Worth the Trip: Five Istanbul Restaurants Win Michelin Stars - Food & Travel

TURK Fatih Tutak is the fitst Istanbul establishment to earn two Michelin stars.

Earning a Michelin star is an accolade much-coveted by chefs around the world. This year, restaurants in Istanbul, Turkey’s capital, are making waves as 53 establishments made it to the Michelin Guide. Notably, the book series starred five restaurants. 

“Istanbul has always been a prominent cultural and touristic destination; today, with the Michelin Guide, we hope to express to local and international gourmets alike that it is also a prime gastronomic destination,” Michelin said in a statement.

READ ALSO: The Stars Have Spoken: 19 New Michelin One-Star Restaurants And 11 That Lost Theirs In New York This 2022

Here are TURK Fatih Tutak, Mikla, Araka, Neolokal, and Nicole—the spots that earned the award through culinary creativity, sustainability, and regard to traditional Turkish cooking. 

TURK Fatih Tutak

Chef Fatih Tutak places his heritage at the heart of Istanbul’s only two Michelin-starred restaurant. Using ingredients from the region and produce from local traders, Tutak creates modern cuisine with a no-waste approach. This is reflected in preservation techniques like fermentation and dry aging. Michelin uses his preparation of manti as an example of his originality. 

Image from @turkfatihtutak on Instagram.

Tutak stuffs pasta with lamb and serves it with smoked yogurt cream, tomato tapenade, and chili butter. Before they earned their stars, TURK Fatih Tutak was one of CNN’s “20 of the world’s best new restaurants for 2020.”

You can find more information here.


Situated on the eighteenth floor of Istabul’s Marmara Pera Hotel is chef Mehmet Gürs’ Mikla. The one Michelin-starred spot emphasizes craftsmanship and utilizes the diversity of Turkish produce. Amid an unobstructed view of the city, you can experience Gürs’ “respect for tradition with a sense of innovation.” 

İskenderun Prawn—Şevketi bostan, muhammara, fresh almond, and green olives / Image from @miklarestaurant on Instagram.

You can find more information here.


The one-starred Michelin spot is located in Istanbul’s Yeniköy district, located on the European shores of the Bosphorus strait. Helmed by chef Zeynep Pınar Taşdemir, she expresses originality through vegetables and herbs.

Taze kekikli hodan / Image from @araka.istanbul on Instagram.

The Guide describes her cooking as creative. In one instance, pumpkin puree is incorporated with the spice mix za’atar. Pickled vegetables and olives are added, served with a spicy sauce.

You can find more information here


Located in Salt Galata, an art space and architectural marvel, chef Maksut Aşkar merges Turkish heritage with modern flavors. Neolokal earned their Michelin star through emphasizing sustainability, by sourcing produce from suppliers in close geographical proximity. Neolokal’s Fine Turkish wines are also selected in the same way. 

Kadinbudu—chicken cream, chicken demi glace sauce, potato chips / Image from @neolokal on Instagram.

You can find more information here.


The one-starred Michelin restaurant takes its name from nun Agnés Marthe Nicole, one of the former owners of its building. Nicole sits inside Tomtom Suites, a historical structure (built in 1901) which offers great views of Old Town.

Gravlax method bonito, caviar, green tomatoes, both salty and confit variations, honey mayonnaise / Image from @nicolerestaurant on Instagram.

Their selection is composed of modernized Turkish traditional recipes. The tasting menu, for example, includes knafeh with Antakya cheese cream, Gaziantep early harvest pistachio purée, and burnt rice pudding ice cream. 

You can find more information here.

Banner image from @urkfatihtutak on Instagram.

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