street foods to try Istanbul

7 Street Foods To Try In Istanbul

Istanbul is home to a rich history that blends modern and ancient traditions perfectly. This is obvious not only in their architecture but their food as well. Istanbul is home to some of the world’s best street foods from classic döner to hearty pides; there’s something for everyone. Here are seven of the best street food dishes in Istanbul.

Street Foods To Try In Istanbul

1. Simit

Firstly we recommend Simit, often referred to as Turkish bagels are sesame doused circular bread rolls. Found on every corner in Istanbul, they are perfect for a snack or breakfast on the go. If you’re wondering where exactly to look, just walk until you smell fresh dough and roasted sesame.

image: stambul_istanbul/instagram

2. Döner Kebab

Arguably Turkey’s most famous street food, döner kebab is a must-try when in the capital. Vertical rotisserie-cooked meat is turned, cooked and cut simultaneously before being stuffed in fresh bread. Be sure to order the classic spit-roasted lamb topped with fresh veggies and sauce.

image: @eatinginberlin/instagram

3. Midye Dolma

Stuffed mussels full of aromatic rice, herbs, spices and more are what make this dish a street favourite. Flavoured with everything from pine nuts, red pepper, cinnamon and saffron, you’re guaranteed a delicious bite every time.

image: @tenceremidye/instagram

4. Pide

Pizza lovers, be ready for your life to change. Pide, sometimes known as “Turkish pizza” is a flatbread boat filled with mincemeat, cheese, herbs and more. You can order one for yourself or get a massive serving to share. Can you say YUM?

image: @alpkaradenizpiecisi/instagram

5. Cağ Kebab

Unlike doner where the meat is cooked vertically before being peeled off in thin strips, Cağ Kebab is cut in chunks on a skewer. Most commonly you’ll find cağ being simmered over a wood fire which gives the dish it’s signature smokey taste.

image: @ankara_kebap/instagram

6. İçli köfte

This traditional Turkish snack is a favourite among tourists and locals alike. This savoury and filling dish consists of meatballs rolled in cornflour and fried to perfection. Think bitterballen, but Turkish. In short, don’t leave Istanbul without having at least five.

street foods to try Istanbul
image: @ballimmutfakta/instagram

7. Ayran

Last but not least, this ancient yoghurt drink has been a favourite of Turks for thousands of years. It’s made up of yogurt, salt and water and is meant to be savoured. Enjoy it hot or cold and with or without alcohol. Either way, it’s the perfect choice as in addition to any of these other foods.

street foods to try Istanbul
image: @bakir.home/instagram
Melanie Hamilton

Melanie is an avid traveller with a passion for history and global foods. She is currently based in Tbilisi, Georgia where most of her time is occupied with qvevri wine and Soviet history. Having do-si-do'd her way across Europe and Latin America, she's enjoyed some of the world's most exciting places firsthand and can't wait to tell you about them.

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