Istanbul serves up a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, and food lovers will find a dish to tempt their every craving. Whether you want to discover traditional Turkish dishes, sample Anatolian specialties, or feast on street food snacks—here’s our pick of the best foods and food experiences in Istanbul.
It’s hard to visit Turkey without tucking into a kebab, and there are plenty of varieties from which to choose, including skewered shish kebabs, wrapped doner kebabs, and spicy Adana kebabs. Other regional specialties include kofte (meatballs), Anatolian dishes like manti (Turkish dumpling), pide (Turkish pizza), and karniyarik (stuffed eggplant).
While you’re waiting for your main course, tuck into an array of mezes or tapas-style appetizers, including dolma (stuffed vine leaves) and borek (savory pastry), or try street food favorites such as midye (mussels), gozleme (stuffed flatbread), simit (pretzel-like bread ring), and hamsi (anchovy). Finish it all off with an indulgent slice of baklava or Turkish tea, accompanied by a sugary fruit-flavored lokum (Turkish delight).
- Enjoy an authentic introduction to Turkish cuisine with a 3-course home-cooked dinner at a local family home.
- Start the day with a traditional Turkish breakfast and sip a Turkish coffee during a food tasting walking tour of Kadıköy Market.
- Soak up the atmosphere of Istanbul by night on an evening food tour.
- Visit the Spice Bazaar, ride the ferry across the Bosphorus, and explore the Asian district of Üsküdar on a street food tour of Istanbul.
- Take a private tour for an itinerary that suits your exact tastes.