In the heart of Emirgan's woodland preserve, the massive gingerbread-style Sari Kosk stands out like a Victorian dollhouse. Now more of a restaurant than a historic residence, it's the stopping point for anyone strolling through the park. Because it's quite a popular location for tourists for lunch on Saturdays, reservations are necessary. The view and atmosphere make a trip here well worth it.
At Leb-i Derya, dine out on the breezy rooftop for breathtaking views of Sultanahmet Mosque, Bosphorus and the Old City. As the sun goes down, gaze at the stars through floor-to-ceiling glass panels from the intimate and mystical interior. The establishment is upscale but not snooty, and offers local and international cuisine. Some of the specialties served up are Mahmudiye, Pistachio Minced Beef, Salmon Brûlée and so on, that magically blend Turkish and outlandish flavors. Be sure to end your meal with authentic coffee.
Reservations are essential at this very chic restaurant offering some of the best views in town. The sleek white and chrome décor attracts an elegant lunch crowd of businessmen and ladies' social groups. The menu is an innovative blend of fusion Japanese and international cuisine. Pair your meal with a glass of wine from their impressive drink selection. The staff is unobtrusively efficient and the service is excellent.
Feriye is spectacularly located in what were once the Ottoman sultan's palatial grounds, high above the shores of the glistening Bosphorus Strait. The restaurant serves delicious traditional Turkish fare using century old techniques. You may find yourself ordering a special that remains true to the original 15th-century recipe. Feriye has a seasonal menu so the dishes often change, ensuring you can try something new at each visit.
Located in the heart of the beautiful Yıldız Park, this historic building sits among walking trails and natural surroundings. Built in the mid-1800s as an imperial hunting lodge, the building has a baroque style influence. Despite an ornate exterior, Malta Kosku has a casual café downstairs and a sophisticated restaurant upstairs. The restaurant's sumptuous Rococo décor, well-preserved state, and quiet location make it the ideal place for an afternoon tea or elegant dinner.
Gözleme (filo pastry pancakes) are the house specialty here. Scarfed ladies sit on a platform rolling out oodles of thin pastry to make your pancakes fresh to order. Have them filled with spinach, potatoes, cheese, minced meat or a combination of all four. This place has the best Gözleme in the city center. The staff are quite accustomed to the pre-cinema crowd rushing in and out before a film, so you won't have trouble getting a fast, cheap snack before the cinema. Other locations: Istiklal Caddesi, Beyoglu.
Olive Anatolian Restaurant is just as it is named. Set on the rooftop of Hotel Sultania, their menu is inspired by olives and the Anatolian cuisine. This is highlighted in their tapas style lunches or creative dinners. Breakfast is a buffet of Turkish and Continental platters. The wrap-a-round setting of the place with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a beautiful terrace area for alfresco dining is augmented by sunset orange lamp fixtures on the tables, hanging light fixtures and modern furnishing. They even have a separate menu for kids and offer cooking classes to those who want to know more about their cuisine. Reservations are recommended.
With a humble start, as a butcher shop, Kasap Osman has come a long way as being one of the favorite spots for scrumptious kebabs. This restaurant is known for serving some of the best kebab rolls in town. The enticing flavors can be accompanied with pickled chillies, salads and of course the delicious Turkish coffee. The small restaurant has simple outdoor seating and is an ideal spot for witnessing local scene while you dine here.
With locations all around the world, Simit Sarayı is a popular chain of Turkish bagel restaurants. Just a short walk away from the New Mosque and the Emınönü ferry terminal, this bakery cafe is a warm and friendly place. The menu selection offers cheese plates, sandwiches, a variety of breads, tea and coffee, alongside the traditional Turkish Simit. Baked in small batches throughout the day, these delicious, doughy delights are always fresh and bursting with flavor. Whether you are looking for a quiet place to enjoy a quick breakfast or a leisurely afternoon snack, this local cafe is a great choice.
Red River Pub opened its doors in 2007 and is a popular hangout among the locals. It has a lovely ambiance to it with its light fixtures, creeper plants, wooden accents and many photo frames. Their affable staff will ensure that you have a pleasant experience at this bar and restaurant. Their bar has a good selection of whiskey, white wine, beer, cocktails and other liquors. Though their menu has pastas, fajitas salads and wraps, it is their Turkish dishes like Celtik Kebab, Pasha Kebab and Bostan Kebab which are a hit among patrons.
At Namlı Rumeli Köftecisi, guests can sample the traditional Şiş köfte (meatballs) at inexpensive prices. The recipes used are from the historical Rumelia (Balkans) region, lending nostalgic flavors to the food. The lamb meat used in the köfte is of high standard and is cooked to perfection. The meatballs are best savored in combo packages and eaten with side dishes like beans or Shepherd's salad. Do not miss the signature semolina dumplings and the mixed kebab platter. The restaurant has small interiors and mostly consists of chairs placed on a narrow street. Yet, it attracts young and old, tourists and locals for the authenticity of the meatballs.
Şehzade Erzurum Cağ Kebabı entices your taste buds with some delectable Turkish cuisine as you dine here. This restaurant pampers your palate with succulent kebabs along with salads, rice, wraps and desserts. The restaurant specializes in Cağ Kebabs which are a must-try when you dine here. The simple interiors and friendly staff make you feel at home and ensure a pleasant experience as you relish a meal.