Istanbul’s best fish restaurants

From elegant to shabby, the best venues to enjoy a good fish meal are here!
balık
By Time Out Istanbul editors |
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Now it’s time to enjoy mezes, beautiful views, and delicious meals at the city’s best fish restaurants. 

Best Fish Restaurants

Restaurants

Adem Baba

icon-location-pin Arnavutköy

Adem Baba started in 1994 in a small boat in the Bebek bay. Now the venue, located in Arnavuyköy is full to the brim all year round. With the first bite you take you can be sure of the freshness of your fish. Nothing frozen enters the kitchen. In addition to fish you can find calamari, mussels, fried mussels, fish meatballs, salted fish, and fish soup. The prices are reasonable but there is no alcohol served. 

Restaurants

Ali Baba Balık

icon-location-pin Arnavutköy

The fish version of the famous Ali Baba meatball restaurant. Located across from the Arnavutköy pier, offering self-service in a 3-storey building this restaurant isn’t for those who want to enjoy their fish over a drink (there is no alcohol served) but for those who want to enjoy fresh fish. The daily fish are either grilled or cooked in a pan or in a clay pot. Appetizers such as fried calamari, stuffed mussels, and stuffed squash blossoms are just as delicious as the fish. 

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Restaurants

Arşipel Fish Restaurant

icon-location-pin Kadıköy

Located on Suada, in the middle of the Bosphorus, this modern fish restaurant is open year round and transferred to Istanbul from Bodrum Aktur. The decoration features a lot of white, metal, and light colored wood and is not too simple nor too much. In fact it is almost too cool for a fish restaurant. It features a bar and open kitchen. Over the summer it is the best venue to enjoy the outdoor area and raise a glass to the beautiful and historic Kuleli Military High School. In addition to fresh fish the menu features risotto, pizza, creative mezes, and warm starters. Thus, raki and fish and pasta and wine can come together at the same table. Don’t forget to try the sword swordfish pastirma and seaweed. For dessert the dark chocolate soufflé with peppermint liqueur sauce and ice cream is great. This venue is ideal for business meals as well.  

Restaurants

Balıkçı Sabahattin

icon-location-pin Fatih

Operating in Cankurtaran for years, Balıkçı Sabahattin is proof that you don’t have to be on the Bosphorus to enjoy a delicious fish meal. With tables on the cobblestone street outside this fish restaurant is very romantic. The rice with mussels and pumpkin with yogurt are among the delicious meze options. In addition to these the samphire and appetizers prepared with various Aegean herbs are ideal for a light starter. 

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Restaurants

Cibalikapı Balıkçısı

icon-location-pin Fatih

Call it nostalgia or vintage curiosity… If you want to feel like you’re in one of those old Turkish movies, head to Cibalikapı Balıkçısı. 

Restaurants

Del Mare Ristorante

icon-location-pin Üsküdar

In a beautiful mansion, surrounded by fresh air, Del Mare is located in one of Istanbul’s most elite districts, Çengelköy. It is located in a building that was used as an elephant warehouse by the Ottomans in the early 1800’s. In the 1900’s the building was converted into an alcohol factory. This 200-year-old stone building stands on the shores of the Bosphorus. Great effort was put into transforming this historic 2-storey building into what stands before us today. This is a fish restaurant but there is a Mediterranean menu as well. Salted fish, roasted angler fish, jumbo shrimp noodles, shellfish spaghetti…   

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Restaurants

Eftalya Fish Restaurant

icon-location-pin Arnavutköy

Eftalya began operating in a 3-storey waterside mansion in Arnavutköy before expanding to add another branch on the Anatolian side in Şaşkınbakkal. The restaurant prepares fresh fish in a wide variety of ways as hot starters and main dishes like grilling, on skewers, meatballs, fried, or roasted. Those who don’t like salads (we recommend trying the eggplant arugula salad), mezes, or seafood can find grilled meat alternatives. In addition to many specialties you can’t find anywhere else, the lakerda (pickled bonito) and fish meatballs stand out. As for dessert try the homemade baklava from Gaziantep. 

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Restaurants

Fishmekan

icon-location-pin Beşiktaş

This venue is one of the city’s modern restaurants made up of 2-storeys, the ground floor and one floor below the entrance. Both floors feature sea views. You can enjoy your meal at a table with big couches and comfy pillows. It is very likely that you will see a famous celebrity at the table next to you.  

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Restaurants

Fish of North

icon-location-pin Beşiktaş

The creamy basil seafood soup and creamy saffron shrimp soup are delicious. You can also order your meal to go online. 

Restaurants

Takanik 2 Balık Lokantası

icon-location-pin Arnavutköy

This little fish restaurant features sea-themed decorations, like a fishing net hanging from the ceiling, and is ideal both during the summer and winter months. Although it is not on the sea if offers a wonderful experience. The mezes and fish at Takantik are just as delicious as the ones served at big fish restaurants however there is no alcohol served here. With the food they offer, their great service, and clean space, this venue is a quaint, modest, and charming family restaurant. Takanik 2 receives its fish fresh on a daily basis and the mezes are prepared daily. 

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