Turkey has a very rich cuisine and especially Istanbul is a must visit for any foodie. There’s a bit of something for every taste , even on-the-go. Whether you’re in a hurry to grab something to eat, searching food easy on your wallet or a Street food gourme, you really need to check out our best Street food list. And even better, you can find most of them at a walking distance around Taksim where our hotel Three Apples is located.
Some say it’s the Turkey’s answer to bagels, some say they are Turkish pretzels. But there is something that everyone agrees upon is that no one can resist the smell of a freshly baked simit. This sesame-crusted and molasses dipped pastry is best for breaksfast coupled with Turkish tea. And it’s good idea to grab one whenever you start to feel hungry. And make sure you save some to throw at seagulls when you’re in ferry. A flock will follow you until your cruise is over.
Midye dolma / Stuffed Mussels
These are probably the most common Street food in Istanbul. You can spot a midye dolma stall on every corner. Especially for sea food lovers you must taste these stuffed mussels. Even if you’re not, we encourage you to give it a try. They are orange mussels filled with rice, black pepper, currants and pine nuts. Vendor will crack them open for you. Just tell him how many you want. Squeeze a bit lemon and use the empty shell to scoop out deliciousness. And once you start, it’s hard to stop.
Balik Ekmek / Fish Sandwiches
As a city divided and surrounded by water, Istanbul has the best fish dishes. And fish sandwiches are simply delicious. Mostly mackerel fillets, they are grilled on stands at Eminonu and Karakoy shore. Freshly grilled, they are served hot with onions in half or quarter of a bread loaf. We recommend drinking şalgam (juice of red carrot pickles, salted, spiced, and flavoured with aromatic turnip) with balık ekmek. Vendors most likely sell that too.
Kokorec is somewhat controversial and not for everyone as it’s simply made from lamb’s intestines. But don’t skip to read just yet! It’s delicious an done of the most popular Street foods in Turkey. After cleaned thoroughly, it’s spiced and skewered, then grilled until that delicious smell attracts anyone around. Generally served in half or quarter of bread loaf with oregano and tomatoes. Don’t let the ingredients set you back. This is a must try.
Kestane Kebab / Roasted Chestnuts
Kestane kebab which are basically roasted chestnuts are the favorite Street food in winter. It’s a great snack that can be found on the streets of Istanbul (and on almost every step in Taksim). It’s the most delicious way to warm yourself up in the cold days of Istanbul. If you happen to visit Istanbul in autumn or winter you should try it. We guarantee that you’re going to love it!
Kumpir / Baked Potatoes
Kumpir is baked potatoe crowned with a wide range of toppings to choose from. Sweet corn, italian salad, peas, russian salad, pickles, jalapenos and many more. How delicious can a baked potatoe be? It totally depends on the toppings you choose to put onto it! Combinations are endless when it comes to eating kumpir. You can find the best ones in Ortakoy are in Istanbul.
It’s easy to get comfortable at this cute cafe decorated with green chairs, yellow tones, nice pictures on the wall and flowers on the tables. While you start to relax, you are given two menus; one for teas and the other for their delicious food.
At first it’s impossible not to get indecisive at Dem. You can choose between different types of teas from all around the world including white, green, red, oolong, black, smoked and herbal. It helps to read the details of every variety to see which ones matches your taste or mood at that moment. You can have your tea in stylish cups or adorable teapots.
Food menu is as much as varied as their tea menu. Omelettes, paninis, wraps, mini cheeseburgers and of course sweet cookies, scones and desserts are waiting for you to be tasted. Feel free to ask for help about which one goes best with your tea of choice.
At this time of the year we were tempted to try Christmas Tea with beckoning notes of cinnamon and orange. If you are a true tea lover, we recommend visiting Dem Cafe at Karakoy. With its attracting ambiance and different tea varieties, it’s a unique tea house.
If you are more interested to see the culture of the Istanbul more than the nightlife, here is what to do in Istanbul:
Istanbul is a very old city and has a big cultural heritage. Istanbul has a very colorful structure because of the cultural and sociological diversity. When you are walking in the streets of Istanbul you can easily feel the effect of the Byzantine architecture and then Ottoman architecture and finally modern European architecture. All these cultures are still living in the spirit of Istanbul. Best way to see that is to do some sightseeing. For example, if you go to Sultanahmet you can see the Basilica Sistern which is a Byzantine structure.
