Top 10 Fish Restaurants in Istanbul

Picture of table at fish restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey.

by Erlend Geerts

in Restaurants

Time has come to recommend ten of Istanbul’s best fish restaurants. Previously I already let you in on some secrets to pick a fresh fish, so now I’ll share where you can consume their fresh catch.

Some establishments are chic and elite, some are unpretentious and moderate. However, they are all experts and very skillful when it comes to preparing fish. They’ll be a great host, provide the service you expect and serve amazingly delicious sea food.

Balıkçı Kahraman

Balıkçı Kahraman fish restaurant by the Black Sea in Istanbul, Turkey

Balıkçı Kahraman by the Black Sea

The restaurant is named after its owner, originating from the Black Sea Region. As you can guess, it is another cozy family run restaurant. Serving sea food since the late 90s, this is a favorite place for the ones who prefer taste rather than looks.

The place has a modest decoration, yet they deserve to be less modest when it comes to the sea food, and their varieties of mezes. Grilled turbot is their expertise. The place is preferred by local celebrities, statesmen and famous businessmen.

Daily open from 12:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.. Reservation is required and all credit cards are accepted.

Address: İskele cad. No:15, Rumeli Kavağı – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 242 64 47

Balıkçı Sabahattin

Interior of Balıkçı Sabahattin fish restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey

Interior of Balıkçı Sabahattin fish restaurant.

The restaurant takes its name from the owner, Fisherman Sabahattin. He comes from a family in Mudanya, a town in Bursa located by the Sea of Marmara. His family knows, loves and respects both the sea and the sea food. He took over the business from his father, and now his sons also work with him. The restaurant is located in a historic building constructed in 1927. This is not a restaurant to go for neither the view nor chic. This restaurant is a real fine example of delicious sea food serving local families.

Open from noon to midnight every day of the week. Reservation is required, and I recommend a table in the garden. If you are in the area and do not have a reservation, you can still go and wait a bit. I’m sure they will help you. All credit cards are accepted.

Address: Cankurtaran Mahallesi, Seyit Hasan Kuyu Sok No: 1, Sultanahmet – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 458 18 24
www.balikcisabahattin.com

Bebek Balıkçısı

Bebek Balıkçısı fish restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey

Famous people sat at these Bebek Balıkçısı tables.

Besides the distinguished tastes and painstaking service, the restaurant has a mythological atmosphere with Renaissance pictures on the walls. Located by the sea in Bebek, one of the fanciest towns by the Bosphorus, the restaurant is a great example of an excellent fish restaurant. This elite restaurant has hosted both local and international celebrities such as Oliver Stone, German Foreign Affairs Minister Fischer, Al Gore, Jan Claude Van Dame, Catharine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu and the King of Bahrain.

Some of the restaurant’s specialties are cold appetizers of eggplant salad with Melissa sauce, parsley salad, şevketi bostan root, and spinach salad. Their famous hot appetizers are calamari, fish balls, ocean delight, and fish cooked on paper. The restaurant’s favorite is Fish in Salt. The highly recommended desserts are sweet pastry with quince, pumpkin desert and the chocolate soufflé.

It’s open every day of the week from 12:00 p.m. onwards. Reservation is required. All credit cards are accepted.

Address: Cevdet Paşa Caddesi No: 26/A, Bebek – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 263 34 47
www.bebekbalikci.net

Eleos

Eleos fish restaurant in Yeşilköy, Istanbul

Eleos fish restaurant in Yeşilköy

This boutique restaurant has two branches, one in Beyoğlu and one in Yeşilköy, which is close to the airport. Masterfully cooked and served Aegean herbs and vegetables, Greek classics and Armenian mezes will welcome you while they’re preparing the fresh fish and sea food of your choice, cooked in the appropriate styles.

The white and fresh atmosphere contributes to your appetite. Here you can also experience the meyhane culture since it is a very fine example of combining a restaurant with meyhane culture.

Both of the restaurants require reservation; all credit cards are accepted.

Eleos Yeşilköy – Open daily from 02:00 p.m. to 01:30 a.m.
Address: Yeşilbahçe Sok No: 9, Yeşilköy – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 663 39 11

Eleos Beyoğlu – Open daily from 01:00 p.m. to 01:30 a.m.
As a bonus you’ll enjoy nice views of the Marmara Sea and the historic part of Istanbul.
Address: İstiklal Caddesi No:231 Kat:2 Hıdivyal Palas (Tünel), Beyoğlu – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 244 90 90
www.eleosrestaurant.com

Kıyı

Kıyı fish restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey

Table at Kıyı’s terrace.

