Drinks with a View

In recent years, venues in Istanbul have been aiming high, literally, as an increasing number of savvy entrepreneurs take advantage of the city's greatest natural asset—its spectacular views. The proliferation of open rooftop dining and nightlife spots has been especially pronounced in the Beyoğlu neighborhood, which sits on a ridge overlooking the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, and the sights of Sultanahmet.

With the notable exception of Mikla, an upscale restaurant and sophisticated roof bar at the top of the 18-story Marmara Pera Hotel that is one of the city’s best, most of the venues offering panoramic views of the city tend to fall flat when it comes to food. But they make great places for a pre- or post-dinner drink—where else in the world can you gaze at two continents with a martini in hand?

In Beyoğlu, Leb-i Derya has an upper level where you can watch the sun set over the Bosphorus from a breezy, roofless terrace that’s open in summer. The open-air (and therefore summer-only) NuTeras is a chic lounge that serves finger food and looks out on the Golden Horn, while 5. Kat in Cihangir is a restaurant and lounge offering excellent views of the Bosphorus from both its indoor section and summer-only upper-level deck. Also in summer, the open-air terrace on the top of Mama Shelter Hotel on İstiklal Caddesi houses a restaurant and bar with a fun, happening vibe and excellent views all around.

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