Bosphorus is one of the best gifts that Istanbul gives to its visitors. Its view is undoubtedly glorious, whether you are sitting near a shore or going on a Bosphorus Cruise Because of this close relationship Istanbul has with sea, restaurants that revolve around freshly caught seafood, especially fish, are quite common in the city. Some of these places are called “meyhane” in Turkey, which are places that mainly serve mezes, raki (anise-flavored Turkish alcoholic beverage, similar to pastis) and fish. If you love eating fish and are looking for the best fish restaurants in Istanbul, here is our list.
There are 2 branches of this restaurant in Istanbul, one in Yesilkoy and one in Beyoglu. The one in Yesilkoy is close to the Ataturk Airport and really far away from the city center, so unless you are close to Yesilkoy, we advise that you go to the one in Beyoglu for its central location.
Eleos restaurant in Beyoglu is one of the best seafood restaurants in Istanbul. Their service is quick and professional, and their dishes are delicious. They have a terrace that overlooks the Bosphorus, which is often full. Eleos’ menu includes many great seafoods like anchovy, lakerda, sea beans, octopus, sea bass and shrimp. Their complimentary mezes are delicious and fresh. Eleos also serves raki, red, rose and white wines, salads, fruit bowls and desserts. Because of this place’s popularity, we recommend that you book a few days in advance.
The branch in the Beyoglu is easily reachable from the Sishane stop of the M2 Yenikapi – Haciosman metro line.
Located in the shores of Karakoy neighborhood, the famous Karakoy Lokantasi (which means “diner” in Turkish) is almost always at near-full capacity, especially in the evenings. They owe this popularity to their historic location, beautiful scenery, fantastic dishes based on fresh seafood and excellent customer service. The staff is very kind, too. Their menu includes more than a dozen mezes like feta cheese, Aegean greens, sea beans and artichoke hearts, various salads, starter entrees like grilled fish cake, pastry variations, fried zucchini and beetroot, fried shrimps and calamary patties, and of course, main courses, such as seasonal fish, grilled meatballs, grilled lamb ribs and veal cheek and strips. You can then finish the meal with a dessert of your choice, like souffle, milk pudding, seasonal fruits or ice cream. The place also serves various alcoholic beverages like raki, red, rose and white wines, vodka, gin, whiskey, beer and liqueur.
You can go to Karakoy Lokantasi by using the T1 Kabatas – Bagcilar tramway line and getting off at the Karakoy stop.
Opened in 1964, Kıyı Restaurant is one of the oldest and most popular seafood restaurants in Istanbul. A good portion of the locals knows that it is one of the best places to eat fish in Istanbul. The place itself is very simple, yet elegant. There are fine artworks on the walls and the staff is very professional and kind. It is also located right in front of the Bosphorus, so it has a great view. The surrounding neighborhood, Tarabya, is also one of the most elite and luxurious neighborhoods in Istanbul. Kıyı Restaurant has many fantastic dishes in its truly extensive menu, including, but not limited to, cold starters like salted bonito slice, fish roe puree, white bean stew, dried mackerel, stuffed mussels and eggplant salad, hot starters like grilled squid pieces, fried mussels, shrimp stew & sauté and fried squids, and of course, dozens of seasonal fish, like bluefish, swordfish, sea bass, turbot, gilthead sea bream and red scorpion. Red meat is available for the main course. Various salads like shrimp cocktail, shrimp salad, octopus salad and fish salad, and desserts such as halva, fruits, chocolate souffle and ice cream are also on the menu.
No metro stops are available close to the Kıyı Restaurant, but you can use the 25A, 25E, 25Y, 40, 40B and 42T numbered yellow IETT buses to go to the Tarabya shores and reach the restaurant.
Balikci Sabahattin (means “Fisherman Sabahattin” in Turkish) is one of the top fish restaurants in Istanbul that serves seafood in the historical peninsula of Fatih, close to the many popular attractions of Istanbul like Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia Museum. It is inside a historic, 1927-made wooden building that was restored by Armada. It is run by a family from Mudanya, which is a town in Bursa that is near the Marmara Sea. This restaurant is not only locally known, but it was also listed in The New York Times twice. Their customer service is one of the most professional ones you can see in Istanbul and the staff is extremely friendly and helpful. You can also see many cute stray cats wandering around the place, which has become one of the symbols of Istanbul. Their extensive menu has many hot and cold mezes like calamari, shrimp, fish pastry, white cheese, octopus and sea beans, various salads, fish such as whiting, bream, cod, acorn, sea bass and bluefish, and desserts like halva, fruits and baked semolina. Balikci Sabahattin also serves many hot and cold drinks like soda, fruit juices, tea and coffee, and alcoholic beverages such as raki, whiskey, rum, beer, vodka, gin, red and white wine. Make sure you make a reservation before you go.
You can reach Balikci Sabahattin by getting on the T1 Kabatas – Bagcilar tramway line and getting off at the Sultanahmet stop. It is a 5-minute walk away to the eastern shores of the district.
Park For a is situated near the Ortakoy neighborhood of the Besiktas district. It is inside the beautiful Cemil Topuzlu Park near the shore. The restaurant aims to combine the traditional Turkish seafood experience with innovative international dishes. Their menu has salads, cold & hot appetizers, fish, shell fish and desserts, all of which are prepared by great chefs with fresh fish. Their Paella, Moule Mariniere, bonito, bluefish and turbot are among the highlighted dishes of the place. If you are curious about how their dishes look, you can go to their website and take a look at the menu as they have photos of everything.
Park For a right next to the Sifa Yurdu bus stop, to which you can go with 22, 22B, 22RE, 25E, 40, 40T and 42T numbered IETT buses.