Istanbul fishermen have been catching fish in the Golden Horn for hundreds of years. In the last 50 years, a tradition arose that sees freshly caught fish from the Marmara Sea cooked and sold directly at the sea. Eating a fish sandwich is a must if you visit Istanbul's historic peninsula, which includes Eminönü.
Simit is a staple food item readily accessible to the public from town bakeries or street vendors either carrying them on wagons or balancing a massive tray on their heads. Simit is a staple food item readily accessible to the public from town bakeries, street vendors either carrying them on wagons or balance a massive tray on their heads.
Forget all the burgers you've seen in the past since you are about to meet a Turkish-style wet burger (sloppy joe), which is very delicious. Steaming in their little boxes these burgers are mostly found on Taksim Square at the beginning of Istiklal Street, where dozens of small shops sell them. They might not look picture perfect but the taste makes up for it in heaps.
Döner, also known as döner kebab, is one of the most internationally recognized Turkish foods in the world. Döner is a type of kebab, made of beef or chicken roasted on a vertical rotisserie. The seasoned meat is stacked in the shape of an inverted cone and is slowly turned on the rotisserie, next to a vertical cooking unit.
Lahmacun is one of the most popular fast foods in Turkey. With thin-crispy dough and a delicious combination of minced meat, lamb or beef, mixed with fresh chopped onions, garlic, parsley, peppers and tomatoes, it qualifies as one of the healthier fast foods around. Also known as the "Turkish pizza," lahmacun is a unique combination of fresh ingredients and complimentary spices, including paprika and red pepper flakes. With a squeeze of lemon, fresh parsley it can be rolled up and be eaten when you’re out and about.
Made of hand-rolled dough that is lightly brushed with eggs and butter and filled with various toppings, such as minced beef, chopped lamb, fresh or smoked seafood and vegetables (spinach, zucchini, eggplant, onion and potato or mushrooms and cheese), these delicious fillings are sprinkled onto the dough before the dough is closed up and fried.
A midnight meal, kokoreç can be found on any street corner, though it is not a traditional meal on restaurant menus. Made from the intestines of lambs and cooked with a variety of spices and seasonings, kokoreç is the sandwich of the night owl. It is cooked like döner over a charcoal fire, which gives it an extra rich taste.
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