Restaurants you must visit in Istanbul
Mikla is located 18 floors up at the top of the Marmara Pera Hotel, and is one of Istanbul’s best restaurants. The terrace gives you a bird’s eye view out over the city and the food combines Turkish and Scandinavian flavours. The chef was born in Finland and describes his style as the New Anatolian Kitchen. This means dishes like braised lamb with pistachio, cherry and cumin feature on the seven course tasting menu.
Tomtom Kaptan Sokak’s Nicole is another fine dining favourite with a top floor view. It uses local, seasonal ingredients and adds a French twist. The menu changes every six weeks but you’ll find interesting things like lamb with chickpeas and cinnamon or strawberry soup with goat’s cheese ice cream.
If you like your Turkish food a bit more traditional, Kariye Cami Sokak’s Asitane uses recipes from the Topkapi Palace archive that were designed for royalty. The courtyard dining room’s a peaceful place to try dishes like a saffron rice pilaf that was created in 1539, or a 15th century sea bass stuffed with walnuts and spices.
Karaköy Lokantası is another eatery that specialises in Turkish food, which is close to the shipping docks. Locals love this family run restaurant for a mezze lunch. Their classic dishes include chargrilled octopus and hünkar beğendi (slow-cooked beef on smoked aubergine puree).
Istanbul loves its seafood, and you can find everything from a simple fish sandwich to an elaborate plate of sushi. One of the best seafood places in town is Arşipel on Kuruçeşme Caddesi. You can keep it traditional with the catch of the day either fried, grilled or oven baked in salt. Or try their more modern dishes like salmon carpaccio. Either way your meal comes with a waterside view of the Bosphorus from the restaurant’s terrace