Experiencing street food in Istanbul is an enjoyable experience, no less important than the various tourist activities you can engage in during your visit to the city. The city boasts many restaurants and food stalls offering the most delicious local dishes. In this article, we will explore together the street food that the city is famous for and that you ought to be sure of tasting during your next trip to Istanbul.


The best street foods in Istanbul

Millions of tourists visit Istanbul annually and explore landmarks and historical sites Istanbul, such as the Hagia Sophia Mosque or the Bosphorus Strait. However, part of their enjoyable experience in Istanbul lies in trying the local cuisine, which reflects the culture of the residents. This type of food can be tasted in its original flavor in specific areas of Istanbul such as the Sultanahmet area, Beyoglu, Sirkeci, Eminonu, Taksim Square, and Istiklal Street. The best foods that we recommend you to try are: 


Simit is a crispy bread covered with whole sesame or poppy seeds or without. It can be found in food carts in Sultanahmet to İstiklal Avenue near the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, as well as popular cafes and restaurants. It is also served on ship cruises in the city. Simit is not just crispy bread; it is a staple breakfast item and part of Turkish culture, often enjoyed alongside a glass of Turkish tea.

Simit is crispy outside and velvety inside, you can try it with Honey or Nutella. It is one of the best street foods in Istanbul and most popular in all cities but sometimes with different names.

Boiled or grilled corn


The taste of grilled corn on the streets of Istanbul has a unique flavor, as it can be found anywhere there is a lively gathering in the city. You'll notice the spread of carts and stalls that sell this delicious dish, usually served with just salt, and some carts that add spices or butter for grilled corn. However, it's regrettable that this dish is only available during the winter.

Wet Burger (Islak Burger)

Wet Burger is one of the best street foods in Istanbul and is considered one of the distinctive street foods in Istanbul, and it is entirely different from all types of burgers award. What sets it apart is that it is cooked with tomato sauce, giving the burger a moist appearance, hence its name. The meat inside the burger is cooked with garlic, giving it a unique flavor. Many restaurants offer this dish. To have a memorable experience, we recommend visiting Taksim Square to taste it from one of the restaurants or kiosks and enjoying Turkish Ayran alongside it for a distinctive experience and taste.

NOTE: It is cheaper than the fast food burger. It is tasty!


Tantuni is a food seen in Mersin for the first time as a food for poor people. Then it became popular in Istanbul from the 80s until now. It is made of fried lamb or beef meat. It is covered with parsley, tomato, and onion slices.


You can find it everywhere in Istanbul because locals and tourists prefer it.


The "Pide" is a type of pastry or pie stuffed with various fillings, such as delicious pizza toppings with or without cheese, spinach with yellow cheese, and tasty and flavorful meat. Pide is characterized by its thick and delightful dough, making it a must-try dish when visiting Istanbul. You can find Pide in many restaurants and shops in Istanbul, where it is served in different shapes and with various fillings to suit all tastes.

Roasted chestnuts(Kestane Kebab)


 This kind of food is famous in many places around the world. The grilled chestnut is one of the most famous street foods in Istanbul, you can find carts of Roasted Chestnuts in many districts around the Blue Mosque, Sultanahmet, and along the Bosphorous in Eminönü especially in the winter season. These roasted Chestnuts are a delicious and nutty taste. It is worth trying.

Fish Sandwich(Balık Ekmek)

It is considered one of the distinctive sandwiches in Istanbul, where smoked or fried fish especially mackerel are served on fresh bread with onions and a special salad. Additionally, spicy pickles can be added to it. Many food carts and shops are selling these sandwiches, and if you head towards the Galata Bridge, you can notice floating boats selling this type of food and there are stands along the Bosphorous in Eminönü. We recommend trying it there because the experience will give you a unique taste besides it is cheap.

