Time has come to recommend the ten best fish restaurants in Istanbul. Previously I already let you in on some secrets to pick a fresh fish, so now I’ll share where you can consume their fresh catch. Some establishments are chic and elite, some are unpretentious and moderate. However, they are all experts and very skillful when it comes to preparing fish. They’ll be a great host, provide the service you expect and serve amazingly delicious sea food.
Sur Balık Arnavutköy
Located on the European shore of the Bosphorus in Arnavutköy in a multi-story renovated Ottoman mansion, needless to stay that you’ll enjoy both stunning food and views at Sur Balık. Try to catch a seat on the top floor (balcony).
The restaurant offers, besides an array of mezes, both classic and more unusual seafood dishes. Their Black Sea sea bass is highly recommended, as well as the fish wrapped in chard, fried calamari, and fish in dough.
Al the fish served at Sur Balık is seasonal and fresh, do ask the friendly staff what catch of the day they recommend. Their wine cellar also houses an excellent local and international selection.
Open between noon and midnight every day of the week. Reservation is required and all credit cards are accepted.
Address: Bebek Arnavutköy Cad. No :52, Bebek – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 257 27 43
Rumelihisari İskele fish restaurant is located between the fortress with the same name and the second Bosphorus bridge, with great views of both as it sits almost on top of the Bosphorus. It’s very relaxed dining at Rumelihisari İskele, where you can sit and watch the Bosphorus traffic while indulging on some of the best sea food Istanbul has to offer.
The restaurant has been serving fish and sea food since 1992 and has a good reputation among the locals. Their popularity comes from its sincere, quality service, their traditional tastes, and great variety of superb local fresh fish and sea food.
Doors open at 12:00 p.m. and close around midnight every day. Reservation is required, all credit cards are accepted.
Address: Yahya Kemal Cad. No:1, Rumeli Hisarı Sarayı – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 263 29 97
The restaurant is named after its owner, originating from the Black Sea Region. As you can guess, it is a cozy family run restaurant. Serving sea food since the late 90s, this is a favorite place for the ones who prefer taste rather than looks.
The place has a modest decoration, yet they deserve to be less modest when it comes to the sea food, and their varieties of mezes. Grilled turbot is their expertise. The place is preferred by local celebrities, statesmen and famous businessmen.
Caution: it is pretty far from the city center, and with Istanbul’s notorious traffic jams, this will take up all your evening.
Daily open from 12:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.. Reservation is required and all credit cards are accepted.
Address: İskele cad. No:15, Rumeli Kavağı – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 242 64 47
The restaurant takes its name from the owner, Fisherman Sabahattin. He comes from a family in Mudanya, a town in Bursa located by the Sea of Marmara. His family knows, loves and respects both the sea and the sea food. He took over the business from his father, and now his sons also work with him. The restaurant is located in a historic building constructed in 1927. This is not a restaurant to go for neither the view nor chic. This restaurant is a real fine example of serving delicious sea food to local families.
Open from noon to midnight every day of the week. Reservation is required, and I recommend a table in the garden. If you are in the area and do not have a reservation, you can still go and wait a bit. I’m sure they will help you. All credit cards are accepted.
Address: Cankurtaran Mahallesi, Seyit Hasan Kuyu Sok No: 1, Sultanahmet – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 458 18 24
Besides the distinguished tastes and service, the restaurant has a mythological atmosphere with Renaissance pictures on the walls. Located by the sea in Bebek, one of the fanciest towns by the Bosphorus, the restaurant is a great example of an excellent fish restaurant. This elite restaurant has hosted both local and international celebrities such as Oliver Stone, German Foreign Affairs Minister Fischer, Al Gore, Jan Claude Van Dame, Catharine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu and the King of Bahrain.
Some of the restaurant’s specialties are cold appetizers of eggplant salad with Melissa sauce, parsley salad, şevketi bostan root, and spinach salad. Their famous hot appetizers are calamari, fish balls, ocean delight, and fish cooked on paper. The restaurant’s favorite is Fish in Salt. The highly recommended desserts are sweet pastry with quince, pumpkin desert and the chocolate soufflé.
It’s open every day of the week from 12:00 p.m. onwards. Reservation is required. All credit cards are accepted.
