Whether you’re for or against it, Valentine’s Day does bring out soft, marshmallow-like feelings in all of us. After all, it’s a day that celebrates love! Anyone who’s thinking about celebrating February 14 with their lover over dinner will need to pick a restaurant for this special night. So, here is our list of romance-instilling restaurants around Istanbul. Have a look, take your pick, and enjoy an evening full of love!
Your lover is a sucker for beautiful views: Then all you have to do is arrange dinner somewhere where you can see Istanbul in all her glory. If you prefer a view of the Golden Horn and the Old City, head to Mikla where you’ll get a fixed pricemenu of two starters, a main course, dessert, and local wine for 210TL per person. If you prefer a Bosphorus view, head to Ulus 29 where you’ll get a fixed price menu for 200TL per person (including local drinks). The menu includes goat cheese and beetroot salad, mushroom ravioli, steak, and dessert. Sonia Herring will also be there for a live performance of soul, jazz, and blues. Mikla,The Marmara Pera, Meşrutiyet Caddesi 167/185 , Beyoğlu; P: (0212) 293 56 56. Ulus 29, A. Adnan Saygun Caddesi Ulus Parkı İçi, Ulus; P: (0212) 358 29 29.
Your lover loves all things from the sea: That’s an easy one! Head to Bebek Balıkçı or Sur Balık for a delicious seafood meal. If your partner likes classic things, Bebek Balıkçı may be more appealing (there’ll be a group playing guitar and violin on the night of the 14th from 7pm onwards). If your partner is more adventurous, especially when it comes to food, you may want to pick Sur Balık - they have some interesting dishes there, like balık mantısı (fish-filled dumplings, slathered in a garlic-yogurt sauce and dusted with herbs). Bebek Balıkçı, Cevdet Paşa Caddesi No. 26A, Bebek; P: (0212) 263 34 47. Sur Balık, Bebek Arnavutköy Caddesi No.52, Arnavutköy; P: (0212) 257 27 43.
Your lover is an aspiring hippie: Well, Kiva is no vegan restaurant, but it’s a restaurant that celebrates and supports local and seasonal food. So, take your down-to-earth lover to Kiva for some traditional Anatolian food. The Valentine’s Day special menu will include a mixed meze platter of mezes from 7 different regions of Turkey, followed by a dish from Tokat, one from Elazığ, and one from Diyarbakır. The meal, which will include unlimited local drinks, dessert, and Turkish coffee, costs 120 TL per person. Oh, and did we mention you’ll be right at the base of the Galata Tower? Galata Tower Square No. 4, Galata; P: (0212) 292 00 37
Your lover can’t have anything but the best: Changa is the recipient of “Best New Restaurant” award (Wallpaper – Design Awards 2007) and it’s under the consultancy of world-renowned chef Peter Gordon. Need we say more? Didn’t think so! Just remember that Changa offers a fixed price menu of 125 TL per person (including a glass of wine) that includes three starters, a main course, and dessert. Live music will liven up the place from 9pm onwards. Changa, Sıraselviler Caddesi No. 47/1 , Taksim; P: (0212) 251 70 64
You both live on the Asian Side: For your sanity’s sake, stay on the Asian side! Instead of spending a few hours in traffic traveling to and from the European side, spend those hours bonding (whichever way you please). For dinner, we suggest you go to Zanzibar. There’ll be a fixed price menu of 85TL and slow Turkish music playing throughout the night. Cemil Topuzlu Caddesi Köşk Sokak No. 112, Caddebostan; P: (0216) 385 64 30
You don’t care about a special Valentine’s Day menu or event – you just want good food and a romantic atmosphere: Well, then you’ve got lots of options. Enjoy wonderful views of the Bosphorus and go for what your heart desires – the best of Japanese or Turkish cuisine at Sunset. Indulge in pasta or pizza at Da Vittorio, the cutest Italian restaurant in town, or head to Papermoon, if you’re after a more serious setting. If you want great views and great food, head to Vogue. For a traditional seafood restaurant, head to Kıyı, or if you want a cozier atmosphere nestled between Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, head to Balıkçı Sabahattin. If you’re serious when it comes to music and wine, make your reservations at Riserva. If you want local and seasonal food at a cozy restaurant, Backyard is the way to go.