Traditional Istanbul Food
Cuisine is an integral part of any local culture, and no trip to Istanbul is complete without tasting the traditional Istanbul food. This directory offers information about the traditional dishes and drinks available in Istanbul to help visitors better understand the local food culture and make an informed decision when trying them.
- Bazlama: can be defined as a single layered, flat, circular and leavened bread with a creamish yellow color.
- Cacık: cold cucumber and yogurt soup.
- Çiğ Köfte: it is made with either beef or lamb.
- Gözleme: is a thin flat cake stuffed with different ingredients.
- İçli Köfte: stuffed meatballs.
- Mercimek Köftesi: red lentil balls.
- Midye Tava: Turkish fried mussels.
- Mücver: is like a fritter or a vegetable pancake. It is a Turkish favorite and is served as a hot appetizer.
- Patlıcan Böreği: feta cheese stuffed eggplants.
- Patlıcan Köftesi: eggplant cutlets.
- Sigara böreği: is a roll of thin bread with different kinds of stuffing, like cheese, ground meat.
- Simit: is a bun or a pretzel with different stuffing (most unusual and spicy are the ones with olive spread).
- Tahini: is a paste of ground sesame seeds used in cooking.
- Tarator: shelled walnuts, sesame oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley.
- Yufka: it is a thin, round and unleavened flat bread similar to lavash.
- Domates Çorbası: tomato soup.
- Düğün Çorbası: Turkish Wedding Soup.
- Ezo Gelin Çorbası: Turkish red lentil, bulgur, and mint soup.
- Kırmızı Mercimek Çorbası: is a spicy soup made of red lentil.
- Süzme Mercimek Çorbası: lentils, potato, carrot, onion, flour, butter.
- Tarhana Çorbası: Tarhana soup, is prepared with yogurt and lots of vegetables like tomato, pepper, mint, onion, thyme, cummin, parsley.
- Terbiyeli Şehriye Çorbası: vermicelli soup with egg sauce.
- Yayla Çorbası: Turkish Dilly Yoghurt Soup.
- Beyin Salatası: brain salad.
- Çoban Salatası: or Choban Salad is one of the most popular salads in Turkey.
- Ezme Salatası: Turkish tomato salad.
- Kabak Salatası: zucchini salad with yogurt.
- Kısır: Turkish bulgur wheat salad.
- Patlıcan Salatası: eggplant salad.
- Piyaz: a Turkish salad or meze that is made from any kind of dry beans with hard-boiled egg and vegetables.
- Avcı Kebabı: mutton, margarine, onion, tomato, potato, carrot, spices.
- Barbunya Pilakisi: dry red beans pilaki.
- Biber Dolması: red or green peppers stuffed with rice.
- Bıldırcın Izgara: grilled quail, is a quick, very easy and delicious main dish.
- Bulgur Pilavı: Bulgur Pilaf, is one of the many great varieties of nutritious and healthy pilaf side dishes in the Turkish cuisine.
- Cağ kebabı: is a rotating kebab variety, originating in Turkey's Erzurum Province.
- Çiğ börek: meat pie.
- Çılbır: poached eggs with yoghurt.
- Çipura Buğulama: steamed sea bream.
- Etli Bamya: okra with meat.
- Fava: a delicious side dish.
- Hamsili Pilav: anchovy pilaf.
- Hünkar Beğendi: is a mass of mashed eggplants, with a cream and cheese sauce and pieces of lamb meat with a mint tomato sauce.
- İç Pilav: pilaf with lamb or chicken liver.
- İmam bayıldı: is braised eggplant stuffed with onion, garlic and tomatoes.
- İspanaklı Yumurta: egg with spinach.
- Kılıç Şiş: Turkish skewered swordfish.
- Karideş Güveç: Turkish shrimp casserole.
- Karnıyarık: stuffed eggplant.
- Kuzu Güveç: lamb stew.
- Manti (dumpling): type of dumpling.
- Menemen: is a Turkish dish of eggs with onion, green pepper and tomato.
- Pazı Dolması: Turkish stuffed chard.
- Sultan Reşat Pilavı: Sultan Reshad pilaf.
- Tas Kebabı: bowl kebap.
- Tavuk Kızartması: fried chicken.
