Recommendations | Istanbul
We have listed our premium selection in Istanbul for you. We hope you enjoy it.
ASMALIMESCIT FISHERMAN- Fish Restaurant
As well as fresh fish and appetizers, the place is famous with its specially flavored pan cooked anchovy and with the value it gives to the art. Asmalimescit fisherman, has a small but pleasant atmosphere, definitely a place worth’s going.
Telephone: +90 212 243 6130
Address: Asmalimescit Mah.Sofyali Sok.No:5/A, Cihangir, Beyoglu, Istanbul
Akbabalı Meyhane, Traditional Tavern:
Located in Asmalımescit, Akbabalı Meyhane is one of the most established taverns of the area. The place has both inner and outdoor tables. We highly recommed the tables outside – especially on a warm summer night – there is live music and great food. Make sure to have a reservation.
Yeni Lokanta, Contemporary Turkish Cuisine:
Opened by the award winner young Turkish chef Civan Er, Yeni Lokanta specialises in the traditional Turkish tastes with a modern presentation. Casual chic, nice ambience and good vibes. Reservation is highl recommended.
Karaköy Lokantası, Fish Restaurant:
Located in the historical Karaköy area, Karaköy Lokantası is a classic Istanbul fish restaurant. Known with its blue tiles decorating the inner space, the place has its own local and expat frequenters. Make also sure to check their lunch menu – which is a hidden gem.
Zübeyir Ocakbasi, Best Kebap in Town:
This is our all time favourite kebap restaurant in Istanbul. Zubeyir Usta (chef in Turkish) and his brothers have been running this place since 2006. Located in one of the side streets of Istiklal Avenue, Zubeyir is a characteristic kebap grill restaurant. Make sure to have a reservation.
SOFYALI 9 - Mix Turkish Restaurant
When you get through the passage across the tunnel, walking towards to Asmalimescit it is located on the right hand side. Sofyali 9 is a cute and stylish tavern spanned in a three story building. Sofyali 9 is famous with the traditional cold starters of hummus, feta and stuffed grape leaves, paired with the anise-flavored drink raki. Locals who get drunk keep singing all night long. When the doors on the ground floor completely opened the place turns into an open space restaurant with fresh air.
Telephone: +90 212 245 0362
Address: Asmalimescit Cad. Sofyali Sok. No: 9, Beyoglu, Istanbul
Web address: http://www.sofyali.com.tr/en/
ISTANBUL MODERN RESTAURANT
With a matchless view of the Bosphorus and the Old City, Istanbul Modern’s spacious terrace, stylish decor and varied menu provide the perfect setting for a pleasant meal.
Telephone: +90 212 292 2612
Address: Meclis-i Mebusan Cad. Liman Isletmeleri Sahasi, No: 4, Karakoy, Istanbul
Web link for map: http://goo.gl/T3zKu Web Address: http://goo.gl/tYgOF
GALATA HOUSE – Restaurant & Cafe
The menu consists of dishes from Russian, Tartar, and Georgian cusine with classics like goulash, dumplings and blini. On the second floor is a small music room where you can hear live music after 8:00 PM, as well as another larger dining space. There is a terrace in the inner courtyard for open-air dining.
Recommended Dishes are; Mixed meze plate, Borscht soup (beet soup), Meat/vegetable/cheese blini (crêpes), Hingal mantı (meat dumplings), Cakapuli (lamb stew with tarragon and plum sauce), Ostri (veal goulash with pepper, tomato, mushrooms, and coriander), Baje (stewed chicken thighs with walnut and saffron)
Telephone: +90 212 245 1861
Address: Galatakulesi Sok No. 15, Beyoglu, Istanbul.
Web Address: www.thegalatahouse.com
WISTERIA - Restaurant
Offering the perfect blend of cozy and class, Wisteria Restaurant near Galata Tower combines a real sense of history with modern, fresh decor. Situated inside a charming old cellar with a beautiful leafy garden, this popular Beyoglu restaurant now functions as a restaurant, cafe, pub and live music venue. Some of Turkey's most well known jazz musicians regularly take to the stage at Wisteria Restaurant to entertain guests, while the international menu caters to a range of tastes.
Wisteria Istanbul is open each day from breakfast until late, serving everything from omelets to pastries, sandwiches, pancakes, pizza, pasta, risottos, steaks, salads and seafood. Special lunch menus are available and Wisteria also welcomes bookings for special occasions and business functions. True to its namesake, Wisteria's interior is dominated by raw brick and lilac complemented by soft lighting and furnishings, making it ideal for a romantic dinner or a relaxing evening with friends and family.
