Flat lay photo of dinner on the table.
Flat lay photo of dinner on the table.
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Apartıman Yeniköy

Istanbul

The Best Casual Restaurants in İstanbul

These relaxed Istanbul food spots will treat your senses.

Updated on Jan 28, 2024 | World of Mouth team

Istanbul, full of bazaars, stunning architecture and history, is located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. The city offers a vibrant food scene and a selection of great, casual dining options, which we highlight in this Istanbul guide. We will highlight spots like Foxy Nişantaşı, focusing on local wines, Çiya Sofrası, offering traditional Anatolian cuisine and Lades Menemen, offering an all-day local breakfast with dozens of Turkish egg dish options.

The restaurants in this article have been picked based on personal recommendations from World of Mouth experts like Maksut Askar, Mehmet Gurs and Ali Kurshat Altinsoy. These top picks are perfect for experiencing the city's diverse culinary offerings, regardless of if you're a local or just visiting.

Apartıman Yeniköy

Yeniköy, Köybaşı Cd. No:153

Yeniköy, Köybaşı Cd. No:153, 34464 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Türkiye

Renowned for its innovative take on traditional recipes, Apartıman Yeniköy is a lively, no-fuss neobistro that offers a unique dining experience. The restaurant is particularly noted for its Sunday brunch, which includes an array of dishes such as fragrant spicy muhamarra with walnuts, sujuk with beans, and slow-cooked egg with yogurt. Dishes are crafted with local ingredients, often sourced from the owners' farm, and are presented with a creative twist, such as tarama with finger lime drops and pistachio/sheep’s milk cheese with rose petal paste.

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If it's a weekend breakfast for me, I go to Apartiman. The chef, Burçak Kazdal is super talented, and her ideas and ways to use products and traditional recipes are incredible. Apartiman is not a breakfast place, they do amazing breakfasts only on Sundays. You will not regret going here.
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Apartıman Yeniköy

Apartıman Yeniköy

Yeniköy, Köybaşı Cd. No:153

Yeniköy, Köybaşı Cd. No:153, 34464 Sarıyer/İstanbul, Türkiye

Foxy Nişantaşı

Harbiye, Mim Kemal Öke Cd. No:1 D

Harbiye, Mim Kemal Öke Cd. No:1 D, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul, Türkiye

Foxy Nişantaşı is known for its focus on local wines made from endemic Turkish grapes, carefully selected by a knowledgeable team. The menu is designed to complement the wines, with small bites and plates like hummus with hazelnuts, whipped tarama with simit chips, and light, fried aubergine with pomegranate molasses. If you're still hungry, the spaghetti with bottarga and Turkish chili is a popular choice.

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As natural as the wine This watering hole belongs to Maksut Askar, chef of Neolokal, one of the best Istanbul’s restaurants. Great simple (but not that simple — it’s Maksut!) food like padrónes or beef tartare on the bed of Russian salad or delicious pasta and great selection of natural wines, Turkish first of all.
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Foxy Nişantaşı

Foxy Nişantaşı

Harbiye, Mim Kemal Öke Cd. No:1 D

Harbiye, Mim Kemal Öke Cd. No:1 D, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul, Türkiye

Çiya Sofrası

Caferağa, Güneşli Bahçe Sok

Caferağa, Güneşli Bahçe Sok, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Türkiye

Located in the Kadiköy district, Çiya Sofrası offers a diverse array of traditional Anatolian cooking. The establishment is run by Musa Dağdeviren, a chef and culinary anthropologist, who collects rare recipes from all over Turkey, resulting in a menu that changes daily. From lahmacun and kebab to the best stuffed intestines, the dishes are served on a marble surface for customers to choose what they want to eat.

