Most visitors staying around Sultanahmet head to Kumkapı for fish, unaware that there's a far better option on their doorstep. In fact, Balıkçı Sabahattin is one of the few restaurants that will tempt Istanbullus down from Beyoĸlu and over the Golden Horn. It benefits from a gorgeous setting: a street of picturesque old wooden houses, periodically rattled to their foundations by the commuter trains passing in and out of Sirkeci.
There's no menu: instead, bow-tied waiters present you with a tray of various meze and, later, a huge iced platter of seasonal fish and seafood from which to choose. Entertainment comes in the form of skittering cats skilled at doleful looks and pleading meows. Reservations essential.