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  • Roasted Chestnut and Corns, Istanbul, TR
    Roasted Chestnut and Corns, Istanbul, TR
    by TrendsetterME
  • Kır Pidesi, Local Food, TR
    Kır Pidesi, Local Food, TR
    by TrendsetterME
  • Roasted Chestnut and Corns, Istanbul, TR
    Roasted Chestnut and Corns, Istanbul, TR
    by TrendsetterME
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    Turkish icecream - dondurma

    by magor65 Written Feb 24, 2014

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    Traditional Turkish icecream is made from milk, sugar, salep flour and mastic gum. These two last ingredients make it stretchy and thick. Salep is a kind of flour made from the bulbs of several kinds of wild orchids. Because the source is rather limited, nowadays the guar gum is commonly used instead. As for the mastic - it's a type of resin from the shrub related to pistachio tree. Another distinctive feature of Turkish icecream is that it melts really slowly, which is especially great on a hot day.
    When it comes to buying dondurma from the street vendors, be prepared to get involved in a real show. A salesman is dressed in a traditional costume from the Kahramanmaras region (southeastern Turkey). He attracts the customers by ringing the bells in his stall. Then he fills the cone and now the whole game begins. He seems to be giving you your icecream but in the last moment he plays a trick and you grab the air instead of your cone. The whole thing keeps repeating for several minutes to the joy of people standing around. Finally you get your icecream for which you have to pay 10 TL. After all, it's a treat with the show.
    Dondurma is sold in Istiklal Street and in other places all over Istanbul.

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    Salgam Suyu

    by Martin_S. Updated Aug 7, 2013

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    Salgam Suyu (Fermented Carrot Juice), Turkey

    Okay I know you are going to ask what this is....I am trying to decide if I should tell you or not and just let you order and try it out for yourself, that is what I did. But since you can see the label on the photo I will say that it is Fermented Carrot Juice. No, I did not make a mistake, I read the label very clearly.... The taste is unexpected, I finished the whole bottle. Make no error, this is a VERY local custom. Our local friend tells me that it is usually only found in a very small area of Turkey.

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    Simit, "Turkish Bagel", Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Written Jul 3, 2013

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    "Simit" is the most traditional quick breakfast of a Turkish local, accompanied by some cheese and a Turkish Tea of course .... :)

    There are hundreds of street vendors with their specific red carts on streets selling "simit" even as early as 06am in the morning for the ones going to work on a busy day. You can hear the street merchants generally advertise simit as fresh (Taze Simit) since they are baked throughout the day. Besides street vendors, also the bakerys sell simit, too, but the taste does differ some and most people prefer the ones of the vendors.

    Simit also very well loved for the 5pm teas and break times in companies, to give a short break and drink a tea with a simit till waiting to the dinner time as reaching home ....

    I strongly advise you to taste one, even the vendors sell small packed cheese, juices etc on their little carts. Enjoy this yummy taste .. :)

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    Wet Markets for Fish, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Updated Jun 28, 2013

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    Wet Markets for Fish, Istanbul, TR
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    Turkey is surrounded by seas which contain a large variety of fish. Fish are grilled, fried or cooked slowly by the bugulama (poaching) method. Bugulama is fish with lemon and parsley, covered while cooking so that it will be cooked with steam. The term pilaki is also used for fish cooked with various vegetables, including onion in the oven.

    In the Black Sea region, fish are usually fried with thick corn flour. Fish are also eaten cold; as smoked (isleme) or dried (ciroz), canned, salted or pickled (lakerda). Fish is also cooked in salt or in dough in Turkey. Pazıda Levrek is a seafood speciality which consists of sea bass cooked in chard leaves. In fish restaurants, it is possible to find other fancy fish varieties like balık dolma (stuffed fish), balık iskender (inspired by Iskender kebab), fishballs or fish en papillote. Fish soup prepared with vegetables, onion and flour is common in coastal towns and cities.

