Visited by millions of local and foreign tourists, Istanbul draws attention not only to its historical artifacts but also to its must-taste street food flavors.
If you are an Istanbulite, you are accustomed to the smell of food that comes to your nose while walking on any street. When you go to a district in the city that you don’t go to very often, you don’t come back without eating your favorite flavor because Istanbul is such a city. There is a famous street delicacy and a peddler who makes the best of that delicacy. If you live in this gourmet city or you are a tourist, do not miss the street delicacies you should taste. Turkey with its delicious food culture, also delicious street food as well stands out in the world.
Here are the famous street delicacies of Istanbul:
1. Simit and Acma
The simit, which has a history of 600 years with its adventure ranging from street tables to breakfast tables and even palace tables, always, preserves its taste even though it takes on different recipes in different cities. With the combination of flour, molasses, and sesame, the bagel, which reaches our tables for centuries, reveals a very rich heritage of its history. No matter where you go in Turkey, this delicious ‘ring’, which some people cannot eat without tea and cheese, some do not distinguish with airan, and some even break all stereotypes and consume only with turnip, welcomes you at a corner. It is known that the feature that distinguishes Istanbul bagels from other cities is that it is made with cold molasses and cooked in wood.
2. Icli Kofte (Meatball)
Stuffed meatballs are one of the most delicious flavors of Turkish cuisine. It is not easy to find this dish, which is very difficult to make, with the same taste everywhere. It would be the most ambitious on the list. Those who pass by Istiklal Street must have noticed our very friendly brother who sells stuffed meatballs in a small mobile car. Just in front of Aznavur Passage. Stuffed meatballs, which they make both fried and boiled, are sold by the grain. Whether you want to grab one of these stuffed meatballs or go to the place inside the passage.
3. Fish and Bread
Although Fish and Bread can be found in many parts of Istanbul, its traditional address is Eminonu. In the historical Eminonu Fish Bread, you can eat your fish baked on the boat, on the edge of the Golden Horn, against the Galata Tower. Fish and Bread boats are located at the Eminonu leg of the Galata Bridge. You can eat the fish bread you buy here by sitting on the stools in front of the boats. However, if you prefer a more comfortable area, you can also try the fish and bread restaurants under the Galata Bridge. The places where you can eat the most delicious fish bread against the sea view are Eminonu, Karakoy, and Kadikoy.
4. Midye (Stuffed Mussels)
Stuffed mussels, which are cooked after being stuffed and placed back in their shells, are among the main street foods of Istanbul. If you are fond of stuffing mussels, you are in luck. Because you can find this flavor in almost every corner. Mouth-watering stuffed mussels with lots of lemons are sold from morning hours to evening hours and even into the night. Besiktas, Bostanci Beach, Kadikoy, and Taksim are some of the places where stuffed mussels are most famous. If you are looking for a more stylish place, Kiyi Restaurant in Sariyer is also among the places where you can eat stuffed mussels, which are famous as a street flavor. Rifat Bey, who took over the Karakoy Midyecisi, whose history dates back to 1921, carefully selects the mussels and prepares them himself.
5. Kestane (Roasted Chestnuts)
Chestnut was formerly known as the symbol of winter. Chestnut, which we can see every season, has become one of the delicious street foods of Istanbul. It is possible to find chestnut sellers in almost every street and street of Istanbul, especially in the tourist areas. The most delicious chestnuts; in touristic districts such as Beyoglu, Eminonu, and Sultanahmet; It is sold at the mobile car counter. Chestnuts, which are priced according to the gram, are among the street delicacies that must be eaten in Istanbul.
Kokorec, obtained from the small intestine of specially selected milk lambs, is a very nutritious and delicious food. Kokorec is one of the flavors that you should eat from a place you trust and know. The smell of kokorec, which you can eat all the time, day or night, is the kind that can please even those who do not like meat. However, being able to prepare kokorec with its flavor is an important virtue. That’s why the masters who give their jobs justice are famous in Istanbul. There are two versions of kokorec: Izmir and Istanbul style. Izmir-style kokorec is sliced as soon as it is taken from the embers, and then sliced and distributed with knife strokes without being chopped. Unlike Izmir style kokorec, which is spiced and served without adding tomatoes, Istanbul style kokorec is finely chopped and served by blending it with flavorful tomatoes. When it comes to where to eat the best kokorec in Istanbul, Istanbulites first come to mind from historical districts such as Beyoğlu, Eminonu, Cengelkoy, and Kadıkoy. Besides, there are famous kokorec shops on the shores of the Bosphorus (especially Ortakoy).
7. Halka Tatlisi (Ring Dessert)
It is a long and round version of Tulumba dessert. The demand is probably high; this dessert is still frequently seen on many streets. In terms of taste, it is not much different from tulumba.
Where to Eat the Best Street Food in Istanbul?
The places to eat the best street foods are listed below:
- Simit and Acma: Karakoy Bagel Shop
- Icli Meatball: Sabirtasi Restaurant in Asmalımescit or Beyoglu Istiklal Street
- Fish and Bread: Eminonu
- Stuffed Mussels: Historical Karakoy Mussel Shop
- Roasted Chestnuts: Beyoglu Istiklal Street
- Kokorec: Istanbul Ortakoy and Cengelkoy
- Ring Dessert: You can reach it in many locations in the city
Is it Safe to Eat Street Food in Istanbul?
Yes. It is safe if you eat from trusted places.
What are the Istanbul Street Food Prices?
Prices vary according to the quality of the place you go.