Istanbul eating

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Mikla (p165) Top dining
Hamdi et Lokantası (p161) Top view
Şehzade Mehmed Sofrası (p162) Top setting
Asitane (p163) Top Ottoman cuisine
Çiya Sofrası (p170) Top lokanta
Sofyalı 9 (p167) Top meyhane
Tarıhı Karaköy Balık Lokantası (p164) Top seafood
Develi (p163) Top kebapçı
Saf’ Organic Bistro (p166) Top vegetarian
Karaköy Güllüglu (p165) Top pastane

İstanbul is a food-lover’s paradise. Teeming with affordable fast-food joints, cafés and restaurants, it leaves visitors spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a venue. Best of all, it’s
proud of its national cuisine. And oh, what a great cuisine it is! The city’s restaurants vie with
each other to produce the best damn meze, the freshest possible seafood and the most succulent
kebabs in town, all appreciated by legions of locals for whom eating out is a way of life and a true
passion. There are other cuisines on offer (you can eat fusion dishes in Western-style brasseries
and sample cuisines as diverse as Russian, Italian and Thai), but the best places to eat are the
lokantas, meyhanes and Ottoman-style restaurants that the locals frequent.
Unfortunately, Sultanahmet has the least impressive range of eating options in the city. Rather
than eating here at night, we recommend crossing the Galata Bridge and joining the locals in
Beyoğlu, Ortaköy and the Bosphorus suburbs. Absolutely nothing can beat the enjoyment of
spending a night in a meyhane on Nevizade Sokak or in the Asmalımescit quarter (both in
Beyoğlu), or dining at one of the swish restaurants on the Bosphorus. There are other pockets
of town worth investigating – Eminönü has the enjoyable Hamdi et Lokantası (p161) and Zinhan
Kebap House at Storks (p161), Samatya is home to the best kebabs in town at Develi (p163), and
Edirnekapı has the excellent Asitane (p163) – but on the whole you will be well served by making
your way across the Galata Bridge every night. As the Turks say, afıyet olsun! (bon appétit!).
For recommendations of places to eat on the Bosphorus, see the Excursions chapter.



It’s not considered very important that everyone eats the same courses at the same pace,
so the kitchen will deliver dishes as they are
ready: it’s quite normal for all the chicken
dishes to arrive and then, five minutes later,
all the lamb. You don’t have to wait for everyone’s food to arrive to begin eating.
Turkish waiters have a habit of snatching
your plate away before you’ve finished...
Mikla ( p165 ) Top dining
Hamdi et Lokantası ( p161 ) Top view
Şehzade Mehmed Sofrası ( p162 ) Top setting
Asitane ( p163 ) Top Ottoman cuisine
Çiya Sofrası ( p170 ) Top lokanta
Sofyalı 9 ( p167 ) Top meyhane
Tarıhı Karaköy Balı k Lokantası ( p164 ) Top seafood
Develi ( p163 ) Top kebapçı
Saf’ Organic Bistro ( p166 ) Top vegetarian
Karaköy Güllüglu ( p165 ) Top pastane
© Lonely Planet Publications
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