23-01-2023 - Food & Drink

Michelin-Recommended Restaurants in the Istanbul Old Town in 2023

Istanbul has an amazing food culture thanks to its role as a meeting point of Turkish cuisine with world cuisines. There are thousands of restaurants, cafes, and eateries in this amazing city. Especially in the last years, fine-dining restaurants are raising in number. So finally world famous Michelin Guide finally came to Istanbul to rate and recommend the best of the best.

In Michelin Guide 2023, Istanbul has 53 restaurants; only 5 of them won stars but others are also recommended for great meals. for Michelin-starred restaurants in Istanbul, check this article, you’ll love them. 

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In this article, we are looking at the Michelin-recommended restaurants in the Old Town. Before we start, check out Istanbul Tourist Pass® which offers 100+ amazing attractions for a single price. Check out guided Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cistern, and Grand Bazaar Tours; after these amazing tours, here are six great Michelin-recommended restaurants for you to recharge yourself!

Pandeli Restaurant

Pandeli Restaurant is at the heart of the Old Town. Take the stairs to the first floor, which is above the Spice Bazaar, and take in the historically significant and distinctly Turkish design with its blue mosaics on the walls. The chef steadfastly keeps to classic Turkish recipes, such as roast lamb with rice, grilled aubergine salad, and wood-fired spicy chicken. A true favorite!

If you are around Spice Bazaar, make sure you listen to Istanbul Tourist Pass® Audio Guide and learn about the fantastic history of this bazaar. 

OCAK Restaurant 

OCAK is a charming restaurant in the Old Town neighborhood with exposed brick walls, mellow lighting, and marble accents. Think deliciously creamy hummus with strawberries, sorrel, and a pomegranate vinaigrette for the chef's take on Turkish tradition. His robust flavor combinations usually manage to find the perfect mix between traditional and modern. Every food served here will stimulate your curiosity.

Lokanta 1741 Restaurant

Through the entrance on the right, opposite Cagaloglu Hamam is this lovely modern restaurant with a charming rooftop patio. It offers traditional Turkish dishes with a contemporary twist, some of which date back to 1741. While occasionally introducing unexpected textures and flavors, the chef never forgets about tradition.

Deraliye Restaurant

Deraliye is one of the landmark locations of the historic Sultanahmet neighborhood. The striking, lavish decor draws attention right once and pays homage to the Ottoman Empire, just like the food. Do you yearn for spicy rice roasted in a classic tandoori oven with a goose, lamb, or duck kebab? Discovering the savory flavors of Ottoman cuisine can be done here.

Before digging into these delicious foods, you need a bit of walking through Sultanahmet. Our professional guides take you on our Byzantine Hippodrome Guided Tour, and you can learn more about the stones you walk on. 

Khorasani Restaurant

The tourist restaurants in the Sultanahmet neighborhood are well-known for their photo-based menus. In that regard, the rustic-style Khorasani is no different, but what distinguishes this kebab shop is the chef's commitment to excellence. This is the real stuff, whether you want grilled vegetables, lamb, or katmer for dessert.

While you are around, check out our amazing Topkapi Palace Guided Tour. With our professional guide, you will learn every detail of this beautiful palace and its history, and also gossip and legends about it. 

Matbah Restaurant

A glimpse of Turkish history can be found at this elegant restaurant. You can take in the lovely settings given by the walled summer garden and covered winter garden here, in the shadow of the Hagia Sophia. Traditional cooking is wonderfully brought to life by dishes from the Ottoman sultans' era (the years are listed next to each dish on the menu). Consider dishes like gemici böregi with honey, which is a crispy fried filo pastry loaded with seven Turkish kinds of cheese and served with juniper honey.

If you are making dinner plans in Matbah, first check out Guided Hagia Sophia Tour! You can enter this amazing once-church-now-mosque structure without a guide but you’ll definitely miss a lot. 

Giritli Restaurant

The restaurant is located in a fully-restored historic Sultanahmet house. Giritli welcomes you to its ambient terrace in the summer, which also accommodates the kitchen. Make sure to sample the tempting mezze menu, which creatively highlights classic flavors and includes drinks. A great feast with perfectly seasoned, generously portioned fresh veggies!

Istanbul Old Town is a central point to see the amazing history of this city. There is so much to see in every corner of this district. Istanbul Tourist Pass® gathers the best of the best for you to see them all comfortably. Here check our 100+ amazing attractions yourself and decide whether or not you want to deal with ticket lines or not. If you have any questions in mind, you can always reach us through our WhatsApp line or Instagram account


What does it mean to be in the Michelin guide?

A restaurant that is included in the Recommended list has a chef who prepares good meals with high-quality ingredients. It indicates that the meal is above average but not quite at star or Bib level, according to the inspectors.

How do you get into Michelin Guide?

It is simple to write yet challenging to follow what it takes to earn a Michelin Star. Here is the points to follow:

  • Using high-quality goods.
  • Mastery of cooking methods and flavors.
  • Characteristics of the Chef's Cuisine.
  • Worth the money.
  • Food consistency.

Why Michelin Guide is famous?

Still, the respected Michelin Star ranking system is revered in the modern culinary world. Since Michelin inspectors are among the few who review restaurants in full anonymity, some restaurant owners even go so far as to claim that it's the only rating that matters.

Does Turkey have Michelin star restaurants?

Five restaurants in Istanbul received stars from Michelin, marking the first time the book has acknowledged culinary excellence in the Turkish capital. Two stars were given to TURK Fatih Tutak, located in the Bomonti area on the city's European side. Each of the four additional restaurants in the city received one star.

How many Michelin Stars does Turkey have?

The most recent Michelin Guide for 2023 lists 53 restaurants in Istanbul in its guide. Five restaurants in Istanbul received stars from Michelin. And because of its incredible selection of Michelin-recommended and starred restaurants, this splendid city is a fantastic choice for those looking to taste amazing food during their trip. 


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