About Istanbul

    Istanbul is 100% family & women-owned and operated. Chef Mom Nili has over 25 years experience in Regional Turkish and Ottoman cooking. Chef Baba Aydin is a doner master. Chef and Entrepreneur and Artist Ahu does everything what ever needs to be get done. 

   Our family focused on creating artistic, enticing, delectable food made of whole food and drinks with local and Turkish and Middle-terranean ingredients when possible. 

    Our recipes reflect our multicultural heritage and history. Let's gather and feast with us and be part of our Ohana.



Our Team

Chef Mom Nili

Chef Baba Aydin

Chef & Artist Ahu

Pastry Chef Shianti

Sous Chef Abi

From the Press


Istanbul's baklava melted in my mouth. I would try to eat one piece and save the rest for later, but always ended up snarfing all three pieces before I even got home. It wasn't just the desserts, of course. I'd get their to-go plates, bursting with so much flavor that just the smell in my car made my mouth water. One of them was even a vegan dish, called imam bayildi, comprised of eggplant topped with tomato reduction and Turkish extra virgin olive oil. The name says it all: It translates to "the priest fainted," meaning it is a dish that was served to a priest, and it was so good that he fell over."  

Melissa Chang


"Istanbul’s Turkish delicacies draw crowds. All around Honolulu, restaurants sit dark or nearly empty, but at Istanbul, it looks as if the COVID-19 pandemic never happened. The restaurant has been operating at full capacity for dinner since it opened June 27 Istanbul’s farmers market allure, beyond the food, drew from the warmth, connection and stories shared by the family. The food is labor-intensive, such that in Turkey, specialty shops focus on only one of these dishes and few places offer all that is served here."

Nadine Kam

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