Çiğ Köfte


Let’s celebrate bulgur! We can confidently assert that Çiğköfte is the most popular street food in Turkey. Almost the entire country is obsessed with this dish made from bulgur (cracked wheat). The main ingredient never actually gets cooked. It is first soaked in water then kneaded with various spices in addition to tomato and pepper paste. As a ready-to-eat street food, çiğköfte is usually served in a wrap, using thin lavaş bread. Tomato slices, pickled gherkins and greens are also included in the wrap as a refreshing touch. Just so you’re not caught off guard: be ready for something spicy and sour with çiğköfte!

Sucuk Ekmek


To begin with, let us explain that if a food's name consists of two words and the second one is "ekmek" (meaning bread), then it is going to be something pretty close to a sandwich. The first word would signify what is inside that sandwich, and sucuk is, to put it simply, a type of Turkish sausage. Sucuk is wildly popular across Turkey. Copious amounts of spices like paprika, cumin and garlic inside the sausage ferment the meat together with the salt. The intense flavour radiates throughout the mouth with every bite of sucuk ekmek, as it is stuffed with thick chunks of sucuk that has been grilled until crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside.


Balık ekmek


Balık ekmek—literally meaning "Fish bread"---is a fish sandwich that is an integral part of Istanbul’s profound love of the sea. Ingredients include grilled mackerel, onions, lettuce, and spices like hot chilli and oregano. Lemon is optional but highly recommended. The best places to go for balık ekmek would be those along the coast of the Bosphorus, like Eminönü, Karaköy, Üsküdar or Kadıköy.



İçli köfte


Bulgur is back! This time with içli köfte. It is made from a ball of bulgur dough stuffed with sauteed ground beef or lamb with onions, tomato or pepper paste and parsley. After being stuffed, içli köfte is boiled and then fried. The crunchiness of the bulgur shell provides the perfect contrast to the soft texture of the tender ground meat filling. Getting that filling into the bulgur shell is no easy task, and Turkish people greatly appreciate the effort that goes into preparing this snack. However, as we’ve tried to convey here, the taste is worth the suffering!




Simit is a kind of Turkish bagel, liberally coated with toasted sesame seeds. Simit is dipped into fruit molasses to ensure the maximum amount of sesame sticks to it, as well as to make it crispier, before it’s put in the oven. Our top simit tip is to get one early in the morning, as it’s almost guaranteed to be freshly baked at that hour.


As for poğaça, it is another type of bread. Much softer than simit, it’s more like a bun inside, although there might be an element of crispiness on the outside. Sometimes poğaça is filled with ingredients such as feta cheese, kaşar cheese, potato, ground meat or black olive paste. The unfilled version of poğaça is also widely consumed.


Both simit and poğaça are ideal choices for a quick breakfast, and are widely available from street vendors or bakeries.




Simple but not basic. Pilav is the Turkish word for rice dish, and is as widely consumed in Turkey as it is in Asian countries. In some homes, it is served with almost every dinner as a side dish, but it is also quite common to encounter when you are out and about. This is where the tavuk part comes in! Tavuk means chicken. Boiled or grilled chicken is shredded before getting mixed into the rice. With its buttery taste and optional chickpeas, tavuk-pilav is glorious in its simplicity. If your tastebuds require a bit of spice on that, black pepper is the ultimate accompaniment.


 Islak Burger


The name of this food literally means "wet burger," and is an apt description of the food itself. After inserting the grilled beef patty into the bun, burgers are coated with a garlicky tomato sauce and placed in a steam box until they soften. No matter how unappetising the idea of a burger with a mushy bun might sound, Islak Burger is here to dismantle your prejudices. Fair warning: you might even find it addictive.



How elaborate can a baked potato get? The answer is kumpir! Gigantic baked potatoes are cut open and the tender inner flesh is whipped with copious amounts of butter until soft and fluffy. What comes next is up to the individual customer. They are free to choose their own toppings, which can get a bit tricky because there are so many to choose from. Popular toppings include grated cheese, pickled cabbage, green or black olives, sweetcorn, sliced sausage, pickled gherkins, cooked peas or mushrooms, etc.