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You Must Try These Top Street Foods of Istanbul

Roasted Chestnuts

Kestane in Turkish, is a sweet snack freshly baked and served on a mobile oven located inside a wheeled table. Kestane vendors sell it by weight, usually by per 100 grams, so you can get to share plenty of Chestnuts with your friends as you watch the streets in Taksim, or the Bosphorus by the coastal districts.

Midye Dolma

Midye Dolma is mussel stuffed with seasoned rice (garlic, salt, pepper, currants) and served in their shells with a slice of lemon. They’re the true street food in Istanbul, usually offered from little black and yellow wagons on the busiest streets. Midye Dolma is the most popular food among Istanbulites after Kokoreç and Dürüm, especially at night, when only the exquisite, bite-size snacks can fix the hunger while creating more cravings for itself (try to stop at just a few pieces). If you are concerned about eating shellfish on the street, there are plenty of restaurants offering plates of this ridiculously delicious street food.


If you go to Eminönü by Golden Horn, you have to eat balık ekmek. There are many boats along the coast in Eminonu that only make balık ekmek. It is a very simple dish that is considered street food. It is a sandwich made with fish. A half-bread is filled with grilled fish, onions, and some green vegetables. If you get one straight from the boats in Eminonu, you can also see that they are selling pickle juice on the side which many people love drinking alongside balık ekmek. 


Kumpir is mainly made from baked potatoes. The potato is baked and then sliced open. The hot potato inside is mashed and scooped out, and mixed with some butter and kaşar cheese and added back into the potato. Then, according to the preference of the person who will eat the kumpir, many different things are added in such as Russian salad, sausage, olives, corn, pickles, ketchup, and mayonnaise. It is a very filling dish that tastes amazing.


Dürüm is one of the most popular foods in Turkey. It is similar to a wrap or burrito. Chicken or meat along with some tomatoes are wrapped with thin bread. Sometimes the dürüm may include green pepper, onion as well as pickles depending on where you are eating it. In Istanbul, the best place where you can eat dürüm is, no doubt, Dürümcü Baba located in Yeşilköy which is a popular stop for many celebrities when it comes to eating traditional Turkish food. 

Chicken and Chickpea over Rice

Nohutlu Pilav, is one of the most popular street foods for its inexpensive market price and its fulfilling quality. This meal sold by mobile take-out vendors carries a lot of energy and nutrients. You can usually get a bowl of rice and a bottle of the salty yogurt drink called ayran for a quite cheap price. It may seem like a simple meal, but Nohutlu Pilav is quite delicious. Nohutlu Pilav is also often cooked at home by families, and served during large celebrations like weddings. 

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