Istanbul is one of the most amazing cities in the world. It is beautiful, cultured and loves food. Food is everywhere and it is a hot topic of conversation with everyone.
You can find everything from street food to sleepy neighbourhood restaurants. Glamorous modern Turkish cuisine sits happily alongside old-fashioned Ottoman dining. Everyone has a favourite place and ending up in a local favourite at two in the morning, after a night on the town, is the norm. Mighty Spice Kitchen loves this city and this is our ultimate Istanbul Restaurant guide. If we have missed anything out of our Istanbul Restaurant Guide, or you have any pix, please tweet them to us!
Breakfast of Champions
Start the day off with a mighty Turkish breakfast at Saray Restaurant (Sirkeci) in the huge square under the towering minarets of the beautiful Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Eggs, coffee (watch the Turkish coffee – if Red Bull gives you wings this stuff gives you jet packs), bread and fruit.
I can’t recommend the Karisik Mememen (baked eggs) at Saray Restaurant enough. Made with fried tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, Turkish salami and cheese. It is quintessentially Turkish and this place serves the best in the city. The main tourist attractions are a stone’s throw away form this fabulous spot, so you are well placed to walk off some of your epic breakfast.
Heavenly Kebaps in Asia
Hop a ferry to the Asia side of the city. Explore the food shops that line the narrow streets and make your way to lunch at Ciya Kabap (pronounced chi-ya). This basic-looking little restaurant is amazing. It serves traditional Turkish food, all cooked in-house.
It specialises in Turkish kababs, or Ke-bap as it is know. The Ciya Kebap is quite simply the best kebab in the world. Forget any late night mistake you might have had the misfortune to endure after a night out. This is a thing of utter beauty, tender spiced minced lamb, soft cheese and walnuts, wrapped in a thin layer of dough and baked till crispy. It is served with yogurt and fresh mint. This Turkish kebab is my idea of food heaven and an absolute must-eat for any visitor.
Baklava Dessert Stop
Stroll down to the ferry port at Sirkeci and head back across the Bosphorus to Karakoy on the European side and stop for dessert. Just around the corner from the ferry terminal is an Istanbul institution – Karakoy Gulluoglu. It is the Willy Wonker’s of baklavarias – floor to ceiling piled high with the honey soaked baklava glory. You can pick and choose what you like and sit outside in the sunshine to enjoy your baklava spoils.
Sunset Drinks at Istanbul Modern
Follow the harbor round to the Istanbul Modern Art Gallery for ‘gin and tonic o’clock’. Not only is this a kick ass gallery, but it also has a balcony with a view to die for. Grab a seat on the deck and watch the sun set over the Bosphorus and see the city sparkle into night – #MSKheaven!.
Art Deco Dinner at Karakoy Lokantasi
After you have glammed up for the evening, and yes this is a very glam city so put on your Sunday best, head to the stylish, Art Deco Karakoy Lokantasi restaurant for dinner. Karakoy Lokantasi restaurant serves some of the best Turkish food I have ever eaten. Their signature dish of thinly sliced liver, seasoned with Turkish chilli flakes, which is barbecued until smokey is out of this world. They specialise in seafood and there are plenty of options to choose from. I really loved the crisp-tasting sea bass ceviche with capers, fresh chilli and spring onions. It is a very popular establishment so worth booking in advance.
Thats to Culinary Backstreets guide for the image