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In this place in the Kadiköy district you can see the colours of different cooking and recipes from all around Anatolia and it has been there for a while. I remember the first time I went there with my mom when I was in school. I love these staple places that has been around forever. This is a place where they cook all these traditional home cooking dishes and serve them on a marble surface and you just choose what you want to eat. You can have a really good lahmacun and kebab but I mainly focus on the best stuffed intestines the serve, and many other dishes.
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Çiya Sofrası

Çiya Sofrası

Caferağa, Güneşli Bahçe Sok

Caferağa, Güneşli Bahçe Sok, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Türkiye

Karaköy Lokantası

Kemankeş Mahallesi, Kemankeş Cd. No:57

Kemankeş Mahallesi, Kemankeş Cd. No:57, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Known for its fresh Turkish cuisine, Karaköy Lokantası is a versatile dining spot that transitions from a lokanta, serving ready-made food during the day, to a meyhane, a tavern-like atmosphere in the evenings. The restaurant is highly recommended for both lunch and dinner due to its cool atmosphere and fantastic food, including delicacies like delicious liver, aubergine with bechamel, and fresh cold starters from the counter. Its terrace is another highlight, providing a perfect setting to enjoy the extremely fresh cooked food.

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A fine place for fine Turkish food. Perfect terrace and extremely fresh cooked food. Must visit acknowledged by foodies, confirmed by me. The liver was delicious, aubergine and bechamel and the fresh cold starters from the counter.
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Karaköy Lokantası

Karaköy Lokantası

Kemankeş Mahallesi, Kemankeş Cd. No:57

Kemankeş Mahallesi, Kemankeş Cd. No:57, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Lades Menemen

Katip Mustafa Çelebi, Mahallesi, Sadri Alışık Sk. 11/12 11/12 11 D:12

Katip Mustafa Çelebi, Mahallesi, Sadri Alışık Sk. 11/12 11/12 11 D:12, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

With a rich history dating back to the 1950s, Lades Menemen has been a go-to spot for breakfast lovers for decades. The restaurant is renowned for its traditional Turkish breakfast, featuring a delightful spread of olives, cheese, honey, clotted cream, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. They also serve a special dish called menemen, a light version of shakshuka, and a unique sweet dessert made from chicken breasts known as Tavuk Gögsü.

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Breakfast is important for us in Istanbul and my favourite breakfast place is Lades Menemen. It’s been there since the 1950’s and I've been going there for more than 25 years. They do an all day breakfast and it's super casual and delicious food. I would order the typical Turkish breakfast, which is super simple. It's olives, cheese, honey and clotted cream with tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. If we want an egg, which we call menemen, it would be a fried egg with tomatoes and peppers, similar to shakshuka, but a lighter version. They’re also a dairy custard shop and in Istanbul the custard makers also serve traditional chicken breast custards, which we call Tavuk Gögsü. So a sweet dessert with chicken breasts. So they use the chicken breasts for desserts and the eggs of the chickens are used next door for the menemen and the other parts of the chicken goes for lunch.
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Lades Menemen

Lades Menemen

Katip Mustafa Çelebi, Mahallesi, Sadri Alışık Sk. 11/12 11/12 11 D:12

Katip Mustafa Çelebi, Mahallesi, Sadri Alışık Sk. 11/12 11/12 11 D:12, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Yeni Lokanta

Tomtom, Kumbaracı Ykş. No:66/B

Tomtom, Kumbaracı Ykş. No:66/B, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

With a modern take on Turkish ingredients, Yeni Lokanta offers a unique dining experience. One of their must-try dishes is the traditional Turkish dumplings, otherwise known as mantı. This low-key restaurant is appreciated for its good vibes and tasty menu, which includes a 7-course sharing option.

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You need to go to Yeni Lokanta and definitely eat their mantı - the traditional Turkish dumplings.
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Yeni Lokanta

Yeni Lokanta

Tomtom, Kumbaracı Ykş. No:66/B

Tomtom, Kumbaracı Ykş. No:66/B, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Zübeyir Ocakbaşı/Taksim

Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi Bekar Sokak No::28, Şehit Muhtar

Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi Bekar Sokak No::28, Şehit Muhtar, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

This spot, Zübeyir Ocakbaşı/Taksim, is known for its simplicity and delicious food. It specializes in a variety of charcoal grilled meats and tasty meze. With a lively and bustling atmosphere, it's a popular spot for those who enjoy Turkish grilled meats.