    In Istanbul's Eminonu and other coastal districts, grilled fish served in bread with tomatoes, herbs and onion is a popular fast food. In the inner parts of Turkey, trout alabalık is common as it is the main type of freshwater fish. Popular seafood mezes include stuffed mussels, fried mussel and fried kalamar (squid) with tarator sauce.

    Popular sea fishes in Turkey include: anchovy hamsi, sardine sardalya, bonito palamut, gilt-head bream çupra or çipura, red mullet barbun(ya), sea bass levrek, whiting mezgit (allied to the cod fish) or bakalyaro, swordfish kılıç, turbot kalkan, red pandora mercan, tırança, istavrit and white grouper lagos.

    Seaside districts as like Besiktas, Kadikoy, Eminonu, Kumkapi, Karakoy, Bostanci and so many others are famous for their wet markets. Besides sorts of fish, also always fresh shrimp, lobster, shells, squid, mussels are available for your buying and enjoyment ... :)

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    Spices in Turkish Cuisine, TR

    by TrendsetterME Updated Jun 27, 2013

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    Spices in Turkish Cuisine, TR
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    "Herbs and spices" have been used by mankind since ancient times for a variety of purposes. Sometimes a wild flower, the bark of a great tree or the fruit of a bush, spices show infinite variety in their form, characteristics and function.

    It is generally believe that spices were first used in the Far East. The spread of spices used since antiquity in China and India to all corners of the globe began nearly 2000 years ago. At the same time spices have historically been used in other parts of the world as well; one of the oldest of these areas is Anatolia, where spices began to be brought from various regions of Africa as flavor enhancers. Today spices are used most heavily by the inhabitants of South Asia. Of course the use of spices is also quite common in Europe and America; herbs and spices are very important in the cuisines of Italy, Spain, Portugal and France.

    Turkey is also one of the countries with the heaviest use of spices; they have an especially vital role in the cooking of the Southeast.

    Below are mentioned the major spices used traditionally in Turkish cuisine, as well as those which have entered our food culture in more recent times ... :

    1. Red Pepper Flakes (Pul Biber)
    2. Dry Oregano (Kekik)
    3. Dry Mint (Nane)
    4. Cumin (Kimyon)
    5. Sumac (Sumak)
    6. Urfa Pepper (Isot)
    7. Nigella Seeds (Corek Otu)
    8. Pine nut (Dolmalik Fistik)
    9. Sesame seeds (Susam)
    10. Ginger (Zencefil)

    You don't have to be in Istanbul to enjoy the best spices. Fresh spices are found everywhere from the local bazaars and markets to the largest supermarkets. In fact, most spices used in "Turkish Cuisine" are easy to find wherever you are. Just look in the spice section of your favorite market and enjoy .... :)

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    Kir Pidesi, Local Food, TR

    by TrendsetterME Updated Jun 24, 2013

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    Kır Pidesi, Local Food, TR
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    "Kır Pidesi" is a very well known and eaten local food in Turkey ... Its a kind of pide (pita) and made with ingredients of cheese, chopped beef, spinach, potato, depending on your own taste ....

    Its sold almost everywhere, at bakerys and small restaurants and especially consumed by younger people and students as its such cheap with 1.- TL each, aprrx. 50.- cents of each.

    I strongly advise you to taste one, and of course accompanied with a superb "Turkish Tea" .. :)

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    Leblebi World, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Updated Jun 20, 2013

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    Leblebi World, Istanbul, TR
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    "Leblebi" is a kind of snack made from roasted chickpeas, very common and popular in Turkey. It is sometimes roasted with salt, hot spices or dried cloves. There is also a candy coated variety. Particularly, leblebi of Corum and Elmalı are famous.

