10 things to eat in Istanbul and where

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

If for you visiting a city means knowing it also through its own more authentic flavors, if you are attracted to truly typical things and, when traveling, you prefer spend little and taste something local rather than sitting in a tourist trap restaurant… then you are street food people. In street food you will find the true taste of the place, with which you can flavor your journey in an authentic way.
Istanbul, together with all its wonders and suggestions, it will also capture you for this reason: the corners where you can taste, the street vendors and the delicacies are endless.

I'm Serena Autorino from the blog Thepeterpancollar.com, and today I want to present you a list of foods to try during your stay in the city of the golden horn. Personally, I indulged myself, enticed by the sympathy of the sellers and by really small prices. I love strong flavors and spices and, in this, Turkish street food definitely satisfied my tastes.


  1. Kebab
  2. Balik ekmek
  3. Simit
  4. Misir
  5. Kokorec
  6. Nar suyu
  7. Ayran
  8. Rice
  9. Midiye (fried mussels)
  10. Turkish Delight
  11. Where to eat in Istanbul: best restaurants, typical bars and street food
  12. User questions and comments

1 - Kebab

Let's start, of course, from kebab. Probably not everyone knows that the real Turkish kebab exists in two variants: the döner kebab, considered just "for strolling", served in a sort of flatbread and the dürüm kebab, the variant with sandwich. The classic vertical roast, from which strips of meat are cut, can also be composed of chicken only, or meat (of course never pork). Add vegetables, chips and sauces. You will never eat one so good in Italy.

  • Advised: Lunch or dinner
  • Average cost: Around 5 Turkish Lira (€ 1,20)
  • Main ingredients: chicken or veal, vegetables, sauces

2 - Balik ekmek

On the boats moored in Eminönü, next to the Galata Bridge, the fishermen prepare sandwiches, balik ekmek, stuffed with fish, rocket, fresh salad, onion and lemon. A substantial and simple lunch, good for this reason, perfect for a break before continuing the tour. Prices between 5 and 8 Turkish lira.

  • Advised: Lunch or dinner
  • Average cost: Between 5 and 8 Turkish lira (€ 1,20 / 2,00)
  • Main ingredients: bread, fish fillet, salad, onion

3 - Simit

Of red and white carts that sell these donuts, you will find them everywhere. The Simit it's a sort of sesame bagel, you can eat it plain or filled with fresh cheese, Nutella for breakfast. To accompany the classic tea, the Chay.

  • Advised: Breakfast
  • Average cost: Between 1.50 and 2 Turkish lira (€ 0,35 / 0,50)
  • Main ingredients: soft bread, sesame

4 - Misir

Still hungry? A tasty snack is there cob (Misir), even in midsummer just cooked, first boiled and then passed on the grill, it is good and juicy.

  • Advised: quick snack
  • Average cost: Between 1.50 and 2 Turkish lira (€ 0,35 / 0,50)
  • Main ingredients: corn

5 - Kokoreç

I Kokorec they are something very characteristic, very difficult to find elsewhere: they are sheep entrails cooked on a spit and seasoned with many spices, sometimes spicy. Having overcome the distrust for the somewhat particular ingredient, the taste is decidedly original and you might like it a lot.

  • Advised: snack, lunch or dinner
  • Average cost: Around 5 Turkish Lira (€ 1,20)
  • Main ingredients: sheep entrails and spices

6 - Nar suyu

In Turkey they have a bit of a fix for pomegranate. You will find small kiosks that only sell freshly prepared pomegranate juice, called nar suyu. Furthermore, in Turkish cuisine, they often combine this drink with savory dishes. You can therefore also buy it from those who sell Kebabs or other savory dishes.

  • Advised: at any time.
  • Average cost: Around 2 Turkish Lira (€ 0,50)
  • Main ingredients: pomegranate juice

7 - Ayran

Another drink that the Turks pair with their kebab and meat meals is theAyran. It is a kind of yogurt to drink, a little sour and very particular ... be careful, it is not sweet, but salty! Hard to find fresh, but you will see it everywhere packaged in single-portion glasses. To try at least once.

