Gastronomy in Istanbul

Gastronomy in Istanbul
Updated 2019-07-08 11:32

Discovering the local cuisine is with no doubt part of exploring the culture of your new city. Besides leisure activities like concerts, museums, contemporary art, theatres, etc., you will also get a lot of time to enjoy the vibrant food scene. Here is a tasty tour of Istanbul for the foodies.

Popular dishes in Istanbul

If you are around the old city, you should definitely try the kurufasulye, which is a very popular dish. Some of the best places to eat this local speciality are found around Topkapı and Dolmabahçe Palaces.

Street food lovers can grab a delicious simit (Turkish bagel) and tea anywhere across the city. Most people prefer to get their simit at the vaporettos or ships crossing from Anatolia to Europe.

Mantı is another popular Turkish dish and you can get the best versions in Nişantaşı and Şişli areas.

Eating out in Istanbul

Depending on what you like to eat or what kind of music you want to listen you can choose, you should definitely visit Karaköy Lokantası & Bej Lokantası. Other great locations are Ferah Feza for a beautiful view of the city and 360 which is more of a tourist restaurant with cool parties. For a breathaking view of Bosporus while dining and to get a feel of the mystic part of Istanbul, head to Leb'i Derya, but make sure you have a reservation.

If you are a fan of Turkish food and music, gastropubs and restaurant bars are an excellent choice. Some restaurants also end up as bars or pubs later at night. It is better to check with the restaurant if you are looking for an after party. Sunset and Ulus29 are the most popular bar restaurants with good music.

If you are looking for more local pubs, TopaÄacı and Sıraselviler are go-to neighbourhoods with many small bars are serving great food.

Meze restaurants are very popular in Istanbul as these serve small mezes along with Raki which is the traditional Turkish drink. Şişhane is the best place to find meze restaurants. Duble meze, Roof Meze and Meze By Lemon Tree are the most popular meze bars and restaurants in Istanbul.

Istanbul is also about fish restaurants. Most of the fish restaurants are serving mezes. Fish mezes and traditional Turkish mezes are two different things. The best place to discover traditional fish mezes is along the coastal part of Bosporus, like in Kuruçeşme and Balat on the European side of the city. On the Anatolian side, head to Beylerbeyi and Ãengelköy.

Turkish desserts are another essential part of the local cuisine. Lokma is one of the most popular desserts in Istanbul, and you can get the best of them in Kadıköy'. Lokma is made with a special pastry and served with limonata (lemon juice and sugar).

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