The Best Restaurants On Istiklal Street, Istanbul

Ayse Huseyin

Istiklal Street is a social and cultural hub in Istanbul. Whilst exploring the multitude of shops, stalls, museums, landmarks, and taking in the unique energy of the city, stopping at one of the many restaurants makes for a perfect break. Here are eight excellent restaurants on Istiklal Street that will guarantee to satisfy all palates.

Istiklal Street

1. Leb-i Derya

Bar, Restaurant, Turkish, Mediterranean

This local favorite has garnered acclaim throughout Istanbul for its incredible food. Upon entering the restaurant, a jaw-dropping view of the Bosphorus is within sight, and you’ll also be greeted with the aromatic scent of perfectly cooked Turkish cuisine. At night the restaurant is intimately lit, creating an inviting atmosphere and complementing the view.

2. Mekan

Restaurant, Turkish

Mekan is a restaurant that you’ll want to visit time and time again. Every dish is fresh and comes in generous portions – from hot and cold starters to the filling main courses. The restaurant consistently delivers in terms of flavor, with the meze starters being especially popular, as well as the lamb dishes which are succulent and cooked to perfection.

3. Lades Restaurant

Restaurant, Turkish

At this restaurant, choose from an array of traditional dishes at the counter – and if you can’t make up your mind, the staff will happily recommend something based on your preferences. If you want a friendly atmosphere and a meal cooked by experts, look no further than Lades Restaurant. A particular favorite at the restaurant is a dish called menemen, which is a breakfast dish consisting of eggs, onion, tomato and green pepper. Istanbul mezes | © JohnPickenPhoto/Flickr

4. Hala Manti

Hala Manti

At Hala Manti, food is cooked fresh to order, so everything has an excellent flavor. The popular Turkish beer ‘Efes’ is served on tap and favorite local delicacies are offered on the extensive menu. Due to its location away from the busier areas, finding seating should be less of a challenge. A particular favorite of past diners would be the Turkish pancakes!

Hala Manti, Kuloğlu Mh., İstiklal Cd. No:137, Turkey, +90 212 292 7004

5. Hatay Medeniyetler Sofrasi Taksim

Hatay Medeniyetler Sofrasi Taksim

As is customary in most Turkish restaurants here, you’ll receive a basket of freshly baked bread to accompany your meal. Appetizers are showcased on a trolley for you to choose from and will always be freshly prepared that day. A favorite menu item here is the salt chicken, which is expertly seasoned and set alight in true flambé fashion. This is quite a spectacle for you to enjoy as you wait for your food.

Hatay Medeniyetler Sofrasi Taksim, Istiklal Caddesi No:39 Taksim, Turkey, +90 212 293 3131

6. Saray Muhallebicisi

Restaurant, Turkish

© Nurettin Mert AYDIN/Flickr
The Turkish dessert of muhallebi is the Turkish equivalent of rice pudding, consisting of milk and rice flour and traditionally seasoned with rose or orange flower water. This restaurant specializes not only in this sweet treat but in many other traditional desserts and delicacies – you’ll be spoiled for choice. If you want the opportunity to really get to know this versatile cuisine, look no further than this establishment.

7. Kofteci Ramiz

Bar, Restaurant, Turkish, Halal

This is a restaurant that is a mix of fast food haunt and fine dining establishment, with the efficient service and speed of the former and the great quality and taste of the latter. The köfte (or meatballs) are served either as small meat patties or on a skewer and are well seasoned and mildly spicy. The restaurant also offers a salad bar as well as other meats for you to enjoy. The boneless chicken dishes are an especially popular alternative. There are also vegetarian options available for diners to sample and enjoy.

8. Beyoğlu Salash Fasıl Restaurant

Restaurant, Turkish

This restaurant that provides more than a meal; it provides and fun and memorable experience. It provides many modern amenities such as air conditioning and WiFi for the comfort of its visitors. Additionally the restaurant also has live music on some occasions, allowing customers the opportunity to enjoy traditional Turkish entertainment.

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