Turkish cuisine – what to try with Istanbul

In the article my personal top Turkish dishes. I tell you that try in Istanbul from food and what to expect from Turkish cuisine. I’ll tell you where and what is better to try in Istanbul and how much it costs.

Going to Istanbul, I did not think that this trip will bring me so much positive impressions. The city was remembered by many: ancient monuments, colorful mixing of Asian and European cultures, lively by the largest megalopolis of Europe and very beautiful marine scenery.

Most of all I was impressed by Turkish kitchen. From the very first day, visiting small cafes and beautiful restaurants has become a mandatory ritual for me.

Turkish cuisine, like the culture of this country, is very diverse. Many are familiar with it on Turkish restaurants located worldwide. However, there are things that you should try in Istanbul. Here to prepare even the most simple dishes are suitable with special love. It doesn’t matter where you will go – in an expensive restaurant or street cafe, flawlessly delicious lunch you are guaranteed.

Top 10 Turkish dishes that need to try in Istanbul:

  1. Bagels with sesame
  2. Turkish drinks – coffee, tea and salted
  3. Donor (Shawarma) – a classic that Turkey is associated with
  4. Doner Kebab (Fast Food)
  5. Pakhlava and other traditional sweets
  6. Fresh grilled fish
  7. Soups from fish or seafood
  8. Grilled chestnuts and grilled corn
  9. Meat steak in the restaurant Olive
  10. Dried fruits, nuts and spices

About the diet will have to forget.

Now I will tell you about these dishes.

Bagels with sesame

Stories that the historical center of Istanbul is a place in which a simple breakfast is very expensive – myth.

Of course, there are many expensive places here, but the cart with traditional bagels with a sesame, which are accustomed to breakfast as locals and who arrived, can be found in any part of the city.

Find them easy.

It is enough to go on the aroma of fresh baking, and you will definitely be a small glazed showcase with delicious buns, generously grated seeds. Paying a 1.25 lire street merchant (about 17 rubles) you can provide a delicious snack with a crispy crust and a gentle middle.

Simita – so called these products. Usually they are served to the table for breakfast with tea and jam or cheese.

Turkish drinks

The first thing I dreamed of trying to arrive in Istanbul was traditional Turkish coffee. In Istanbul, he is offered in almost any institution, and most importantly – almost everywhere prepare extremely tasty.

Depending on the place it costs from 3.5 to 10 lire (45-130 rubles). Served in small cups with glasses of water.

Features hot drink:

  • For cooking use the smallest grinding. Therefore, do not finish the last sip, t.To. At the bottom of the cup there is a precipitate.
  • Coffee is boiled on the hot sand. Slow heating gives a drink saturated and deep taste.
  • During cooking in Turku, sugar add. Even if you usually prefer to drink a bitter coffee, ask the seller to put quite a little bit, and you will see that the usual drink will pay quite a new way.

When brewing use special tea varieties that make a drink saturated, tart and unusually tasty. It costs from 2 to 5 lir (26-65 rubles). They are very good to drink dormant sweets or warm in cool weather.


Another traditional drink, which is particularly popular with the Turk in winter – Salep.

According to it, it resembles a diluted milk liquid, prepare it with the addition of powder from the roots of orchids and sprinkled with cinnamon. He is a calorie and does not have a pronounced taste, but because of its consistency somewhat specific. I was enough to try once. Price – 2.5-7 LIR (33-90 rubles).

Traditional Turkish drinks are sold everywhere: at street traders, in the bar for ferries through the Bosphorus, in any cafe and restaurants. It is important that in cheap street eaters, and in expensive places brew them equally well.

Turkish fast food

In Istanbul, a lot of street eaters with small kitchers and tables right on the street.

As not strange, but here you can eat very tasty and inexpensively. Middle check for Shauramu From chopped meat with a drink will be 25-40 lire (325-520 rubles). In the area of ​​Sultanahmet, this lunch will be somewhat more expensive, but it is enough to get out of the center for adjacent streets, and prices will immediately decrease.

