A food lover's guide to İstanbul

Started by TravelGirl, Mar 15, 2023, 09:15 PM

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Istanbul is a city that's famous for its vibrant and diverse culinary scene. From traditional Turkish dishes to international cuisine, there's something for everyone in Istanbul. In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the must-try dishes and restaurants in Istanbul, making it a food lover's guide to the city.

Doner Kebab

Doner kebab is a classic Turkish dish that's loved by locals and visitors alike. The dish consists of marinated meat that's slowly cooked on a vertical rotisserie and then thinly sliced. The meat is typically served with pita bread, fresh vegetables, and a variety of sauces. One of the most popular places to try doner kebab in Istanbul is Durumzade, a small street food stand that's been serving up delicious kebabs since the 1990s.


Baklava is a sweet pastry that's made with layers of phyllo dough, chopped nuts, and honey syrup. The dessert is a staple in Turkish cuisine, and Istanbul has some of the best baklava shops in the world. Hafiz Mustafa is one of the most famous baklava shops in Istanbul, serving up their signature pistachio baklava that's melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Turkish Breakfast

Turkish breakfast, also known as kahvalti, is a delicious and hearty meal that's perfect for starting your day. The meal typically consists of a variety of cheeses, olives, fresh bread, honey, jam, and eggs. One of the best places to try Turkish breakfast in Istanbul is Van Kahvalti Evi, a cozy restaurant that's known for its delicious spreads and traditional Turkish tea.


Meze is a collection of small dishes that are served as appetizers or snacks in Turkish cuisine. The dishes can include anything from stuffed grape leaves to roasted eggplant, and they're often served with fresh bread. A popular place to try meze in Istanbul is Meze by Lemon Tree, a modern restaurant that puts a creative spin on traditional Turkish dishes.

Balik Ekmek

Balik Ekmek is a fish sandwich that's sold from boats along the Bosphorus. The sandwich consists of freshly grilled fish that's served in a soft bread roll with fresh vegetables and a squeeze of lemon juice. The sandwich is a staple of Istanbul street food, and one of the best places to try it is at the fish boats near the Galata Bridge.

Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee is a strong, thick coffee that's traditionally served in small cups. The coffee is made by boiling finely ground coffee beans with water and sugar, and it's often served with a small glass of water. One of the most famous places to try Turkish coffee in Istanbul is Mandabatmaz, a small coffee shop that's been serving up their signature brew since 1967.

In conclusion, Istanbul is a city that's known for its incredible food scene. From classic dishes like doner kebab and baklava to modern twists on traditional Turkish cuisine, there's something for every food lover in Istanbul. Be sure to try some of these must-try dishes and restaurants on your next visit to this vibrant city.

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