Some restaurants are built around the talent and charisma of one person—the executive chef—who goes above and beyond managing the kitchen. Their one-person brand ensures that, wherever they decide to go next, their fans will definitely follow.
Chef İnanç Baykar knows that dining out should be about quality and his menu at Amanda Bravo is a celebration of fresh, seasonal ingredients—short enough that a group of four could easily have it all in one go, yet perfectly balanced to ensure surprises on the palate each time you visit. Open Monday-Saturday, noon-5pm. Emirgan Sokak No.20, Sarıyer; T: (0212) 277 15 16
Antica Locanda is a place we frequent with pleasure for two reasons: the restaurant’s beautiful location and chef Gian Carlo Talerico’s exquisite menu. All occasions—from date nights to family gatherings to friendly get-togethers—turn into festive celebrations thanks to the owners’ attention to detail and the passion reflected in every dish. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 6pm-midnight. Satış Meydanı Sokak No.12, Arnavutköy; T: 0533 597 94 45
A daytime eatery with daily specials, Mittag is one of those places we all wish there were more of. Fatma Yıldırım goes above and beyond to make your late breakfast and lunch exciting, changing the courses according to the seasonal availability of the produce. Open Tuesday-Saturday, noon-7pm; Sunday, 11am-4pm. Kongre Caddesi No.63, Sarıyer; T: (0212) 323 61 25
Maksut Aşkar of Neolokal is constantly up for a culinary challenge, staying true to his roots and building on centuries-old Turkish culinary tradition by adding his own ideas and twists. With more than two decades of professional experience, he still believes there is plenty for him to learn, and his student-like curiosity has made him one of the most talked about chefs on Istanbul’s culinary scene. Keep an eye on the upcoming pop-up dinners where he teams up with celebrity chefs from all over the world. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 7pm-2am. Bankalar Caddesi No.11; T: (0212) 244 00 16
Nicole is definitely the fanciest venue on our list, but with only a handful of tables it creates a memorable setting for classy, intimate gatherings. Aylin Yazıcıoğlu’s creative dishes are a legend around town, ensuring both comfort and surprise on the same plate. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 6:30-9:30pm. Tomtom Kaptan Sokak No.18, Tomtom; T: (0212) 292 44 67
After 2016’s move from Akaretler to Kuruçeşme, İsmet Saz’s TOI is cosier than ever. The menu changes every six weeks so always try something new but never neglect the classics, such as Saz’s famous beef Wellington. Open Monday-Saturday, 7pm-2am. Kuruçeşme Caddesi No.11, Kuruçeşme; T: (0212) 258 00 29
One of the best contemporary eateries in Beyoğlu, Yeni Lokanta could easily become your favorite dining spot during the colder months. Browse through Civan Er’s selection of dishes to share as moody lighting brings out the best of the conversation. Open Monday-Saturday, noon-1am. Kumbaracı Yokuşu No.66, Tomtom; T: (0212) 292 25 50