It makes no sense to remember the names of the cafes in which we went – it is equally delicious prepared in any institution. Wrap the filling of juicy meat, vegetables and sauces can be in Lavash or bread. Most often, the choice is offered lamb or chicken.

Doner Kebab – This is the same Shawarma and prepare it from the same ingredients, but served on a plate along with a garnish of rice. The doner is particularly popular among local residents.

I like Shawarma more, my husband – Doner Kabab.

Turkish sweets

Istanbul – True Paradise for Sweet Tooth.

I don’t like desserts much, but I went to confectionery 2-3 times a day. By showcases simply impossible to pass. Pyramids Rahat-Lukuma, trays of the freshest patch, multi-tiered shelves of the most beautiful cakes. This is not a spectacle for nervous.

You can try sweets in a restaurant, in the market or in specialized pastry. I recommend choosing the third option.

In the places of famous networks MADO or HAFız Mustafa 1864 you will find everything you need.

Most I liked:

  1. Pahlava – I tried her a couple of times and was sure that I don’t like her. In Istanbul, I understood how the real fresh smell is very different from what is served in the resorts. It is very gentle, juicy and unusually delicious. None of my morning did without a cup of coffee and a tasty honey slice. The price of four pieces of about 40 lire (520 rubles), but they are quite enough for two, because they are very sweet.
  2. Cheese desserts – Very interesting combination of taste of cheese and sweets. Most often, such dishes are warm when the cheese is a bit melted. In addition to an unusual taste, they also have a very beautiful feed. The cost of such a dish order 50 lire (650 rubles). Come to those who do not like strongly dormitory taste.
  3. Turkish cuisine - what to try with Istanbul
  4. Goat Milk Ice Cream or Dondurma – It has a little bit of consistency and very quickly melts in the mouth. I do not like ice cream, so I tried only once and did not find anything special for myself. There is a small horn of about 30 lire (390 rubles). For the sake of interest, you can buy it from traders on Stuklyl Street, they will show you a real show when cooking and will send a little with you.
  5. Different cakes and cakes – Chocolate desserts, traditional cheesecakes, berry pies and dairy puddings. We could not try everything, but there was not a single delicacy that we would not like.

Pahlav and Rakhat Lukum can also be bought on the market.

Prices may be slightly lower, but we preferred still to go to the confectionery. Here you get the dessert immediately after it is prepared. Traditional sweets pack in beautiful corporate boxes. Everything can be tried before buying.

Fish and seafood dishes

Another vivid impression from Istanbul is an abundance of fresh fish and seafood.

This is one of those cases when it is worth a preference to an expensive institution. Restaurants with beautiful views on the Bosphorus and excellent chefs a lot. We stopped at the institution Karisma Sen Restaurant, whose windows go straight to the embankment.

Before ordering dishes to our table, there was a real demonstration of local delicacies:

  • huge shrimps;
  • Freshly dried fish;
  • oysters;
  • Mussels and many other unknown marine creatures.

After watching all this magnificence, we poked our fish with a complex and incomprehensible name. Her immediately weighted with us and took it to cook on the grill. It was worth 200 lire (2600 rubles).

Find fresh seafood in fish markets.

Here you will also prepare any favorite goods in place. It will work out somewhat cheaper, but I myself have not tried, so I can not vouch for taste.

First meal

After tasting a plurality of delicious and calorie dishes occurs when the body needs light hot soup. With this in Turkey a small problem. First dishes, for the most part, weld and fat.

We have found a solution in the form of the oars and soup from seafood.

We tried them in good fish restaurants, and in small fish cafes. At expensive places there is an important advantage – a comfortable environment and a beautiful feed. On taste quality soups were not very different. Taking into account the fact that the price of the first dishes is low, you can afford any option.