It was made for finding drinking water but has a magical and mystical view worth to see. Another Byzantine architecture is Galata Tower. It is the silhouette of Istanbul and a good place to get a bird’s-eye view of Istanbul. After that, if you want to see the Ottoman effect, you can go to Süleymaniye Mosque, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Aya Sofya. Seeing them will help you to understand the Ottoman culture and will help you to imagine the old Istanbul.
Hi, I am Michiel. I have visited Istanbul in April of 2013. First of all I should say i really loved Istanbul! To be honest I wasn’t expecting to be amazed that much.
Although the city looks like “a modern Ottoman city” (because of the architecture and mosques) it is easy to feel the effects of Mediterranean culture. Even not too many people can speak English, most of the people tries to help you. They are really warm, friendly and hospitable yet sometimes it is better to not to trust everyone. I am not saying it because of a bad experience but because what I have heard. If you are a tourist, some people (especially taxi drivers) may try to charge you more than normal.
Byzantine architecture is not dead yet. You can easily feel it when you walk in the streets in Taksim. But also it is easy to see Ottoman architecture and culture. So if you like history like me, you will enjoy to discover Istanbul. I highly recommend Turkish food. Don’t be afraid to try when you see something new. You won’t regret. Especially if you see ice cream sellers in Taksim with traditional clothes, try it! You will have a surprise show!
Turkish cuisine has been mainly influenced by Ottoman, Mediterranean and Balkan cusines. In Istanbul, restaurants are mainly based on traditional Turkish food. But there are also many Italian, Chinese, French and American cuisine restaurants too.
Breakfast is very important in Turkish cuisine. Breakfast should include many variations and choices. It is common to sit a long time in the breakfast table. It is highly recommended to have a long breakfast around the Beşiktaş. The smell of the sea and the view of the Bosphorus will make your breakfast even more attractive. But if you don’t have time for that long breakfast, you can always choose “simit”.
For the dinner there will be many choices to eat. If you are interested in Turkish food and want to try, the most common ones are: döner, kokoreç, gözleme, kebap and lahmacun. And also if you are near Taksim, you can try the wet hamburgers which are famous in Taksim. After you finish your dinner, the best thing to do will be trying a dessert. If you go to Karaköy, you can find the most famous (and probably the best) Turkish dessert restaurant: Güllüoğlu. Baklava is the most favorite and must-try dessert in the Güllüoğlu.
If you want a calm and peaceful day in Istanbul and don’t know what to do, this is a guide for you to chill out in Istanbul.
Let’s start our journey from the Anatolian side of the Istanbul which is less crowded compared to European side. Moda, in Kadıköy is a very peaceful place to walk near the beach and to lay down under a tree and relax. After enjoying the sun in Moda beach, it is a good idea to go to Bağdat street and do shopping. It is a long street to walk slowly and check out the shopping markets. After finishing the route and the shopping session, you can take a ferry to the European side.
If the weather is good, it is always a good idea to sit outside of the ferry and watch the seagulls trying to catch the “simit” people throwing. After you arrive to Karaköy with ferry you can go to Istanbul Modern and enjoy some art. If it makes you tired to walk in the museum, drink a Turkish coffee nearby the Tophane. In the café’s of Tophane, there is one more famous thing besides Turkish coffee: shisha. If you are a tobacco lover, you might consider trying shisha with different flavors.
İstanbul, the city of dreams and fairy tales. A gorgeous history, great wonders and buildings which are all the treasures of cultural heritage. People from all over the world, when youre walking in İstanbul streets, you can hear a couple speaking French, an Arabian family, Japaneese people taking photos. All the Turkish people are very nice to them. Turkish hospitality is very famous. Turkish people generally love foreigners, and try to help them. Colorful İstanbul streets will amaze you. Turkey is the geographic centre of the region. And İstanbul was the wonderful capitol of Ottoman Empire. All the culture, music, foods, languages, books were centralizing into İstanbul. This made a great culture. A culture of joy, cheer and big chaos.
The Prince İslands are the jewelry of İstanbul. You buy a ferry boat ticket and wait the time of the sailing time. Sit outside of the ferry, and watch the wonderful İstanbul view. Mosques, old buildings, new buildings, bridges and ships. You can see the people throwing simit to sea gulls. Simit is a traditional turkish circular bread. Sea gulls catch them. The ferry boat sail and slowly you are going to The Prince İslands. Smell the air and the odour of the sea. Hear the sounds of the cheerful people speaking English, German, Korean, Indian.. Feel the love, feel groovy.
