Köşebaşı was founded in 1995 as the first upscale Turkish restaurant, serving the authentic tastes of eastern Mediterranean cuisine to its guests. Its first location was a villa in Levent, an elegant neighborhood in Istanbul that has served as a megapole for centuries. The award winning menu features various mezes, hand grounded and marinated cuts of barbequed meats, traditional Anatolian side dishes and regional breads. Köşebaşı drives its recipes and spices from the Mediterranean region of Tarsus in Turkey. Chefs in Tarsus first separate meat into pieces and different cuts. Selections from different pieces are then mixed and hand grounded with local spices to ensure a certain level of fat, flavor, moisture and texture. Köşebaşı’s classical mezes include pastrami hummus with virgin olive oil, barbequed pureed eggplants, and raw ground meat, ponded with onion and pepper. The main courses offer various options of different cuts of lamb, beef and chicken and are all cooked on the authentic barbeque. Since its inception, Köşebaşı’s most popular main dish is its Tarsusi kebab, a signature lamb kebab, hand grounded daily and marinated with Turkish spices. All Köşebaşı’s have an elegant but warm setting and include elements such as tiles and special colors, inspired by its eastern Mediterranean origins. The casual atmosphere aims to ensure that its guests have a feeling of home. Consistently rated as one of World’s Top Restaurants by Zagat, Köşebaşı was voted as one of the "World's 50 Best Restaurants by the 14,000 members of Conde Nast Traveler magazine and was awarded with International Tourism, Hotel and Catering Industries Prize as the best representative of the traditional Turkish cuisine. “ Köşebaşı was also cited as “the best kebab restaurant in Istanbul” by Time magazine. Its global fame has received numerous bookings from all over the world and continues to attract many celebrities. In Istanbul, the authentic Köşebaşı experience can be encountered in Levent, Göztepe, Nişantaşı, Beylikdüzü, Ataşehir and Reina. Outside of Istanbul, Köşebaşı can be found in Ankara and Izmir. Köşebaşı also delivers its world famous traditional taste in a quick service concept via its Maslak, , Cepa and Gordion Köşebaşı Express branches. In 2006, Köşebaşı started an era of international expansion and opened its Athens branch, which was followed by Köşebaşı Sao Paulo in 2007. This expansion continues with the opening of Bahrain and Dubai branches in 2008 and 2009.