Best Local Restaurants in İstanbul

Damon Roberts

English Teacher from USA

Best local restaurants in İstanbul

My favorite restaurant of the moment is a local eatery called Sıdıka in Beşiktaş. They specialize in a variety of cold and hot mezes (you can think of them as the Turkish version of tapas) and seafood. The restaurant is quite small; it probably seats about 30-40 people max. The service is top notch as is the food. Their take on grilled octopus is a barbequed seafood delight. A version of fish wrapped and grılled in grape leaves ıs delıghtful. Without exaggeration it is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, and I feel that way nearly every time I order it. To cap it off, the prices are completely reasonable. Sıdıka has no pretense; it is a small seafood restaurant that does what it does extremely well.

Quality of life – speak to the nature of the neighbourhood in which you live and anything else that resonates with you.

I live in Teşvikiye in Nişantaşı. Nişantaşı is on the European side, about ten minutes up the hill from Beşiktaş, which is across the Bosphorus from Üsküdar where UAA is located. Even though we are on another continent, my morning commute is about 20 minutes, and it takes around 40 to get home in the evenings. I love my neighbourhood. I am a stone’s throw from many cafes, two great pizza shops, three good burger restaurants, etc. My street is quiet, and my neighbourhood is completely safe. When I sit on my balcony, I am surrounded by trees. The butcher, pharmacist, electrician, green grocer, DVD salesman, and baker all know me and each other. Considering what a city the size of İstanbul has to offer, I still find it remarkable that you can find such charming and small feeling places to live.