People travel for many reasons; while some travel to get away, some travel to shop and some travel for the love of travel. And then there’s a group that travels for the love of food and to explore new places through their cuisines. This is where Istanbul will never disappoint you! When visiting Turkey, the range of Istanbul food that you can have is astounding!
Istanbul food: The best of Turkish Cuisine
Turkish food has become one of the most sought-after cuisines in the world. Turkish dishes are simple and use the freshest produce, making it a popular cuisine. Some of the most famous Turkish food include lamb dumplings, sheep cheese, doner kebabs, shish kebabs, menemen and plenty more. Yogurt makes plenty of appearances, in the preparation of Turkish food as well as in light summer beverages. Traditional Turkish food also comprises a lot of fresh fruit such as watermelons, lemons and papayas. Being the cultural capital of Turkey, you can simply head to Istanbul to sample the best traditional food of the country.
Breakfast options in Istanbul Food
In Istanbul, you can get to enjoy food from all regions of Turkey. Some of the most popular dishes that you can try out in Istanbul include the traditional Turkish breakfast, which includes slices tomatoes and cucumbers, along with white bread, honey, eggs and cheese. On special occasions, breakfast also includes borek, which are savoury baked dumplings filled with cheese, meats or vegetables. Menemen, a Turkish style omelette with roasted onions and peppers is another staple breakfast in Istanbul. Places such as Mehtap Café and Bebek Kahve are the best restaurants for breakfast in Istanbul. But, you should make reservations before going since the place is mostly full of locals and tourists right from early morning.
Meze: Starters in Istanbul Food
The Turkish cuisine also comprises plenty of starters to a meal, known as meze. These mezes comprise grilled eggplants, artichokes, beans and several kinds of dips such as chilli tomato paste, yogurt mint sauce and many others. The best mezes can be had in places known as Meyhane, restaurants that specialize in mezes. Some of the best Meyhanes in Istanbul include Giritli Restoran, Cumhuriyet Meyhanesi and Kör Agop Meyhanesi.
Halal food in Istanbul
Since meat dishes are very popular in Istanbul, halal food is very easy to find, since most places prefer to serve only halal meat to their patrons. One of the most popular meat dishes is the Kyu kebap, where the entire lamb is roasted till the meat is so soft that it simply falls off the bone. There are plenty of other meat-based dishes, especially kebabs (kebaps) that the Turks love, such as the doner kebap, the adana kebap, the sish kebap and many more.
And the best part about trying out Istanbul food is that once you’re tired of sitting in stuffy restaurants, you can go out and enjoy the street food, which is just as delicious and hygienically prepared as any high-end restaurant.
Also read: List of popular restaurants in Istanbul
Istanbul: Haven for Street Food
If you are wondering where to eat street food in Istanbul, the best thing to do would be to head out to the local marketplaces and bazaars. There are stalls, vans and mobile carts that serve up some of the freshest drinks and meals.
- When checking out Istanbul food on the streets, start with a fermented millet drink that is known as boza, which will act as an appetizer and also offers respite from the heat outside.
- Try the Simit, if you in the mood for gnawing at something while browsing. It is a baked bread ring, which is very popular here.
- If you are feeling particularly adventurous, try out the kokorec, sheep intestines wrapped around the innards and then roasted.
- Try the pickles here, which are an absolute favourite in Istanbul
- Also don’t miss out on the Gozleme, a hand roasted crepe filled with cheese, meats or vegetables.