    There are two different kinds of leblebi: dehulled leblebi (Sarı Leblebi and Girit Leblebi) and nondehulled leblebi (Beyaz Leblebi and Sakız Leblebi) in different parts of Anatolia. It was known in Anatolia for centuries, and from there it was introduced to North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and some Asian countries by Turkish people. In Turkey, a significant amount of leblebi is produced and exported. Also, some Middle Eastern countries produce small amounts of leblebi. The main leblebi-producing region is Corum. Furthermore, there are many more local leblebi types that are produced and consumed in very small amounts in some regions of Turkey and called depending on local customers.

    The young creators of LEB have breathed new soul into this old-time favorite and created over ten flavors of leblebi. Salty: paprika or garlic covered, extra crispy or plain roasted chickpeas make a delicious and healthy snack. Try the chocolate, honey-sesame or turkish coffee covered leblebi, or go for the nostalgic leblebi sekeri (candied leblebi).

    One of the best things about LEB is its youthful and creative design and packaging ideas. You can get your leblebi in a box, jar or gift boxes -combine flavors and enjoy either on the go, or surprise friends with this unique gift. Make sure to eat while fresh: You’d never imagine chickpeas could taste this good ... :)

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    Hasanpasa Bakery, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Updated Jun 20, 2013

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    Hasanpasa Bakery, Istanbul, TR
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    "Yedi Sekiz Hasan Pasa Firini" is an amazing bakery located in Besiktas district of the city. Opening doors very early, always full of customers of all ages, buying for home, for office and even to eat on the go to catch the next boat to asian side ...

    Even the bakery’s name is weird and is named after a legendary 19th century Besiktas guard whose name can be translated as Seven-Eight Hasan Pasha. Its a family run business as u can see father and son working in same place.

    As u enter the bakery, u will be greeted with old newspaper clippings, children’s drawings, portraits and a tv at the far corner, probably there to keep the bakers company. Trays full of cookies, bread and crackers are being taken out of stone ovens by each moment. They make the best "visneli mekik" you’ll find in Istanbul – something like elliptical sponge-cakes made with almond flour and topped with a sour cherry. Other famous products of this bakery include the acıbadem kurabiyesi, almond cookies and the coconut macaroons- perfect when straight out of the oven.

    Its located just at the heart of the Besiktas, at the pedestrian zone, easy to reach by foot, "cookies with history" shall be tasted ... :)

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    Turkish Breakfast, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Written Jun 3, 2013

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    Turkish Breakfast, Istanbul, TR
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    Locals love to have a good breakfast as a day start-up, actually thats more a get-together tradition of each family rather than just eating in the mornings .. :)

    Before going to school, work, sports whatever, the family members gather at the first meal of the day and have their time together in a traditional Turkish family.

    A regular well known Turkish breakfast includes white bread, butter, jam and/or honey, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, cold meats, fruit juice, perhaps eggs and of course Turkish Tea. But the new generation now also includes coffee.

    If you have guests or on Sundays where people have more time for a longer perioded breakfast, more elaborate selections are offered such as hard-boiled eggs, a single egg "sunny-side up" cooked and served in a tiny copper skillet called a "sahan", as well as omelets, chunks of sesame-based "helva", cut and peeled tomatoes, cucumber, sweet peppers and variations of homemade phyllo dough and cheese pastry called "Börek".

    Another great breakfast classic with eggs is called "Menemen." Its a juicy, spicy version of scrambled eggs with onions, red and green peppers and tomatoes and has a great taste.

    In place of breakfast sausage, slices of "sucuk", a spicy type of salami, and "pastırma", a type of cured beef covered with a thick layer of spices are served together with eggs and are a main ingredient in omelets.

    Soup is also a common staple for breakfast in many homes, especially during the winter months.

    You will find yourself searching the markets for the best quality olives and cheeses, seeking out the freshest tomatoes and becoming an expert at blending teas to make that perfect aromatic brew each morning.

    Here you can read my detailed "Turkish Tea" review ... :
    Turkish Tea

    If you have time in the morning, a leisurely breakfast on a sunny porch served with lots of brewed black tea and the daily newspaper is a must. But many people on the run take advantage of the many bakeries that open early selling fresh bread and many varieties of soft rolls with fillings like cheese, black olive paste, mashed potato and chocolate.

