Culture & Art

Michelin Guide Turkey: 7 Restaurants You Must Know

The Michelin Guide announced that they added new names from Istanbul, Izmir, and Bodrum to its list. A total of 111 restaurants, with 15 in Izmir and 19 in Bodrum, have earned a place in the Michelin Guide. Additionally, 2 in Bodrum, 3 in Izmir, and 2 in Istanbul received new Michelin Stars.

It is exciting to see our unique cuisine, a blend of history and different civilizations, gaining international recognition. If you want to see the full list, you can find it here. In this article, we will explore 7 different restaurants selected from the Michelin Guide.

1- Karaköy Lokantası

Karaköy Lokantası is a place that most Istanbulites have heard of at least once. With close to 80 meze options and mouthwatering traditional dishes, it has been the favorite spot for home-cooked meal enthusiasts for years. Karaköy Lokantası is one of the rare places in Istanbul where you can experience both the comfort of home and the taste of restaurant-quality food. Delicious hummus, crispy mantı (Turkish dumplings), and lamb börek (pastry) are just a few of the tempting offerings. The walls adorned with sea-blue tiles and the intimate atmosphere make it the perfect place for indulgence.

Before we continue with our list here is a quick reminder: Before we proceed with our list, let’s remind you: If you happen to visit Karaköy Lokantası, don’t forget to explore Karaköy with your personal tour guide, the Piri Guide mobile app! The Piri mobile app provides you with the best routes for Karaköy, detects your location, and automatically starts narrating the story of where you are. All you need to do is put on your headphones and follow the route.

2- Mürver

Mürver defines itself as, ‘Fire is the protagonist of our story.’ When the sea, Anatolia, and the soil come together, a masterpiece like Mürver emerges with fire as the lead role. Drawing inspiration from the fire that burns in their kitchens throughout the year, they change their menus with each season, shaping them according to the spirit and ingredients of that season. Around the open fire, they offer visitors an unforgettable experience by reinterpreting local ingredients, employing different cooking techniques, and reimagining regional recipes. Grilled octopus with caramelized onions and tangy vinegar-butter, Thrace curly endive, and baked rice pudding – these are flavors you must try.

3- Eleos Beyoğlu

You’ve likely heard of Eleos, a classic venue in Yeşilköy. The Eleos in Beyoğlu serves as the address for entertainment and dining in the heart of Pera, housed in the historic Hıdivyal Palas. Providing an escape from the crowds of Istiklal Avenue, it embraces visitors with a magnificent view of the Bosphorus. Combining Istanbul’s established Greek tavern culture with the culture of the Aegean shores and herbs, Eleos becomes a paradise for seafood enthusiasts with the most delicious mezes and fresh fish of the Aegean. Using fresh and seasonal ingredients, Eleos takes you on a delicious journey every time you visit.

If you plan to visit Eleos in Beyoğlu, be sure to check out our Beyoğlu travel guide.

4- Itsumi

Itsumi is one of the rare restaurants in Istanbul offering authentic Japanese cuisine. Showcasing the mastery of Japanese cuisine, Itsumi uses the finest ingredients. Established in 2003 by Chef Shunichi Horikoshi and his wife Pınar Horikoshi, Itsumi provides an authentic Japanese restaurant experience, from its decor to the materials used, techniques, and menu. The name is derived from the five essential elements of Japanese cuisine: sugar, salt, vinegar, soy sauce, and miso. Among the flavors you must try are toro tekka maki made from the rare belly part of tuna called toro and daily-fresh sashimi. Additionally, winter casseroles and shabu-shabus that feel like medicine are also flavors you should definitely keep in mind.

5- OD Urla

This time we are turning our route to Urla, Izmir. You may have heard the name OD Urla a lot lately because, compared to the rest of the list, OD Urla is a restaurant with a Michelin star. It also received the Green Star award. OD Urla is a property owned by Chef Osman Sezener’s family. Now, with its unique culinary approach, OD Urla offers a feast of flavors to its visitors. Chef Osman Sezener and his team use half of the products grown in their garden and the other half are the freshest and highest quality products produced by producers and artisans near the restaurant. Especially, dishes cooked over an open wood fire and rustic-style meals are among the attractive points of OD Urla.

6- Ayşa Boşnak Börekçisi

This time, without going too far, we are heading to the heart of Izmir, Kemeraltı. Ayşa Boşnak Börekçisi is a delightful place where you will feel at home. It’s actually much more than a pastry shop with its rich Bosnian and Ottoman flavors. From delicious grape leaves to lamb stew, from exquisite ashura to baklava, it is a dizzying place with its variety. It is a sure favorite, especially for those who love high-quality home-cooked meals. All the dishes are prepared with home care and daily diligence. The only problem here is that they do not take reservations, so it’s a good idea to try to go before busy times.

7- Orkide Balık

Next stop: Bodrum! The last name on our list is a place well-known to Bodrum regulars. Orkide Balık is one of those rare places in Bodrum that is always full regardless of the season, and you must make a reservation. Orkide Balık is a place where you can enjoy your meal while savoring the sand and the sea. Freshly caught fish, carefully prepared, are cooked effortlessly and generously every day. The rich appetizer menu, prepared fresh every day, is filled with unique and delightful flavors. Especially the marinated squid, fried sea bass, and the special sauce are must-try flavors. Complete your experience with helva or homemade baklava as a delightful dessert.

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