If you are planning to have a nice dinner in Istanbul, you can definitely find a restaurant to your delight and expectations. There are various restaurant options to choose from, be it lively and crowded restaurants for a vibrant night or quiet and secluded restaurants for an easy one. In this article, we have tried to make the list of Best Restaurants in Istanbul in 2020. Here is the list of the best restaurants to dine in Istanbul.
Best Restaurants in Istanbul 2020
There are 13 restaurants in our list of the best restaurants in Istanbul. While most of these restaurants are on the European Side (from 1 to 8), there are also restaurants located on the Asian Side (from 9 to 13).
1. Nusr-Et Steakhouse
Nusr-et Steakhouse is one of the most favorite places of steak lovers in Istanbul. The first Nusr-Et branch was opened in 2010 and it has proved to be highly successful.
The menu of Nusr-Et Steakhouse offers a lot of dishes made with beef and lamb. We can easily say that Nusr-Et Steakhouse has introduced a whole new concept to steak culture with its rich menu. Nusr-Et stands out with its meat quality and cooking methods among other steakhouses. The same qualities are applied in making burgers as well.
Nusret has become an Internet sensation thanks to his art of cooking and preparing meat. Moreover, he is known as Salt Bae thanks to his iconic way of sprinkling salt on steak. This move was watched by millions of people on Internet and Nusret has become increasingly popular since then.
Thanks to his popularity and growing demand, he opened branches in Miami and Doha too. You can try his special burgers in Nusr-Et Burger in Nisantasi, Bebek, Kanyon and Istinye Park. The latest Nusr-et restaurant in Istanbul opened at the Grand Bazaar.
Nusr-Et Steakhouse Restaurant in Etiler
2. Leb-i Derya Restaurant
Leb-i Derya (meaning seaside) Restaurant attracts attention with its view and trademark cocktails. The restaurant is located at Beyoglu and its rich menu appeals to wine lovers. Leb-i Derya offers manti, fillet steak prepared with 40 seasonings and daily fish options as well as cold and warm starters.
A nice dining experience is accompanied by a spectacular Bosphorus view and a DJ performance at Leb-i Derya. The restaurant, true to its name, brings the sea view, an enjoyable dinner, and entertainment together for its customers.
Leb-i Derya is Located in Beyoglu
3. Sunset Grill & Bar
Sunset Grill & Bar provides service for its customers in Ulus Park. The restaurant also boasts a great Bosphorus view too. In the past, the restaurant served only ‘’Californian Cuisine’’ and grilled steak. However, due to the high demand of its foreign customers, the restaurant began to offer Turkish food in its menu.
Moreover, the restaurant introduced a Sushi Bar ten years ago and it has served delicious Japanese dishes to its customers since then. A creative kitchen director, Chef Fabrice Canelle joined the team two years ago and after his arrival, the restaurant began to serve Mediterranean food too. According to Chef Canelle, he was inspired by nature as he created his Mediterranean menu.
Sunset Grill & Bar is open for lunch and dinner and you can find the Mediterranean, Turkish and Japanese food in its rich menu.
Best Restaurants in Istanbul with Bosphorus View
Sunset Restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Istanbul with Bosphorus view. The reason I give additional information about this restaurant is the local and international awards it receives. You can see the achievements of sunset from the official site.
4. Mürver Restaurant
Murver Restaurant is on the terrace of Novotel at Karakoy and it boasts a spectacular Istanbul view. Moreover, the restaurant offers a warm and lively atmosphere due to the wood fire in its kitchen where its delicious food is cooked.
All the dishes in the menu are cooked on a grill in wood fire and oven. After the meat is cooked in the oven, it is left to rest is on the grill. Besides meat, the octopus is also served with fried Aegean herbs. The octopus is cooked in ashes.
In short, wood fire makes the food delicious in this restaurant. Yılmaz Ozturk Murver, the owner of the restaurants Mancar and L’Escargot in Alacati, creates the menu with the help of Mehmet Gurs, the chef of Mikla.
Murver Restaurant Located in Karakoy
Mikla is located on the top floor of Marmara Pera Hotel. It has become a success story thanks to its co-founder and chef Mehmet Gurs since 2005. Mikla is a special restaurant with its simple but delicious Scandinavian cuisine, cooking methods and its traditional Turkish food.
Mikla is a contemporary Istanbul restaurant and it reflects its own style with its ”New Anatolian Kitchen” that was created in 2012. The concept involves the use of ingredients that are chosen carefully from various parts of Anatolia.
According to Chef Mehmet Gurs, the Anatolian Cuisine is a quite open to changes and follows global trends closely. We can also say that wine made in Anatolia is an indispensable part of the menu. There is a rich variety in the wine menu ranging from France to Chile, Spain and all the way to Australia. You can enjoy your wine to compliment your food and liven up your night.
Mikla Restaurant is Located in Taksim
Zuma is a famous Japanese restaurant in London and its first and only branch in Turkey was opened in 2008. The restaurant has an eye-catching decor. Zuma Restaurant has another branch in Hong Kong and we can easily say the restaurant has become a world-famous brand. You can enjoy authentic Japanese food at Zuma Restaurant in a traditional Izakaya setting.
