Discover Street Feasts in Istanbul
Istanbul’s street food is not to be missed. It’s some of the most delicious around, and you’ll find a huge range of different savoury and sweet dishes for sale on the city streets.
One of Istanbul’s more unusual specialities is Kokoreç, a dish that tastes a lot better than it sounds. It’s made from sheep’s intestines which are wrapped around sweetbreads then spiced, skewered and roasted like a rotisserie chicken. When they’re cooked they’re chopped up with tomatoes and green pepper and served in bread. You’ll have a chewy and spicy end result, which is also apparently a great hangover cure.
If you’re not up for trying offal, then go for alık-ekmek. These fish sandwiches are sold from boats or stands all along the Bosphorus. They use an oily fish like mackerel, which is grilled and served with onions, tomato and lettuce. It’s the perfect snack to eat on the seafront as you watch the boats float by.
Another seafood favourite is midye dolma (mussels mixed with rice and spices). They’re popped open and served in their shells with a squeeze of lemon, and the sellers keep them coming until you’re completely stuffed.
Other popular street foods include simit, which is a cross between a pretzel and a bagel that’s dipped in molasses and coasted in sesame seeds. Lahmacun meanwhile is a Turkish-style pizza made from thinly rolled dough and topped with minced lamb, onions and red peppers. Add parsley and lemon juice, roll it up like a burrito and tuck in.
There’s plenty of sweet treats to choose from too. You’ll probably know baklava, but there’s also lokma (crunchy dough balls in sugar syrup) and the strange sounding tavukgogsu (milk pudding made with chicken). And don’t forget dondurma, which is a traditional ice cream made with a natural thickening agent that makes it almost stretchy.