Best Fish Restaurants By The Bosphorus

| © Feride Yalav
Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

Eating a fresh grilled fish by the Bosphorus with a glass of rakı is an Istanbul tradition that should never be forgone. Even though there are plenty of fish restaurants in the city touting the same menu of meze and fish (plus rakı), there are only a few that offer truly excellent dishes and a beautiful view of the famous strait to match, so make sure to follow our list of the best Bosphorus seafood restaurants.

1. Ayder Balık

Ayder Balık

Even though Ayder Balık is a bit out of the way in Rumeli Kavağı, it is most definitely worth the trip because it overlooks the area where the strait enters into the Black Sea. There’s a lot of dark blue sea and green forest in terms of the view, and the food just happens to be excellent, from the meze to the fresh fish. We recommend the grilled sea bass that can feed up to three people.

Iskele Caddesi No.2 Rumeli Kavağı, +90 212 218 34 34

2. Suna’nın Yeri

Restaurant, Seafood

Eating right by the Bosphorus is exactly what you’ll get at this very casual fish restaurant in the beautiful Kandilli neighbourhood. Located right next to a tiny old ferry port, Suna’nın Yeri has wooden tables and chairs that are steps away from the water. Order delicious meze, fried calamari or the fish of the day and watch the sun set over Istanbul (quite a romantic spot!).

3. Bebek Balıkçısı

Bebek Balıkçısı

A classic among Istanbul’s fish restaurants, you can never go wrong with Bebek Balıkçısı, which has been serving excellent food right over the Bosphorus since 1998. As a local favourite, everything from the meze to the hot starters and the daily catch are perfectly prepared. Make sure to ask for a table right by the window for a beautiful view of boats floating by on the famous strait.

Cevdet Paşa Caddesi, No.26A Bebek, +90 212 263 34 47

4. İsmet Baba

Restaurant, Seafood, Turkish

Kuzguncuk is one of the last neighborhoods in Istanbul that has not capitulated to modern influences, remaining nostalgic in every way, including its colourful former Greek and Armenian houses and churches. It is also here that you’ll find İsmet Baba, a classic fish restaurant decked out in wood with a beautiful view of the water. All the classics are served in their best form, from meze to fish and the fried mezgit (haddock) is a must-try.

5. Aydın Balık Restaurant

Restaurant, Fish and Chip Shop, Seafood, Turkish

You’ll need a car to reach Aydın Balık but its location is exactly what makes this casual restaurant so special. Not only do the tables sit a few inches from the rolling waters of the Black Sea, but the menu is affordable and excellent (a rarity in big cities). Garipçe is a small fisherman’s village so you’ll know that whatever arrives on your table will be fresh, and when the sun sets into the sea you’ll be especially appreciative of the very unique atmosphere.

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