Istanbul’s historic restaurants

Discover where you can enjoy an abundance of delicious and diverse dishes in Istanbul, a centre influential for centuries not only with its history, but also its eating and drinking culture.

DÂRÜZZİYAFE

Located in the Suleymaniye complex commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1550, the restaurant opened its doors following renovation in 1992. Savour your meals accompanied by Turkish music in the restaurant, which combines historic and Anatolian cuisines. Suleymaniye soup, Dârüzziyafe meatballs, and pudding au lait are among the restaurant’s signature dishes. Dârüzziyafe features countless types of sherbet as well, with rosehip, cornelian cherry, and pomegranate sherbets highly popular with customers. daruzziyafe.com.tr

BORSA RESTAURANT

The restaurant opened its doors in the Bahcekapi neighbourhood of Eminonu in 1927. After 1996, it began operating in the Lütfi Kırdar International Convention and Exhibition Center. This year, a new branch opened in the Adile Sultan Palace in Kandilli. The choice of business people, politicians, heads of state, kings, princes, and princesses, the restaurant is the first one that springs to mind when it comes to Turkish cuisine. Meat stew with eggplant purée, roasted lamb shank, and vegetable kebab are the restaurant’s popular dishes. borsarestaurants.com

HACI ABDULLAH RESTAURANT

Hacı Abdullah is the first registered restaurant established in 1888 with approval of Sultan Abdülhamit. Located in the Aga Cami Street of Beyoglu, the restaurant offers customers 400 different types of Ottoman dishes. The main ones include braised lamb shank, roasted lamb shank, and meat-stuffed bell peppers. Tripe soup, borlotti beans in olive oil, and quince dessert are also popular at the restaurant. Hacı Abdullah is distinguished by the nearly 3,000 different types of pickles, jams, and compotes made there. haciabdullah.com.tr

KANAAT RESTAURANT

The Maiden’s Tower and Kanaat Restaurant are the essentials in Uskudar, Istanbul. Established in 1933, the 220-person capacity restaurant with a staff of 56 offers locals and tourists 100 to 120 desserts, olive oil dishes, hot dishes, ice cream, and yogurt, which are all made fresh daily. The restaurant’s main menu consists of pot meals that combine vegetables and meats, as well as all types of meats, rice dishes, and desserts. Ottoman-style trotter soup is among the popular dishes. The restaurant is synonymous with Uzbek rice, and elmasiye dessert. kanaatlokantasi.com.tr

PANDELİ RESTAURANT

Pandeli can be dubbed Turkey’s most famous restaurant. Walk through the main door facing the Yeni Cami (New Mosque) at the Spice Bazaar in Eminonu, then turn left and go up the stairs. Enter Pandeli, a historic restaurant famous for its blue tiles. Serving customers for over a century, the story of the restaurant is worthy of novels. The photos on the walls will make it evident that world-famous stars, kings, and queens visit here. Meals are cooked daily in small portions. Make sure you try the lamb shank, eggplant purée, and mixed plate of olive oil dishes. pandeli.com.tr

KONYALI RESTAURANT

In 1897, Haci Ahmet Doyuran established Konya Lezzet Lokantası, a modest restaurant in Sirkeci with only four tables and 16 chairs. Over time, the restaurant became a landmark for Istanbul cuisine. The reputation of Konyalı began to spread after the 1940s. The most famous of the branches is located in Topkapi Palace. This unique Konyalı cuisine will tempt you with a heavenly feast with meat and vegetable dishes, sumptuous casseroles, spring chicken, chicken, turkey, fish, and olive oil dishes. konyalilokantasi.com.tr