Cuisine Culture and Tastes In Istanbul - GeziBilen

Cuisine Culture and Tastes In Istanbul

You should know just at the outset that our text has been designed under two headings, namely ''What to Eat Where?'' and ''Foods Identified with Istanbul''. If you wish, let's get started! First, we will tell you about the street foods, and then the delicacies of the city.


Boza is a beverage of light yellow colour, which has an acidic, but sweet flavour. Nowadays it is primarily made of maize, but it can also be made from wheat and its derivatives. This beverage that is closely identified with İstanbul should be in any case tasted in the Vefa Boza Shop in Vefa!

Address:  Mollahüsrev Mah., Vefa Cad., No: 66, 34134 Fatih/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 519 49 22

Simit /Turkish Bagel

Even though simit that is a good alternative for breakfast can be eaten today everywhere in shops called simit palaces, you can find the genuine simit in the bakery shop at Boğazkesen Street. Besides, it should be mentioned that a crispy simit is a unique delicacy and a good option to have a great start into the day.  

Famous Historical Simit Bakery of Boğazkesen

Address: Tomtom Mah., Boğazkesen Cad., No: 65, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 244 40 59

Chicken & Rice

Even though chicken with rice is one of the primary dishes in the cuisine of every Turkish household, the famous rice shops in Unkapanı immediately comes to mind when people talk about rice and chicken with rice. Believe me; words fail to describe how these simple foods turn into a delicacy when combined.

Address: Hacı Kadın Mah., İ.M.Ç. Çarşısı 5. Blok, No: 5569

Telephone: 0212 514 27 74


Nobody can say the number of mussel-lovers in our country; some people can eat 100 mussels at once! In the mussel shop indicated below, we recommend you to taste mussels in a sauce uniquely offered there. It also goes well with a glass of beer as an alternative for those who use alcohol.

Mussel Shop Ahmet

Address: Yıldız Mah., Çırağan Cad., No: 22, 34349 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 444 41 76

Kokoreç / Grilled Mutton Intestines

Now we will tell you about a place described by Vedat Milor, famous gourmet author, as “the place that offers the best kokoreç in İstanbul’’; it is the Ozzie’s. I can assure you that you can find such a delicacy nowhere else in İstanbul! Because they have been traditionally offering the genuine kokoreç in the original recipe in the real sense of the word since 1968!

Address: Asmalı Mescit Mah., Tünel Geçidi, General Yazgan Sok., No: 3/B, Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 361 91 23

Kumpir / Roasted Potatoes With Several Condiments

Now imagine a big potato roasted on charcoal embers, so soft and cut into two, and coated with a great variety of condiments at the customer's will such as corns, American salad, sausages, olives, etc., all dressed with butter and kashar cheese… The shops that offer this delicacy in the original recipe is found at the centre of the district Kadıköy! There are so many options, but we prefer to give you the address of the oldest kumpir shop in the area, it is the Kumpir Shop from Ortaköy.

Address: Ortaköy Mah., Mecidiye Köprüsü Sok., No: 1-3, 34347 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

Telephone: 0553 876 52 04


Waffle is another street delicacy that has been identified with İstanbul in recent years! As is the case for kumpir, Ortaköy comes into mind when one speaks of waffles. There are so many shops where you can taste this specialty, but we recommend you to taste this delicacy in the most renowned shop, namely Ortaköy Waffle whose address is indicated below.

Address: Mecidiye Mah., Mecidiye Köprüsü Sok., No: 1/13, Beşiktaş/İstanbul

Dried Beans

Dishes based on dries beans are among the most popular ones in the cuisines of Turkish households. But however good it may be cooked at home, it can never be like the ones offered in Süleymaniye! The white beans originating from İspir, a borough in eastern Turkey, cooked in 100-year old griddle kettles is a favourite dish also among non-lovers of beans and pulses! Here you can find a dozen of shops in a row, all offering dried bean dishes, but we would recommend you the historical Mimar Sinan Dried Bean Shop in Süleymaniye.

Address: Süleymaniye Mah., Profesör Sıddık Sami Onar Cad., No: 29, D: 37, 34896 Fatih/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 511 92 68

Kanlica Yoghurt

The name of this shop located on the Asian side and what it offers has been identified as a brand-like delicacy. It is a place where people of İstanbul, even those living on the European side, visit at least once a week to eat yoghurt here.

Address: Kanlıca Mah., Barış Manço Cad., No: 4, 34810 Beykoz/İstanbul

Almond Paste / Turkish Marzipan

Another delicacy identified with İstanbul is certainly the almond paste, the Turkish type of marzipan, and it is thanks to a certain shop located in the district of Bebek that it has achieved great fame in the country. This shop at the centre of the city dating back to 1904 provides a sweet escape to taste this traditional delicacy.

Famous Bebek Marzipan Shop

Address: Bebek Mah., Cevdet Paşa Cad., No: 53-C, 34342 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 263 59 84

Bitter Almond Cookies

Do not say, ‘’Can cookies be a street delicacy?’’. Let’s speak once more after you have tasted it with tea. We don't know why, but generally, all the delicacies having origins in İstanbul somehow include almonds. Rice cooked in the houses of people who are originally from İstanbul contains almonds, and it is also a primary ingredient in the sweets offered in religious feasts. In the streets in Beyoğlu, one can also see street vendors who sell almonds on ice. Above we have said a few words about the almond paste; now we are giving you the right address that offers delicate bitter almond cookies: it is the 7/8 Hasanpaşa Bakery in Beşiktaş, the oldest shop in its respective field! While tasting this delicacy, you can also get informed in the shop about where the name of this delicacy shop derives from.

