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Best European in Istanbul

By: Cityseeker
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21973


Sarnıç Restaurant

“Sarnıç” translates to “cistern.” The space that this exquisite namesake restaurant calls home was originally a Roman cistern that can be traced back centuries in time. The contemporary menu is heavily influenced by Turkish and Mediterranean flavors. Start off with a Traditional Mezze Platter and Crepe Bosphorus, and select from an impressive list of wines and spirits to match. Specialties include Lamb Kebabs, Beef Strogonof, Roasted Duck in Orange Sauce, as well as the day's fresh catch, grilled as you like it. The decor creates an authentic mystique and old-world vibe, resulting in an intimate dining ambiance. Wrought iron gates divide the seating area, while high arched ceilings, exposed brick walls, medieval accents, vintage chandeliers and a cozy fireplace make for extraordinary interiors.

Istanbul, Turkey
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Giritli Restoran

Tucked away on a quiet street and housed in a charming traditional, wooden building dating back to the 19th century, Giritli Restoran is the brainchild of chef and owner, Ayse Şensılay who wanted to bring a bit of Crete to the city. The dark ink blue wooden-planked facade doesn't have any large board to indicate its presence, yet this eatery is a hit among locals and tourists alike. The tastefully done interiors is elegant and has a touch of romance to it. But its their rustic and romantic garden with fairy lights that makes you feel you are in some part of Greece. Opened in 2004, this bi-level establishment has been wowing diners with their delightful Cretan and Mediterranean cuisine which includes a variety of cold mezes, hot dishes and grilled seafood dishes. Complement your meal with raki or wine.

Istanbul, Turkey
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Que Tal

Hot and spicy, here comes Que Tal! Offering Spanish flavors and tapas a la carte, affordable foreign wines and a Mediterranean atmosphere, Que Tal is a hot spot in Istanbul. Busy and buzzy, Que Tal will simply win your heart with its uncomplicated and jovial atmosphere. -Stephanie Berton

Istanbul, Turkey
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Simdi

A long established eatery in Istanbul, Simdi (pronounced Shimdi) knows its stuff. Whether it's brunch, coffee, dinner or an aperitivo you want, you'll be surprised by the delicious flavors of the colorful dishes. The Mediterranean-influenced cuisine is light and healthy. The decor focuses on the ancient architecture of the building, featuring antique tills, high ceilings and small, bright windows. The result is a cozy, stylish vibe that creates a smart, casual atmosphere. The bonus, apart from the delicious food and drink, is the people watching. Indeed, this relaxed refuge opens onto a busy pedestrian street. Sit back and enjoy the view through the large French doors. -Stephanie Berton

Istanbul, Turkey
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The Beymen Brasserie

This café is set in a spacious ground-floor room with huge picture windows, overlooking Taksim Square. It almost never feels crowded, even though it's often filled to capacity, particularly on weekends. A bomb planted here killed a journalist from the local Cumhuriyet newspaper a few years back, hence the tight security. The bakery is one of the best in town for takeout hand-made chocolate, fresh croissants, creamy cakes and sumptuous pastries. There is also an outdoor terrace to people-watch from in summer.

Istanbul, Turkey
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21973