The Best Middle Eastern Restaurants In Istanbul

Shish kebab
Shish kebab | © Robert/Flickr
Photo of Silviya Topchiyska
9 February 2017

For centuries Istanbul has been a crossroads for civilizations and significant historical events. Each nation that has passed through Istanbul has left a piece of its culture, including those in the Middle East. We have gathered a list of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Istanbul for true Middle Eastern taste.

© Alex Kehr/WikiCommons

Sultanahmet Kebab House

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Sultanahmet Kebab House

When we think Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine, we probably think of kebab. The Sultanahmet Kebab House offers you the kebab of the kebabs. The Ali Nazik kebab and the Sultan’s stuffed chicken are to die for. In addition to the traditional and lovely Middle Eastern cuisine, you will be greeted by the owner himself and served by warm and friendly staff with typical Middle Eastern Hospitality.

Alemdar mahhallesi, nuruosmaniye caddesi no:5, Sultanahmet Mh., 34110 İstanbul, +90 212 513 7799

Babylonian Garden Terrace Restaurant

Restaurant, Turkish, Middle Eastern, European, Mediterranean
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The Babylonian Garden Terrace Restaurant has been delighting both locals and tourists since 2003. It is located in the famous Sultanahmed area and it is run by a family who has been in the tourist industry for over 20 years. Aside from their seafood delicatessen, you do not want to miss out on their traditional Ottoman cuisine. All of this in the ambiance of traditional Middle Eastern interior.

Varka Antakya Lezzetleri

Restaurant, Middle Eastern
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Varka Antakya Lezzetleri is another typical Middle Eastern restaurant in Istanbul. Here, you will find the traditional tepsi kebab and the red pepper meze, that are hard to find elsewhere in the world. The owner has made it a point to specialize in Antakyan regional cuisine, which is very hard to cook right and time consuming. The restaurant is located close to Istiklai Caddesi.

Sirvan Sofrasi

Restaurant, Turkish, Mediterranean, BBQ, $$$
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Middle Eastern Cuisine
Middle Eastern Cuisine | © TakeawayWiki Commons
Located at the heart of Istanbul, near the Blue Mosque and on Sultanahmet Square and near the Haggia Sofia Mosque, Sirvan Sofrasi is easy to find and hard to miss. It is an established family business with decades of restaurant experience. The mixture of Turkish, Ottoman and Anatolyan specialties will amaze you. Look for the beyti wrap, the iskender kebab and the kebab with tomato on their menu.

Nar Grill House

Restaurant, Turkish
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Nar Grill House is a restaurant that truly takes pride in Turkish cuisine. Nar is one of the Middle Eastern cuisine restaurants in Istanbul that offer dry-aged steak and the only one in the Old City. The meat that they serve, both lamb and beef, comes from a small farm in Thrace. Their traditional Anatolyan slow-cooked dishes are definitely worth the wait. Look for the dry-aged beef and saraps on their menu.