Old Istanbul Restaurant Areas

Last Updated on August 7, 2022

"Old Istanbul" refers to the peninsula south of the Golden Horn, the historic city of the Byzantine emperors and Ottoman sultans, with its great mosques and palaces.

You'll want to familiarize yourself with the dining possibilities in your hotel district, but of course you'll want to try restaurants in other areas as well. Here's the rundown on Old Istanbul's dining areas.

Sultanahmet Restaurants

Many (but not all) eateries right in the center of the tourist action cater mostly to foreign visitors with dishes modified to suit the preferences of foreign visitors, and prices that are higher than in other areas of the city. But if you're looking for a European-style dining experience with sidewalk tables, pleasant atmosphere and other foreign visitors to chat with, this is the place. More...

Cankurtaran Restaurants

Most of the restaurants in the Cankurtaran hotel districtare ranged along Akbıyık Caddesi right in the midst of the hotels. Their outdoor seating areas are delightful on warm evenings. More...

Sirkeci Restaurants

Some of the best dining—and value—in Old Istanbul is in and around Sirkeci, just a short walk or tram ride from Sultanahmet. More...

Eminönü Restaurants

Near Sirkeci railroad station, the ferry docks, Egyptian (Spice) Bazaar and Galata Bridge are several fine restaurants. Under the Galata Bridge are simple eateries where you can have a traditional Istanbul fish sandwichMore....

Hocapaşa Restaurants

This neighborhood just south of Sirkeci station has a dozen small eateries patronized mostly by locals, with good food, friendly service and low to moderate prices. More...

Beyazıt Restaurants

Few tourists patronize the many Turkish eateries south of Beyazıt Square, the Beyazit Mosque and Grand Bazaar, and thus they have lower prices for still quite good food. There are also good dining opportunities in the bazaar itself, and at the Süleymaniye MosqueMore...

Grand Bazaar Restaurants

Being virtually a town in itself, Istanbul's Grand Bazaar(Kapalı Çarşı) has plenty of its own restaurants, from simple workaday eateries for bazaar folk to smooth white-tablecloth tourist places.

Kumkapı Restaurants

The Sand Gate (Kum Kapı) district of Istanbul has had seafood restaurants since Byzantine times. Tables spill out onto the street, and make for a jolly scene of diners, servers, itinerant peddlers and musicians. For awhile, rip-offs and cheating on the bill were so common I couldn't recommend Kumkapı, but things are getting better. More...

—by Tom Brosnahan

Visit our Facebook group:

Get a Quote