The culinary scene is one of Istanbul’s main charms, new openings pop up anytime and anywhere in the city. Here are our picks of the best latest restaurants and bars, keeping you up-to-date with the city’s latest food trends.

Foxy

Chef Maksut Aşkar teams up with local wine expert Levon Bağıs to create a place they have been dreaming up for years: a wine bar with a menu filled with only local grape varieties.  Although the first of its kind in Istanbul, Foxy wasn’t established to set new trends, but rather reflect on the path the owners have already been on, which include wines made by Bağıs himself. SuB Karaköy, Necatibey Caddesi No.91, Karaköy; T: 0212 243 00 05; followthefoxy.com

Foxy

Alaf 2tek

What you’re going to enjoy at Alaf 2tek is traditional rakı—as the name suggests, go for tek for single, or make it two if you have company. The food is where the novelty really kicks in: instead of a major display of classic mezze, expect Chef Murat Deniz Temel’s signature combinations that bring to mind his carefully curated offerings from the dining area upstairs. In season, have the sea urchin. On a cold winter day, go for crispy mantı. To call upon the spirit of the historic koltuk meyhane, have a sheep’s head cold cut, which you can easily wrap into a dürüm with thin lavas bread. Kuruçeşme Caddesi No. 19, Kuruçeşme; T: 0530 979 47 95; alafkurucesme.com

Primitif

Tucked in the side streets of Harbiye, Primitif is a casual eatery for the on the go crowd that isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty. The chef’s focus is on just a handful of meat-based dishes that include burger varieties, sweet and spicy wings, and sausage. Traditional Portugese pastries of Belem, renamed as Dev (giant) Belem, are where the difference, and perhaps the beginning, of a new sweet fashion lie. Bilgiç Sokak No.25/A, Şişli

Pirimitif

Kozmonot Bomonti 

The second incarnation of the popular pub in Tesvikiye, Kozmonot reveals a grown up and refined face that appeals to the masses. The biggest advantage of entertainment spaces located within newly developed areas is their size, and the pub’s Bomonti address definitely benefits from that every step of the way. With two airy—yet heated—outdoor areas that are open during the colder winter months, and an eye-catching bar in the center ready to serve crowds, the brand seems to have answered the frequent visitor’s call for more space. As a bonus, Kozmonot will also open for breakfast. Düzoğlu Sokak No.2, Bomonti

Kozmonot Bomonti

Klar Coffee Co. 

An instant classic since its opening day, Klar Coffee Co. is currently the most popular cafe in the Bagdat Caddesi area. Why, you ask? Its celebrity couple owners might have something to do with it, but as far as the place is concerned, it checks all the right boxes to meet the requirements of cafes we all particularly like: really good coffee, all-day breakfast menu appealing to anyone, pet-friendly outdoor space, location close to the busy street yet secluded enough to keep away from the noise, long hours, speedy service, cosy indoors—the list can easily go on and on. Open from 8am until midnight, the place has got you covered with its daily desserts, no matter when your sweet cravings kick in. Ömerpaşa Sokak No.5/6, Caddebostan

Everything Bagel

Everything Bagel in Moda might not be the first place in Istanbul offering round pieces of bread with a hole, yet it might be the only one focusing solely on that variety. Unlike thin simit, with a capacity to include a variety of add-ons from scrambled eggs to cream cheese to bacon to avokado, Everything Bagel is easily converted into a complex meal on the go. Whether the local variety deserves the bagel name is another story: to us its texture falls in the middle, between the local and foreign varieties. Keresteci Aziz Sokak No.29 1A/1, Moda

Everything Bagel

Tian Xiang Fu Hot Pot

Tian Xiang Fu is the place to go for an authentic and flavorful Chinese hot pot experience. Although each person will have a personal pot, the meat, vegetables, and other food plates are ideal to share. The restaurant offers many soup bases, including the Mongolian basic pot, tomato pot, spicy lemon pot, and different spicy pots. Each of them is cooked with a variety of Chinese spices and has layers of flavor. If you love spicy food, Tian Xiang Fu’s beef oil spicy pot will definitely make you sweat. Halaskargazi Caddesi No.171/A, Şişli; T: 0212 296 85 55

Kilye Lokanta

Eceabat-based natural foods producer, Kilye, has entered the food service sector by opening its first branded restaurant at Emaar Square. Since locally produced food specialties are Kilye’s forte, the restaurant follows that lead with an all-day service of Turkish cuisine, offering a full spectrum of classic dishes. Breakfast options include Kilye’s signature homemade products such as olives, jams, tahini, and molasses. At lunchtime, the place turns into a traditional lokanta with a daily menu, serving busy shoppers and working crowds on the go. In the evening, traditional Turkish mezze steals the spotlight, transforming the place into an elegant tavern.Emaar Square, Unalan; T: 0216 510 3614

