The food culture of a city actually includes both food and beverage. That’s why the more varied and complex settlement pockets there are in a city, the more ethnic varieties in food and beverages that one can find there. Istanbul has many different street foods a visitor can try and feel the culture.
Presumably, everybody has seen at least one scene from İstanbul, and notably the city offers both historical and traditional cultures. Historical buildings and culinary delights look like they could grace a postcard. There exists huge complexity in Istanbul, and every inch of the city deserves to be explored especially its local street culture and endless variety of foods.
Visitors can find amazing dishes that present like the most delicious and expensive thing in the world, but actually they are prepared with simple ingredients and on every corner.
These foods include:
- The grilled fish sandwich comes to mind first. The delicious smell wafts from a boat on Bosporus and from local food truck trolling the streets. These options are ideal for those who do not have the time to sit down at a restaurant but still want to taste this fresh fish.
- Kokoreç (grilled sheep’s intestines) is another of the most favorite foods of Istanbul cuisine. Because kokoreç needs to be prepared in a sterile place, you cannot find it just anywhere. There are kokoreç places around Beyoğlu, Çengelköy, and Asmalı Mescit that are famous. You can park and enjoy this delicious food while breathing in clear ocean air.
- Made with plenty of sherbet, the crispy halka dessert is the ticket for those who have a sweet tooth. Most people prefer to eat it on the street, and it’s sold at bazaars and from food trucks. The halka dessert, which is a longer version of the tulumba, is really the only honey dessert that can be eaten on the streets.
- Young or old, everybody loves sweet corn. When its season comes, you can see sweet corn vendors at every corner. Offered either boiled or grilled, sweet corn is now sold in cups, too.
- Crispy Istanbul simit takes you to the depths of history. Simit sellers still go around Istanbul streets with their tray, appealing to those who want to snack on something light or cannot find a place nearby to eat. You still see simit sellers in every district of Istanbul, in fact—and Karaköy and Kadıköy are the most popular.
- As one of the primary foods of winter, chestnuts are also sold on the streets. Even though it can be prepared at home as well, roasted chestnuts from street vendors are somehow much more delicious. On a cold day, you can warm up with this delicious treat.
- Stuffed mussels are another street food which can be found on every corner. Mussel sellers are generally closer to the coast.
- Pilaff with chickpeas takes its place among the most famous street foods of Istanbul. With a dazzling smell, pilaff with chickpeas invites everyone to experience its special taste. It does not matter which vendor you buy from—the street pilaf has a much different taste than homemade pilaff.
- Pickle sellers in the streets offer amazing options. Selling pickle juice as well as pickles, these street vendors get a lot of attention from those who like sour things.
- Served with fries, chicken doner is also one of the favorite street foods of Istanbul.