Telephone: +90 212 252 7218
Address: Galata Kulesi Sok. No: 20/A, Beyoglu, Istanbul.
KIVA HAN – Restaurant
Kiva Han, right across the ancient Galata Tower offers a traditional Anatolian-ottoman style culinary experience. This restaurant follows the tradition of typical Turkish ‘Esnaf Lokantasi, canteens for the local tradesman and merchants where the daily dishes are presented behind a glass pane for enabling the clients to window shop for their meal. So, as it would be rather difficult to choose from an ever changing daily menu with a wide selection of quirky Anatolian meals, the best thing to do is to go and select what the eye wants, maybe after a quick inquiry as to the ingredients. They also have an open buffet with almost ten different vegetarian starters. The Sunday brunches in their outdoor patio is another unique experience especially when the sun is out.
Telephone: +90 212 292 9898
Address: Galata Tower Center, No: 4, Beyoglu, Istanbul.
Web Address: http://www.galatakivahan.com/en/
MOLLY’s CAFE – Home food Restaurant &Cafe
Being the closest café to the rental Molly’s café is definitely one of the hot spots surrounding Galata Tower. Molly’s cafe has a very cozy & friendly environment and it is famous with its homemade food, cakes and lemonades. Opened by Canadian expat Molly Farquharson, Molly's Cafe is situated just around the corner from the Galata Tower, this cosy cafe offers homestyle food, cakes and lemonades friendly staff and comfortable furnishings in a chilled out environment. Visitors can curl up with a book from Molly's own library, or browse the cafe store which sells luxury bath products, organic foodstuffs, pottery, bags, handmade jewellery and even vintage clothing. As well as the large indoor space, there's also an outdoor patio area replete with pot plants which looks out onto beautiful historical buildings.
Telephone: +90 212 245 1696
Address: Camekan Sok 1, Bereketzade Mah.34420, Beyoglu, Istanbul
CAFE CUMA CUKURCUMA-, Breakfast, brunch and lunch: Located in a hidden corner at the Cukurcuma street, Café Cuma presents home-made breakfast, brunch and a cosy local atmosphere. Telephone: 02122932062 Website: www.cuma.cc
FES CAFE GRAND BAZAAR-: No visit to Istanbul is complete without visiting the Grand Bazaar. Fes Caffee located inside the historical covered Bazaar of Istanbul is very good at Turkish Coffee. Sit down, order a coffee and be amazed by the busy streets of the Grand Bazaar. Telephone: 02125281613 Website: http://www.fescafe.com/
KONAK CAFE – Patisserie &Cafe With its terrace floor KONAK Café is absolutely a spectacular venue for special gatherings, offering a full view of the Bosphorus. Especially the view is remarkable before and after sunset. Brunch is served on Sundays is another highlight for those seeking to have a leisurely Sunday with a mind blowing view and a great menu at the same time. Some of the highlights of its menu include selection of breakfast items, homemade soups, specially prepared sandwiches, selection of specially prepared main meals not to mention its rich flavors of homemade cakes and desserts. In addition is the dessert menu Telephone: +90 212 252 5346 Address: Bereketzade Mah. Haci Ali Sok. No: 2 Kuledibi, 34420, Beyoglu, Istanbul Web Address: www.galatakonakcafe.com/en.html
CAFE PRIVATO – Café Privato is first opened cafe in Galata.It has a 125-year historical building. If you go to Privato you can see easily how much labor spend for decoration or menus for customers. Their lentil soup is homemade and they don’t tell their secret about their special vodkas to anyone Telephone: +90 212 293 2055 Address: Galip Dede Cad. Timarci Sok. No: 3/B, Galata, Beyoglu, İstanbul
MAVRA CAFÉ – Café& Bar Mavra Café is located on the Serdar-i Ekrem Caddesi which is one of the most interesting streets in Galata area, full of ornate 19th-century apartment blocks, avant-garde boutiques and laid-back cafes and bars. Mavra is a bit of everything – during the day it functions as a cafe, serving excellent sandwiches and pastries (Turkish Bakery Classic “pogaca” is recommended ); at night, it reinvents itself as a hip bar that has been wholeheartedly embraced by artists, journalists and others in the creative industries. Its decor is thrift-shop chic and its shelves are full of locally designed ceramics and craft that are for sale. Telephone: +90 212 252 74 88 Address: Serdar-i Ekrem Sok No: 31/a Kuledibi Galata, 34420, Beyoglu, Istanbul
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ISTANBUL MODERN ART
The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Turkey’s first private museum to organize modern and contemporary art exhibitions was founded in 2004 and occupies an 8,000 square meter site on the shores of the Bosphorus.
