The culture of street food is like a gold mine in Turkey. In each city, you can encounter a street flavour that is unique to the region, that can appeal to everyone's palate. Here are 10 not only mouth-watering tastes to satisfy your tummy but also Turkey’s strongest and most popular street food choices.
This rich crunch sesame bagel is a well-known hero amongst the preferred flavours of Turkey. The freshly baked ones can really turn your head. It is a known fact that the locals have a hard time resisting the smell of this street delight. Simit is a round-shaped type of a bread covered with sesame seeds. It can be eaten on its own or with some cheese and a cup of tea. Many enjoy it with a glass of buttermilk (Ayran) in the afternoons. It’s also popular as it is budget and vegan-friendly. In Istanbul, many people share this delicious bite with seagulls as they cross the Bosphorus on the ferry.
Fresh Fish Sandwiches
This might sound controversial for some people, however, it is a fact that fish sandwich is one of the most popular street foods in Turkey. The appealing smell of a fresh loaf with warm grilled fish, fresh greens and onions invite passers-by while it's also very affordable and tasty. It surely a taste that lingers in your mouth.
A delicious street delight that heralds the beginning of winter. The roasted chestnut has no other taste like it. It is strong enough to make you turn and head straight for the slow roasting chestnuts on the barbeque. When winter comes in almost every city in Turkey, it is possible to find a chestnut seller on every corner.
Originally from Mersin but it is possible to encounter this super tasty snack just about everywhere in Turkey. Tantunis are made from a unique combination of chopped meat with parsley, tomatoes, green peppers and onions, all wrapped into a floury tortilla bread. A perfect way to fill up your belly fast. Many like to eat it with a spicy turnip drink and a side order of pickles.
Another irresistible street flavour! You can often find stuffed mussels, which are more of a snack than a meal, in coastal areas. Stuffed mussels are made with a special kind of rice, chopped onions, currants, salt, spices and lemon. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself at the side of a counter in the street, squeezing a lot of lemon on the mussel in your hand. Once you start, you may not be able to stop yourself! The flavour is addictive. Many locals have been known to eat as many as 100 in one go!
Are you one of those people who love all kinds of potatoes? Then you can’t miss the baked potatoes on the streets of Turkey. Without a doubt, these delicious bites add a new way to eat a potato. After putting in the hot butter, you are faced with a mountain of choices that you can add. There’s no limit to how many toppings you can pile on top. Fillings range from sausages to pickles, sweetcorn to olives. You’ll come back time and time again to try a different combination of flavours.
Chicken with Rice
If you are in a hurry and looking for a grab-and-go, a plate of chicken & rice can be a great option. Chicken & rice is simply made by putting boiled chicken pieces on top of plain rice, a companion of classical Turkish cuisine. Boiled chickpeas are also added to this unique duo. A great accompaniment is a glass of buttermilk (Ayran) and a plate of pickles.
Kneading bulgur with onions, garlic and various spices forms a beautiful delicacy: bulgur patties! It’s an unforgettable treat on the streets of Turkey. It can be eaten alone or wrapped in thin tortilla style bread with fresh greens. It has an indescribable taste when consumed with lots of lemon and pomegranate syrup. It’s great with buttermilk (Ayran). Bulgur patties can be found almost everywhere in Turkey. Depending on which region you are in, its content may vary whether it is vegan or not. Be sure to ask if you are one.
Almonds on Ice
One of the best refreshing street snacks, especially in the overwhelming heat. Fresh almonds which boiled or soaked in hot water, then peeled and served on ice. Vendors usually stop at the tables in bars and restaurants. This fresh snack is a street flavour that you will encounter in many streets, while you are walking in the evening.
Pickles, which started to gain importance in the Ottoman cuisine from the 15th century, have become a street flavour that is a tradition today. Pickle juice, one of the most delicious and bold flavours, is sold in glasses with small pieces of chopped pickles. This unique taste will get you addicted fast! It has a salty and sour taste. It can easily found on mobile stalls, in bazaars and markets.