house that serves fish delicacies like grilled sea bass and octopus salad. This restaurant serves alcohol.

Seyit Hasan Kuyu Sokak 1, off Cankurtaran Caddesi, 011-90-212-458-1824
Tags: moderate | seafood

Haci Abdullah

This long-lived and extremely popular traditional restaurant has been serving classical Turkish dishes and an impressive array of preserved fruits since 1888. The décor is nothing special.

Sakizagaci Caddesi 17; Istiklal Caddesi, 011-90-212-293-0851, www.haciabdullah.com
Tags: family | budget

Hamdi Restaurant

Near the Spice Bazaar, this popular restaurant is renowned for tasty kebabs. The most popular tables have Bosphorus views, but they are in short supply – advance reservation might land you one.

Kalcin Sokak 17; Tahmis Caddesi, 011-90-212-528-0390, www.hamdirestorant.com
Tags: moderate | great value

Mikla

Countless raves can hurt a restaurant that doesn’t always measure up to them. But Mikla, the Istanbul eatery of chef Mehmet Gürs, hums along with marvelous consistency. Mikla serves top-notch fusion and Turkish cuisine in an indoor, outdoor space in The Marmara Pera – grab a rooftop seat for spectacular Golden Horn views. Gürs’s Turkish-Scandinavian background comes deliciously to the fore with dishes like smoked mackerel mousse with aged kasar cheese. Advance reservations are essential. 2010 Smart Luxury Award winner

Mesrutiyet Caddesi 167-85, 011-90-212-293-5656
Tags: expensive | smart luxury winner | views | trendy | jim's pick

Saf

Istanbul’s first vegan, raw food restaurant offers organic cocktails alongside original dishes like cauliflower risotto tossed with seared sage polenta, mushroom tempura, and garlic chips. The minimalist green-on-white interior is simultaneously vibrant and soothing.

Ensiz Sokak 1, A, 011-90-212-245-7870, www.safrestaurant.com
Tags: moderate | trendy | vegan

X

X, a chic modern restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows that claim impressive views of the city’s historic neighborhoods, sits in the highest floor of the Deniz Palas, the headquarters of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts. Dine on reinvented Turkish cuisine among a diverse international crowd.

Sadi Konuralp Caddesi Deniz Palas 5, 011-90-212-334-08-45, www.iskv.org
Tags: expensive | views | trendy | turkish | mediterranean | new

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