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.


Having disappeared for a while after Sabancı Museum’s famous Changa restaurant closed its doors in 2017, chef Pınar Taşdemir began slowly cooking up her own project which came to life in Yeniköy. Araka’s dishes immediately bring to mind Changa’s aesthetics, being utterly delicious as well as very beautiful. If you have the chance to try the restaurant’s first menu, don’t hesitate to start with the cauliflower and follow it with smoked bonito. Kapalı Bakkal Sokak No.8, Yeniköy; T: (0212) 223 72 23

La Viña

The d.ream restaurant group’s latest place, La Viña opens it door at Zorlu Center’s main square serving excellent Spanish cuisine to Istanbulites. The menu includes a wide selection of starters which can also be enjoyed as tapas: fried red mullet with a light fennel salad, and Bomba de la Barceloneta (a type of crispy potato dumpling with a meat filling) are just a couple of examples. Also don’t miss those Spanish staples that we all know and love: gazpacho, tortilla, paella, and—Istanbul’s new favorite dessert—San Sebastian cheesecake. Zubizu users get 15 percent off the tab. Zorlu Center; Koru Sokak No.2, Levazım; T: (0212) 353 66 55

Markus Tavern

The young and ambitious chef İlke Gökgöl is making her mark on Istanbul’s dining scene with her little, cozy eatery in Etiler, Madame Tapas. This cosy place with a small garden offers a wide range of bites packed with surprising combinations of flavors. TGI tip: instead of the usual suspects, patatas bravas and quesadilla, try sweet potato croquettes and horseradish smoked salmon pincho with quail egg. Locals may fancy the restaurant’s daily menu, which goes beyond tapas. Yanarsu Sokak No.18/1, Etiler; T: (0212) 287 70 41/51

Madame Tapas

The concept behind Markus Prime Ribs Society’s Markus Tavern in Çukurcuma is halfway between an English pub and a Spanish taperia, serving comforting snacks in a homey ambience against a well-stocked bar. Perfect for an after-work unwind, it might be exactly what the doctor ordered on any given day of the week. Definitely one of our new favorites. Hayriye Caddesi No.16, Çukurcuma

Chef Meyhane

Just when you thought nothing could surprise you in the meyhane department, Chef Meyhane opened in Arnavutköy. Proving there is still room for creativity in Istanbul’s most popular evening dining concept, it has managed to present Mediterranean diet with a twist. Open daily from 6pm. Bebek Arnavutköy Caddesi No.64/2, Arnavutköy; T: 0530 067 50 42

The Steeve by İsmet Saz

The Steeve is a more casual alternative for chef İsmet Saz’s first restaurant, TOI. Here, dishes to share take center stage. The inspirations come from Mediterranean and South American cuisines, with French onion soup, Italian bruschetta, Spanish tortilla, ceviche, as well as a wide selection of taco-style bites in lavash on the menu. Intema Yaşam’s interiors have also undergone minor renovations and a semi-open outdoor space is now available to diners. Kanyon, Büyükdere Caddesi  No.185, Levent; T: (0212) 353 53 11;

A Bit of Eggo

Good news for paleo diet enthusiasts: a new casual eatery with a menu based on egg dishes has recently opened in Arnavutköy. A Bit of Eggo serves an all-day breakfast featuring all egg dish varieties known to mankind, as well as branola bowls, pancakes, croissants, and other popular treats. At lunchtime you might want to try the egg burger or a light salad, followed by a homemade dessert. Open daily 8am-6.30pm. Abdülhak Molla Sokak No.26, Arnavutköy; T: 0532 636 63 10

Monkey Bar

Overlooking the Golden Horn from the rooftop terrace of the Nejat Eczacıbaşı building in Şişhane, Monkey Bar opened at the end of June—right in time to make the most of Istanbul’s glorious summer nights. The place, located on the floor above Firuze restaurant, is the perfect spot for an afternoon aperitif, to watch the sunset, or go out for dinner and drinks. It will instantly become your new summer favorite! Şişhane Sokak No.5, Nejat Eczacıbaşı Building, Şişhane; T: (0212) 238 50 50


Tucked in between the exclusive boutiques of Abdi İpekçi Caddesi in Şişli, Nish Palace Hotel has welcomed Glens restobar to its family. Offering innovative cocktails and casual Italian dining, the place entered the city’s entertainment map with an exclusive opening event, well-attended by Istanbul’s glitterati. Abdi İpekçi Caddesi No.12, Şişli; T: (0212) 803 77 77


Gül Etker has tuned the neighboring space of his cosy Rumeli Hisarı seafood brasserie Kiss the Frog into a meyhane. Be sure to try the octopus lahmacun, the tomato mücver, and the homemade yanık (“burnt”) yogurt. Also on offer are more traditional meyhane staples. You may also ask what the chef “bügün ne yaptınız?”, or “what did you make today?”, as the menu suggests. Ask about pide and the desserts, too. Yahya Kemal Caddesi No.4, Rumeli Hisarı; T: (0212) 287 73 23

Hayatın Sofrası

A little home away from home, Hayatın Sofrası is a warm and inviting restaurant in Yeniköy. Reducing the use of sugar and salt and teaming up with İpek Hanım’s farm for high-quality organic produce, Owner Şenhayat Alp and her kitchen staff offer healthy, home-cooked meals. The breakfast menu includes Turkish classic options, as well as the ever-popular avocado toast and granola, while the lunch menu changes on a daily basis. There are also options for delivery and catering. Open daily 8.30am-6pm. Adnan Kahveci Caddesi No.140/A, Ferahevler, Yeniköy; T: (0212) 262 69 69