    Don't pass up the "Simit", a sesame-covered bread ring sold in bakeries and more infamously by street sellers everywhere. There's nothing like a "simit" with melted cheese inside to start the day.

    Enjoy the "Turkish Style" breakfast ... :)

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    Beyoglu Chocolate, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Updated Jun 1, 2013

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    Beyoglu Chocolate, Istanbul, TR
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    "Beyoglu" on Taksim Istiklal Street is famous with a special chocolate since 50's. This nostalgic chocolate is produced by a family firm "Zambo" and told that it has a secret formula. They are sold with a silver pack or without packing.

    You can find this chocolate at most of the kiosks on "Istiklal Street" but the most famous kiosk is opposite to Benetton, on your left.

    A great taste for sure you have to give a try ... :)

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    Kanlica Yoghurt, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Written May 24, 2013
    Kanlica Yoghurt, Istanbul, TR

    Kanlıca is so much identified with its yoghurt that Istanbulites think of Kanlıca when yoghurt is mentioned and of yoghurt when Kanlıca is mentioned. Macurlar Neighborhood, situated on the skirts of the town where yoghurt producers were settled, was then called as “yoghurt makers’ neighborhood”. It is said that Huseyin Reis Effendi, one of the local people, was the first to introduce this yoghurt to the neighborhood. Yet the one who made it famous was Ismail Hakkı Bey, the owner of Ismail Aga Kahvesi. What carried the fame to other towns was the castor sugar put on the yoghurt. But then these production facilities were closed one by one.

    Today, there is only one place that makes Kanlıca yoghurt in the traditional way: Kanlıca Doga Yogurdu. This is the legacy of Sabri Bey, who played an important role in making Kanlıca yoghurt better. The owners changed a few times after the death of Sabri Bey, but the tradition remains today. In the shop opposite the pier, both daily production and sales are made.

    The most important aspect of Kanlıca yoghurt in comparison to others is that it is natural. There are no additives in it. No protection materials to increase the shelf life are added in the yoghurt or shocked milk. Purely natural milk from the villages of Beykoz is processed daily in the production facilities. The yoghurts produced here are sold to restaurants, cafes, and the ships passing through the Bosphorus.

    Well adviced to eat as u visit the asian side of the city ... :)

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    Salep Drink, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Written May 24, 2013
    Salep Drink, Istanbul, TR
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    Salep is a flour made from the tubers of the orchid genus Orchis Salep flour is consumed in beverages and desserts, especially in places that were formerly part of the Ottoman Empire. The word salep can also mean any beverage made with the salep flour.

    This is a very well liked hot drink by the Turkish locals and nowadays also having tourist fans, especially in cold winter days in Istanbul ... :)

    The beverage "sahlab - salep" is now often made with hot milk (süt) instead of water and is sometimes referred to as Turkish Delight, though that name is more commonly used for lokum. Other desserts are also made from salep flour, including salep pudding and salep ice cream. The Kahramanmaras region of Turkey is a major producer of sahlab known as Salepi Maras.

    U shall sip and enjoy a "salep drink" in your next Istanbul trip ... :)

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    "Fish and Bread" in Eminonu, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Written May 24, 2013
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    In Istanbul's Eminönü and other coastal districts, grilled fish served in bread with tomatoes, herbs and onion is a popular fast food. In the inner parts of Turkey, trout alabalık is common as it is the main type of freshwater fish.

    Popular seafood mezes include stuffed mussels, fried mussel and fried kalamar (squid) with tarator sauce.

    Popular sea fishes in Turkey include: anchovy hamsi, sardine sardalya, bonito palamut, gilt-head bream çupra or çipura, red mullet barbun(ya), sea bass levrek, whiting mezgit (allied to the cod fish) or bakalyaro, swordfish kılıç, turbot kalkan, red pandora mercan, tırança, istavrit and white grouper lagos.