Apart from permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a photography gallery, and spaces for educational and social programs, the museum offers an extensive library, a cinema, a restaurant and a design store.
Location: The Museum is located on the pier behind the Nusretiye Mosque. Visitors can reach the museum by bus or streetcar using the Tophane exit. Private vehicles must pay a parking fee to use the Museum’s parking lot.
Telephone: +90 212 334 7000
Address: Meclis-i Mebusan Cad. Liman Isletmeleri Sahasi, No: 4, Karakoy, Istanbul
Web link for map: http://goo.gl/T3zKu
Web Address: http://goo.gl/tYgOF
With the events and activities it organizes, Santralistanbul aspires to be an international platform for arts, culture and learning, inspired by a comprehensive, multi-dimensional and interdisciplinary vision which promotes urban regeneration.
Telephone: +90 212 311 7878 / 7809
Address: Eski Silahtaraga Elektrik Santrali, Kazim Karabekir Cad. No: 2, Eyup, Istanbul
Web Address: http://goo.gl/fVfqX
SALT Museum is recently becoming Turkey’s largest cultural institution. SALT is not actually a museum, art or architectural institution, research facility or gallery, but a venue that stands for innovation. Working in conjunction with the greater change that are currently taking place in Istanbul’s arts scene, SALT hosts exhibitions and conferences, engages in interdisciplinary research projects, and has a library and archives for public use. SALT’s activities are split between two Garanti-owned buildings, SALT Beyoglu on Istiklal Caddesi, and SALT Galata, on Bankalar Caddesi in Karakoy.
Visiting Hours: Monday, closed; Tuesday-Saturday, 12:00pm-8:00pm; Sunday, 10:30am-8:00pm
Telephone: +90 212 334 2200
Address: Bankalar Caddesi 11, Karakoy, Beyoglu.
Deniz Palas has been established years ago by the architect Georges Coulouthros (Yorgo Kulutros) in the Art Nouveau style. IKSV (Istanbul Kultur Sanat Vakfi-Istanbul Culture & Art Institution) has moved into this 7 floored building from its original home on Istiklal Street and has thus made the entire building a meeting hub of arts and culture lovers and seekers. Of the 7 floors, the top floor is reserved for the magnificent X Restaurant. On the second floor is the less formal cafe, brasserie Perali. On the entry level is the performing area "Saloon" that has a capacity of 250 sitting, 600 standing. This venue is being used for a variety of arts and music performances that are sponsored by IKSV each year. A must-see establishment even if you are not going to see a performance there.
Telephone: +90 212 334 0700
Address: Sadi Konuralp Caddesi Deniz Palas No: 5, Galata-Sishane, Istanbul
IKSV Web Address: http://www.iksv.org/en
The former boutique Bristol Hotel is now the most exquisite art museum of Istanbul. Pera Museum Istanbul, is great for orientalist interested art lovers. The museum has a very rich orientalist painting section. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions such as Street Art Exhibition, Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Goya and etc..
SIGHTSEEING & DAILY EXCURSIONS
Daily Istanbul Tours:
In a city like Istanbul there are numberless things to do and sightseeing activities. Istanbul Tour Studio, a Istanbul based travel agency, brings together a group of local connaisseurs who constantly focus on new findings and discoveries in the city. The company focuses on story telling, sharing local tips and discoveries both for locals, travelers and expats. Below you can find some of their Istanbul tours we liked:
Istanbul One Day Tour: This is the perfect itinerary for the first time visitors. One day in Istanbul tour organised every Saturday from 10am to 3pm gives you an overall understanding and knowledge of the past and today of Istanbul.
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Istanbul Street Art Walk: In Istanbul street art has become a new phenomenon. There are building tall murals and train graffitis, and its like a never ending journey. On this walk, you can discover the most interesting and beautiful street art of Istanbul. This walk is organised every Friday from 1pm to 6pm.
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Flavours of the Old City: If you like to eat your way through a city as much as we do, you will enjoy very much this culinary walk. Starting from the breakfast to lunch, you visit the most special and interesting local eateries of Istanbul and of course grab a bite!
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For more information please visit Istanbul Studio Tours →