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Best Street Food in Istanbul

The Turkish cuisine is probably one of the most famous in the world because of its rich components. In fact, nearly all kinds of vegetables, fruits, meats, and spices are used in Turkish cuisine this what makes it a good choice for everyone.
For the past ten years Turkey is number one destination for food tourists, people from all over the world visit Istanbul and other cities in Turkey to try both traditional and international food, and of course dining at the city’s most fashionable restaurants  is a gift for your mouth and wife but can leave a hole in your wallet. Well, in Istanbul there is always another way in which you keep three of them happy, your mouth, your wife, and your wallet.

Istanbul streets are full of food and deeply interwoven with Turkey’s food culture, while you walk through the street you will notice how many carts on the side of the street. Each vendor has their own spot and time, some of them work during winter seasons like SAHLEP vendors, and some work all year like SIMIT vendors, and what is interesting about Istanbul’s street food is that it’s clean, cheap, and everywhere.

Here are some of the most famous street food in Istanbul:

1- Simit:

simit

Simply, it is a circular sesame-crusted bread and considered as one of Istanbul iconic food.
It tastes something like American bagel but richer, people of Istanbul cannot resist the delicious taste of fresh baked simit because a fresh simit has crispier sesame and fluffier inside so make sure to buy a fresh one for a better taste.
Simit is a daily food for professionals and drivers even fishes and birds eat old days simits During the time, simit vendors have developed it by filling it with white cheese, cream cheese, vegetables, or even nutella chocolate and costs between 30-40 US Cents.

Live this experience at one of the best Simit Sarayi restaurant.

2- Balik Ekmek:

Fish sale in Karaköy

The number two most popular food in Istanbul some consider it as Istanbul’s classic food. If you are a fan of fish food, it is impossible to ignore this sandwich. Grilled fresh fish with onions and lettuce in a fresh baked bread. Eminönü square is the best place to eat balik ekmek at such as Yaka Balik Fish house, and it costs 3 to 4 USD

3- Kestane:

Roasted chestnuts, kestane is famous in winter months than summer because people usually eat it to warm themselves with tasty food. Turkey is considered the third country in the world to produce chestnuts, and this fact explains how much love people have for this food. A simple hot and delicious snack that you can find almost everywhere but famous in Taksim and costs only a few liras for a bag.

4- Midye

Simple but rich with flavors, it is a normal mussels on the half shell filled with spiced rice inside and cooked slowly for hours, served immediately out of the tray with a squeeze of lemon juice. Midye is more a snack than a meal but a lot of people eat dozens of it right on the street. It’s tricky thou, the idea of Midye is to keep eating as many as the seller gives you and by the time you feel full it already 5 dollars to pay. So try to control your stomach.

Try that out at Kaydonia Restaurant.

5- kumpir:

Baked kumpir potato stuffed with the cheese, sausage, olives, peppers and corn

The magnificent kumpir or (efsane kumpir) as Turkish seller call it. It is a baked big potato with cheese and other components that you get to choose to put on it. Ortakoy on Bosphorus side is the most famous place to make it, once you put your foot in ortakoy kumpir street seller will come out from everywhere just to buy. Do not feel afraid, walk confidence and choose the cart you like but do not miss the chance to eat a kumpir at Bosphorus company restaurant for example.

6- Tavuk Pilav:

Much simpler than it sounds, nothing more than a rice and chicken on top of. You would imagine that such a kind of food is only served at restaurants, well think again because you are in Istanbul. In fact, Tavuk Pilav is a fast lunch for a lot of people in Istanbul because it is tasty, fast, and filling. Usually it is served with buttermilk drink and costs you nothing more than 3 to 4 dollars at maximum. You can find it almost everywhere but people of Istanbul swear that there is something magical and special about the cart in front of Unkapani Market.

There are more street food that you can find while walking down the streets of beautiful Istanbul city, Börek, Lokma, Köfte Ekmek, and other street food that you, your wife and you wallet will definitely love.

As the team of istanbul.com, we have been working hard since 1995, serving Istanbul and Istanbul lovers with our in depth & up-to-date content on Turkish culture, food and lifestyle.