Kıyı has been serving its special and fresh tastes since 1964, hence its big amount of regular customers. It has become a tradition and custom for the locals throughout the years. The walls are decorated with wooden wall panels which create a cozy atmosphere. Moreover, photos and paintings of famous Turkish artists who are Kıyı regulars also decorate the walls.

Just like most fish restaurants, the eatery has hot and cold starters with a big variety of traditional tastes as well as fresh seasonal fish.

The restaurant is not located by the water, but it has a sea view. It opens its doors every day of the week starting 12:00 p.m. Reservation is required, and please do ask for a table with sea view. All credit cards are accepted.

Address: Kefeliköy Caddesi 126, Tarabya – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 262 00 02
www.kiyi.com.tr

Park Fora

Rooftop terrace at Park Fora fish restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey

Rooftop terrace at Park Fora fish restaurant.

Located in Cemil Topuzlu park by the sea in Kuruçeşme, the restaurant serves sea food since 1996. Accompanied by cold and hot starters of both Turkish and world cuisines, the place calls itself the best fish and sea food restaurant of Turkey.

They also claim to have the most special wine selection of the country with wines such as Chateau Petrus, Chateau Latour, Chateau Mouton, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Lafite, Chateau Le Pin, Chateau d’Yquem, Gaja Barolo, Sassicaia, Amarone, Opus One, Caymus, Montrachet, Chablis Premier Cru, and Grand Cru.

Doors open at 12:00 p.m. and close at 02:00 a.m. every day of the week. Reservation is required and all credit cards are accepted.

Address: Muallim Naci Caddesi Cemil Topuzlu Parkı İçi No:54/A, Ortaköy – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 265 50 63-67
www.parkfora.com

Poseidon

Poseidon terrace table in Istanbul, Turkey

Poseidon terrace table.

If you’re looking for a great Bosphorus view, you can wine and dine in this elegant and peaceful restaurant, with in summertime a 120 people terrace.

They also call themselves the Fish and Wine Center. You can have all kinds of local and foreign drinks, yet wine is their specialty. Their marinated sea bass is highly recommended, as well as the stuffed calamari, baked octopus, and Poseidon fish balls.

Open between noon and midnight every day of the week. Reservation is required and all credit cards are accepted.

Address: Küçük bebek Cevdet Paşa Cad.No :58 D :1, Beşiktaş – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 287 95 31
www.poseidonbebek.com

Tarihi Ali Baba

Tarihi Ali Baba fish restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey

Tarihi Ali Baba fish restaurant – modest but delicious.

On the seafront, a rather modest and inexpensive, yet cozy and trustworthy, real local experience will embrace you with delicious varieties of fresh fish and sea food. One of the main reasons to become a regular of the restaurant is that fish are grilled on charcoal. If it’s turbot season, try it out since it’s their specialty.

The founder of the restaurant, Ali Azveren, immigrated from the Balkans. He settled in Kireçburnu and opened a barber shop. He started his business by providing grill and tables to the locals who asked permission to use his garden to cook and enjoy fish by the sea. Since 1920 the restaurant has been serving in the same spot with great mastery.

Open between 12:00 p.m. and 02:00 a.m. every day of the week. Reservation is recommended for weekend evenings. All credit cards are accepted.

Address: Kireçburnu Cad. No:20-22, Sariyer – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 223 25 25
www.tarihialibaba.com

Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı

Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı fish restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey

Tarihi Karaköy Balıkçısı fish restaurant.

Serving fish since 1923 and maintaining the quality on all terms, the restaurant’s reputation has gone beyond Turkey’s borders.

This restaurant is proud of the quality, originality and the taste of their food in all aspects, such as the special production olive oil. The restaurant also has a wide and glorious view of the historic part of Istanbul.

Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and close around midnight daily. Reservation is not required, yet to ensure the exquisite view, you’d better. All credit cards are accepted.

Address: Tersane Cad. Kardeşim Sk. No:30, Karaköy – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 251 13 71
www.tarihikarakoybalikcisi.com

Yüksel Balık

Terrace of Yüksel Balık fish restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey

Terrace of Yüksel Balık fish restaurant.

Another destination in Yeşilköy, a former seaside village and today’s prestigious green and peaceful residential area. The restaurant has been serving fish and sea food since the late 90s and has a good reputation among the locals.

The restaurant has also hosted local celebrities, yet the establishment’s prices are not in the upper-class range. Their popularity comes from its sincere, quality service, their traditional tastes, and great variety of superb local fresh fish and sea food. Located by the Marina of Yeşilköy, the restaurant has a nice garden as well as a panoramic view of the sea.

