Best Street Eats in Istanbul, Turkey
Always a good option for having fast and cheap food. The entrance to Istiklal Street contains dozens of small doner restaurants and they serve almost 24 hours. In Besiktas neighborhood, Karadeniz is a non-touristy, small place but local favorite for not using minced meat but full chunks of beef (the place is near fish market in Besiktas). It costs slightly more (8 liras per portion) but it is probably one of the best in the entire country. Also, in the Sultanahmet area, "Sedef" is a small buffet-type restaurant which has quality Turkish fast-food. "Doner Durum with yellow cheese" is delicious, don't miss.
Balik-Ekmek (literally "fish and bread") is a fish sandwich served in small boats and little buffets in Eminonu. It is also increasingly popular in buffets in KadÄ±köy coast. A regular sandwich consists of one small fried fish, slices of tomatoes and onion. However, the taste is beyond expectations for such a basic menu.
In Autumn and Winter the Black Sea Anchovy migrate through the Bosphorus, the local fishermen coming out in force to take advantage. All fish restaurants have them on the menu in season. It seems the classic serving is a handful of deep fried fish with raw onion and bread. Eat the fish whole, it's a winner. Look for the small restaurants behind the fish merchants on the Karakoy side of the Galata Bridge, western side.
Patso is a type of sandwich consisting of hot dog and french fries. It's usually served in small buffets along the Uskudar coast and a sandwich costs 1.50 TL. The cheap price can raise eyebrows but these buffets are open 24/7 and they serve around 1000 sandwiches per day. Even though the profit margin is low, they make a fortune, so they don't lower the quality too much (except hamburgers, don't touch those in Uskudar, but definitely try the spicy hamburgers in Taksim).
is a snack which can easily be a full meal. It is originated from Albania but is quite unique to Istanbul in its present form. It consists of a baked potato with various fillings such as grated cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, sweetcorn, sausage slices, carrots, mushrooms, and Russian salad among others, any of which can optionally be added to or omitted from the mix. While kumpir can be had at many cafes throughout the city, it is best had from one of the cafes in Ortaköy, which have a long tradition of preparing kumpir and offer really filling and tasty ones.
("kestane Kebap, as locals call it) are sold from carts around the city, and is a very nice snack to have when the weather is cold, as it keeps your hands warm.
is sold from carts around the city, and is a fantastic snack to walk around. Price varies from cart to cart and area of the city (between 1 and 1.5 Lr).
are sold from stands and small shops all around the city, and are a refreshing treat (especially in the warmer months). The combinations range from a simple orange juice to the more rare options like pomengranate or kiwi.