You can’t top the view from the roof of the Seven Hills Hotel, 360 degrees of sweeping vistas that include Istanbul’s most important monuments. My husband and I mused that everyone seemed to want to sit on the Bospherous side of the terrace, when you can have a waterfront view in tons of cities—but where else in the world can you feel like you’re levitating above the magnificent Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia? (So I recommend sitting on that side instead.)
We had a corner table, which felt private and was great for a photo opp, but it seemed too far removed from the staff to get anyone’s attention. Granted, it was quite busy at 10 p.m. but the service was notably slow and spotty. The food, however, was surprisingly good, in my opinion. I note this because, as a vegetarian, I don’t often expect much from my dining options outside of my home state of California—and especially not in a city known more for its lamb than its tofu. But the waiter brought some kind of simple, off-menu skillet of spiced veggies, which tasted better than seemed possible for a few peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Seriously, yum.
Anyway, go for the once-in-a-lifetime view — and the rest is icing.