The 10 Best Rooftop Restaurants in Istanbul
Istanbul can be considered one of the best cities in the world for its culture, history, delicious food and undeniably, the best views. The city’s geography and urban sprawl have meant that it’s home to some of the best restaurants in the world and some with unbeatable views.
Historic Istanbul: View from Galata Tower, image sourced from Flickr
The best way to experience an evening enjoying the amazing views is to head to its rooftop restaurants, bars and terraces that this city offers. Watching the sunset on the horizon in Istanbul and its many historical monuments is an amazing experience. Take a seat to enjoy the best cuisine — it could be traditional, Anatolian, modern Turkish, fusion — at some rooftop restaurants as the city lights up, its mosques and historical sights sparkle and its bridges glitter in dazzling neon colours.
We’ve only provided a few of the best in the list below, but there are many options for many budgets in this beautiful city! Check out our article on the top 10 restaurants in the city, some with a view! Now, let’s check out some of the best rooftop views and where to find them in Istanbul.
1. Sunset Grill & Bar
One of Turkey’s best fine dining restaurant located on a hilly area overlooking the city, Sunset Grill & Bar has been capturing the hearts of its customers for more than 25 years and has won many local and international awards. It’s included in the Chaine des Rotisseurs organization. It has remained the only restaurant invited to represent the country in the James Beard Foundation as early as 1999.
In the early years, the menu has been changing from “California kitchen” to “New Japanese”. Today, the glamorous restaurant offers a mix of Mediterranean, Turkish and Japanese palate. Additionally, offering some rare wines from around the world, it also works with local vineyards on the Bozcaada island. What sets Sunset Grill & Bar is its innovative approach to fine dining that makes it one of the best fine dining restaurants in the world.
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 12 pM AND 12 AM
ADDRESS: Kuruçeşme Mahallesi Ulus Park, Yol Sokağı No:2, 34345 Beşiktaş/İstanbul
BUS STOP: site yolu but by car as it’s not very accessible by public transportation
Included in the world’s 50 best restaurants, Mikla, on the Marmara Pera Hotel top floor offers an unparalleled view of the Golden Horn and world-class cuisine over the Bosphorus’ waters. A chic choice for an evening out in Istanbul, the menu reflects Chef Mehmet Gürs’ “New Anatolian Kitchen”, introduced in 2012.
However, the restaurant has been in operation since 2005. With an extensive team of chefs, researchers and a deep network in the country, the kitchen utilizes unique regional ingredients. An accompanying terrace bar, where the restaurant is also located, has an outdoor pool and a DJ, delight.
Offering a fixed la cartè menu as well as a tasting menu, it changes daily depending on what fresh ingredients they have on hand. Prawns with beans hummus and wild cabbage, lamb’s heart with pomegranate vinegar and sumac, Quince with clotted cream (Kaymak) ice cream and soapwort root are a few delectable choices on the menu here.
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 6 pM AND 2 AM
ADDRESS: Asmalı Mescit, The Marmara Pera, Meşrutiyet Cd. No:15, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
METRO/TRAMWAY STOP: Şişhane
3. Restaurant 24, Georges Hotel Galata
Located on the roof of the Georges Hotel Galata on the historical Serdar-ı Ekrem street leading away from the Galata Tower, Restaurant 24 offers more than just a view of the old district on the peninsula. Interpretive dishes offer something from the many regional areas with the use of regional herbs and grains such as Aegean Cibes and Freekeh. Dessert is a regional sweet from Mersin, made with a perennial plant called Çöven Köpüğü (soapwort) into a cream.
They also offer Turkish breakfast as early as 8 am up until 2 pm and only at the weekends. Dishes such as Mıhlama (Turkish-style cheese fondue) and Çılbır (poached Turkish-style eggs) stand out.
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 12 AM AND 12; 8 AM AND 12 midnight – weekdays/weekends
ADDRESS: Serdar-ı Ekrem Sokak No: 24, 34425 Beyoğlu
METRO/TRAMWAY STOP: Şişhane/karaköy
4. 360 Istanbul
Its location in the heart of Taksim/Istiklal Avenue, 360 Istanbul is fine-dining that’s comparable to cities such as New York and London. Having won awards, this restaurant housed in a penthouse offers lunch and dinner only. At the weekends, the restaurant also converts into a club and is open until 4 AM when most places are long closed.