Address: Sinanpaşa Mah., Şehit Asım Cad., No: 8, 34353 Beşiktaş/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 261 97 66

Mumbar Dolmasi And Shirdan / Stuffed Sheep Sausages And Abomasum 

Besides kokoreç and stuffed mussels, we should also mention these two wonderful delicacies, namely mumbar dolması (stuffed sheep sausages) and shirdan (a dish made with abomasum). These are not specialities originating from İstanbul but are delicious foods that are enjoyed all across Anatolia. However, the best are eaten in İstanbul at Kadınlar (Women’s) Bazaar.

Women’s Bazaar: Zeyrek Mah., İtfaiye Cad., No: 25, D: 21, 34083, Fatih/İstanbul

Tulumba Tatlisi / Doughnut In Syrup

It is semolina doughnut fried in syrup; who can say no to these small pastries rich in calories? To cut it short, the right address for this delicacy is the famous Balkan Tulumba & Dondurma. Here is its address:

Address: Alibeyköy Mah., Gazi Osman Paşa Cad., No:2, 34060 Eyüpsultan/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 627 45 41


I am sorry, but wherever you are in the world, you cannot eat macarons better than those made in İstanbul. The best macarons in İstanbul can be found in the Markiz Pastry Shop.

Address: Şahkulu Mah., İstiklal Cad., No: 231-A, 34440, Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 244 28 90

Sultanahmet Meatballs

Do you know that there exist 317 different meatball recipes in Turkey? Among these 317 recipes, the Sultanahmet Meatballs are the best and most popular ones. The right place to taste this delicacy is, of course, Sultanahmet Meatball Shop where Master Cook Selim will serve you. 

Address: Alemdar Mah., Divan Yolu Cad., No: 12, 34110, Fatih/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 513 64 68

Fish in A Loaf of Bread 

I don’t know how to describe it; I feel myself a kid in a candy store. It is as if we were not the ones full of joy, as if… As you can understand from our song, the joy of eating fish in bread is a kind of blind love for us members of the GeziBilen family! There is no joy in the world better than the one when one feels while eating fish in a half-or quarter-loaf of bread, enjoying the songs of seagulls, the scent of iodine Marmara Sea releases, the sight of Galata Tower and amateur fishermen fishing on the Galata Bridge! We will not mention any certain place to taste this delicacy, because you can do it at any boat Eminönü waterfront.

That’s all for the street delicacies. Now a few words about the delicacies cooked and enjoyed in the imperial cuisine in the Ottoman Palace. Let’s have a look at the specialities that enriched the tables in the Ottoman Palace and the locals where they are offered.


There are so many kebab recipes, and each has a different flavour. For this reason, we will not mention them separately as Adana, Urfa, or Beyti recipes, but tell the local that offers the best kebab. Sultan Köşesi Restaurant, namely the Restaurant of Sultan’s Corner.

Address: Sultan Ahmet Mah., Küçük Ayasofya Cad., No: 6, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 516 66 06

Filibe Meatballs

As we have already told you; there are 317 different meatball recipes in this country! Here is one of them, Filibe Meatballs, which is a wonderful combination of tomato dip, tomato sauce, and meat. To cut it short, here is the address where you can taste it.

Address: Hoca Paşa Mah., Hoca Paşa Sok., No: 3, 34112 Fatih/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 519 39 76


Excuse me, this time I will mention no locals, only say that you can eat the best fish in İstanbul at locals located at the waterfront along Bosporus!

Matbah Restaurant

This time what we mention is not a restaurant with a specific delicacy, but delicacies only specific to a restaurant. It is Matbah Restaurant, the unusual capital of delicacies that serves unusual dishes under unusual appellations.

Address: Sultanahmet Mah., Caferiye Sok., No: 6/1, İstanbul (located in Ottoman Hotel Imperial)

Telephone: 0212 514 61 51

Ottoman Imperial Cuisine Asitane Restaurant

Our last piece of advice is about a local that offers delicacies that are unique to it. It is a restaurant that offers dishes following the recipes from the imperial cuisine of Edirne, Topkapı, and Dolmabahçe Palaces. These are recipes based on long-standing research. This is an enterprise that has revived over 200 historical recipes based on sources such as documents available in Beyazıt and Millet Libraries in İstanbul, the work titled ‘’Records of a Feast’’ about the circumcision ceremony of Prince Beyazıd and Prince Cihangir, sons of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, held in The Edirne Palace in November 1539, literary works written for festivals in form of poetry or prose or dictionaries printed in the Ottoman period.

Address: Dervişali Mah., Kariye Cami Sok., No: 6, 34240 Fatih/İstanbul

Telephone: 0212 635 79 97


  • gunessygz
    22.03.2023 10:13

    Eminönünde Derya balıkta balık ve turşu suyu efsane olur 👍🏼

  • ardacetinkaya
    05.05.2023 14:25

    Gece Bozacıları Güzel olur. Seyyar Satıcıdan alınma…


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