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.
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.
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.
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.
Körfez has earned world recognition thanks to its great ambiance and good food, which justifies its steep rates. A romantic garden setting with a fascinating view of the Bosphorus and Rumeli fortress uplifts your mood as soon as you seat yourself. Try some of the seafood specialties like the salt baked fish, mackerel burgers and the exotic grouper. Patrons can dine at leisure taking in the view and tucking in the delicacies. The restaurant also has a ferry service from Rumeli Hisari.
Dodo Istanbul Sea Club, is one of the many beach clubs in the city. This club was opened in the year 2004, way after the idea of beach parties and clubs became popular in the city. However, this one gained rapid popularity due to its beach activities and parties. Operating from the Asian side of the scenic Tuzla town, this club offers a burst of activities. If you are in the city and want to enjoy some cool beach times, Dodo Istanbul Sea Club is the place to go.
Şehzade Mehmed Sofrası is located within the premises of the iconic Şehzade Mehmed Mosque. Mimar Sinan is the architectural force behind the magnificent Islamic shrine built in memory of Süleyman the Magnificent's son Mehmet. The restaurant exemplifies local hospitality, with delicious Turkish food served to barefoot diners, in keeping with tradition. The 360 degree panoramic view of the mosque makes for a unique dining experience.
Turk Faith Tutak is a fine Turkish restaurant with modern wooden decor and romantic lights. The restaurant offers a choice in courses of meal and the food is accompanied by fine wines. The chef cooks the food using local and seasonal ingredients, and the presentation is a delight. They have vegetarian options too. Head to Turk Faith Tutak if you are craving for authentic Turkish cuisine.