Istanbul is a great city widely known for its delicious, locally prepared food.
If you are looking for what to eat in Istanbul, there is no need to worry. You are in the right place.

We have analyzed several locations where you can find food bazaars in Istanbul or restaurants that will serve you the best Turkish cuisines you will ever taste.

While you check that out, below is a list of some of the best food bazaar you can find in Istanbul.

IÇLI KÖFTE Istanbul food
Içli Köfte
menemen istanbul

What to eat in Istanbul? 


1. Içli köfte

Içli köfte means “stuffed meatballs,” which is one of the delightful choices if you are looking for what to eat in Istanbul. 

It is made from a wheat shell stuffed with spicy sauce, onions, parsley, and minced meat. 

It can be served with bread or rice and can be eaten with yogurt. 

If you are in Istanbul, you can get the most iconic kofte at Sabirtasi

2. Menemen 

Menemen is what you call the “Turkish scrambled eggs.” It is a popular dish in Istanbul that is commonly eaten for breakfast. Its simplicity and deliciousness have even turned it into an international delight. 


Onions, pepper, and tomatoes are thoroughly boiled and then mixed finally with eggs. A healthy touch of olive oil might be added. 

Turkish sausages or even meat can also be added to the mixture to make it even more appealing to the taste buds. 


This dish can be served with Turkish bread and would make for a very hearty breakfast. 

The best place to get this fantastic dish in Istanbul is Ladies Menemen, just off Istiklal Avenue. 

3. Lahmacun 

Some people will describe Lahmacun as Turkish Pizza. A thin piece of dough is made to form a flatbread. This flatbread is then topped with minced meat, which can either be beef or lamb. It is also sprinkled with pepper and vegetables. 


For a tastier experience, parsley can also be added, together with a few drops of lemon. 


Before you eat, roll the flatbread up like a taco, and then your meal is fully ready to be devoured. 


It can be eaten with yogurt. 


Lahmacun is a popular street food that can be found almost everywhere in Istanbul. Still, if you would like to order, you can try the Ortaklar Kebap Lahmacun for a delightful experience. 

4. Baklava 

Still, thinking about what to eat in Istanbul? Baklava should be at the top of your list as well. It is deliciously crafted to perfection with the simplest ingredients. 


Walnuts, hazelnuts, or pistachios can be used. It varies from region to region in Istanbul. The nuts are spread between the layers of dough, dried fruits might be added, and then this dough is dressed with butter, baked perfectly, and then soaked in syrup or honey. 


Baklava can be found in almost any restaurant or store, but to get the most amazing experience, check out Hafiz Mustafa. 

baklava istanbul
lahmacun istanbul
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5. Döner Kebab

Doner Kebab is a tasty combination of vegetables and grilled meat. This meat is erected on a vertical, rotating stack under a griller. When the meat is perfectly cooked and crispy around the edges, it is cut off and serve hot. 


The meat can be chicken or lamb, and it is seasoned with local herbs and spices. 


It is served in a flatbread and can be eaten with yogurt or butter. 

Döner Kebab can be grabbed anywhere, but for the experience of a lifetime, check out Ortaklar Kebab

6. Manti 

Some people call this Turkish Ravioli. It is a hot dish that can be served with cold yogurt sauce and garlic. 


Just think of Manti as a kind of dumpling consisting of dough and its filling. This filling can either be lamb or beef, onion, and pepper. 


The dough is made of flour, water, and salt. Some chefs add eggs to increase the flavor. 

It is utterly delicious, and if you are in Istanbul, you should try this at Sayla Manti. It is simply the best.

Manti istanbul
Doner kebab istanbul
Doner kebab

7. Kunefe 

This dish is made to tantalize your taste buds with its subtle mix of salt and sweetness.

The cheese provides the salt, and it is often spread in between two thin layers of bread. This bread is then coated with honey, jam, or sweet ripe melon. 


When you take a bite of this delicious goodness, the cheese melts in your mouth. It is incredible how the cheese also dabs down the heavy sweetness of the honey or jam. Try this dish at Beyzade Kunefe and breakfast

8. Simit 

Simit is like bread shaped in a ring-like structure, similar to a bagel. It is very crispy and goes well with Cay, which is a Turkey tea served without milk.

It is usually sprinkled with sesame seeds and is the most popular food you will find in Istanbul. It can be found in every stall and almost every corner you turn.

Kunefe Istanbul
simit Istanbul

9. Kuru Fasulye

Fasulye is beans. It’s as simple as that. 

Beans are a big part of Turkish cuisine and can be found either as starters or part of the main dish, but when beans are served as Kuru Fasulye, you know you are in for a treat. 


Kuru Fasulye is made up of white beans, butter, tomato paste, onions, and chili pepper. The pepper and tomatoes will form a soupy base in which the beans will be soaked. This dish can be cooked without meat. It can also be cooked with thin, dried slices of spiced beef. 


For a broader experience, eat this dish with rice or prickles at Comlek Restaurants

10. Pide 

They might call Lahmacun the Turkish Pizza, but Pide resembles Pizza more than the Lahmacun. 

Pide is made as a flatbread. This flatbread is then curved at the edges to form something like a boat. This shape is to enable it to hold the toppings very well. 


This Pide is topped with cheese made from goat milk. It was chosen because it melts very quickly and has a heavenly taste. 


Toppings also include meat, vegetables, sausages, everything included in making regular Pizza, minus the tomato paste. 

Try this dish at Hocapasa Pidecisi. 

kuru fasulye Istanbul
Kuru fasulye
Pide Istanbul


And there you have it. Treat your taste buds to any beautiful dish mentioned above and your buds are guaranteed to thank you for that, tested and trusted.

Istanbul is a large city, and the wonder and beauty are beyond imagination. That being said, it is excellent to explore. Try your hands and mouth to new things.

The locals are amiable and are always willing to help, so you could also prepare your list with their help.

Remember to have fun.

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