Boat and the Bosphorus Bridge in Ortaköy
Drinking and Dining along the Bosphorus is one of my favorite things to do when I visit Istanbul. It’s just so much fun to watch the boats cruise by if the weather if pleasant. Two of my favorite restaurants with Bosphorus views are House Cafe Ortaköy and Aqua at the Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus.
Ortaköy is one of my favorite neighborhoods for soaking up atmosphere and it’s very scenic. You can watch the lights change on the Bosphorus Bridge, buy mussels from a vendor, go shopping, and soak up the view (and culture). It’s a lively area with nargile cafes, restaurants and nightclubs.
Full Moon Over Bosphorus Bridge
I make a point to dine at the House Café every time I’m in town. The House Café has a relaxed elegance about it, and their menu is filled with health conscious food. Blush wine is also a big seller, but I found the wine selection to be a bit disappointing (Gallo is their house wine). They have a retractable roof in case the rain stars, outdoor heaters, and blankets in case it gets nippy. The House Café Ortaköy is really about enjoying a great Bosphorus view, people watching,and soaking up the exotic atmosphere. The food here is somewhat underwhelming. I recommend it for breakfast or lunch rather than dinner.
I took this picture of The House Cafe in 2011, when the Ortaköy Mosque was fully visible. During my recent visit in September 2012, the Mosque was completely covered in scaffolding, so the view is currently not this fabulous.
Left: A bartender at House Cafe Right: health conscious dining options
Inside House Cafe, you can see the minarets of Ortaköy Mosque under scaffolding tubes in the background
Left: The Terrace View From House Cafe Right: Boats and the Bosphorus Bridge
For fine dining, it’s hard to beat Aqua, located in The Four Seasons Istanbul at the Bosphorus. Aqua has a great champagne selection, great cocktails (try the pomegranate mojito!) and exceptional Turkish desserts.
The Terrace of Aqua at Four Seasons
Full Moon at Aqua at Four Seasons
Champagne at Aqua at Four Seasons
Flowers at Four Seasons