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Cuisine and Food

The character of Turkish culinary culture was shaped by the Palace kitchens of the Seljuk and Ottoman empires. Turkish cuisine is one of the richest cuisines in the world. Besides, the Turks are known to be passionate about their food habits and cultures. That's why they make it with lots of love and dedication. The reason behind the flavorful cuisine is that the products are from the lands of Anatolia and Asia.

Turkey is very dedicated to its cuisine and its diversity across the country. Many Ottoman cuisine elements are inherited in the cuisine culture of Istanbul, Bursa, Izmir, and the Marmara, Mediterranean cuisines made in olive oil, and rich in fresh herbs, fish, and vegetables.

One specific cuisine is famous in specific regions. The Black Sea region's cuisine usually includes fish. The southeast cuisine is known for kebabs and dough-based desserts like baklava, and kunefe (kunafa).

However, Istanbul is the only city with diversity in cuisine culture thanks to its multicultural structure of a metropolis with Beyoglu, Kadikoy, and Sultanahmet as districts of heavenly foods.

Turkish foods generally consist of stew or stock; therefore, bread consumption is high among Turks. The trademark dishes of turkey cookery include Turkish Kebabs, Doner Kebabs, Turkish Ravioli, and over 100 dishes made from eggplant.

Turkish breakfast varies regionally and is the healthiest, nutritionist, and delicious, including cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, cheese, eggs, honey, and jams.

Turkish Food Overview


Tomato, Lentil, Potato, and cream soups are served hot with a side of bread in winter.


Meze is an olive oil-based appetizer served cold.


Dolma is a meal with stuffed vegetables with rice or meat stuffings.


Variations of rice and bulghur.


Borek is a stuffed pastry with meat, cheese, and potato fillings.


Turkish desserts have many various options, ranging from milk-based ones to baklavas.

Must-Visit Restaurants in Istanbul

  • Hunkar Lokantasi offers homemade Turkish food in a clean, modern atmosphere.
  • Borsa serves traditional food every year with a very modern dining room. It would be best if you did not miss their Ramadan Menu. You might try their most famous dishes, such as doner, icli kofte, and desserts. You can also experience their fig and date pudding.
  • Hamdi, having delicious kebabs with a city view, is a restaurant to visit in Eminonu travels.
  • Harem Istanbul Café and Restaurant for delicious food being prepared by the chefs in such a way as though you are an Ottoman Sultan.

Street Food in Istanbul

As it is a city that never sleeps, you will see lots of food options on the corners. Durum, cig kofte, lahmacun, meatball sandwiches, hotdogs, and rice chicken will be available even in the middle of the night. 

Do not forget to eat fish in bread in Karakoy from the stands by the locals, by the peaceful sea view. And continue eating at Gulluoglu with baklava, and Turkish tea next to it!

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