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“Perfect First Dinner in Istanbul (for meat lovers and vegetarians)”
Review of Leb-i Derya

Leb-i Derya
Ranked #181 of 13,988 Restaurants in Istanbul
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $45
Cuisines: Turkish, Contemporary, Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Bar scene, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Neighborhood: Beyoglu
Reviewed May 26, 2014

Fantastic food, for everyone in our party! I'll start with the review, read on for how we decided on this restaurant and how we got there. We were escorted to a table by the window with a fantastic view of the Bosphorus and old town (Sultanahmet). We could see the Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Süleymaniye Mosque. I did not have a huge appetite, so I decided to order two vegetarian starters. I am considering becoming a vegetarian again after this meal (if only I could find this cuisine readily in Atlanta). My husband and mother-in-law had beef and chicken, respectively. They each loved their meals. I'm not a beef eater, so I didn't taste my husband's meal, but the chicken dish was delightful. That said, mine was better. I had the Fava Bean Puree with Citrus Onion Chutney (similar to hummus, but the flavor was quite different) and the Sun-Dried Eggplant Stuffed With Sour Cherries & Spiced Rice (similar to stuffed grape leaves, but with much more flavor. The Turks know their spices and how to use them.

The hostess and our waiter spoke English, which was great because there is no way any of us could attempt to pronounce most words in Turkish. The vibe was very lively, but with mellow music like you'd expect in a W hotel in the US. We all agreed that it was a great restaurant experience and the perfect introduction to Istanbul.

Background...We arrived in Istanbul this afternoon, after ten days in Italy. This is our first visit to Turkey. We are staying at the Hilton Bosphorus and asked the concierge for a restaurant recommendation in the Taksim area, featuring Turkish food. He sent us to Leb-i Derya with a reservation. We took a taxi from the hotel, which was about $5 US. We would not have found it on our own as it's on the top floor of what appeared to be a residential building on a small side street off of Istiklal Avenue. After the first flight of stairs, you can get in an elevator to the level just below the restaurant. I recommend this, as it's about 6 flights up, on steep, winding stairs. It was almost full at 8:30, so the reservation was necessary and much appreciated.

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Thank Kerry F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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135 - 139 of 591 reviews

Reviewed April 25, 2014

I read the reviews about the restaurant here and I invited my friends to go there on a lunch time. It was the worst time of my visit in Istanbul. The view from the place was very nice but then when we got the menu i thought thats interesting. We did not know what we were going to eat but the meals were very expensive. We thought may be we will have a lot of meal thats why, the they brought a huge plate with a tiny tiny pieces of meals on it and actually we were very hungry so we were disappointed. Anyway we paid a lot of money and were still hungry. I am sorry but im from Cyprus and you never get up hungry from a table in a restaurant in Cyprus even if the view is brilliant. My friends were mad at me after that experience and I was really angry. So please write the truth !!

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1  Thank CosKu B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

We absolutely loved this restaurant. It was my favourite meal in Istanbul.the shrimp gratin was magnificent. My main of lamb kebab on an aubergine risotto was amazing. But the icing on the cake was the parfait with tahini - amazing flavours complimented by the pomegranate sorbet.
This restaurant is a must for foodies.

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Thank Lucy790
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2014

The view was amazing, the food pretty good, the staff more focused on being trendy than good service.
The restaurant was not full but the waiter insisted on sitting us directly next to another couple who were evidently "on a date". So the 4 of us were squashed together in a corner in an otherwise half empty restaurant.
Go for a drink, skip the meal. In fact, it is a bit out of the way even for a drink as there are many other rooftop bars.

Thank TheTeamJB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2014

We didn't notice this restaurant at first until a local friend took us there. While it was only a few steps away from the place we stayed during our stay in Istanbul. The view was amazing, and the trendy setting of restaurant makes it perfect. The Turkish wine was good but my food was not that great, and in my opinion the food were a bit pricey for Istanbul. Would love to come there again for the place and drinks, but I guess not for the food.

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Thank Irra R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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