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Grilled meats This place is great because of its simplicity. Delicious meze and a variety of charcoal grilled meats. A must whenever visiting Istanbul.
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Zübeyir Ocakbaşı/Taksim

Zübeyir Ocakbaşı/Taksim

Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi Bekar Sokak No::28, Şehit Muhtar

Şehit Muhtar Mahallesi Bekar Sokak No::28, Şehit Muhtar, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Adana Ocakbasi

No:2, Bozkurt, Baysungur Sk

No:2, Bozkurt, Baysungur Sk, 34375 Şişli/İstanbul, Türkiye

This local neighborhood grill, Adana Ocakbasi, is renowned for its speciality in cooking every part of the animal, making it an ideal spot for offal lovers. It provides a non-touristic experience, welcoming all guests, including foreigners. If you are a fan of trying out all cuts of an animal, this restaurant is worth a visit.

Recommended by

The specialty of this grill is cooking every part of the animal, so if you like offal you definitely need to go here. For me it's all about eating all cuts of the animal, and that’s why I like going to Adana Ocakbaşı. The restaurant is not touristic, it’s in a local neighborhood, but they always welcome foreigners. You would definitely love it.
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Adana Ocakbasi

Adana Ocakbasi

No:2, Bozkurt, Baysungur Sk

No:2, Bozkurt, Baysungur Sk, 34375 Şişli/İstanbul, Türkiye

Aheste

Asmalı Mescit, Meşrutiyet Cd. No:107 D:F

Asmalı Mescit, Meşrutiyet Cd. No:107 D:F, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

With a focus on shared dining experiences, Aheste provides an enjoyable ambiance for an evening out with friends. The food and service are frequently praised, contributing to the overall positive vibe of the place. The restaurant also offers an easy online reservation system for a hassle-free booking experience.

Recommended by

If you’re into a friendly and tasty evening with friends to share your food and drinks Aheste is spot on. Great food, service and vibe… If you’re into a friendly and tasty evening with friends to share your food and drinks Aheste is spot on.
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Aheste

Aheste

Asmalı Mescit, Meşrutiyet Cd. No:107 D:F

Asmalı Mescit, Meşrutiyet Cd. No:107 D:F, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Şehzade Cağ Kebap

Hoca Paşa, Hoca Paşa Sk. No:6 D:4

Hoca Paşa, Hoca Paşa Sk. No:6 D:4, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

In the midst of numerous kebab shops, Şehzade Cağ Kebap stands out with its unique specialty of horizontally prepared kebabs. This establishment offers a distinct culinary experience, setting it apart from the rest. The kebabs served here are often described as a real treat, making it a worthwhile visit for those seeking a special dining experience.

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In the middle of a street full of kebab joints, this is something else, a culinary gem, serving a real speciality, a horisontally prepared kebabs. A treat!
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Şehzade Cağ Kebap

Şehzade Cağ Kebap

Hoca Paşa, Hoca Paşa Sk. No:6 D:4

Hoca Paşa, Hoca Paşa Sk. No:6 D:4, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

Lades Pastaneleri

Merkez, Namık Kemal Cd. 41/A

Merkez, Namık Kemal Cd. 41/A, 34310 Avcılar/İstanbul, Türkiye

With more than 60 years of history, Lades Pastaneleri is a small but authentic eatery nestled in the heart of the Taksim neighborhood. It's known for its traditional Turkish breakfast, featuring the best chicken breast and eggs according to many. The restaurant operates with a unique philosophy of utilizing all parts of the chicken in its varied preparations, offering uninterrupted service from breakfast to dinner.

