5 Best Restaurants in Galata and Karakoy, Istanbul

Arada Endülüs

$$ | Karaköy

With ornate Arabesque decorations and mosaic lamps, this centrally located café is an atmospheric place to spend a long morning. The picturesque breakfast spread is expansive and includes a mixture of Turkish and Lebanese dishes. Arada has two other outposts, one a five-minute walk up the hill from this one and the other in Üsküdar.

Balık Dürüm Mehmet Usta

$ | Karaköy

Fresh-grilled fish with raw onions encased in a lightly grilled, oily wrap is the perfect lunch-to-go, and while the seaside is dotted with many balık dürüm (fish wrap) vendors, this small storefront on a Karaköy side street is the best of the bunch.

Mumhane Cad. 37, Istanbul, Turkey
Known For
  • family-run business
  • traditional Turkish street food
  • sidewalk seating

Gümrük Karaköy

$$ | Karaköy
Greek chef Stavriani Zervakakou brings a skillful hand and a variety of Mediterranean influences to her menu at this Karaköy restaurant, where the impeccable service matches the top-notch food. Lighter fare such as a gourmet version of a classic Istanbul fish sandwich is available throughout the day, while dinner specials include adventurous preparations such as smoked sardine with melon or keşkek (a traditional wheat stew) with cinnamon and grilled kidney.
Gümrük Sok. 4, Istanbul, Turkey
Known For
  • beautiful, quirky decorations
  • innovative Mediterranean cuisine
  • sidewalk seating
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun., Reservations essential

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Karaköy Lokantası

$ | Karaköy

By day, this sleek, airy restaurant with a large outdoor dining area offers a changing menu of reasonably priced Turkish vegetable and meat dishes. At night, it becomes a classy meyhane, serving an excellent variety of meze.

Kemankeş Cad. 57, Istanbul, Turkey
Known For
  • varied meze
  • sheltered outdoor seating
  • stylish atmosphere
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch Sun., Reservations essential


$$$$ | Karaköy
Seasonal Turkish cuisine is served here with a contemporary twist, from cacık with smoked yogurt, charred garlic, and pickles to tender octopus slow-cooked for hours to fresh fish—all artfully plated. It is not surprising that Mehmet Gürs, the famous chef behind Mikla, is a consultant to the restaurant. Eat in the warm, spacious interior or on the large, all-season patio that affords sweeping Bosphorus views.