  • Advised: lunch
  • Average cost: Around 2 Turkish Lira (€ 0,50)
  • Main ingredients: pomegranate juice

8 - Pilav

Rice: Rice and chickpeas, sometimes accompanied by chicken, more or less spicy depending on the seller. This is a dish that I have tried many times and that has always seemed different to me, because, probably, it changes according to the proportions of the ingredients. To eat while strolling this too, served in take away saucers. Price around 2,5 Turkish Lira.

  • Advised: lunch or quick snack
  • Average cost: Around 2.5 Turkish Lira (€ 0,60)
  • Main ingredients: rice, chickpeas

9 - Midiye (fried mussels)

These, I must admit, I have not tasted. In Italy they teach us to be a little wary of this ingredient and for fear of "ruining my holiday" I preferred to avoid. If you can be sure that the seller is trustworthy, though, I'm sure the midiye, fried mussels, are nothing short of heaven.

  • Advised: quick snack
  • Average cost: About 5 Turkish Lira for 5 mussels (€ 1,20)
  • Main ingredients: mussels

10 - Turkish Delight

Not quite a street food, but it's easy to think about how enjoyable it is to grab a bag of turkish delight in one of the specialized shops or at the spice market and eat one every now and then while walking. They are sweet, very sweet, colorful and spicy. Some gummy, others similar to nougat. Warning: they are very high in calories! Don't overdo it… Prices vary according to taste and often you can even negotiate. A must address is Koska, a local chain where you can buy lots of sweet souvenirs.

  • Advised: quick snack
  • Average cost: Variable between 1 and 8 Turkish lira (€ 0,20 / 2,00)
  • Main ingredients: candies

Where to eat in Istanbul: best restaurants, typical bars and street food

In the kaleidoscopic city of Istanbul, gastronomy is an itinerary to be made between spicy aromas and strong flavors.
The gastronomic tradition of the city does divides into different types of premises: from Meyhane, typical places where alcohol is also served, to Lokanta, a little more expensive than the previous ones, up to Restoran, real restaurants.
Among the areas to eat: Sultanhamet Square, full of quality restaurants and cafes; Ponte Galata, for an excellent cuisine based on fresh fish; Taskim Square, where there are many cheap restaurants.
Here are the best places to eat in Istanbul:

1 - Old Ottoman Cafè & Restaurant

  • Description: typical restaurant, excellent traditional food and prices within everyone's reach
  • specialty: Hummus (sauce made from chickpeas, garlic and lemon juice)
  • Average price: from € 20,00 per person
  • Address: Cagalaglu Haman Sokak No 17 / J - Get directions - Facebook page

2 - Roof Mezze 360

  • Description: excellent place with breathtaking views over the city. Typical cuisine based on fish and meat
  • specialty: Hunkar begendi (dish based on smoked and spiced eggplant)
  • Average price: from € 15,00 per person
  • Address: Hoca Pasa Mahallesi, Huda vendigar caddesi No 25 sirkeci - Get directions - Website

3 - Saltanat fish & kebab house

  • Description: relaxing environment, with dishes ranging from kebabs to fresh fish
  • specialty: Doner kebab (sheet of Arab bread stuffed with meat cooked on the rotisserie)
  • Average price: from € 6,00 per person
  • Address: Alemdar, Catalcesme Sk. No 19 / 1A - Get directions - Facebook page

4 - Beso Restaurant Bistro

  • Description: folkloristic location, quality food and kind and friendly staff
  • specialty: lamb in salt
  • Average price: from € 20,00 per person
  • Address: Alemdar Mahallesi, Catal Cesme Sokak No: 5 | Sultanahmet, Fatih - Get Directions - Facebook Page

5 - Tarihi Karakoy Balinkcisi

  • Description: room full of stained glass windows offering a suggestive view of the Bosphorus. Excellent fish-based cuisine.
  • specialty: Balik Corbasi (soup made with boiled fish and seafood)
  • Average price: from € 40,00 per person
  • Address: Tersane Cad. Kardesim Sk. 30 Kardeşim Sokak No. 45 | Kardeşim Sokak No: 45 - Get Directions - Website

Audio Video 10 things to eat in Istanbul and where
add a comment of 10 things to eat in Istanbul and where
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.