Kandilli Suna is one of those places that make your last time by the seaside feel like a thousand years ago. No other place in Istanbul gives the maritime joy that Suna gives. With many tables places around the tiny Kandilli pier, under their vine-covered gazebo area this place offers an intimate dinner with the Bosphorus. So intimate that on windy days the waves crash and get the diners on the far end tables wet. Beautiful sunset spot.
What to order: Suna notoriously uses good produce for simple mezes, salads and fish dishes. The fava, mashed aubergine salad, fried calamari, rocket and tomato salad make a good starting line-up. The fish dishes are also excellent and come in manageable portions as opposed to other, fancier fish restaurants and without unnecessary garnish.
It’s always smart to go for seasonal fish, cooked the way you want it to be (roasted or fried). My favorite here is the fried haddock. It has a light and crispy better and perfectly cooked, moist white meat.
What to know: The problem here is that in the last few years they have become outrageously popular and the service cannot meet the amount of people. You’ll wait for your ice 10-15 minutes and have to remind it four times.
But it’s worth the occasional visit, perhaps better during weekdays or for afternoon lunch hours. The prices are also exorbitantly high now, but if you are a fan of the view and the food you try not to think about it.
No reservations. During summer, weekends are extremely busy. Smart to arrive around 6-7pm to catch a good table or at least wait in line to get one.
A fun tidbit: Kandilli Suna was featured in the acclaimed documentary Kedi. The long form documentary is about Istanbul’s cats,