Yeniköy “eski âdet”

Translating to “old custom” in Turkish, Yeniköy “eski âdet” is a nostalgic homage to the neighborhood’s colorful past. Its ambiance, as if recreated from old family photos, takes diners on a journey in time to a Greek tavern curated with care and meticulous attention to details. The menu is a great mix of Greek-influenced dishes with a surprising twist: think mastic-flavored eggplant salad, artichoke paste, or grilled hellim (halloumi) cheese wrapped in grape leaves — all equally delicious. The new custom would dictate that it is enjoyed alongside a glass of rakı, but you might also choose one of the local wines from the restaurant’s well-thought-out wine list.Kapalı Bakkal Sokak No.3, Yeniköy; T: 0212 223 57 58

Zuko Street Food & Pub

From street vendors to chefs, the city has witnessed gastronomy professionals entering the dürüm race, recently welcoming one more contestant—Chef Didem Şenol, known for her Gram restaurants. Steering away from Gram’s plant-based signature dishes, Zukoputs forward meat-filled wraps, including kokoreç (sheep intestines), köfte (meatballs) and liver. An interesting option is a new take on classic schnitzel. If not on a lunch break, all dishes pair well with local beers, which are also part of the menu. Orjin Plaza, Maslak

Tamirhane Mutfak 

Have you ever had a meal prepared by an architect? If the answer is no, now you have the opportunity to give it a try at the newly opened Tamirhane Mutfak in the industrial zone in Maslak. The inspiring location, tucked in between auto body shops combines a simple kitchen, dining space, and an architectural office of Tamirhane Tasarım that overlooks the entire space. Delicious plates such as salads, wraps, or meatballs are prepared daily. At the end of the meal, prepare to be visually inspired and ready to creatively rearrange your own space as well. Atatürk Oto Sanayi, 33. Sokak No.1376, Maslak

Parma Sole

Mixing nature, good food, and comfy accommodation, Parma Sole turned boutique hotel and destination restaurant checks all the boxes on your weekend getaway list. The restaurant’s menu, alongside Italian classics, aims to highlight the nuances of Parma’s local cuisine, some of which might be known only to those with advanced knowledge of Italian culinary traditions. Must-tries in this category include torta fritta, a puffy, crispy bread pillow for a slice of Parma ham or mortadella; homemade cappelletti (a type of stuffed pasta shaped as little hats) or tortelli (not to be confused with much smaller tortelloni and tortellini). Sahilköy, Kozalı Caddesi No:23, 34980 Şile; T: 0850 333 12 12 

Ringa

Ringa is a waterfront seafood restaurant in Kuruçeşme, offering eye and taste bud-pleasing options. The menu at Ringa takes diners on a culinary journey around the Mediterranean, from Turkey and Greece, all the way to France and Spain. Before jumping right into ordering from the menu, take a quick trip to the mezze display to get visually inspired for the meal to come: you might suddenly feel the need to choose something you hardly ever go for. Oligark Istanbul, Muallim Naci Caddesi No.58, Kuruçeşme; T: 0532 066 03 03

Kun Society

Although Kun Society opens in the morning, its true personality fully blooms after dark, as the all-day restaurant and lounge transforms with a magnetizing blend of private club-like vibe and sensational food. The star of the evening food service is the sushi menu crafted by Chef Hiroki Takemura, which boasts exclusive signature rolls alongside the well-known classics. Haydar Aliyev Caddesi No.204/A, Tarabya; T: 0542 616 34 34

Leblon Burger 

Arda Türkmen transformed the dining area on the ground floor of the Haze Hotel in Karaköy into a comfort food wonderland, Leblon Burger. As the name suggests, burgers are the center of attention on the menu and are offered in two sizes, with two bread options (classic and focaccia) and two sauce add-ons (red, with spicy notes, and white–on the acidic side) to mix and match according to personal preference. Catching the eyes of passersby is the ice cream fridge by the entrance—if you want to try something you haven’t had before, go for the chef’s special flavor with candied pumpkin. Maliye Caddesi No.8/A, Karaköy

Muutto

Carrying Chef Umut Karakuş’s signature style, Muutto in Moda provides refined options, particularly with the mezze selection, available to eat in or grab-and-go. The dürüm menu is the backbone of the offering, including original takes on local street food staples like söğüş (boiled sheep’s head) and kokoreç (grilled sheep’s intestines), as well as other popular quick snack options like falafel, liver, and ribs. Within the selection of mezzes, you can find tasty dishes like eggplant salad, hummus, and Aegean greens, among several other options. Cemal Süreya Sokak No.57/2A, Kadıköy; T: 0216 515 62 45

Muutto
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