Nisantasi (properly spelled Nişantaşı and pronounced ni-shan-ta-shi) is Istanbul’s most fashionable and upscale neighborhood. This is where Istanbul’s high society comes to shop and dine. We recommend visiting this particular neighborhood because it showcases an entirely different face of Istanbul: one that is modern and glamorous. Here, you will see the most stylish residents of Istanbul chatting away in cafés, waiting in line for breakfast, shopping in boutiques and drinking third wave coffee.
As you wander the posh streets of Nişantaşı, you’ll be blown away by the sheer amount of independent cafés, upscale restaurants, casual lokantas (cafeteria-style restaurants), hipster and laptop-friendly coffee shops, and burger joints. We spent 2.5 weeks eating our way around the neighborhood and compiled a list of our favorite restaurants and cafés in Nisantasi.
Best Restaurants in Nisantasi
- Çeşme Bazlama Kahvaltı – If you love Insta-worthy brunch spots
- Voi Teşvikiye – If you love salmon bagels and cool workspaces
- Grey Food & Drink – If you love fine dining and a splash of swank
- Göreme Muhallebicisi – If you love eating street food (in restaurants)
- Grandma – If you love baked goods
- Sultanahmet Izgara Köfte – If you love hanging with the locals
- Plus Kitchen – If you love healthy choices and high ceilings
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Where is Nisantasi?
Before we dive in, let’s make sure you know how to get here. Nişantaşi is located on the European-side in the district of Sisli (Şişli). To get to Nişantaşi, take the metro line (M2) to Osmanbey station, which is one stop north of Taksim. From Osmanbey, it’s an easy walk into the heart of the neighborhood.
Should I Stay in Nisantasi?
Nişantaşı is an excellent alternative base for exploring the city. Apart from being located in the most fashionable area of Istanbul, you’ll be close to the vibrant Beşiktaş neighborhood and the up and coming Bomonti neighborhood. Additionally, you’re only a few minutes away from the M2 Metro Line (Osmanbey station), so you can easily get to Taksim, İstiklâl Caddesi (Independent Avenue), and all the sites in Sultanahmet. Thinking about staying in Nisantasi? We recommend:
Hotel Favori – When Kati’s parents visited us, they stayed at Favori Hotel and loved it. This great-value hotel is perfectly located, offers really comfortable and sound-proof (believe me, that matters) rooms, a fitness and wellness center, and breakfast (included).
1. Çeşme Bazlama Kahvaltı
– If you love Insta-worthy brunch spots –
This popular breakfast restaurant is worth standing in line for. At the entrance, a lady prepares fresh spinach and potato gozleme, whetting your appetite for brunch.
As soon as you’re seated, you’ll be given a fresh juice and a pot of tea. There are no menus and there’s nothing to order. Simply sit back and relax as your breakfast feast is laid out in front of you in true Turkish fashion.
You’ll be treated to menemen (tomato-egg dish), a cheese board with fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, homemade jams and spreads, dried fruits and nuts, and gozleme. We especially loved the acuka (spicy tomato spread) and the black mulberry jam with cheese. As you progress through breakfast, a waiter will circle the room with more fresh gozleme and flatbread. You won’t leave hungry. This is easily one of the best Istanbul brunch spots.
Address: Teşvikiye, Ahmet Fetgari Sk. No: 40, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul
2. Voi Teşvikiye
– If you love salmon bagels and cool workspaces –
Voi oh Voi! This smart Nisantasi café looks like it was designed by Urban Outfitters. The multi-textured interior is a perfect blend of soft-industrial chic and botanical garden. Sporting a sign that says “silence is better than bullshit” and plenty of hanging plants, Voi is hip in a confident 25-year-old type of way (not sure if that makes sense)!
The upbeat music will keep you energized throughout breakfast, lunch, or dinner. We came to Voi three times. They have delicious juices, yummy sandwiches and bagels, and super friendly staff. Okay, I admit it’s a bit more American-style than Turkish, but who cares. Also, if you need a place to work, Voi is our #1 pick. Tip: lots of patrons smoke in the front, so if you want a smoke-free foodie experience, head to the back.
