Italian freshness in Istanbul

The interior of La Mia Luce.

Undoubtedly many of us are consumers of Italian cuisine. Pizzas, pastas, special sauces, cheeses, tiramisu and more. Even though the homeland of these special tastes is Italy, there are places in Istanbul that will give you the same pleasure. Here are the addresses where you can find real Italian tastes without going to Italy.

Our first stop, offering the mouth-watering flavors of Italian cuisine, Turkey's most popular Italian restaurant chain, is PUNTO. Serving the distinguished flavors of the Italian cuisine in different locations in Istanbul since 2007, PUNTO attracts attention with its rich menu. Punto has many branches in Istanbul. I went to the one at Zorlu Center. Chester style seats, graffiti of Italian cuisine on the walls, stylish chandelier make you feel you are in an exquisite environment. The stove in the middle of the restaurant adds warmth to the place. Red and green colors prevail the atmosphere.

Daily fresh pastas, special recipe tomato sauces for pizzas are available at PUNTO. "Burrata Salad" served with burrata cheese coming daily from Afyon, fresh arugula, cherry tomatoes, poppy seeds and pesto sauce, "Fried Risotto Balls" served with tomato and pesto sauce are my favorites. The home-made "Linguine with Pesto Sauce" prepared with original Grena Padano Parmesan and pesto brought from Italy and "Ravioli with Porcini Mushrooms and Sage Sauce" are among the popular choices.

Serving distinguished flavors of Italian cuisine around Istanbul since 2007, PUNTO attracts attention with its rich menu.
There are 20 kinds of pizzas on the menu. The "Italian Burger" is delicious with mozzarella and caramelized onion and an alternative for those who want to eat something other than pizza and pasta at Punto. "Punto Pizza Fantastico" prepared with Nutella, Oreo, banana, mascarpone cheese and hazelnut on special pizza dough, "Limone," Sicilian lemon sorbet, garnished with fresh mint in lemon crust, "Panna Cotta" prepared with Madagascar vanilla, decorated with fresh strawberries and mint are just a few of the delights of PUNTO. You can visit its branches without reservation.

My other suggestion is La Mia Luce, the award-winning Italian restaurant on the Anatolian side. I was impressed by the venue on Baghdad Street, especially with the cigar smoking area at its entrance. The Antique stove, cigar cabinet and checkered tablecloths are very interesting. The old paintings on the walls, the bar area and the furniture selection are all very nice. The garden area offers a sporty restaurant ambiance while the inside offers a fine dining atmosphere. Here you may run into distinguished people living on the Anatolian side. They have a large space. The greenery in the garden is pleasant. The care and service of the waiters are satisfactory.

The main reason of my choice is the menu. In addition to traditional Italian tastes in La Mia Luce, there are also very original dishes such as Salmon stuffing. I was especially impressed by the gluten-free products. It is a pleasure for an Italian restaurant to offer this alternative as those who prefer gluten-free foods and those with Celiac disease are unable to find food in most of the restaurants. Abdullah Ardal, the Managing Director of La Mia Luce: "We have decided to offer gluten-free Italian food in our menus thinking of our guests who prefer gluten-free food, by getting expert support from our experienced chefs. We offer gluten-free pizza and pasta that are among the favorites of the Italian Cuisine to make our guests leave La Mia Luce happy." I suggest you go and try La Mia Luce as soon as possible. Do not forget to make a reservation.

Another suggestion is Nabu Karaköy, located at the corner of Karaköy's Murakıp Street. A boutique hotel with 30 rooms, Nabu is the name of the Babylonian "God of Wisdom and Scripture." The chef in the kitchen is Italian Matteo Bertuletti. Signor Edamame flavored with Maldon salt, Pizzetta Alla Bresaola served with caramelized onion, parmesan cheese, and bresaola are the starters with hard to forget tastes. For those who want to have a light meal try the Caprese, served with pesto sauce, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Farfalle ai Formaggi, served with parmesan, scamorza, gorgonzola and kaciocavalo cheeses, Penne alla Norma, a favorite of hot food lovers, served with ricotta cheese, hot tomato sauce and fried aubergines, Fusilli Bolognese with bolognese sauce and Parmesan cheese for those who cannot say no to the classical tastes are just a few dishes that will make one enjoy truly Italian pasta.

The famous pizzas of Nabu Karaköy are cooked in an Italian style special stone oven with Napoli recipe. Quatro Formaggi with gorgonzola, mozzarella, scamorza cheese, Valtellina with bresaola, arugula, Parmesan and mozzarella, Verdure, which is an ideal dish for vegetarians, with zucchini, aubergine, red pepper and mozzarella. Pollo Timo e Limone, chicken tenderloin, marinated with thyme and lemon, served with grilled vegetables, grilled steak served with baked root vegetables and creamed spinach, are on the menu for those looking for alternatives other than pizza and pasta. I recommend you to try it when you are in the area.


1-TOI / Kuruçeşme

2-Mürver / Karaköy

3-Sea Spice / Ataşehir


1-Avantgarde / Bodrum

2-Viento / Alaçatı

3-Primadonna / Datça


1-İzzet Pinto / Producer

2-Ümit Temurçin / Influencer

3-İsmail Acar / Artist

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