Exploring the gastronomic delights of Istanbul

Asako Maruoka's picture

Turkey is a remarkable destination that is often overlooked by holidaymakers. From interesting culture and sun-drenched beaches to friendly locals and compelling historical landmarks, who wouldn’t want to visit? Turkey's gastronomic offerings are really exciting for foodies - take your taste buds on a Turkey holiday with these ideas.

Exploring the gastronomic delights of Istanbul

Start As You Mean to Go On

The Turks like to do things a little differently when it comes to breakfast. Think delicious crumbly cheeses and olives, omelettes and boiled eggs (known as yumurta), or if you’d rather stick to what you know, delicious jams and honey. For the full experience, give sucuklu yumurta and börek a try: deliciously seasoned and spiced sausage cooked in fresh eggs, or cheese and mince/veg-filled dough delights. You won’t have any problem getting out of bed knowing that these treats await you.

Snacks to Savour

Looking for a quick bite? Simit makes the perfect snack; Istanbul locals love this freshly baked treat with its molasses-dipped and sesame-crusted dough. Love seafood? Try midye dolma: mussels on the half shell mixed with spicy rice and served with a squeeze of lemon juice, freshly cooked and oozing flavor. Gözleme are also delicious - savoury crêpes rolled and filled to order.

Meze is a must - cold starters that deliver amazing taste, from eggplant and yoghurt, to tomatoes, chilli, and beans. Turkey is also kebab heaven. There are many varieties to choose from, but Kokoreç and Durum are among the best.

Delicious Dining

Whether it’s in one of Istanbul’s top restaurants, or from the city's vast array of street food masters, your stomach won't be rumbling come dinner time. Dining on a budget? Try Lahmacun - the Turkish take on pizza: thin dough topped with a minced meat, onions and red peppers. So simple, but so tasty. If you're looking for something a bit more adventurous try Lüfer, an alcohol-infused fish that will be like nothing else you’ve ever tasted.

Sweet Treats

Exploring the gastronomic delights of Istanbul

If ice cream is your thing, give Dondurma a try, a traditional Turkish ice cream. Pair this with Baklava, a flaky Turkish pastry, stacked and brushed with butter and sugar syrup, and then cut into rectangles or diamonds. There are so many twists on this classic; look out for Ceviz Dolama or Dürüm, but be warned, you won’t be able to resist more once you’ve had one!

Istanbul is the perfect place for a rumbling stomach. Luckily, city breaks here are very good value. For the best deals on Turkey holidays, book early and fly with trusted travel operators.



Images by allistair and jorge.cancela used under Creative Commons License.