Top-Rated Restaurants in Istanbul

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We're about to embark on a culinary journey through Istanbul's top seafood restaurants, and you better believe it'll be a ride to remember. Istanbul has a unique charm all its own due to its oh-so-special positioning at the intersection of Europe and more global influences. 

While you may associate Turkish food with köfte, kebabs, or other Aegean bites, Istanbul has a huge range of seafood restaurants. From the breathtaking views of the Bosphorus to the rich flavors of traditional Turkish cuisine, we could spend literally all day talking your ear off about all of the incredible seafood that Istanbul offers. 

But we’ll restrain ourselves and list just some of the culinary gems this city has in store for you. Whether you’re a lifelong seafood devotee or just dipping your toes into these delicious waters, Istanbul serves up salty, savory realness on a silver platter.


Let's kick things off with a touch of class at Mikla. Perched atop the glamorous Marmara Pera Hotel, Mikla gives you a front-row seat to the Bosphorus' beauty. And the food? Simply divine! 

The menu's a blend of Mediterranean and Anatolian delights that'll dance on your tongue. Try the delicious seafood manti or indulge in their famous ice cream dessert. From the moment you step in, the elegant ambiance, impeccable service, and meticulous presentation will sweep you off your feet. 

Don't be shy! Ask for a table by the window and get ready to be wooed by the stunning views of the Galata Tower and Topkapi Palace. 

Oh, and let's not forget about their top-tier cocktail menu, curated by the best mixologists in the city. Whether you're a foodie or a lover of the luxe life, Mikla is the place to be seen. Those picture-perfect dishes will have your Instagram followers turning green with envy!

Çiya Sofrası

Ever heard of Kadıköy? It's where Çiya Sofrası calls home, and let's just say you'll feel at home, too! With dishes that taste like grandma's best (if your grandma was a Turkish culinary genius), Çiya Sofrası is a lokanta you won't soon forget. 

From crispy dumplings to delightful meze, this place is where Turkish food dreams come true. The décor is cozy, with a touch of rustic charm that invites you to sit and savor. 

Explore the rich tapestry of Turkish dishes, each with a story to tell, and discover new favorites that'll keep you coming back for more. Çiya Sofrası is also known for its vegetarian and vegan-friendly options, making it a perfect spot for everyone. 

This hidden gem is a feast for the senses and a must-visit for those seeking an authentic taste of Turkey right in the heart of bustling Istanbul. And did we mention the grand bazaar nearby? It's shopping time, honey! 

Yeni Lokanta

It's time to step into the modern world, sweetheart. Yeni Lokanta in Beyoğlu is cooking up Turkish cuisine with a twist. 

From their terrace restaurant, savor the views of bustling Istiklal while you sip on raki and enjoy the Anatolian-inspired menu. And don't you dare skip their signature meatballs. They're the talk of the town! 

From their artfully plated dishes to their expertly curated wine list, every detail is designed to delight. Their unique fusion of traditional and contemporary flavors is a must-try for anyone looking to experience Turkish cuisine with a modern flair. 

Sur Balık Arnavutköy

An Ottoman mansion by the Bosphorus filled with seafood heaven? Yes, please! Sur Balık Arnavutköy offers all that and a side of fried calamari. With a top-floor balcony giving you the best seat in the house, dining here is more than a meal — it's a memory in the making. 

Their Black Sea sea bass is a must, but honey, let the friendly staff guide you. You're in good hands. 

And let's talk about the venue itself: a renovated Ottoman mansion exuding history and elegance. Whether you're a seafood aficionado or a casual diner, Sur Balık's mix of classic and unique dishes, paired with an exquisite selection of wines, will leave you craving more. 

But, oh, there's more to it, love! The ambiance is rich with a blend of tradition and innovation, and the seafood is always seasonal and always fresh. 

The whole experience is a decadent celebration of everything the Bosphorus has to offer. So put on that fabulous outfit, ask for a recommendation for Turkish wine, and enjoy the culinary journey because Sur Balık Arnavutköy is where Istanbul's magic comes alive.