Doors open at 12:00 p.m. and close around 02:00 a.m. every day. Reservation is required, so ask for the sea view. All credit cards are accepted.

Address: Liman Sokak No:3, Yeşilköy – Istanbul, Turkey
Telephone: +90 212 574 34 34
www.yukselbalik.com.tr

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What's Next

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Yulia November 30, 2012 at 10:10 am

My husband and I’ re going to spend New Year Eve in Istanbul.
So we ‘r searching for programs for this event in good restaurent.
Please advice some good places. I’m waiting for links!!

Reply

Erlend Geerts December 3, 2012 at 8:00 am

Hi Yulia,

Please find my answer in a comment (close to the end) in the Istanbul nightlife post, or read this article on where (not) to spend New Year’s Eve.

Erlend

Reply

Ashraf April 19, 2013 at 10:16 am

Me and my wife are going to spent the first week of May in Istanbul.we are looking for a good fish restaurant ,Bosphorus views,and its preferred to have a covered area since we have a 7 months Baby .
we will be staying in the European side of Istanbul.
please advice the most recomended restaurant for us.

Reply

Erlend Geerts April 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Hi Ashraf,

Any of the restaurants in the article will do. Just check out there websites and pick the one that appeals most to you.

Erlend

Reply

sara May 28, 2013 at 7:54 pm

hello, would these still be your top 10? we are planning to visit istanbul in september 2013. many thanks in advance, sara

Reply

Erlend Geerts May 29, 2013 at 7:35 am

Hi Sara,

Yes, everything on the website is always up to date.

Erlend

Reply

Tuvietha August 1, 2013 at 4:25 am

Dear Erlend
Thank you for your great work on this site. I have found many of the info very useful. And eagerly looking forward to my first visit to Istanbul in a couple of days.
We are a party of 3 people travelling and one of us is a vegan. Do you by any chance have recommendations on vegeterian restaurants or places where they also may serve varieties of vegetarian food.

Kind Regards
Tuvietha

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 1, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Hi Tuvietha,

The word to ask for vegan food is ‘zeytinyağlı’, which means basically ‘with olive oil’. While there are very few pure vegan restaurants, most restaurants serve mezes. These are dishes mainly consisting of vegetables, with olive oil.

I hope this helps,
Erlend

Reply

Clarence September 19, 2013 at 11:57 am

Dear Erlend

My wife and I are going to Istanbul in early Oct and would like to try Balıkçı Kahraman based on your recommendation. What dishes you will recommend and how much would it cost for one person ?

Many thanks

Clarence

Reply

Erlend Geerts September 20, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Hi Clarence,

Glad to hear you got some inspiration from the posts.

It’s very hard to recommend dishes — everybody has different tastes. If you like turbot, I would go for that since that’s their specialty. Prices are also difficult to give since fish is a fresh daily catch … with the price of the day. In all honesty, as with most restaurants, not the food but the amount and type of alcoholic drinks are what raise the price.

Check it out, ask to have a look at the menu, and ask for the prices before you sit down. It’s not rude at all. This way you avoid surprises and make sure you have an enjoyable evening.

Afiyet olsun,
Erlend

Reply

Johannes December 15, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Dear Erlend,
thx for your recommendation!
We have been in Sabahattin today and not only the fish was perfect, also service could not have been better!

thx for this information your are providing

Johannes and Margret living in Tbilisi

Reply

Carol Mcpherson March 1, 2014 at 11:56 pm

John Kennedy dined on his honeymoon at a restaurant I believe was named Kortez. Does it have a new name? I was there and remember going by motor boat. Wonderful fish incased in salt

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 3, 2014 at 12:26 pm

Hi Carol,

I don’t know about JFK, but Korfez does prepare the dish you described.

Erlend

Reply

Carol Mcpherson March 8, 2014 at 5:47 am

What I am looking for. Still open?

Reply

Erlend Geerts March 8, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Yes

Reply

Luv August 26, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Hello,
We’re going to Istanbul in a couple of weeks for my birthday weekend. We’ll be staying around Beyoglu.
We’re looking for a less touristic restaurant, romantic/intimate setting, serving fine classic or modern Turkish cuisine with nice views. What would you recommend?
Thanks a lot!

Reply

Erlend Geerts August 27, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Hi Luv,

Please check out the locals share category. You’ll find genuine suggestions there.

Happy birthday,
Erlend

Reply

Tom Anderson September 5, 2014 at 11:11 am

Eleos is indeed a fine restaurant with excellent friendly service and exceptional food.

Reply

Erlend Geerts September 5, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Hi Tom,

I’m glad you liked it.

Cheers,
Erlend

Reply

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