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Best places for alfresco dining in Istanbul


Istanbul is a cosmopolitan city, packed with restaurants, cafés and bars, many of them with terraces and gardens where you can eat in the open air. From locally sourced ingredients to the finest sushi in the capital, we have the top five places to enjoy sensational food against a stunning backdrop

City Guide
Emily Scrivener,

Nicole

Previously named La Mouette, Nicole is situated on the roof terrace of Beyoğlu’s Tomtom Suites hotel. Contemporary Mediterranean cuisine is served alfresco with superb views over the most historic part of the city. The menu changes every six weeks to accommodate seasonal ingredients and all the food is sourced locally, while the bread, ice cream and chocolates are all handmade. A perfect marriage of inventive dishes with superb views, Nicole is a restaurant not to be missed.

Nicole, Tomtom Suites, Boğazkesen Caddesi, Tomtom Kaptan Sokak 18, Beyoğlu, Istanbul, +90 (0)212 292 4467

Mikla

Located on the rooftop of the fashionable Marmara Pera hotel, Mikla has a contemporary interior but also offers magical views over the ancient city that transport visitors back to the past. The fusion of old and new is also reflected in the food. Mikla launched its ‘New Anatolian Kitchen’ in 2012; in this new approach, the cuisine of the past is reinterpreted using new perspectives and techniques. The result?  Carefully sourced and selected produce from octopus to bluefish to bulgur ice cream, all cooked to perfection.

Mikla, Marmara Pera, Meşrutiyet Caddesi 15, Beyoğlu, İstanbul, +90 (0)212 293 5656

Zuma

Renowned contemporary Japanese restaurant Zuma’s Istanbul outpost has an impressive location in Örtaköy, right on the water’s edge overlooking the Bosphorus. We recommend going at dusk (though it’s amazing at any time of day) when you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the Örtaköy mosque, which at times appears to float upon the sea. The menu is expectedly diverse, featuring everything from sushi and sashimi to signature dishes such as marinated black cod wrapped in Hoba leaf.

Zuma, Salhane Sokak 7, Ortaköy, Istanbul, +90 (0)212 236 2296

Sunset

Sunset grill and bar offers an excellent selection of seasonal dishes from Mediterranean, Turkish and New Japanese cuisine, all served against a stunning Bosphorus backdrop. The restaurant prides itself on being the first to introduce a sushi bar to Istanbul, and offers an impressive array of sashimi and makimono (rolled sushi). Its wine list is also particularly impressive – it proudly claims to have Turkey’s most precious wine collection. The draped canopy above the terrace frames the city skyline and the Asian shoreline perfectly, creating an intimate and highly impressive dining experience.

Sunset, Adnan Aygun Caddesi, Yol Sokak 2, Ulus, Istanbul, +90 (0)212 287 0357

Ulus 29

Tucked away from the crowds, Ulus 29 is located in the smart hilltop district of Ulus. Renowned for its lively atmosphere as well as its food, this restaurant is one of the hottest spots for alfresco dining. Resident DJ Cem Salman plays an assortment of music throughout the night, accompanying you on your dining journey. The menu is made up of three parts: avant garde, traditional Turkish dishes and appetising sushi selections, enabling customers to sample a variety of gastronomic delights. Open in summer, the terrace offers incredible views of the Bosphorus.

Ulus 29, Ahmet Adnan Saygun Caddesi, Ulus Parki Ici 1, Ulus, Istanbul, +90 (0)212 358 2929

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