Like other dishes, street foods take a big part in Turkish cuisine. We can call them fast food too because their common features are being prepared and being served fast and easily. Thanks to being a multicultured country, there are so many opportunities and they all have distinctive tastes. Before suggesting the best and easy to find Istanbul street food, I would like to answer the most important 2 questions in your mind.
Is it safe to eat street food in Istanbul?
It is one of the most important and common questions in tourists’ minds. Especially nowadays, due to Covid, everybody is more careful than before. If I need to give a general answer, yes, it’s safe to eat in Istanbul but of course, it’s related to your food tolerance too.
Where to eat street food in Istanbul?
In general, most of the best street foods are prepared by hawkers, although, these days tourists might hesitate and might not want to taste from hawkers. On these exact days, the number of street food–themed restaurants increase day by day. From the viewpoint of tourists, these restaurants seem more trustable. I give them right, and I don’t want them to leave the country without trying street foods.
Let’s start with simit. It’s kinda obligatory food of Turkish breakfasts. Crispy dough in doughnut form meets sesame and light molasses. The best combines with simit are black tea and cheese or only ayran. Although we like to eat simit when we have breakfast at home, we eat it while rushing to work on the way too.
Our another street food suits for lunch and dinner. Kumpir’s main ingredient is baked potato. Inside of baked potato, you can add almost every garniture like cheese, olive, sausage, sweet corn, pickle, and so on. As a sauce, you can add ketchup and mayonnaise. Kumpir is symbol of Ortaköy square. I suggest you eat kumpir in Ortaköy.
One of the most famous giblets is called Kokoreç. Grilled sheep’s intestines mixed with tomato, green pepper, cumin, thyme, salt, and chili pepper. In general, it’s served inside of bread but these days some street food restaurants serve it on a plate. In my opinion, no matter how tasty it is on the streets, due to the current situation, I suggest you eat kokoreç at a restaurant.
Grilled Fish Sandwich
Although it’s a fish sandwich, it’s cheap to eat. Generally, seabass or mackerel are preferred. Inside of the bread, lettuce, onion, and as a sauce lemon accompanies fish. It’s a symbol of Eminönü square. It’s good to eat a grilled fish sandwich at the seaside of Eminönü.
Mussel is filled with rice which was prepared with onion, cumin, pimento powder, black pepper, and salt. At the eating stage, we like to squeeze the lemon on it and drink a cold beer. An ordinary Turkish person can eat minimum 30 mussels in one sitting. Due to current problems, I suggest you eat Mussel at a restaurant too.
Bonus: Maras Ice-Cream
Maras ice-cream is one of the most attractive food on street because of funny and playful sellers. These sellers don’t like to give you your ice-cream easily, even if you paid the money. One of the most important sides is that this ice-cream is prepared with goat’s milk. Since it has salep inside, it stretches like a chewy gum and melts difficultly.
Have you read our post about Turkish Desserts: Top 5 That You Should Taste?