By Justin Mays:
One of the best ways to enjoy life in Istanbul is to partake in weekly market rituals and try new cuisine. The markets in Istanbul are not only accessible but also a great source of entertainment with their bustling environments. Discover new flavors as you explore the city streets and visit the numerous vendors stationed throughout different neighborhoods. Enjoy life as the locals do, and you’ll be happy in Istanbul.
Istanbul Weekly Markets
Go to the biggest weekly markets for a top-notch and entertaining market experience. Try the Kadikoy bazaar on the Asian side or the Besiktas or Faith bazaar on the European side. The most famous daily market is the Spice Market in Eminonu. There are amenities available in these weekly markets, like parking and porters. Buy up the freshest seasonal produce, meats, and local flavors to try out Turkish recipes. Often markets will even sell street foods like gozleme (Turkish crepe), so you can dine while you peruse the products.
Rich local cuisines are bountiful in Turkey. Cheap traditional street foods are plentiful and delicious. Many of them are seasonal, but you can find what to eat in Turkey following street foods year-round:
Food to Try in Turkey
Simit: This ubiquitous breakfast favorite is a sesame-crusted bread ring found throughout the city.
These rice-stuffed mussels are served with a slice of lemon and purchased per unit from trays piled high with blackish shells.
A grilled fish sandwich usually served in half of a bread loaf with lettuce, tomato and onion, often sold by the docks in Eminonu and Karakoy.
Turkish jacket potato mashed with butter and cheese and topped with every imaginable topping like hot dogs, corn, and more. Ortakoy is the most famous area to consume these insanely large potatoes.
Layers of phyllo dough are piled up and stuffed with vegetables or meat, making this a filling option often found during breakfast.
Lavas-wrapped lamb or beef kebab with spices and salad rounding it out for a delicious lunch or dinner.
Lokum and Baklava
And when you want to end on a sweet note, the must-try desserts are lokum and baklava. These are also good hostess gifts to bring over to homes, and it always leaves the host satisfied. Top-notch brands are Gulluoglu and Hafiz Mustafa 1864. For lokum, try out one of the many vendors at the Spice Market or the luxury Harlemlique brand.
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