Looking for restaurant recommendations in Istanbul

We will be there for a few days end of September, some of us adventurous, some of us not so much. Ability to make reservations a plus. I think we are staying at a hotel on/near the “Bosphorus”, and I think the restaurant(s) is/are supposed to be good.

Party will include my son, who has been in Turkey since April, and his new wife who is from Erigli (the one near the Black Sea).

Just want to say I’d seek out handmade manti. Bloggers say it’s getting increasingly harder to find places that still make manti by hand.

This blog show how’s it made:

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That is wonderful! Thanks . Mention of the silk road reminds me of references to dried peppers from the area being “silk cut”. Can you direct me to more info abut how to cut dried peppers from the area?

Hoping @ChristinaM can help you with Istanbul food and cultural tidbits. She used to live there, IIRC.

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Unfortunately not - just visited once in 2009. My Turkish friend there had this to say a few years ago:

" I can recommend two places first one is " Savoy Balık ", the restaurant located in Cihangir very close Taksim Square, maybe two-hundred metres, it is located on the same street with the German Hospital.

Bakraç Sokak No: 32

Cihangir / İstanbul

Tel: 0(212) 249 33 82


The other place is " Mer Balık " which we had dinner, located in the Beyoglu area in fish market, with all the other meze places. Best way to go there from Taksim Square walk through "İstiklal Caddesi " (the most popular and crowded street in Beyoglu) until Galatasaray Lisesi and make right turn to “Balık Pazarı” (Fish Market) , walk straight around 100 metres.

Adress: Hüseyin Ağa mah.sahne sok.No:23 Balık Pazarı - Beyoğlu - İstanbul

Tel: 212 2449797 ------- 212 2928357"


You would have to work hard to get a bad meal in Istanbul. I would suggest trying for categories of restaurants or foods: lokantasi (often cafeteria-style, easy for non Turkish speakers because you can point at the food you want!), the fancier fish places on the shores of the Bosphorus, a place with outdoor dining in a restaurant-heavy neighborhood like Beyoglu or Kadikoy, a kebab place, a borek place, etc. I spent a LOT of time in Istanbul during my career but can barely recall names of places, because most of the time I was either brought to them by Turkish colleagues or just wandered in off the street with no plan.

There are several very good food blogs about Istanbul, some done by Turkish people and some by expats. People in Istanbul LOVE eating out and they can steer you in a good direction.


Thanks all!

On the road from SFO via Turkish Airlines to Istanbul’s new airport to Eregli!

On the plane



Bon voyage!

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Plane food looked good.

Thanks for sharing! Have fun!


Safe travels.

Wonderful central market and spices …

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Brunch on the Bosphorus.


The above and below at hotel Ciragan Palace Kempinskii.


What was that cream like food in your first photo?


I think that was baba ganoosh (sp?).


The seasonal fig menu!


Don’t miss Ciya Sofrasi in Kadikoy (take the ferry to the Asian side, fun). The best food I had all trip, by far (worth a long trip back the day of my departure for plane food :grimacing:).

He has a few specialized restaurants in the same area now, but the original has interesting regional variety.

I also enjoyed the stuffed mussels sold by small vendors by the water, and the fried fish sandwiches in newspaper. I’d otherwise be more wary of streetside seafood, but they were popular with locals - and I was just fine :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Oh also lahmacun and pide as a quick and inexpensive meal, with ayran to accompany.

My only disappointment was kababs - the most-recommenced place fell flat for me, which I attributed to expectations (they were under-flavored for me, which may have been regional).


I could not even begin to upload all the pictures of things I saw and ate today, but the kebab was by far my favorite.


Ciragen Palace Kempinskii Hotels.


How amazing, thanks for sharing!