6 of the best fine dining restaurants in Istanbul Munferit

6 of the best fine dining restaurants in Istanbul

Change it up from kebabs and baklava by visiting some of our favourite fine dining restaurants in Istanbul

Think of Turkish cuisine and images of olive-stuffed pitta, feta filled kebabs and miles of breakfasts buffets come to mind. But there is a more sophisticated side to the ancient city, from sunset sushi bars to hilltop retreats and designers' haunts, there are a wealth of stellar fine dining options in Istanbul.

Münferit

MunferitMünferit bar area

Years ago, meyhane used to be a place where men got their daily dose of Raki. Now they are the best venues for celebrating, and Münferit is the best meyhane in town. Elegantly furnished by famous Turkish design office Autoban, Münferit (meaning individual) gives more than what meyhane-goers expect with its almost 30 different meze, the Turkish answer to small tapas. While this two-storey meyhane's first floor is where you can dine and sip either raki or wine, its second floor serves as a bar with the hip crowd filling up the dancefloor around 11pm. www.munferit.com.tr

Related: 5 of the best hamams in Istanbul

Ulus 29

ulus-29-005Ulus 29

For years, Ulus 29 has hosted a ritzy crowd in its elegantly furnished nest high at the top of a hilly neighbourhood overlooking the Bosphorus. Designed and owned by renowned interior decorator Zeynep Fadillioglu, Ulus 29 is an elegant classic that is always a favourite with local and international foodies. Surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows with glamorous views of the Bosphorus in the winter and sporting an open terrace in the summer, Ulus 29 offers innovative dishes prepared with seasonal products, Turkish comfort food and, also, a delectable sushi selection. www.ulus29.com

Related: 6 of the best contemporary restaurants in Istanbul

Lucca

luccaLucca

The perfect place to people-watch as Istanbul’s elite whizz by in their cars along the glittering Bosphorus seaside. This eatery has a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere with spacious couches and long wooden tables. Executive Chef Willy Moya is a veteran of Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain. Moya oversees Lucca’s menu of bistro fare with Mediterranean influences. Lucca is especially popular for its creative tapas and flavourful cocktails like mojitos and the satsuma vodka. This trendy restaurant is packed all day, frequented by Istanbul's high society. www.luccastyle.com

Related: What to pack for Istanbul

Lokanta Maya

Lokanta-MayaLokanta Maya

Lokanta Maya is a great choice if you're staying around Beyoğlu and you want to taste some excellent contemporary Turkish cooking. Its brilliant chef/owner Didem Şenol grew up in an Aegean household where locally-grown seasonal food was the focus of the kitchen. Simple and minimalistic, the menu is full of light and delicious items from Aegean and Mediterranean cuisines. Especially popular with local and visiting foodies, the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner, and we recommend that you book your table before you go. www.lokantamaya.com

Related: Istanbul's best rooftop bars

Sunset Grill & Bar

sunset-grill-and-barSunset Grill and Bar

A classic Istanbul venue at which you can spend the whole night, from dusk until dawn. Sunset lives up to its name as one of the best places to catch the day’s last rays over the Bosphorus from its hillside location in the Ulus district. This terrace-floor eatery offers Turkish, international and Japanese cuisines and is particularly noted for its sushi bar. Its extensive wine menu has won many awards. The outdoor bar is also popular for its first-rate cocktails, and a DJ plays on summer nights. www.sunsetgrillbar.com

Related: Best seafood restaurants on the Bosphorus

Müzedechanga

01-muzedechanga-indoors-dining-areaMüzedechanga

Müzedechanga is the summer venue of the famous Changa in Beyoglu, and it is even more glamorous. Located in the beautiful garden of the Sakıp Sabancı Museum in Emirgan (hence the name), this restaurant typically serves light modern Turkish-Mediterranean fusion dishes during the day, with select breakfast options also available at weekends. Watch for special menu items inspired by the current exhibitions, such as a cheese platter resembling a Miró! After you dine on Müzedechanga’s patio overlooking the ever-captivating Bosphorus, you can always choose to mingle with the art-loving crowds touring the museum next door. www.changa-istanbul.com

1 Lokanta Maya
2 Münferit
3 Ulus 29
4 Lucca
5 Sunset Grill & Bar
6 Müzedechanga