Istanbul is a food-lover’s dream. With its rich and diverse culinary offerings, the city is a melting pot of flavors from throughout Turkey and beyond. From the traditional kebabs and mezes of Anatolia to the more modern flavors of the Middle East, Istanbul has something for everyone. Here are some of the best dishes to try when visiting the city.
1. Kebab: Kebabs are a staple of Turkish cuisine and there’s no better place to try them than Istanbul. Whether it’s İskender kebab (a popular version of the dish served with tomato sauce and yogurt) or Adana kebab (ground lamb flavored with spices and served with grilled vegetables), the city has a variety of kebab options to choose from.
2. Mezes: Mezes are small plates of food typically served as an appetizer or a side dish. Popular mezes include hummus, baba ganoush, tzatziki, and dolma (stuffed grape leaves).
3. Ayran: Ayran is a traditional yogurt-based drink that is popular throughout the Middle East. It is a salty, refreshing beverage, made from yogurt and water, that is often consumed as a side dish to meals, or as a refreshing drink in hot weather. It has a unique flavor that is slightly tangy, but it is also slightly sweet. Ayran has become popular in many other countries and is often served in restaurants, cafes, and even supermarkets. It is a great way to cool down during the hot summer months, and it is also a great accompaniment to many types of food.
4. Pide: Pide is a flatbread topped with various ingredients such as cheese, eggs, spinach, and ground beef. It’s similar to pizza, but the dough is thinner and crispier.
5. Döner: Döner is a rotisserie-style dish of shaved lamb, beef, or chicken served on a flatbread. It’s often served with vegetables, yogurt, and a variety of sauces.
6. Baklava: Baklava is a sweet pastry made of layers of filo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened with syrup or honey. It’s a popular dessert throughout Turkey.
7. Turkish Delight: Turkish Delight is a candy made from a mixture of sugar, cornstarch, and other ingredients such as nuts and dried fruits. It’s usually served with a glass of tea or coffee.No matter what type of food you are looking for, Istanbul has something for everyone. With its wide selection of dishes, the city is sure to satisfy even the most discerning foodies.
8. Manti is a traditional Turkic dish of steamed dumplings filled with minced meat, usually beef, lamb or pork. The dumplings are often served with a yogurt garlic sauce, melted butter, and sumac. Manti is usually served as an appetizer or a main course, and it can be served with a variety of accompaniments such as tomatoes, onions, sour cream, and herbs.
9. Turkish breakfast : Turkish breakfast is a special meal, typically served in the early morning, that consists of a variety of dishes. It often includes olives, cheese, tomatoes, eggs, and fresh bread, as well as fresh fruit, yogurt, and honey. It is often accompanied by a cup of Turkish tea or coffee. Turkish breakfast is a great way to start the day, as it is both nourishing and flavorful. It can also be shared among family and friends, making it a great way to start the day off with some quality social time.