Address: Teşvikiye, 30, Ihlamur Nişantaşı Yolu Sk., 34365 Şişli/İstanbul
3. Grey Food & Drink
– If you love fine dining and a splash of swank –
We came to Grey for Turkish breakfast and returned a few weeks later with Kati’s parents for lunch. Their menu heavily features Italian classics and some fusion dishes. The seafood risotto was top!
This Nisantasi restaurant delivers a well-designed dining experience. The interior is classy and upscale. The seating arrangements allow for maximum comfort and personal space. Your waiter will pour you water throughout your meal (foreign concept outside the States).
At the end of your meal, you’ll be presented with a selection of nuts and dried fruits in giant crystal serving bowls. And to conclude your meal, your waiter will bring a block of chocolate to your table and hammer off a few chunks of chocolate for you.
Address: Teşvikiye, Şakayık Sk. No:19, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul
4. Göreme Muhallebicisi
– If you love eating street food (in restaurants) –
If you’ve been walking around Istanbul for a few days, you might have seen locals eating tavuklu pilav, a chicken and rice dish. It’s a popular street food that looks honestly unappetizing. But please don’t judge this yummy book by its meh cover. Tavuklu pilav is flavorful and heart-warming. It’s that ultimate comfort food that you’d want to eat if you were Turkish and homesick.
Göreme Muhallebicisi is the perfect Turkish restaurant to try tavuklu pilav. Located on busy Şakayık Sokak street, this eatery has some prime people-watching outdoor seating. They also have a full menu of soups, salads, and grilled meats, but it was the chicken and rice that made us come back.
Address: Teşvikiye Mahallesi, Şakayık Sokak, No 62, Şişli, İstanbul
– If you love cookies and baked goods –
Imagine walking down an aisle of baked goods. That fantasy can become your reality at Grandma. Croissants, cookies, cakes, you name it, grandma makes it. And, grandma shows it! If you’re looking for a lovely café in Nisantasi to nurture your sweet tooth, this is the place, my friends.
Address: Teşvikiye, Ahmet Fetgari Sk. No:38, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul
6. Nişantaşı Sultanahmet Izgara Köfte
– If you love hanging with the locals –
Come here midday and you’ll be surrounded by locals on their lunch break. Around noon, this semi-underground lokanta is simmering with fresh trays of food and lots of people. Expect fast and professional service. Either order a plate of grilled meats from the menu (there are pictures, yay!) or point to the trays at the entrance. We sampled a few of the dishes: cooked chard, eggplant, chickpeas, and chicken stew. Everything was tasty… well the chard tasted healthy. This is the perfect place to have lunch if you’re in a hurry, or simply want to sample authentic Turkish living.
Address: Teşvikiye mah, Orhan Ersek sok 2/A, 34430 Nişantaşı/Şişli/İstanbul
7. Plus Kitchen
– If you love healthy choices and high ceilings –
Occupying the brightest and airiest space in Nisantasi, Plus Kitchen is a wonderful place to relax. It’s the ultimate post-yoga, grab lunch with friends café. The concept behind Plus Kitchen is providing simple, natural, and healthy food to their community. While that concept is not novel, it’s rather unique to Istanbul.
We came here for coffee and cake (not the healthiest choice) and really loved the vibe and neighborhood. Plus Kitchen is surrounded by other enticing and communal-style bars and restaurants – making it an ideal starting place for neighborhood exploration.
Address: Teşvikiye, Ahmet Fetgari Sk. No:31, 34365 Şişli/İstanbul
Bonus: 4 More Recommended Restaurants and Cafés in Nisantasi
- Nusr – Et – Come here if you need a hamburger fix. They don’t mess around! They make the best hamburger in Istanbul.
- Petra Roasting Co. – Small café with strong hipster vibes. It’s charming and the coffee is excellent.
- Mura Coffee – Our favorite two-story coffee shop in Nisantasi. Mellow Jazz and earthy tones.
- Bodrum Manti & Cafe – Great place to try manti, Turkish-style ravioli. They also serve spinach and cheese filled ravioli.
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