Address: Cevdet Paşa Caddesi No: 26/A, Bebek – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 263 34 47
Turkisk Cooking Classes and Authentic Home Cooking Lessons
This boutique restaurant has two branches, one in Beyoğlu and one in Yeşilköy, which is close to the airport. Masterfully cooked and served Aegean herbs and vegetables, Greek classics and Armenian mezes will welcome you while they’re preparing the fresh fish and sea food of your choice, cooked in the appropriate styles.
The white and fresh atmosphere contributes to your appetite. Here you can also experience the meyhane atmosphere since it is a very fine example of combining a restaurant with meyhane culture.
Caution: the Yeşilköy restaurant it is pretty far from the city center, and with Istanbul’s notorious traffic jams, this will take up all your evening.
Both of the restaurants require reservation; all credit cards are accepted.
Eleos Yeşilköy – Open daily from 02:00 p.m. to 01:30 a.m.
Address: Yeşilbahçe Sok No: 9, Yeşilköy – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 663 39 11
Eleos Beyoğlu – Open daily from 01:00 p.m. to 01:30 a.m.
As a bonus you’ll enjoy nice views of the Marmara Sea and the historic part of Istanbul.
Address: İstiklal Caddesi No:231 Kat:2 Hıdivyal Palas (Tünel), Beyoğlu – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 244 90 90
Kıyı has been serving its special and fresh tastes since 1964, hence its fair share of regular customers. It has become a tradition and custom for the locals throughout the years. The walls are decorated with wooden wall panels which create a cozy atmosphere. Moreover, photos and paintings of famous Turkish artists who are Kıyı regulars also decorate the walls.
Just like most fish restaurants, the eatery has hot and cold starters with a big variety of traditional tastes as well as fresh seasonal fish.
The restaurant is not located by the water, but it has a sea view. It opens its doors every day of the week starting 12:00 p.m. Reservation is required, and please do ask for a table with sea view. All credit cards are accepted.
Address: Haydar Aliyev Caddesi 186, Tarabya – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 262 00 02
Located in Cemil Topuzlu park by the sea in Kuruçeşme, the restaurant serves sea food since 1996. Accompanied by cold and hot starters of both Turkish and world cuisines, the place calls itself the best fish and sea food restaurant of Turkey.
They also claim to have the most special wine selection of the country with wines such as Chateau Petrus, Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Lafite, Chateau Le Pin, Chateau d’Yquem, Gaja Barolo, Sassicaia, Amarone, Opus One, Caymus, Montrachet, Chablis Premier Cru, and Grand Cru.
Doors open at 12:00 p.m. and close at 02:00 a.m. every day of the week. Reservation is required and all credit cards are accepted.
Address: Muallim Naci Caddesi Cemil Topuzlu Parkı İçi No:54/A, Ortaköy – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 265 50 63-67
Tarihi Ali Baba
On the seafront, a rather modest and inexpensive, yet cozy and trustworthy, real local experience will embrace you with delicious varieties of fresh fish and sea food. One of the main reasons to become a regular of the restaurant is that fish are grilled on charcoal. If it’s turbot season, try it out since it’s their specialty.
The founder of the restaurant, Ali Azveren, immigrated from the Balkans. He settled in Kireçburnu and opened a barber shop. He started his business by providing grill and tables to the locals who asked permission to use his garden to cook and enjoy fish by the sea. Since 1920 the restaurant has been serving in the same spot with great mastery.
Open between 12:00 p.m. and 02:00 a.m. every day of the week. Reservation is recommended for weekend evenings. All credit cards are accepted.
Address: Kireçburnu Cad. No:20-22, Sariyer – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 223 25 25
Immerse Yourself in Exotic Turkish Culture
Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı
Serving fish since 1923 and maintaining the quality on all terms, the restaurant’s reputation has gone beyond Turkey’s borders.
This restaurant is proud of the quality, originality and the taste of their food in all aspects, such as the special production olive oil. The restaurant also has a wide and glorious view of the historic part of Istanbul.
Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and close around midnight daily. Reservation is not required, yet to ensure the exquisite view, you’d better. All credit cards are accepted.
Address: Tersane Cad. Kardeşim Sk. No:30, Karaköy – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 251 13 71