Is It Safe to Eat Street Food in Istanbul?
Eating street food in Istanbul and Turkey is entirely safe and highly recommended as long as you know what you want. In Istanbul, the municipality issues certifications and permits for street food sellers. They are constantly being supervised by the municipality, making it safe to say that you can enjoy Turkish street food delicacies in Istanbul without any worries! You can identify certified street food sellers by their certification numbers displayed on their carts or stands.
What Are the Street Food Prices in Istanbul?
Street food prices in Istanbul and Turkey are not rigid as they vary according to what you order and where you taste it, like a street car, restaurant, or tourist area. However, most of the street food on this list will cost an average of $1-3.
What Are the Best Street Flavors of Istanbul?
The streets of Istanbul are full of food and are deeply intertwined with Turkey's food culture. Every seller has their place and time. Some like salep in the winter, some work all year like a simit shop, and the thing about Istanbul's street food are that it's clean, cheap, and ubiquitous.
Here are some of the most famous street food in Istanbul:
Balık Ekmek (Fish Sandwich)
The first number is Istanbul's most popular dish, a fish sandwich. If you like the fish, you cannot ignore this sandwich. Grilled fresh fish with onions and lettuce in freshly baked bread. Eminonu square is the best place to eat a fish sandwich costing like $3-4.
Midye Dolma (Stuffed Mussels)
It is a simple but richly flavored, half-shelled mussel stuffed with spiced rice and slow-cooked for hours, served immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice from the tray. Mussels are more of a snack than a meal, but many people eat dozens of them on the street. The idea of Mussels is to keep eating as much as the seller gave you, and once you feel full, it already costs $5. So try to control your stomach.
Kumpir (Turkish Baked Potato)
Kumpir is a large baked potato with cheese and other ingredients you choose to top it with. Ortakoy on the Bosphorus shore is the most famous place to eat kumpir. Once you set foot in Ortakoy, the baked potato vendor will pop up everywhere just for you to buy. Do not be afraid, walk safely and choose the car you like, but do not miss the opportunity to eat kumpir, for example, at a Bosphorus company restaurant.
Pilavcı (Rice Vendor)
It's much simpler than it looks, nothing more than rice and chicken on top. You may think such a dish is only served in restaurants but think carefully. Because you are in Istanbul. Chicken Rice is a quick lunch for many people in Istanbul as it is delicious, fast, and satisfying. It's usually served with ayran and will cost you no more than $3-4.
You can find it almost everywhere, but Istanbulites swear that there is something magical and special about the car in front of Unkapanı Bazaar.
Kokorec (Grilled Lamb Intestines)
Kokorec has a special place among the street flavors of Istanbul. However, kokorec cannot be eaten everywhere. Few things are as good as cooked kokorec in a sterile environment. After a meticulous cleaning of the intestines of the lambs, the mix is wrapped in a skewer. Then it is cooked at a high temperature. The kokorec carts circulating in Beyoglu are the most delicious kokorec in Istanbul.
Simit (Turkish Bagel)
Simply, it is a round sesame bread and is considered one of the iconic dishes of Istanbul. It tastes like an American bagel but richer, Istanbulites can't resist the delicious taste of freshly baked bagels because fresh bagels have more crispy sesame seeds and are fluffier, so be sure to buy a fresh one for a better taste.
Over time, bagel makers have improved it by filling it with feta cheese, cream cheese, vegetables, and even chocolate with Nutella, costing between 30-40 cents.
Kestane Kebap (Roasted Chestnut)
Chestnuts are famous in winter rather than summer because people often eat them to warm themselves up with delicious food. Turkey is considered the third country producing chestnuts in the world, and this data explains how fond Turks of this snack. A simple, hot, and delicious snack that you can find almost everywhere but is famous in Taksim and costs a few liras per bag.
Tursu Suyu (Pickle Juice)
Istanbul is still home to this street flavor as in the past. In other words, you can still find delicious pickles on the side streets of Istanbul. For the best pickle juice, head back to Eminonu. You can make your day even more beautiful by enjoying the historical atmosphere of Eminonu with a glass of pickle juice while wandering.