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Pandeli Lokantası

An Istanbul classic

Pandeli Lokantasi

Situated above the main entrance to the Spice Market, Pandeli is one of the most fascinating restaurants in town. Zagat calls it ‘magical’ and we sort of agree.

The restaurant was opened by Pandeli Çobanoğlu, a Greek from a central Anatolian town called Niğde, in 1901 and is known for being one of Ataturk’s favorite places to eat. Ataturk was certainly not the only famous person who liked dining here. The restaurant counts Robert de Niro, Daniel Day Lewis, Roman Polanski and Queen Elizabeth among its clientele. Because of this fame and listings in most guidebooks it may get difficult to get a good seat; so make sure to call and reserve a table at the window overlooking the Galata Tower. Be aware that this is a touristy restaurant but don’t be surprised if you see a lot of locals, as this joint has a local clientele.

Pandeli specializes in traditional Turkish and Ottoman cuisine so it’s safe to say that you’ll probably like any dish that is on the menu. But if you really want to order something special you cannot go wrong with the kağıtta levrek (sea bass in paper) or hünkar beğendi (lamb stew served on eggplant puree).

Open for lunch only.

We like:Kağıtta levrek (sea bass in paper).

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