Stuffed Squid with Rice (Midye Dolma)


It is one of the most famous street foods in Istanbul, and its taste in the streets of Istanbul is completely different from anywhere else. This is exclusively served in Istanbul in the evening, but it is not served raw they boil it and present it with lemon and parsley. It is cooked with jasmine rice and special herbs and spices, tomato, and pine nuts giving it a distinctive flavor. You might end up eating more than 10 pieces without realizing it.

İçli Köfte(Stuffed meatballs)

This kind of kebab is made of lamb meat spiced with lots of garlic, salt, and pepper. It is grilled on skewers in front of you so you can eat it fresh.

There are many kinds of kebab carts in Istanbul but İçli Köfte is recommended as one of the most favorite Kebabs.


This street food in Istanbul is famous in the Balkans and all the Ottoman districts. It is a pastry with many layers almost filled with cheese, spinach, or meat sometimes.

It is a popular breakfast dish for locals but if you want to eat fresh Borek, you must go early.



Dürüm is street food in Istanbul common for lunch. You can try wraps Dürüm with lettuce and you will never forget it. 


It is suitable for a snack or light lunch through the spread carts across Istanbul.


The "Kokoreç" is one of the most delicious traditional foods preferred by locals in Istanbul. It consists of minced meat stuffed inside the lamb’s intestines, wrapped around a skewer similar to a shawarma skewer before being grilled until crispy, then placed inside white bread with a few vegetables.

Potato Kumpir

Kumpir is one of the most famous street foods in Istanbul, and we recommend trying it near the Bosphorus Strait on the beach. The potato is grilled and filled with butter, corn, sausage, cheese, and various sauces that can be added according to preference.

Turkish Ice cream(Dondurma)

It is not just an ice cream cart, it is a show. the seller cheats you many times by serving the ice cream to you without allowing you to catch it. This ice cream show in Istanbul is famous and trendy on social media with hundreds of videos on YouTube and Instagram.


Although the funny tricks the seller does, the flavor of Turkish ice cream is worth trying. It is rich (because of mastic), thick (because of Sahlep), and with many flavors vanilla, chocolate, and pistachio.

Döner Kebab 

You can't go to Istanbul without trying Turkish Döner Kebab, where you can notice a Döner Kebab everywhere in Istanbul but the most famous place for it is Taksim Square. This sandwich is served inside soft pita bread with pickles and parsley. We also recommend having it with Turkish Ayran.

street food in Istanbul

Where are the best places to eat street food in Istanbul?

  • You can try this shop: Balik Ekmet – Arpacilar Cd. For fish Sandwich
  • If you want to try the Wet Burger, this is the best place: Bambi Cafe.
  • Midyeci Memet in Beyoglu is one of the best distance to eat the Stuffed Mussels, there is another place called Midyeci Yasin located in Kadikoy.
  • The grilled corn and the Simit are spread outside the Üsküdar Ferry Terminal and all the ferry terminals in the Asian or European part.
  • For the best experiment of Kebab, Taksim Square is considered the best place in Istanbul for several kinds of Kebab (Doner, Dürüm, or Kokorec).
  • If you haven’t tried the Turkish Ice Cream or the Roasted Chestnuts go to the Istiklal Cd. the longest and most crowded street in Istanbul.
  •  Tasty Börek is easy to find in the bakeries, but Sariyer Borekcisi in Eminonu has a delicious Börek with plenty of flavors.


The Frequently Asked Questions about Street Food in Istanbul


Is street food in Istanbul safe?

Yes, absolutely. Street food in Istanbul is subjected to strict health inspections by the Turkish health authorities.

Is street food in Istanbul cheap? 

Indeed, street food is cheaper compared to cafes and restaurants.

Is street food in Istanbul Halal?

There are many street foods in Istanbul Muslim friendly in addition to the huge number of restaurants that feature Halal food in Istanbul.

We find that street food in Istanbul is not just transient meals, but an integral part of Turkish culture and customs, where one can taste traditional dishes with distinctive flavors at very reasonable prices.

Istanbul always allures us with its charm. Plan to visit Istanbul with the Azzam Tour Agency to explore this amazing city.

street food in Istanbul- Simit