Sinop, a historic port city nestled on northern Turkey
’s Black Sea coast, was recently named the country’s happiest city.
One look at its local dining scene and it’s not hard to see why. Fresh, locally caught fish dishes are accompanied by mouthwatering meze and Sinop’s favorite delicacy, manti. Read on for The Culture Trip’s roundup of the city’s 10 must-try restaurants.
Okyanus Balik Evi
Restaurant, Seafood, Turkish, Halal
Okyanus Balik Evi
Nestled on the edges of the Black Sea, fresh fish and seafood are naturally a focus in Sinop, and Okyanus Balik Evi is the perfect place to try it. Bustling and casual, the popular local restaurant serves a range of meze dishes and entrées, and though Okyanus Balik Evi’s menu changes on a daily basis according to available fresh produce, guests can expect classic Turkish small plates like fish soup accompanied by cornbread and fried pickles, followed by main courses like anchovies, turbot and wild sea bass. Head to the restaurant’s top floor where gorgeous views of Sinop and the Black Sea greet guests as they dine.
Okyanus Balik Evi, Meydankapi Mahallesi, Kurtuluş Caddesi 15, Sinop, Turkey, +90 368 261 39 50
Sinop Örnek Manti
Restaurant, Turkish, Mediterranean, European, $$$
Sinop Örnek Manti
Opened in 1992, family-run restaurant Sinop Örnek Manti has been serving its menu of local, specialty dishes for over two decades. As its name suggests, manti, the popular Turkish meat-stuffed dumpling-like dish, is its forte (opt for it topped with either walnuts or garlic yogurt), but plenty of other classic dishes feature on Sinop Örnek Manti’s menu. For example, there are soups, pasta and börek alongside tempting desserts like sütlaç, a traditional rice pudding-like dish, and lokma, a deep-fried Turkish take on the donut.
Sinop Örnek Manti, Meydankapı Mahallesi, İskele Caddesi 3/A, Sinop, Turkey, +90 368 261 32 53
Located within the modern Antik Otel, Alakart Restaurant boasts a stylish, cozy interior complemented by a gorgeous terrace overlooking the sea and a menu brimming with delicious fish and seafood dishes that perfectly pair with its sea views. Kick start your meal with a selection of appetite-whetting starters before opting for one of Alakart Restaurant’s richly flavored, innovative seafood recipes for a true taste of the bounty that the neighboring Black Sea has to offer.
Alakart Restaurant, Antik Otel, Gelincik Mahallesi, Ordu Caddesi, Dalyan Sitesi 33, Sinop, Turkey, +90 368 261 2526
Restaurant, Turkish, Italian, American
Nestled on the edges of the marina not far from Sinop Castle, Gelenbevy is a café and restaurant open all day. A breakfast buffet kicks off the restaurants activities, followed by a menu with a distinctly eclectic, international bent, so while guests will find plenty of Turkish dishes, local seafood, doner kebabs and manti included, there’s also many other options to choose. For instance, the menu boasts Italian-inspired pasta like farfalle with salmon and American-inspired eats like chicken wings, plus a range of indulgent desserts including berry cheesecake.
Gelenbevy, İskele Caddesi 8, Sinop, Turkey, +90 368 250 5755
Restaurant, Turkish, $$$
Often hailed as cooking up the best manti in town, Teyze’nin Yeri is the place to head for Sinop’s favorite local delicacy, but at this popular restaurant, there’s an added extra bonus. As its culinary staff prepares the dish in the middle of the dining room, guests can get up close and personal to the manti-making process. Top your manti with yogurts and walnuts and team with other dishes like gözleme (with cheese or sugared walnuts), börek, köfte and Circassian chicken.
Teyze’nin Yeri, Yeni Mahallesi, Gazi Caddesi 39, Sinop, Turkey, +90 368 261 73 68
Restaurant, Diner, Turkish
For a culinary tour of some of northern Turkey’s most favorite food, look no further than Mavi Ay, a casual, laid-back restaurant close to Sinop’s pretty marina. Go for breakfast and get a hearty, wholesome start to the day with a plate of menemen (a Turkish take on scrambled eggs with peppers and herbs) or go later in the day and dine on meaty options like Adana-style kebabs, köfte and steak or opt for a fish dish, there’s anchovies, calamari and scorpion fish to choose from, or Sinop’s gastronomic staple, manti. Finish with a classic dessert of künefe for a truly Turkish dining experience.
Mavi Ay, Meydankapı Mahallesi, İskele Caddesi 7, Sinop, Turkey, +90 545 310 25 49
Diner, Hotel Restaurant, Turkish, Mexican, Argentina
Flavor, quality and an extensive menu of Turkish and global cuisine are what sets Lakerda – one of Zinos Hotel’s two resident restaurants – apart from other local eateries. The restaurant’s eclectic menu has something to suit every diner from appetizers including Argentinian-style filo pastry stuffed with vegetables and cheese or almond shrimp to main courses like the Mexican-inspired chicken quesadilla, köfte and beef stroganoff. There are also plenty of seafood dishes such as grilled sea bream served with seasonal vegetables and scorpion fish fajitas with guacamole and sour cream.
Lakerda, Zinos Hotel, Ada Mahallesi, Enver Bahadır Yolu 69, Karakum Mevkii, Sinop, Turkey, +90 368 260 5600
Pub, Restaurant, Turkish, Pub Grub, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, Japanese
If Lakerda doesn’t take your fancy, head to Penthouse, Zinos Hotel’s rooftop pub and restaurant boasting gorgeous panoramic views of the city and the Black Sea beyond. The menu is largely the same as Lakerda’s, think salads, pasta, chicken dishes and meaty entrées like steak served with roasted eggplant and Japanese-style teriyaki sauce, but also includes a breakfast section offering fare like omelets and Turkish breakfast platters. An extensive drinks menu is served too featuring beer, wine, local spirits like raki and classic cocktails including cosmopolitans, mojitos and Long Island iced teas.
Penthouse, Zinos Hotel, Ada Mahallesi, Enver Bahadır Yolu 69, Karakum Mevkii, Sinop, Turkey, +90 368 260 5600
Tarihi Sebat Lokantasi
First opened in Istanbul in 1967, Tarihi Sebat Lokantasi is today a successful small group of restaurants boasting four locations in its hometown and a brand new locale in the heart of Sinop. The focus is the regional cuisine of Turkey’s Trabzon province with plenty of carnivore-friendly dishes like Akçaabat meatballs, Albanian-style liver and kebabs with béchamel sauce alongside classic seafood like anchovies and sides that include rice and bulgur pilaf, pumpkin moussaka and Turkish bean stew.
Tarihi Sebat Lokantasi, Meydankapı Mahallesi, Meydaneteği Sokak 2/A, Sinop, Turkey, +90 368 260 2500
Located around half an hour’s drive from Sinop in the small town of Erfelek, Öztürk Restaurant is a lovely rural retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Its hearty, rustic breakfasts make it a popular stop-off for travelers to refuel before exploring the beautiful nearby Erfelek Waterfalls. Choose from a range of local breads, homemade preserves like fig jam and apple molasses, fruit, eggs and cheeses alongside hearty plates like tirit, a traditional Turkish recipe of leftover bread, which Öztürk Restaurant cooks with chicken and beef.
Öztürk Restaurant, Aşağı Köprü Başı Mahallesi Hal Yeri 4, Erfelek, Sinop, Turkey, +90 368 511 37 38