The decoration items and even the plates of the restaurant come from Japan. There is a variety of options to choose from, such as seafood, meat dishes, grilled meat and of course Zuma specialties, sushi, vegetables, soup and rice. Zuma also offers set menus for lunch. If you love the minimalist style of a Japanese restaurant, you will definitely love Zuma’s style and welcoming atmosphere.
Zuma is Located in Istinye Park Mall
7. 360 İstanbul
360 Istanbul is located on the top floor of the historical Misir Apartment and it has received numerous international awards. The restaurant offers a distinguished wine and bar menu for lunch and dinner. Moreover, the restaurant turns into a nightclub after 22:00 on the weekends.
The restaurant offers both international and Anatolian food. There are so many options that you can find the duck with cherries and the kibbeh of Gaziantep in the same menu. Thanks to its special and rich menu, 360 has certainly been in the top restaurants list of Istanbul in the last ten years.
Best Restaurants in Istanbul With A View
360 Istanbul is another award-winning restaurant on the list of the best restaurants in Istanbul. If you want to have a dinner in 360 Istanbul, I strongly recommend you to book in advance. 360 Istanbul is located on Istiklal Street, which can be considered as the center of nightlife in Istanbul.
8. Vogue Restaurant
Vogue Restaurant was opened in 1997 at the penthouse of the BJK Plaza in Akaretler. The restaurant offers food from the international kitchen.
While you have your meal, you can also enjoy its terrific Istanbul view. In this neat, elegant and comfortable restaurant, you can find many unique dishes like sea bass or roasted lamb’s shank.
Along with the options such as fish in Thai style and artichoke tortellini, you can also enjoy Japanese food. Vogue is definitely one of the best restaurants in Istanbul with Bosphorus view.
Vogue Restaurant is Located in Besiktas
9. Çiya Sofrası
Ciya Sofrasi describes itself as ‘’the garden of the lost cultures and forgotten tastes’’ and it’s really possible to find almost every dish of the Anatolian kitchen here. You can come across foreign tourists in the restaurant at any time of the day due to its popularity.
When the restaurant was opened in 1987, it had only five tables, but Ciya Sofrasi climbed the steps of success quickly and it is one of the best restaurants in Istanbul now.
The restaurant still serves at where it was first opened but it has a separate hall where you can enjoy kebab and lahmacun. The menu has a wide range of tastes such as stuffed dried eggplants and stuffed black cabbage. The menu changes daily but olive oil dishes, starters and kebabs are fixed items. The menu also offers various dessert options.
Best Turkish Restaurants in Istanbul
Although the title of our article is about the sea view restaurants in Istanbul, I had to add a few exceptions. Ciya Sofrasi, the best restaurant on the Asian side of Istanbul, has no sea view. However, since it is a neighbor to Kadikoy Fish Market, it is very enjoyable to watch people passing by.
10. Günaydın Et Lokantası
One of the symbols of the transition from a butcher to a restaurant, the story of Gunaydın Et Lokantası started at a small butcher shop in 1965 at Kasaplar Carsisi, Bostanci.
Gunaydin is one of the restaurants that helped steakhouse culture become widespread in Turkey. The restaurant has many branches in Europe and Anatolia sides of the city. You can find almost all kinds of meat dishes at Gunaydin Et Lokantasi, be it meatballs, doner kebab or steak. Therefore, Gunaydin Et Lokantasi is one of the most favorite restaurants of meat lovers in Istanbul.
Best Dinner Restaurants in Istanbul
11. Viktor Levi Sarap Evi
Viktor Levi is a wine house and it produces its own wines as its name suggests. You can see the wine house on your left as you walk down Kadıkoy’s famous Rexx Cinema.
Cheese is the first thing that comes to mind as complimentary to wine. Therefore, Viktor Levi doesn’t neglect to offer a great selection of imported and domestic cheese to its customers. Moreover, you can find special liver and meat options to choose from in its menu. You can enjoy a homemade wine while you have your dinner.
Viktor Levi’s wine journey started in Bozcaada and now it continues at Viktor Levi Sarap Evi. The ivy-mantled garden of the historical mansion, restored about 20 years ago faithful to the original, has a nice atmosphere for wine lovers.
Best Restaurants in Istanbul Asian Side
12. Ajia Restaurant
Located at Ahmet Rasim Pasa Yalisi, Ajia Restaurant has been in service since 2004 in Kanlica. While you enjoy the Bosphorus view at the restaurant, you can taste Mediterranean and international food prepared by Chef Izzet Ayva and his team.
The restaurant’s bar, which was granted the ‘’Five Star Diamond’’ award by American Academy of Hospital Services, is open until late at nights. You can also choose Ajia Restaurant for brunch.
The restaurant has a private transportation service by sea except for Mondays. Ajia has such a great location that even its spectacular view can be enough for the restaurant to be called as one of the best restaurants in Istanbul.
Best Restaurants in Istanbul Bosphorus
13. Moda Teras
Catching the eye with its view of the islands, Moda Teras has become a favorite place for weekend brunches and entertainment. You can have a nice dinner while enjoying the view from Kalamis to the Islands. The restaurant is also highly preferred for organizations like company events and birthdays.
Best Restaurants in Istanbul With the Sea View
Best Restaurants in Istanbul 2020 by Serhat Engul