The long ferry trip is like a meditation. Its one the most relaxing journey. There are four big islands. Choose one of them, and when your ferry arrives the island you choose, step your foot on the land. You can ask Turkish people where you can go, have a meal or have a beer. Or you can try Turkish tea. Walk the old island ways, see the wonderful İstanbul buildings, take photos and feel the music of İstanbul.
Transportation information :
Istanbul Şehir Hatları: http://www.sehirhatlari.com.tr/tr/seferler/adalar-hatlari-353.html
Istanbul Deniz Otobüsü: http://www.ido.com.tr/
Istanbul oftentimes the city is described as the place where east meets west, or Europe meets Asia. Istanbul is the only city in the world to lie on two continents. Beyond its interesting geography, Istanbul full of ancient history. The city today stands upon layers and layers of past civilizations. Emerging out of its past is a rapidly growing, modern, and massive urban metropolis. Istanbul’s mix of east and west, and old and new make it an appealing city to visit.
With its cloudy skies and ancient buildings, my first impression of Istanbul was that of a sleepy town on the edges of both Europe and Asia. However, within a few hours of exploring the city’s bustling streets, my impression quickly changed. Istanbul has a unique energy that is impossible to find anywhere else. The city is one of the world’s largest, holding over 20 million people. In the mornings you see these people filling ferries, buses, subways, and cars on their way to work, while in the evenings they walk Istanbul’s winding avenues, and populate its restaurants, cafe, and bars. People are everywhere, but that’s not a bad thing. People in Istanbul tend to be friendly and polite, and are from all walks of life. Muslims, Jews, Christians, Europeans, Asians, Americans, Africans, and many more all call Istanbul home. The diversity and energy of the city’s inhabitants contribute to a lively and exciting atmosphere. Whether you are interested in simply people-watching, or jumping into the action, you will certainly be encompassed in the buzz of the city.
The city’ diversity however, does not end with its people. As the capital of ancient empires, and historical trading point. One could get lost in exploring the city’s old Ottoman palaces, mosques, churches, and other historic sites. Although old in age, Istanbul has a young spirit. High-rise buildings reach from the ancient ground into the city’s cloudy sky, while trendy new restaurants, cafes, and nightlife make the city among the world’s most modern. Old Ottoman architecture stands next to rising skyscrapers, churches, and mosques. The city is where the east has met west for thousands of years, and continues to do so today.
Istanbul is perhaps best described as a contradiction. It is both old and new, crowded and calm and eastern and western. One can easily lose themselves within the awing diversity and witness a blending of cultures, philosophies, and time periods unlike anywhere else in the world. It is a small piece of the world that includes nearly every part of it, and has something to offer for anyone who might visit.
Without a doubt when you are next in Istanbul you should not miss Galata Tower. Galata Tower is within walking distance from Taksim Square. This historic building is an excellent view of Istanbul awaits you when you exit the the last floor. Galata Tower is ideal for breakfast. Distracted by the stunning views on the top floor cafe and enjoy a nice breakfast.
Outside the Galata Tower, Maiden’s Tower well worth to visit. Üsküdar shore via small boats from the Maiden Tower takes over.You and your lover can go Maiden’s Tower by boat it will be so romantic. Maiden’s Tower is ideal for making a proposal. Head to head in a tower in the middle of the sea lover and you. It’s a memorable marriage proposal. Maiden’s Tower experience unforgettable moments with a nice dinner at the restaurant. If you’d like a nice violin concerto, you can listen, you can also looking into the eyes of your lover and telle her to how much you love her.
Other than Maiden’s Tower in Istanbul Beyazit Tower is a surely should not miss. Beyazit Tower was built in 1749, is a tower height of 85 meters. This tower has been established in order to observe fires and news. Originally, the tower was built as a wood fire burned Cibali. The tower then burned again in a Janissary revolt. Beyazit Tower consists of three layers: a solid guard, sign a solid and starboard floor.
Long time residents of Istanbul Beyazit Tower illuminated at night in different colors were used for the notification of the next day’s weather prediction. Blue illumination of the tower will be open to the air the next day, the green color rain, yellow colour fog, and red color would snow news. This practice was ended in 1995, after a short period of time, this practice started again in 2010.
Certainly visiting this magnificent towers in Istanbul. A memorable trip waiting for you …