- Türk Kahvaltısı: Turkish breakfast, consists of cheese (beyaz peynir, kaşar etc.), butter, olives, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers.
- Yaz Türlüsü: summer vegetable stew.
- Aşure: is a sweet dish with 12 different ingredients, among which nuts and dried fruits must be present.
- Ayva Tatlısı: baked quince.
- Baklava: is a sweet dish that is traditionally made of thin dough layers stuffed with pistachio.
- Bülbül yuvası: is a Turkish phyllo dough dessert.
- Cezerye: a semi-gelatinous Turkish confectionery.
- Chocolate Souffle: most famous dessert.
- Ekmek Kadayıfı: Turkish bread pudding dessert.
- Gül Reçeli: jelly and jam made from the rose hips of wild roses.
- Güllaç: is a dessert made with milk, pomegranate and a special kind of pastry.
- İncir Tatlısı: poached stuffed figs.
- Irmik Helvası: a dessert made from semolina, butter, pine nuts, sugar.
- Kabak Tatlısı: poached pumpkin.
- Kaymaklı Kuru Kayısı: cream-stuffed apricots.
- Kazandibi: it is an attractive Istanbul speciality, served with ice cream in the summer.
- Keşkül: is a desert with almonds and coconut.
- Künefe: made by drizzling a row of thin streams of flour-and-water batter onto a turning hot plate.
- Lokma (Honeyed crisp doughnuts): honeyed crisp doughnuts.
- Lor Tatlısı: Turkish ricotta dessert.
- Muhallebi: is a milk drink made of rice flour.
- Pişmaniye: is a Turkish sweet in fine strands made by blending flour roasted in butter into pulled sugar.
- Portakal Peltesi: orange jelly.
- Revani: made of a semolina or farina soaked in syrup.
- Şekerpare: soft balls of pastry dipped in thick lemony sugar syrup.
- Su böreği: water börek.
- Sutlac (Rice Pudding): is a sweet dish made of milk, sugar and rice.
- Tahin Helvası: is a desert made of sunflowers seeds, sugar and some other additional ingredients.
- Tavuk göğsü (Chicken breast pudding): is a Turkish dessert pudding made with chicken and milk.
- Tel Kadayıf: shredded wheat dessert.
- Tulumba: fried pastry with syrup, a popular & mostly eaten Turkish dessert.
- Turkish delight: is a desert made of honey, roses, jasmine and Arab herbs.
- Zerde: a sort of sweet pudding from rice and colored yellow with saffron.
- Balık ekmek (fish sandwich): fish sandwich.
- Döner Dürüm: roasted lamb or chicken wrapped with tomatoes, French fries, and hot pickled peppers.
- Islak Hamburger: wet hamburger.
- Kokoreç: it is made of lamb intestines.
- Kumru: a sandwich made of bread in the form of a pigeon, with cheese, tomatoes and herbs inside.
- Kumpir (baked potato): a baked potato, cut in half, with different stuffing.
- Corn on the cob: is a culinary term used for a cooked ear of freshly picked maize from a cultivar of sweet corn.
- Dondurma: is the name given to ice cream in Turkey.
- Köfte (Meatball): meatballs, are a street-food favorite in the Middle East.
- Lahmacun: it’s a flat cake with a spicy mix of meat, onion, tomato and green in it.
- Midye dolma (Stuffed Mussles): stuffed mussels.
- Nohutlu Pilav: rice pilaff with chickpeas.
- Roasted Chestnuts: popular street food in Istanbul.
- Ayran: a milk drink, that is sort of a watery and salty yogurt, very tasty, it will slake your thirst very well.
- Boza: is a popular fermented beverage in Turkey.
- Elma Çayı: Turkish apple tea.
- Kuru Üzüm Hoşafı: dried grape compote.
- Şalgam Suyu: turnip juice.
- Sahlep: a hot milk drink.
- Sherbet: an effervescent drink or a fizzy powder sweet.
- Turkish coffee (Türk kahvesi): freshly roasted coffee beans, hot water, sugar.
- Turkish tea (çay): Turkish tea.
- Doluca Wines: world famous Turkish wine.
- Kavaklıdere Wines: a famous Turkish wine brand.
- Raki: Turks call it "lion milk".
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