17 best restaurants you must try in Istanbul

Istanbul has a lot of delicious foods that you should definitely try during your visit! They have all kinds of Turkish delicacies as well as plenty of different locations to try every food. However, there are too many delicious foods in Istanbul to try during your visit so here are 17 restaurants you must try in Istanbul!

Kizilkayalar Taksim – Islak Burger

The reason why the islak burger is so delicious is mostly because of its hamburger bun. The hamburger itself is made from a beef patty, but the white hamburger buns are soaked in a garlic and tomato sauce, which gives it its unique flavor! Today, Kızılkayalar Hamburger, which has become a brand with its steamed burger, is the first snack bar that offers meat doner to its customers in Taksim.

Nizam Pide Taksim – Pide

Pide is a dish that looks a lot like pizza. It’s some Turkish flatbread with folded edges, which makes the crust so puffy. The bread is then filled with melted cheese and other things you can choose, like baked eggs, onions, spinach, beef sausage or roasted peppers. Since the 70’s, Nizam has garnered a lot of attention for it’s crispy pide’s and rice puddings!

Durumzade – Durum

Durum is made with flatbread called lavas in which you can find grilled lamb, some vegetables and sauce. They wrap the ingredients into a roll, which is what makes it such an amazing street food. Home to some of the best wraps in Istanbul, DurumZade was an absolute treat for me. I tried their chicken and lamb wraps and they were exceptionally good! Would add this on to my top 5 list for things to eat in Istanbul

Hafiz Mustafa 1864 – Baklava

You obviously can’t forget about baklava during your visit to Istanbul! It’s a sweet pastry made of sheets of filo and have a sweet filling, usually with nuts like pistachios for example.  Having been around for 159 years, Hafiz Mustafa is very known all around Istanbul for its Baklava, Turkish delights, puddings and so much more!

Cakmak Kahvalti Salonu & Firuz Cafe- Turkish Breakfast

For a great start of the day, you mandatorily need to try their Turkish breakfast. It varies from place to place, but it usually includes meats, pastries, yogurts, eggs, breads, jams, honey and marmalades. Cakmak Kahvalti Salonu is located in one of the cutest neighborhoods at Besiktas. Relish fried eggs, menemen and plates of cucumbers, olives and cheese – a simple yet honest breakfast! Firuz Cafe is another chilled out spot to try out the infamous Turkish breakfasts!

Dondurmacı Ali Usta -Turkish Ice Cream

Turkish ice cream has a thicker consistency, which is why it doesn’t melt as fast! The sellers will also trick their customers by handing them an empty cone, which is quite hilarious. Dondurmacı Ali Usta has stunning sea views, plenty of options and delicious Home made flavours!

Lades Restaurant – Menemen

This breakfast is made from lightly scrambled eggs in a skillet together with onions, tomatoes, herbs and peppers and the best spot is to get it at Lades Restaurant which is within the cultural hub of Istiklal Street

Sabırtaşı İçli Köfte – Içli Köfte

This dish is a popular appetizer that consists of deliciously spiced meatballs. The meatballs are made with ground beef or lamb and can be found in pretty much every restaurant! Located in the Fatih district, this restaurant is known for its high-quality Içli Köfte made with fresh ingredients and traditional recipes. The restaurant also serves a variety of other Turkish dishes.

Saray Muhallebicisi – Börek

Börek is a savory pastry that’s served with different kinds of stuffing. You can find this snack with feta cheese, ground beef, spinach or boiled potato and cheese for example.

Ficcin – Manti

This appetizer looks a lot like pasta. They are kind of dumplings that are stuffed with spiced ground lamb or beef, salt and pepper and diced onion. Then, they are covered with some yogurt and garlic. You can find the best Manti at Ficcin in Beyoğlu district which is known for its delicious Manti, which is made with handmade dough and a flavorful meat filling. The restaurant also has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere.

Eminönü Balık Ekmek – Balik Ekmek

Balik Ekmek is a kind of sandwich that’s made with fish. To make it, they use grilled mackerel that’s placed between sandwhich bread and the veggies of your choice. Eminönü Balık Ekmek is the most famous place to try Balik Ekmek in Istanbul, located on the Eminönü waterfront near the Galata Bridge. The fish is grilled fresh and served in a bread roll with a variety of topping

Bursa Iskender – Iskender Kebap

Iskender kebap is a traditional Turkish dish of seasoned döner meat. They season it with suet, spices and herbs and then grill it vertically. They also use tomato sauce and bread. Bursa Iskender the Fatih district is a popular spot for Iskender Kebap, which is made with tender meat and a delicious tomato sauce. The restaurant has a cozy and traditional atmosphere.


Adana Sofrası – Adana Kebap

Another kind of kebap is adana kebap. Its meat is from a young male lamb and it’s kneaded together with its fat, peppers and chillies. After this, the mixture is cooked slowly on a charcoal grill. This popular restaurant has several locations throughout Istanbul and is known for its authentic Adana Kebap, which is cooked to perfection over a charcoal grill. The restaurant also has a great selection of meze (appetizers).

Halil Lahmacun – Lahmacun

Lahmacun also looks a bit like pizza, as it is pita bread with ground lamb or beef on top. They also put some onions, tomatoes and parsley in it as well. Halil Lahmacun in the Kadıköy district is known for its delicious Lahmacun, which is made with fresh and high-quality ingredients. The flatbread is thin and crispy, and the topping is flavorful and aromatic.

Ortaköy Kumpir, Kumpiristan, Kumpirci Ali Usta and Kumpir Sokak – Kumpir

Kumpir is a popular Turkish street food that consists of a baked potato that is mashed and mixed with butter and cheese, then topped with a variety of ingredients such as corn, pickles, olives, and sausage. Ortaköy Kumpir, Kumpiristan, Kumpirci Ali Usta and Kumpir Sokak are few popular spots you can get your hands on this popular snack of istanbul

Simit, Çatal and Açma – Street Food 

These foods are a lot alike and you should try all of them! Simit is a thin, circular bread with sesame seeds on top and açma is a kind of croissant-like bread. Çatal is very similar, but it crumbles more easily and it’s drier. Makes for great breakfast and you can find these sold all around the town!


Lulu Hookah Lounge – Hookah and great views

Catch 360-degree views of the city with some exceptional shisha, food and drinks! I randomly stumbled upon this place and was an absolute gem find!

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