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Istanbul is among the biggest cities in the world where Asia meets Europe and Islam meets Christianity. This diversity is also reflected in its street food – amazing, flavorful, and something for every taste bud. Street food in Istanbul is like food in no other country. You will get to savor food items which are unique to Istanbul and reflect the tradition and lifestyle of the Turkish.

Street Food In Istanbul You Must Try

From meats to vegetarian delicacies, there is so much to gorge on while roaming in the streets of Istanbul. Let us see some of the best Istanbul street foods.

1. Simit

yeast bread

It is a cold street food in Istanbul. Crisp and shaped like a ring, the savory roll is covered with sesame before it is served. One of the most readily available breakfast, you can find it almost everywhere. The bread is extremely soft and crunchy since it is freshly baked and dipped in the molasses. You can also dip it in white cheese before serving. Purchase it from the ferries which roam in the city with Simit or you can also find them in Mumhane Cad. No:47, Vita Intel in the Karaköy ferry. If you are planning to visit them, make sure you go there in the morning since they sell like hotcakes.

Suggested Read: 9 Istanbul Restaurants For That Perfect Turkish Culinary Affair

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2. Açma

kind of turksih bread

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If you have a sweet tooth, you ought to try this street food in Istanbul. This sweet bun is soft and it looks almost like a doughnut except it is not. If you want, you can ask the vendor to serve you with peanut butter or Nutella. You are going to relish this street food in Istanbul. You can also have it with a cup of Turkish Tea to get your morning started. Some vendors also have cheese, cucumbers, olives, tomatoes packed as sides, so you can have them along with your sweet dish.

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3. Dilli Kaşarlı Tost

sandwiches in turkey

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If you want something heavy and you love meat, this street food in Istanbul is what you should have. Dilli Kaşarlı Tost is grilled sandwich which has lots of cheese and beef tongue. This street food in Istanbul is considered under the “drunk food” category in Istanbul and is best to cure hangovers of the last night. There are a lot of cafes which sell them and you can have them to keep you filled for the rest of the day.

4. Balık-Ekmek

turkish sandwich

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You can’t miss Balık-Ekmek in Istanbul, especially if you love to eat fish. The street food in Istanbul is filled with freshly grilled fish, tomatoes, salads, and onions. If you are near the Eminönü shore or Karaköy, you can never miss this fish sandwich. Even if you are tempted to sit in some restaurants and have your delicacy, it is advisable to have it from the local vendors and enjoy it while standing on your feet. The tasty sandwiches are the second most popular street food in Istanbul.

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5. Lahmacun

turkish pizza

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Also known as Turkish Pizza, it is one of the most sophisticated meals that you will find among the savory street food in Istanbul. A thin dough which is topped with minced meat of your choice, red pepper, and onion. After your desired topping is filled, the entire pizza is cooked inside the oven for a few minutes and served it hot. For further customizations, it is also topped with parsley or lemon juice. After preparing it, it is wrapped and then served along with a glass of the cold drink Aryan. It is one of the best street foods in Istanbul, Turkey. You can find this delicious food anywhere in any neighborhood but Halil Lahmacun and Borsam Taş Fırın, Fıstık Kebap in Kadıköy and Arnavutköy respectively are the best street food places in Istanbul.

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6. Dürüm

Turkish Kathi roll

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One of the most delicious inventions of Turkey is Dürüm. You can find this street food in Istanbul easily in every corner of the street as well as in the fancy restaurants. Have any of the favorite meat in the wrap like chicken, beef, vegetables or even cheese. It is one of the most filling meals you can have in Istanbul. If you have missed any of your meals, you can grab from the street or restaurant and you are good to go.

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7. Tantuni

street food in turkey

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This street food in Istanbul is also very similar to Dürüm but usually, there is beef stuffed inside the wrap along with tomatoes, spices, and peppers. The tortilla inside which it is wrapped is very thin and is originally served spicy. But you can find lesser spicy options. Although most of the people in Turkey believe unless you have the spicy option and it leaves a burn on your lips, you have not tastes the original Tantuni.

8. Midye dolma

sea food rice in turkey

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A popular street food in Istanbul, Midye Dolma is made from orange mussels, herbed rice, pine nuts, and currants. You can consider this as a snack and grab it if you are hungry in the evenings. Half of the shell of the mussels are removed and the other one is mixed with spicy rice and lemon juice if you like the flavor.

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9. Roasted Chestnuts


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How about roasted chestnuts during the winter? Even the smell of roasted fresh chestnuts is going to fill you during the winters. It is the best vegetarian street food in Istanbul to munch on while sightseeing around. You can purchase them from any vendors in the street and have it. The shell of the hot chestnuts are half open and given in a paper bag.

10. Turşu

pickle candy

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If you like pickles, you need to taste Turşu. This cuisine of the city preserves the vegetables and fruits throughout the year. Starting from corn to tomatoes to garlic and even plums are pickled and you can have them. It is pickled either with salt, vinegar or brine.

11. Gözleme

cheesy flat bread

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These hand rolled crepes are the tastiest when they are grilled and filled inside. The dough is very thinly rolled and it is filled with white cheese, onions, potatoes, chard, and meat. It is also seasoned with butter when it is cooked during the night. You can find this street in Istanbul in plenty on the streets.

Further Read: 8 Best Homestays In Turkey That’ll Help You Experience Every Bit Of The Turkish Culture

Many of these delicious, finger-licking street foods are also oil-free and healthy. A trip to Turkey is not going to be complete without you gorging upon the tasty local street food.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Street Food In Istanbul

Is it safe to eat street food in Istanbul?

Yes, it is safe to have street food in Istanbul. The food here is really clean. Also, the street food here usually has open kitchens for the street food where it is prepared in a really hygienic manner.

What is the best food to eat in Istanbul?

The most famous street food to try in Istanbul are Chili Tomato Paste (Ezme), Pinto Beans (Barbunya), Grilled Eggplant Salad (Patlıcan Salatası), Mint Yogurt Dip (Haydari), Fried Eggplant with Tomato Sauce (Şakşuka), Grilled Eggplants with Yogurt (Patlıcan Ezmesi), Artichoke (Zeytinyağlı Enginar) etc.

What is Turkey’s national dish?

Kebaba are some great dishes that you can try in Turkey. This is a kind of dish that is made up of marinated or plain meat which is stewed or grilled. Also, lamb is a really famous dish of Turkey. In this dish, you will find lamb meat which is on a skewer and is grilled on the charcoal. This dish is famous by the name of ‘sis kebap’ in the world

What is a typical breakfast in Turkey?

Usually in Turkey, typically people have these things as breakfast such as butter, olives, cheese, tomatoes, eggs, jam, honey, cucumbers, kaymak, pastırma, börek, sucuk poğaça, simit, soups etc that people enjoy as morning breakfast all over Turkey.

What is the best time to visit Istanbul?

The most ideal time to visit Istanbul would be from the month of March to the month of May. Also, another great time to visit Istanbul is from the month of September to the month of November, this is the time when this place is not overcrowded. The room tariff is also not high and the weather is bearable.

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Category: Food, Istanbul, Turkey

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