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Courtesy of Must Nişantası
Courtesy of Must Nişantası
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Fall 2017: The Best New Openings in Istanbul

Picture of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
Updated: 14 September 2017
Turkey’s largest city is continuing to grow with new projects from the city’s most talented entrepreneurs. Whether it’s a brand new restaurant, café, or bar with exceptional food and cocktails, or a boutique shop with gorgeous desirable objects, there are plenty of new things to discover all around Istanbul. We rounded up our favorite new openings.

MSA Restaurant

Restaurant, Turkish, $$$
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Formerly the famous Müzedechanga restaurant, the coveted space on the top floor of the Sakıp Sabancı Museum now has a new proprietor. Overlooking the mansion-turned-museum’s beautiful garden and a view of the Bosphorus, there really was no better candidate to take over the business than MSA (Istanbul’s most renowned culinary school). Here you’ll get to fawn over the creations of the school’s chefs and mixologists in training, with a menu that’s pretty comprehensive in scope.
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Tue - Sun:
12:30 pm - 12:00 am

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Casual, Fine Dining, Gourmet, Outdoors, Modern

Mittag

Restaurant, Turkish, $$$
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One of the most exciting openings in the up and coming neighborhood of Reşitpaşa, Mittag is the first endeavor of Fatma Yıldırım, an MSA alum and previous employee at Istanbul’s legendary Mikla restaurant. One of the most innovative lunch menus in town, you’ll find Turkish classics that have been reinterpreted and are downright delicious. Mittag also serves an excellent brunch on Sundays between 11am and 2:30pm.
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Tue - Sat:
12:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sun:
11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner, Brunch

Atmosphere:

Casual, Modern, Relaxed

Zeferan

Restaurant, Middle Eastern, $$$
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Istanbul’s only Azerbaijani restaurant opened up in a beautiful space on the Ajwa Hotel Sultanahmet’s top floor overlooking the historical peninsula and waterfront. At Zeferan, traditional dishes such as Lüla Kebap (kebap made with lamb, lamb tail fat, and onions), Şah Pilav (homemade flat dough filled with dried fruits, chestnut, and Azerbaijani rice and beef), or Pil Dolması (vine leaves stuffed with minced lamb, buffalo yogurt, and mint) are all part of an excellent menu that’s executed perfectly.
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Mon - Sun:
7:00 am - 12:00 am

Meal service:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Fine Dining, Modern, Traditional

Mürver

Restaurant, Turkish, $$$
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Mikla was one of Istanbul’s first successful haute cuisine restaurants and its celebrity chef Mehmt Gürs has gone on to open many casual eateries with the same underlying principles. Mürver, inside the Novotel Bosphorus Hotel, is his latest venture which overlooks the Bosphorus from a chic rooftop interior complete with a bar and lounge area. You’ll find a meat-centric menu that utilizes various cooking techniques from smoked to slow-cooked.
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Mon - Sun:
12:00 pm - 12:00 am

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Fine Dining, Gourmet, Modern, Stylish

Must

Restaurant, Bar, Turkish, Italian, $$$
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Courtesy of Must Nişantaşı
Courtesy of Must Nişantaşı

It’s hard to overlook this newly opened venue in Istanbul’s upscale Nişantaşı neighborhood because of its awning that reads ‘There MUST be some cool people here.’ As promised, Must Nişantaşı is all about that particularly cool vibe from its marble top bar to its fine dining menu, the sleek interior to the pretty people that call themselves regulars. On the weekends the dark and sexy space gets rowdy with DJ sets that go on until the early hours.
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Mon - Sun:
10:00 am - 2:00 am

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Fine Dining, Modern, Stylish

A Wai Lou

Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
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Courtesy of Must Nişantaşı
Courtesy of Must Nişantaşı

Finally a place for authentic Chinese food in Istanbul, A Wai Lou opened its doors in the Mecidiyeköy neighborhood with a menu of classic dishes ranging from dumplings to fried rice, sweet and sour chicken to Peking duck and much more. The decoration abides to the classic Chinese restaurant aesthetic including paper lanterns and plenty of green tea served in traditional ceramic cups. Istanbulites will also be happy to know that the restaurant delivers.
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Mon - Sun:
11:30 am - 10:30 pm

Meal service:

Takeaway, Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Casual, Outdoors, Traditional

Kase No. 16

Restaurant, Turkish, $$$
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Courtesy of Kase No.16
Courtesy of Kase No.16

The Teşvikiye neighborhood continues to see one cool opening after the other and the latest is a café focused on delicious meals served exclusively in bowls. With a simple yet elegant interior, in a white-meets-marble color spectrum, Kase No.16 features twelve items on the menu including mains such as salmon, shrimp, chicken tikka masala, or Swedish meatballs served with a few sides such as basmati rice, mashed potatoes, black quinoa, or seasonal greens.
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Mon - Sun:
12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Casual, Relaxed, Unusual

Room + Rumours

Bar, Cafe, Turkish, $$$
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A great place to shop for clothing and accessories from Istanbul’s up and coming designers, Room + Rumours is also a place to hang out and meet new people. Located in the upscale Nişantaşı neighborhood, you can browse through books and magazines while you have a snack, or drop by a bit later for a signature cocktail at the bar.
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Mon - Sat:
10:00 am - 1:00 am

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Casual, Modern, Relaxed, Stylish