What To Eat In Istanbul
Istanbul, witnessing variety of civilizations, is the place where the cuisines meet besides the continents. Being the capital of the empires that have enormously widened their territorities, the city continues keeping all the flavors from different regions of the World and the mixture of them too. There is so much to taste while visiting the city, so called local cuisine offers a lot to each and every palate. Here are some examples of Contemporary Turkish Cuisine that you should not miss during your stay in Istanbul.
Decent Turkish Breakfast is the best way to start the day with. As there is no simple formula, the breakfast consists of many products and lasts forever till the tea is over. At least there should be 2 people to enjoy as the conversation is the main motive to enjoy the extensive time. Generally the elements are different kind of cheese from all the regions of Turkey, ham, pastrami, sucuk, eggs, vegetables, jams, kajmak and dried fruits. There are many restaurants that only serve breakfast and you may encounter with long lines in the weekends.
Doner is basically meat cut into thin slices, it is served in various ways, some enjoy it plain in a dish with or without pilaff, otherwise it is consumed in a bread or lavas(burrito). Also it has another famous variation coming from the first capital of Ottoman Empire which is called Bursa Kebabı. This version is served in a dish over thin bread with tomato sauce and yoghurt which also is a must to try.
This is a real thin flatbread which has mixture of minced meat, onions, peppers, tomato and herbs on top, mostly served and consumed with parsley and lemon. You just roll the Lahmacun to eat and yoghurt drink (ayran) goes well with it. This meal is usually preferrred to skip the lunch or dinner in a quick and cheaper way.
You should definetely try grilled fish in Istanbul, you may try that as a snack on the street or in a fancy restaurant on the Bosphorus Strait, they both make you feel that you are in Istanbul. The fish season generally ends towards June and starts again in September, to enjoy the local seafood, you should be visiting the city between these months, otherwise the ones that you will have most probably be the frozen products. The best places to have a dinner are located by the fishmarkets, also the prices are much more reasonable than the ones on the water.
Kuru Fasulye (Beans)
This is maybe one of the best dishes for vegetarians and vegans unless there is meat in it also is cooked with meat. This simple food is a lifesaver for locals who have tight budgets but the taste appeals all the people from all standards. It is best to have a plate of rice aside or you may ask the beans to be served on top of the rice.
This little plates to share are the heritage from all the civilizations that have lived on this land for ages and the perfection comes from this combination. There are hundreds of different kinds of mezes could be found throughout the city and commonly they are sought by the ones who want to spend an entertaining night. Thus, meyhanes(taverns) are the best places to enjoy different kind of mezes. Mainly, they are accompanied with raki, the Turkish pastis.
You may ask for the best places to eat while touring with your guide or you may join a guided food tour to have a bit of several stuff in a short time. Remember that it is quite hard to find the best local experiences foodwise as you will see thousands of options but one belly to fill.