Müzedechanga, located within the lush gardens of the Sakıp Sabancı Museum, serves light dishes to the museum’s daytime guests and transforms into a foodie haven as the sun sets. The restaurant overlooks the Bosphorus; its terrace is relaxed and comfortable and the greenery adds to the tranquil aura. Müzedechanga’s clove-flavoured meatballs and mosaic cake are the perfect fuel for an evening stroll around the city.
Müzedechanga, Sakıp Sabancı Caddesi 42, Emirgan, +90 (0)212 323 0901
Art aficionados and trend-setting travellers will love this hip bistro. With its Art Deco crockery and eye-catching central installation, X Restaurant has become one of the most fashionable dining rooms in town. The intimate terrace is peppered with design elements from the main room, including kitsch black Perspex furniture. The restaurant is situated within the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV); diners come for the food and stay for the vibrant music, film and theatre programme.
X Restaurant, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, Sadi Konuralp Caddesi 5, Şişhane, +90 (0)212 334 0845
Reina has to be Istanbul’s most stylish open-air eatery. The interior features gilded chandeliers and sumptuous velvet, while the terrace décor is simpler, allowing the breathtaking view to speak for itself. Chef Fahrettin Temel tantalises guests with a full spectrum of Mediterranean flavours: the menu also includes Indonesian-style duck, veal fillets and hot asparagus tart.
Reina, Muallim Naci Caddesi 44, Ortaköy, +90 (0)212 259 5919
Feriye restaurant, restored in 1995, is known for its regal cuisine and is considered the world leader in Ottoman-style dining experiences. The restaurant is committed to tradition and many of the key dishes on the menu date back as far as the 12th century, including vine leaves stuffed with pastırma (spicy cured beef). Chef Vedat Başaran is a celebrity in his home country and his flavour combinations must be tasted to be believed.
Feriye Lokantası, Çırağan Caddesi 40, Ortaköy, +90 (0)212 227 2216
For a taste of Turkey, try the traditional meze dishes perfected by the chefs at Mavi Balık. The freshest fish and an enviable wine selection make it a favourite with locals and visitors alike. In the height of summer, a terrace table is the most valuable seat in the city. The yachts pass so close by that it’s almost possible to hop aboard for a trip along the Bosphorus.
Mavi Balık, Muallim Naci Caddesi 64/2, Kuruçeşme, +90 (0)212 265 5480