10 of the Best Istanbul Restaurants for the World’s Best Keftedes


With its captivating 19th century architecture, bustling metropolis of Istanbul boasts a wealth of culinary delights. From the succulent kebabs sold at street stalls to world-renowned restaurants such as the famed Kılıç Ali Paşa Yatakseccesi where Ottoman dishes are served up alongside modern takes on Turkish classics like mantı; there’s no shortage of enticing dining options in this cosmopolitan capital!

Don’t miss out on the delectable kebabs that are prepared and sold by locals along the streets of Istanbul. These succulent meat treats come in a variety of flavors and can be prepared into any type of sandwich or wrap – making them ideal for lunchtime meals or snacks during travels! If you’re craving something more substantial, then try one of these mouthwatering delicacies with rice pilav or salad – don’t forget to add some tangy yogurt dip for extra zest!

1. Araçlı

At this casual eatery in the heart of Beyoğlu, patrons can indulge in dishes such as succulent keftedes with fava beans and feta cheese. Furthermore, it is an especially good choice for diners looking to sample the city’s famous doner kebabs; the restaurant provides both options alongside crafts from local artisans.

Be sure not to miss out on the chance to enjoy an authentic Turkish meal at this casual eatery in the heart of Beyoğlu. Though brunch options sometimes prove a bit limited, if you are craving something light-hearted while still savoring some comfort food then look no further!

For a mid-week lunch experience that leaves you wanting nothing more than a nap afterwards, Araçlı is your best bet. The restaurant offers a wide range of options including delicious kebabs but don’t forget about their salad bar – perhaps paired with one of their craft beers it will surely be worth your while!

2. Kalender Restaurant

Kalender Restaurant, nestled in an elegant area of the city, boasts a chic ambiance with its earthy-colored walls and accent lighting. This eatery is renowned for its mouthwatering keftedes; they are served alongside a simple meal of roasted potatoes and grilled chicken – all paired alongside fresh salads and indulgent desserts!

Istanbul’s premier establishment for centuries, this restaurant is a culinary fixture that has remained faithful to its roots. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to sample authentic dishes at Kalender!

3. Niyazi Güner

Niyazi Güner is a staple of the culinary scene in Istanbul and has been since 1965, when it first opened its doors. It’s a neighborhood fixture that is recognized by locals and tourists alike for its warm ambience and exceptional value; indeed, no restaurant leaves more satisfied guests than this establishment!

Niyazi Güner prides itself on its affordability: despite being an archaic establishment with little frills, it remains a favorite amongst those who prefer their food prepared in an informal yet delicious manner. Despite this fact – or perhaps because of it – dining here will leave you feeling refreshed and contented!

4. Zeytinlik Kebabı

Take your kebap experience to the next level with a dish that features layers of meat cooked over an open flame, accompanied by fire-roasted fruits like pears and apricots for crunchy edges. Zeytinlik, or za’atar grilled skewer, is perhaps one of Istanbul’s most popular dishes – and rightfully so!

The signature cuisine of this cosmopolitan city is arguably the most opulent one in Turkey: all its ingredients are sourced from around the world – yet they remain ever harmonious when combined together into one cohesive masterpiece.

Zeytinli Kebab Grill is a bustling establishment that boasts a casual atmosphere and offers guests tasty and succulent kebap offerings alongside a plethora of salads, soups and pastries. Delicious renditions of Zeytinli Kebab alongside a refreshing yogurt sauce offer a pleasant conclusion to any meal here!

At our Zeytinlik Kebab restaurant in Istanbul, we’ve partnered up with both Dürüm Gourmet Coffee Roasters and Aydinli Soda Halk Grills to create exclusive and extraordinary flavors for their respective cafes and restaurants.

5. Baba Antika

If you’re a meat-lover seeking out the mouthwatering delicacy of keftedes in Istanbul, then consider making your next stop at this restaurant famous for its game meats.

