Istanbul is a culinary paradise, offering a wide range of delicious dishes. Here are some must-try foods when visiting the city:
1. Kebabs: Try various types of kebabs, such as doner (rotating skewered meat) and shish kebabs. Don’t miss Adana kebabs, which are spicy and flavorful.
2. Baklava: Indulge in this sweet and flaky pastry made with layers of filo dough, nuts, and sweet syrup.
3. Turkish Delight (Lokum): Savor these colorful, chewy sweets with various flavors and fillings.
4. Simit: Sample Istanbul’s famous sesame-encrusted bread rings, often enjoyed with cheese, olives, and tea.
5. Mantı: Taste Turkish dumplings filled with spiced meat or other fillings, served with yogurt and garlic sauce.
6. Iskender Kebab: A specialty of Bursa, this dish consists of thinly sliced doner meat served over pita bread and topped with tomato sauce and yogurt.
7. Meze: Explore a variety of small, flavorful dishes, including hummus, baba ghanoush, and stuffed grape leaves.
8. Turkish Tea and Coffee: Enjoy a cup of strong, dark Turkish coffee or a glass of traditional tea, often served in small tulip-shaped glasses.
9. Börek: Savor these savory pastries filled with ingredients like cheese, spinach, or minced meat.
10. Balik Ekmek: Try a fish sandwich from the many street vendors along the Bosphorus for a taste of Istanbul’s seafood.
11. Kumpir: A loaded baked potato dish, where you can choose from various toppings, including vegetables, meats, and sauces.
12. Menemen: Enjoy a Turkish breakfast favorite, a delicious scramble of eggs, tomatoes, green peppers, and spices.
13. Lahmacun: Often referred to as Turkish pizza, these thin, crispy dough rounds are topped with minced meat and spices.
14. Pide: Satisfy your pizza cravings with this Turkish version, featuring boat-shaped dough with various toppings.
15. Turkish Ice Cream (Dondurma): Experience the unique texture and flavors of traditional Turkish ice cream.
Exploring Istanbul’s culinary scene is a delightful journey, with a mix of traditional and contemporary flavors that reflect the city’s rich history and diverse culture. Don’t forget to pair your meals with Turkish tea or coffee for the complete experience.