To choose a favourite food in Istanbul is like asking me to choose a favourite child . Just like with my kids depending on which day you ask, I have a different favourite .
These are some of the things that stand out in my mind . Some are street food ,others are amazing restaurants and some are the little lokantasis(canteens) that are all over Istanbul.
Nusret or the more famously known Saltbae –
This franchise is now worldwide but started in Turkey but its definitely the most cost effective to eat it here .The branch at Grand Bazaar is alcohol free .Instagram has enough pictures of all the different meats on offer but these are our top picks here .GO HUNGRY !!
Flowering onion (Imagine an onion ring on steriods)
Beef sushi blowtorched at the table
Goats cheese salad
Nusret special steak
Baklava with ice cream
(A franchise but we have only eaten at this branch cos it was near our hotel)
Lots of other well presented food with great value for money
Hafez mustafa /mado
Esmer Chef : for when you need a good spicy pizza or pasta
Dubb Indian :good Indian food
Kumpir and waffle stands at Ortakoy
Toppings for days !!!Choose ur favourites and find a spot on one the benches overlooking the Bosphorous and enjoy the food and the scenery as well .
I have eaten here more than once .The food and service is really good but i keep coming back for the view at night over the city .
Make reservations online for the rooftop .
Fasuli:Not a restaurant name but the name of the actual food . Try the beans and rice at any of the many canteens in old town serving this .
Stuffed mussels sold on the street corners
And more recently we found it at midyeci achmet mussels sold in kfc
Logmades ( hot syrupy doughnuts turkish style ) and fresh fish in french bread. Can be found at Eminuno at the waterfront near where the ferrys leave for the Asian side.
Cups of Pickled veg in a sour vinegary liquid are also sold along here . very unusual and interesting to try .
I cant talk about the food in Istanbul without mentioning the ones that Istanbul is most famous for .
The range of amazing dips and sauces
Pides (turkish Pizza )
Some street food staples that I can always find space for :
Mesir or as we say in South Africa “Mealies”.
Boiled or chargrilled .
The famous Simit(Turkish sesame bagel ) yummy with cream cheese and obviously the kids like it with Nutella
Freshly squeezed juice stalls
And cheese TOST (Turkish spelling)only other place besides home that you can find a good grilled cheese .some places make it with a spicy tomato sauce .