The highly celebrated eatery offers up a range of proteins and dumplings alongside cocktails to satisfy any craving for cuisine. Featuring on TripAdvisor’s list of Top 101 Restaurants in Istanbul, this establishment has been garnering acclaim from guests with rave reviews.

Baba Antika is renowned for its succulent keftedeli and kofte dishes, as well as its refreshing mint mojitos – which are available for purchase! Don’t forget about their frequent events either; like every month you can get excited about special dinners featuring exclusive cooking recipes from Chef Ibrahim Kocak!

When in Turkey, don’t forget that it’s customary to offer guests some refreshments upon arrival. If you’ve got friends coming over, consider hosting an Iftar party here!

6. Kampi Restaurant Istanbul

This powerhouse restaurant, located in Ortaköy, is renowned for its inventive cuisine and stellar desserts. Set amidst lush greenery amidst a tranquil environment, it exudes an air of tranquility that offsets the innovative cuisine served here: there are no fewer than five different menu options to choose from!

At Kampi Restaurant you can savor the legendary keftedes and spanakopita’ along with other delectable dishes like lamb burgers and tuna tartare. If it’s seafood-based fare you’re after then don’t miss out on their daily grilled fish specialities; as well as dolmades and rice pilaf for those looking for more variety when dining out.

7. İstiklal Restaurant

At İstiklal Restaurant, located in the heart of Beyoğlu’s upscale Dolmabahçe neighborhood, guests are offered a culinary voyage into the East by dining on kebabs and salads as well as döner kebap.

For over 50 years, this restaurant has been an emblem of cosmopolitan dining. With its soaring ceiling crafted from arching planes of wood, it evokes a sense of serenity while still remaining delightfully unpretentious; providing visitors an ideal setting for indulging in a meal without abandoning sophistication.

While offering a diverse array of Turkish dishes, there is also an impressive array of international cuisines that have been incorporated into their menu; such as Italian pasta dishes alongside Asian influences like pad thai.

You can also sample traditional confections such as baklava or çokulum – among many other tempting delicacies!

8. Pide House (Istanbul)

When you crave a refreshing meal, Pide House is your answer. This restaurant serves up a range of pide varieties alongside some tantalizing sides like succulent sardines or crunchy lettuce leaves – all of which are served on top of fragrant white basmati rice.

Mustafa Bozkurt, owner and chef at Pide House, has garnered accolades for his dedication to the art. He was named one of Turkey’s Culinary exports in 2016, and has been recognized as an Esquire Food Hall Star Chef in Washington D.C. Amongst his achievements are being featured on CNN Travel as part of its 2018 Top 10 Cities to Eat in; as well as being shortlisted for TÜYAP’s Rising Stars Hotlist Award – an honor he received in 2017!

9. Aşağı Eczane (Istanbul)

One of the most renowned culinary destinations in Istanbul is Aşağı Eczane, an establishment with a commitment to serving up authentic Turkish cuisine.

Residing in the bustling district of Kadıköy, this dining spot offers guests an array of delicious keftedes and manti dumplings made using only high-quality ingredients.

Firmly ensconced within its walls lies one of Turkey’s most revered eateries. Established more than two decades ago, it has garnered considerable recognition for its exemplary cuisine and service; indeed it remains a favorite among locals who turn out in droves to savor their delectable fare!

10. Çiya Restaurant (Istanbul)

Çiya is one of the country’s most renowned charcuterie joints, offering succulent meat dishes along with mouthwatering cheeses.

Encountering Çiya is a quintessential experience: after an introductory discussion about meat from a reputable purveyor, guests are invited to sample cuts and share out their bounty amongst themselves or have it packed up for future consumption.

You must test this out if you haven’t yet! It provides an intimate setting where you can explore various flavors, discover hidden gems and ultimately savor everything with friends.


Whether or not you’re fortunate enough to have experienced the authentic Kebabçizade, it is likely that your local butcher has his version of this dish. Don’t be misled! The kebabs in question are commonly thin slices of beef or lamb, skewered together and grilled quickly over a flame; this version is slightly more elevated and features tender cubes of meat, which are then simmered in a savory sauce.



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