Gentle broth with cream, large pieces of fish or assorted from different arthropods, wonderful aroma. It cost such a fun 20 lir (260 rubles) and warmly warmed after a long walk.

Grilled chestnuts and grilled corn

Grilled chestnuts and grilled corn – one of the most popular varieties of street food in Istanbul. Red carts, from which light smoke comes, are everywhere, even in the heart of Sultanahmet Square.

Fried chestnuts I tried earlier in the Baltic.

What to bring from Turkey: the most popular Turkish souvenirs

Then I did not really like. In Istanbul, they turned out to be completely different. Perhaps here is another variety or method of cooking. They are 4 liters (52 rubles) for a small bag, in which about 6-7 pieces lies. At the same time it is enough for two, t.To. The fruits are very satisfying and do not eat them. Suitable with a budgetary holiday or for a single sample for the sake of interest.

As for the corn on the grill – I do not advise. Our boiled is much tastier and more. Perhaps this is a matter of taste, but I could not eat it. It is 3 lira (39 rubles).

Meat dishes

In Istanbul expensive meat. Therefore, classic meat dishes, steaks for example, served mainly in restaurants. In order to evaluate the professionalism of Turkish chefs, we chose a restaurant Olive Restaurant with excellent panoramic view.

The steak of the middle knockers and the leg of the lamb cost about 65 lira (845 rubles). Specific sauces gave them a kind of taste.

This place is perfect for those who do not appreciate street food and will be ready to pay a little more for dinner. Here we liked everything:

  • Professional work of waiters – very positive and, at the same time, the woven guys, they caught every our movement;
  • Beautiful setting is a good setting, a beautiful meal of dishes, panoramic windows;
  • live music;
  • Diverse menu and decent wine list.

This place is located on the top floor of the hotel of the same name and will suit both delicious lunch and for a romantic dinner.

Dried fruits, nuts and spices

When time comes home, the question appears, what to bring close and friends as a gift? To choose something interesting, we went to Grand Bazar.

On the huge Turkish market choose chic:

  • various sweets;
  • dried fruits and nuts;
  • delicious varieties of tea and coffee;
  • Many souvenirs and various products made of glass, metal and textiles.

The advantage of buying on the market is that everything can be tried.

I did not eat such delicious dates anywhere. We bought them and as a gift, and home. They cost 30 lire (390 rubles), but we were stripped and took the package for 22 lira (289 rubles) per kilogram. After arrival for a long time, Turkish tea with dates.

We scored raisins, kuragi and figs. They also cost 30-50 lire (390-650 rubles), but if you take everything in one place, you can reduce the price.

The nuts were slightly expensive – from 80 to 160 lire (1040-2080 rubles), but also in appearance, and they were ideal to taste. Lay one to one, as if their hands went through. Very fresh and high-quality.

Separately, it is worth saying about spices. There are whole tents on the market, where the sellers will help you choose both certain types of spices, and make mixes for any dishes.

There are whole tents on the market, where the sellers will help you choose both certain types of spices, and make mixes for any dishes.

You say that you love, and they make you a ready-made bag. They are about 100 lire (1300 rubles) per kg.

Before buying something, go through the bazaar. Need to be aware that the merchants offer and what price is asked for. Otherwise you can buy the simplest product 10 times more expensive than its usual price. This is the market, you need to be able to bargain.

I used to know at all what Turkish kitchen is. All Inclusive hotels do not give the slightest idea of ​​the true culinary traditions of this country.

I liked that here you can safely go to an expensive restaurant or buy food from a street merchant. Dishes everywhere will be high quality and delicious.

The only place where I would not recommend dinner and dinner – this is the street Estoclal and Taksim Square.

There are too many tourists, the institutions are overflowing, the prices are overestimated. It will not work either to enjoy the atmosphere nor to appreciate the taste of dishes, since they are cooked on an ambulance hand.

If you have been in this city and you can advise that try in Istanbul, write about it in the comments.

Turkish cuisine - what to try with Istanbul

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