If you are looking for a reason to visit Istanbul, look no further than Turkish food. (Photos: Mark Wiens of Migrationolgy.com)
While in Istanbul, I had the chance to visit many of its iconic attractions like the Blue Mosque, an Ottoman-style mosque known for its blue-tiled domes, and Hagia Sofia, an ancient basilica turned mosque, now museum. All of that sightseeing made me hungry and the food in Istanbul did not disappoint. Here is my list of the top five foods that helped fuel my stay in Istanbul, courtesy of Star Alliance and Marriott TRAVELER.
1. Turkish Breakfast at Lades Menemen
Turkish breakfast is a highlight of eating in Istanbul, and along with sides of cheeses, creams, olives, pickles, and bread, Lades Menemen serves an absolutely awesome version of a Turkish scrambled eggs dish called menemen.
Address: İstiklal Cd. No:14, Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey Open hours: 6 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. from Monday – Saturday (closed Sunday)
2. Turkish Coffee at Mandabatmaz
Mandabatmaz, a small coffee shop just off Istanbul’s Istiklal Street, serves thick yet smooth Turkish coffee that has a cardamom and rich chocolaty taste.
Address: İstiklal Cad./olivia Geçidi 1/A, Beyoğlu/Istanbul – Europe, Turkey Open hours: 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. daily
3. Kokorec at Kral Kokoreç
Kral Kokoreç is a corner street food stall that specializes in kokorec, which is a dish of lamb organs, molded into a tube shape, wrapped in lamb intestines, and roasted.
Address: Hobyar Mahallesi, Büyük Postane Caddesi, No 26/1, Fatih, İstanbul Open hours: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily
4. Black Sea Salmon at Balıkçı Lokantası
Balıkçı Lokantası is a small family run seafood restaurant, and while everything they serve is fresh and delicious, the braised black sea salmon, with olive oil and onions, is mind-blowing.
Address: Rıhtım Cad. Teyyareci Sami Sk. No:20/1 Rasimpaşa Kadıköy, Istanbul, Turkey Open hours: noon – 9 p.m. daily
5. Cag Kebab at Sehzade Erzurum Cag Kebabi Sehzade Erzurum
Cag Kebabi is well known for their cag kebab, a type of kebab cooked on a horizontal spit and sliced off so it’s crispy on one side, but juicy and tender on the other.
Address: Ankara Cad. HocaPaşa Sok. No:4, 34110 İstanbul, Turkey Open hours: 11 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. from Monday – Saturday (closed Sunday)