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    Tursu, Pickles, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Updated May 21, 2013

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    Tursu, Pickles, Istanbul, TR
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    Tursu is very commonly consumed in Turkey by locals, especially by native foods as like nohut, kuru fasulye, bezelye and even with döner a sidedish .... :)

    Besides consumed as "food", also the "pickle juice" is sold at almost every corner by vendors and in supermarkets to buy and enjoy ... In some receipes the tursu water (turşu suyu) is also drinkable and very popular in Turkey.

    Tursu is the pickled vegetables of the cuisines of many Balkan and Middle East countries. The word "tursu" comes from the Persian word torsh, which means 'sour'.

    Making tursu at home is still a widespread tradition during the autumn months, even in the big cities. Tursu is often served in restaurants or it can be bought prepared from large supermarkets.

    Tursu is made with garlic, chili peppers, celery, cauliflower, carrots, beets, shallots, cabbage, aubergines (eggplant) and other vegetables, and dried aromatic herbs pickled in vinegar, salt, and different spice mixtures, which usually include whole black peppercorns, ginger, etc. Persian style torshi includes more vinegar, while Turkish style tursu includes more salt as an antibacterial agent.

    As another receipt, tursu is made with cauliflower, red peppers, carrots, and celery. The vegetables are mixed with some salt and sugar and left overnight. The next day the juice is mixed with vinegar and boiled for several minutes. The vegetables are put in glass jars and pressed down with cherry twigs and a round river stone, then the jars are filled with the cooled pickle marinade.

    I strongly advice u to taste Tursu as pure or as sidedish to ur local food ... :)

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    Doner, Local Food, Istanbul, TR

    by TrendsetterME Written May 13, 2013
    Doner, Local Food, Istanbul, TR
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    Döner .... " Turkish Fast - F ood " ... :)

    Either meat döner or chicken döner, its one of the most, probably "the most" consumed local food in Turkey by locals and also by tourists ....

    In each and every corner of the country, even in a megapol as like Istanbul or in a small village somewhere in Anatolia, you will find döner to taste for your lunch or dinner, or even packed for "on the go" ... :)

    Döner Kebap is a Turkish dish made of meat cooked on a vertical spit, normally veal or beef but also a mixture of these with lamb; a cheaper version of chicken is also found. The sliced meat of a Doner Kebap may be served wrapped in a flatbread such as lavash or pita or as a sandwich instead of being served on a plate. Seasoned meat in the shape of an inverted cone is turned slowly against a vertical rotisserie, then sliced vertically into thin, crisp shavings. Toppings include tomato, onion, lettuce, pickled cucumber and chili.

    There are many variations of Döner in Turkey:

    *** Porsiyon ("the Portion", döner on a slightly heated plate, sometimes with a few grilled peppers or broiled tomatoes on the side)

    *** Pilavüstü ("Ricetop", döner served on a base of pilaf rice that gets tastier as the fat in the meat drips into the rice)

    *** Iskender (specialty of Bursa, served in an oblong plate, atop a base of thin pita, complete with a dash of pepper or tomato sauce and boiling fresh butter)

    *** Dürüm, wrapped in a thin lavaş that is sometimes also grilled after being rolled, to make it crispier. It has two main variants in mainland Turkey.

    *** Soslu dürüm (sos, sogan, kasar; in English: sauce, onion, cheese) (speciality of Ankara, contains İskender kebap sauce, making it juicier)

    *** Kasarlı dürüm döner (speciality of Istanbul, grated kasar cheese is put in the wrap which is then toasted to melt the cheese and crisp up the Lavash)

    *** Tombik (literally "the Fatty", doner in a bun-shaped pita, with crispy crust and soft inside, and generally less meat than a dürüm)

    *** Ekmekarası ("in a bread", generally the most filling version, consisting of a whole (or a half) regular Turkish bread filled with doner)

    Does not matter whichever type you choose, I strongly advice you to taste Döner ... :)

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