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Authentic Turkish breakfast. More than 60 years in the same place. The best chicken breast and eggs so far. The best and most authentic Turkish breakfast you will ever have. More than 60 years in the same place preparing the best chicken breast and eggs so far. Lades is a small place in the middle of the Taksim neighborhood With the philosophy of using all the chicken for its different preparations from breakfast to dinner with uninterrupted service.
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Lades Pastaneleri

Lades Pastaneleri

Merkez, Namık Kemal Cd. 41/A

Merkez, Namık Kemal Cd. 41/A, 34310 Avcılar/İstanbul, Türkiye

Nato Restaurant

Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi Necatibey Caddesi, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Karanlık Fırın Sk. No:4 Karaköy

Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi Necatibey Caddesi, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Karanlık Fırın Sk. No:4 Karaköy, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

With more than 50 years of history, Nato Restaurant offers the charm of delicious Turkish home-cooked meals. Located in Karaköy, the eatery is a go-to spot for those seeking authentic local cuisine. The restaurant's longevity speaks volumes about its commitment to quality and tradition.

Recommended by

In Nato Lokantasi, located in Karaköy, you can find delicious Turkish home cooked meals. They have been there for more than 50 years.
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Nato Restaurant

Nato Restaurant

Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi Necatibey Caddesi, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Karanlık Fırın Sk. No:4 Karaköy

Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa Mahallesi Necatibey Caddesi, Kemankeş Karamustafa Paşa, Karanlık Fırın Sk. No:4 Karaköy, 34425 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye

Pandeli Restaurant

Rüstempaşa Mah. Balık Pazarı kapısı Sokağı Mısırçarşı İçi 1, Rüstem Paşa, D:2,

Rüstempaşa Mah. Balık Pazarı kapısı Sokağı Mısırçarşı İçi 1, Rüstem Paşa, D:2, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

Located in the heart of the spice market, Pandeli Restaurant has a rich history, being one of the oldest dining establishments in the area. They offer a menu filled with Istanbul classics such as a flavorful eggplant salad, an assortment of mezes, and börek, a savory pastry. The restaurant's atmosphere is enhanced by the vibrant photos taken by Gülin Özalp.

Recommended by

Pandeli is one of the oldest restaurants in town, located in the spice market. They serve Istanbul classics on their menu, like a really good eggplant salad, good mezes or a really good börek, a savoury pastry. Photo: Gülin Özalp
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Pandeli Restaurant

Pandeli Restaurant

Rüstempaşa Mah. Balık Pazarı kapısı Sokağı Mısırçarşı İçi 1, Rüstem Paşa, D:2,

Rüstempaşa Mah. Balık Pazarı kapısı Sokağı Mısırçarşı İçi 1, Rüstem Paşa, D:2, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

Saray Muhallebicisi - Teşvikiye

Harbiye Teşvikiye Caddesi SADUN APT. Apt Harbiye No: 19 B Harbiye No: 19 B, Harbiye, No: 19 B

Harbiye Teşvikiye Caddesi SADUN APT. Apt Harbiye No: 19 B Harbiye No: 19 B, Harbiye, No: 19 B, 34367 Şişli/İstanbul, Türkiye

Saray Muhallebicisi - Teşvikiye is a cantina chain known for its breakfast offerings, especially the boreks, with the sulu börek being a favorite among visitors. The restaurant offers a variety of dairy products including milk, yogurt, cheese, and butter, along with breakfast foods such as granola, eggs, and bread. In addition, the menu features a selection of desserts, beverages, and gluten-free options.

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I love breakfast here. Great boreks - especially the sulu börek. All day cantina chain across town. I love breakfast here at the Nisantasi spot. Great boreks - especially the sulu börek.
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Saray Muhallebicisi - Teşvikiye

Saray Muhallebicisi - Teşvikiye

Harbiye Teşvikiye Caddesi SADUN APT. Apt Harbiye No: 19 B Harbiye No: 19 B, Harbiye, No: 19 B

Harbiye Teşvikiye Caddesi SADUN APT. Apt Harbiye No: 19 B Harbiye No: 19 B, Harbiye, No: 19 B, 34367 Şişli/İstanbul, Türkiye

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