© Antica Locanda © Antica Locanda

International restaurants in Istanbul

Tired of meze and Turkish Delight or craving the taste of home? These cosmopolitan haunts in Istanbul have just the answer

Just because you happen to find yourself in Istanbul doesn’t mean that your appetite will follow suit. Luckily, being the major metropolis that it is, Istanbul is home to restaurants serving all types of international fare. Whether you’re craving some light and seductively simple nigiri or a big bowl of hearty Italian pasta, you’ll be able to get your fix. We’ve put together a list of restaurants to help you find some of the best international cuisine Istanbul has to offer.

Italian

If you’re looking for a taste of Italy in Istanbul, look no further than Antica Locanda in Arnavutköy. Led by chef Gian Carlo Talerico, the restaurant has gained a reputation as one of the best fine dining establishments in the city. The menu is by no means extensive, as Talerico serves only his favourite dishes, but the quality of the food outweighs the small selection. The risotto with porcini mushrooms and prawns is particularly delectable, while the grilled veal chop is simply divine. www.anticalocanda.com.tr

eatalyEataly, Istanbul

Eataly in Zorlu Centre is also a reliable option, especially if you want something fast and convenient. There are various restaurants and cafes depending on the type of food you want – which can be challenging if one person in your group is craving pizza and another fish – but at each spot you’ll get Italian staples made with some of the best ingredients (a rarity in a city where fresh basil can be hard to find). www.eataly.com.tr

Related: What's new on Istanbul's dining scene for 2016

Japanese

maromiMaromi

If you find yourself craving sushi or tempura, steer clear of the many establishments in Istanbul that purport to offer authentic Chinese, Thai, Japanese and Korean food, all from the same kitchen, and head to one of the few restaurants solely dedicated to Japanese cuisine. Maromi, located in a secluded corner of the Divan Istanbul Hotel, feels miles away from the nearby Taksim Square. The intimate dining area is decorated with dark wood and cream-coloured accents, and the staff are incredibly attentive. Yet it is the food that stands out – the maki and sashimi, which are expertly made with the freshest seafood, melt in your mouth, while the bento boxes are perfect for those who want something hot but can’t decide what to order. www.divan.com.tr

miyabi-sushiMiyabi Sushi

Miyabi Sushi, although a bit further afield in the residential neighbourhood of Etiler, also has a reputation for serving some of the freshest and most tender nigiri and sashimi. The rolls, though, are particularly spectacular, as the chefs have been given free rein to create inventive combinations featuring all the delights of the sea, from lobster and crab to scallops and eel. www.miyabisushiistanbul.com 

Related: Top alternative tours in Istanbul

Chinese

Shang-PalaceShang Palace

The sumptuous Shangri-La Bosphorus is not just an impeccably decorated luxury hotel, it’s also home to some of the best Chinese food in Istanbul. Shang Palace, the hotel’s signature restaurant, serves Cantonese cuisine, with roasted whole Peking duck and pan-fried beef in a black pepper sauce receiving high marks. The highlight, though, is the unlimited dim sum offered at lunch every day – each bamboo steamer basket that comes to your table contains a different savoury treat, making it impossible to pick your favourite. www.shangri-la.com

Related: Alternative tea houses in Istanbul

Thai

cok-cok-thaiÇok Çok Thai

Çok Çok Thai is an establishment in Istanbul – opening in 2006, it was one of the first high-end restaurants dedicated solely to Thai cuisine. What’s amazing is that it has maintained its high standards and continues to serve some of the best Thai food in the city. Start out your meal with fresh spring rolls, then move on the the hot yellow curry with beef, a spicy yet flavourful main, and finish with the lychee and ice cream, a refreshing palette cleanser after all that heat. www.cokcok.com.tr

banyan-restaurantBanyan Restaurant

If you’re looking a more adventurous approach to Thai cuisine, make your way to Banyan Restaurant in Ortaköy. Not only does it have one of the best views in Istanbul, but the Thai/Asian fusion dishes hit the mark. The Thai-style sea bream, with chilli, garlic and fresh ginger, is particularly tasty. www.banyanrestaurant.com

1 Maromi
2 Miyabi Sushi
3 Antica Locanda
4 Eataly
5 Shang Palace
6 Çok Çok Thai
7 Banyan Restaurant