Duck samosa, squid Basmati rice, slow-roasted cherry duck are a few outstanding dishes that stand out on the menu. A long list of spirits are on the menu here. If you’re into fine dining and want to experience Istanbul via this experience in an exclusive luxury space, then 360 Istanbul and its 360 wraparound rooftop dining should be on your to-do list.
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 2 pM AND 2 AM/4 am on weekends
ADDRESS: Tomtom, İstiklal Cd. No:163 K: 8, İstiklal Cd., 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
METRO/TRAMWAY STOP: Şişhane/Taksim/Galatasaray
5. Seven Hills Restaurant
A fish restaurant serving a mix of Turkish fare and international fare, Seven Hills overlooks the Sultanahmet square with views of the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapı Palace. Grilled calamari, baked shrimps in butter sauce, lobster, grilled and steam fish are on its menu, for instance.
Imported liquors, drinks and local wine can complete your meal. With around 120 outdoor seats available at this rooftop fish restaurant, it’s better to book a reservation beforehand.
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 7 AM AND 12 midnight
ADDRESS: Cankurtaran, Tevkifhane Sk. No:8 Kat:3, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul
TRAMWAY STOP: Sultanahmet
6. Banyan Ortaköy
A now popular district in Istanbul, Ortaköy is home to Banyan and overlooks the 15 July Martyrs Bridge. An Asian fusion restaurant mixing Eastern dishes, Thai spices with Turkish ingredients, you can find some interesting dishes here. For instance, Aloo puri, Karaage with kimchi sauce, ginger samosa, grape leaf artichokes and Freekeh risotto. This is accompanied by international and Turkish white and red wines, spirits, rosé and even champagne!
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 12 PM AND 2 aM
ADDRESS: Yıldız Muallim Naci Caddesi &, Salhane Sk. No:3, 34347 Beşiktaş/İstanbul
ferry STOP: Beşiktaş
7. Balkon Restaurant & Bar
Balkon in Asmalımescit offers world cuisine — think Italian pizzas, hamburgers, cheese platters and fried grub — and a great bar with many cocktail varieties. What’s more, they play some jazz and soul music while you have your lunch or a late coffee or drinks. In the evenings, the music is more upbeat to match the vibes of the panoramic sunset views of historical Istanbul here.
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 11 AM AND 2:30 aM
ADDRESS: Asmalı Mescit, Şehbender Sk. No:5, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
FERry/METRO STOP: KARAKÖY/Şişhane
8. 5. Kat Restaurant
Located in a quiet street in Cihangir, in an apartment building called Cihangir Palas No. 10, the posh 5. Kat Restaurant (meaning 5th-floor restaurant) offers stunning views of the Bosphorus. A bohemian restaurant at heart, it’s decorated in neutral gray tones with a Mediterranean vibe and offers a variety of dishes. Owned by a former actress/artist, the restaurant is now in its 25th operational year. It’s known primarily for its themed parties and concerts that are frequented by the local celebrities, artists and actors.
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 12 pM AND 4 AM
ADDRESS: Caferağa, Misbah Muayyeş Sk. No:9/4, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul
METRO STOP: Taksim
9. Hamdi Restaurant Eminönü
Serving traditional and modern takes on the Turkish cuisine and Turkish desserts, the award-winning restaurant’s humble beginnings of Urfalı (from the city of Urfa, Southeastern Turkey) Hamdi Usta grilling kebabs at a small hole in the wall at the same location is inspiring. Today, the original location occupies the whole building and its terrace is where the view is.
Today, there are three branches with two branches attached to the Radisson Blu hotels. The restaurant specializes in meat dishes from the Southeast of Turkey. Not surprisingly, there are at least 16 types of kebabs listed on its main course menu, a long list of hot and cold mezes and sweets like Katmer and Kunefe to finish off your meal!
OPENING HOURS: YOU CAN VISIT BETWEEN 12 PM AND 1 aM
ADDRESS: Rüstem Paşa Mah Tahmis Caddesi, Kalçin Sk. No:11, 34116 Eminönü, Rüstem Paşa, Fatih/İstanbul; other locations
ferry/TRAMWAY STOP: Eminönü
10. Hood at DoubleTree by Hilton (Asia)
On the top floor of the DoubleTree by Hilton Moda on the Asian side of Istanbul, Hood serves up some delicious food with a stunning view of the Haydarpaşa Terminal and Kadıköy’s seaside promenade.
Also, there’s an outdoor dining area and a stunning bar that offers something casual for the visitor. Along with a bar offering some great cocktails, they also serve a few great dishes such as