Rumelihisarı İskele

Relaxed, refreshing, and right on the Bosphorus. Rumelihisarı İskele is the place to be if you're looking to enjoy some of Istanbul's best seafood while watching the Bosphorus traffic float by. Serving since 1992, it's built quite the reputation among the locals. 

Located between the fortress and the bridge, the scenery adds to the unforgettable dining experience. Whether you're sampling their seafood specialties or simply enjoying a quiet moment by the water, you'll find the ambiance, tradition, and quality to be utterly captivating. 

From the rich variety of local fish to the stunning views of the Bosphorus, everything about Rumelihisarı İskele screams tradition with a modern touch. You'll not only feast on the food but also on the mesmerizing surroundings. So bring your appetite and your love for the sea, and settle down to your meal knowing Rumelihisarı İskele is just waiting to win you over!

Balıkçı Kahraman

Modest in decor but rich in flavor, this family-run restaurant is no stranger to the seafood game. Their grilled turbot is something to write home about, and the mezes are simply mouthwatering. 

Just a heads-up, however — the journey might be longer than you’re used to. But trust us when we say it’s worth every bite. 

Located far from the city center, Balıkçı Kahraman offers an authentic experience like no other. From the Black Sea region's finest offerings to the locally loved mezes, every bite speaks of tradition and love. 

The cozy atmosphere and the genuine approach to seafood have made Balıkçı Kahraman a favorite among those who appreciate unpretentious, honest cuisine. Celebrities, businessmen, and culinary enthusiasts all find their way to this culinary haven, where the food does the talking, and every dish is a conversation starter. 

Bebek Balıkçısı

Nestled by the sea in Bebek, one of the fanciest towns by the Bosphorus, the restaurant is a great example of an excellent fish restaurant. This elite restaurant has hosted both local and international celebrities, such as Oliver Stone and the King of Bahrain. 

The restaurant's interiors are adorned with Renaissance art, creating a mythological atmosphere that complements the culinary experience. From their cold appetizers to their famous hot delights, Bebek Balıkçısı promises a feast fit for royalty — and as we mentioned, they have literally served it. 

Not to be overlooked, this restaurant also offers an extensive wine list and cocktail menu that elevates the experience even more. The staff’s expert recommendations ensure every sip pairs perfectly with every bite. Add to that the mesmerizing view of the Bosphorus, and you've got a recipe for elegance, success, and an evening you’ll never forget.


Serving up seafood since 1964, Kıyı has become a beloved haunt for locals and celebrities alike. The sea view may not be right outside the window, but the flavors of fresh seasonal fish bring the sea to your plate. Kıyı's charm is in its timeless appeal. 

The wooden wall panels, photos, and paintings of famous Turkish artists add to the cozy atmosphere. From hot and cold starters to traditional tastes, Kıyı stands as a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Istanbul. With its blend of nostalgic ambiance and innovative flavors, dining here is an ode to the beauty of Turkish cuisine. 

Despite all of its accolades — including some Michelin recognition — Kıyı isn't resting on its laurels. It continues to innovate and refresh its menu, ensuring that each visit offers a new adventure for the taste buds. The restaurant's commitment to quality and the culinary artistry of its chefs make it a destination that's not just about feeding the body but nourishing the soul.

Reeling in the Flavors of Istanbul

From the Ottoman elegance of Sur Balık to the unpretentious charm of Balıkçı Kahraman, we've explored the crème de la crème of Istanbul's seafood scene. Whether you're an epicurean explorer or just a lover of fine dining, these gems offer the opportunity to taste some truly special seafood. 

While you may associate Istanbul more with the classic mezze platters and kebabs that tend to make up its more traditional fare, it’s a city full of seafood restaurants you shouldn’t miss out on. Istanbul restaurants have a unique flair that brings together the best of the Asian side of the city for some Eastern style with the best of its European connection. 

You’re missing out on some of the best restaurants in Istanbul if you aren’t trying out the seafood. So set aside that döner, press pause on your tour of the Hagia Sophia, save the street food for later, and give all of those savory meat dishes a rest. 

Check out these fine dining restaurants and homey bistros that offer the most delicious food the sea has to offer.



Yeni Lokanta

Balıkçı Kahraman

Rumelihisarı İskele

Bebek Balıkçısı

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