Tourist Guide to Best Foods in Turkey

Updated on Jun 16, 2024 | Turkey e-Visa

Turkish delights have been cluttering the menus of restaurants worldwide, rich, and delicious but not very hot. The Ottoman cuisine is a classic Turkish culinary menu noted for its meat-filled skewers. Whether it's the main course, sweets, appetizers, or juices, Turkish cuisine will delight your taste senses so that you'll be satisfied and desire more.

You're visiting Turkey and Istanbul and want to know where to eat the most incredible food? Then this collection of delectable Turkish cuisine is a must-try! We'll go through everything from traditional Turkish cuisine to street food, kebabs, etc. No matter what your taste preferences are, there is something for you here. Even if you can't pronounce the dishes' names, you'll like their flavour.

If you're wondering if it's safe to eat street food in Turkey, don't be concerned.
Eating street food in Istanbul and Turkey is entirely safe and highly encouraged (as long as you know what to look for). The municipality of Istanbul gives certificates and licences to street food vendors. The authorities continually monitor them, so you may safely enjoy Turkish street cuisine delights in Istanbul! The certification numbers placed on the carts or booths of certified street food vendors can be used to identify them.

Of course, there are always a few things to consider before eating your favourite Istanbul street cuisine. For example, those with sensitive stomachs should avoid tap-water-washed green vegetables and tap-water ice cubes.

Street Food Prices in Istanbul

In Istanbul and Turkey, street food prices vary widely depending on what you are looking for, where you get it (a street cart or a restaurant), and whether you are in a touristy area. However, the majority of the street snacks on this list will cost between 1-3 US dollars on average.

On the other hand, mid-range restaurants charge a greater price for some of the most popular Turkish street meals.


Do you think you've tried all there is to do with eggs for breakfast? Reconsider your position. Menemen is a mix of scrambled eggs and a vegetable stew, comparable to shakshuka. It is made by boiling tomatoes, onions, and peppers to a flavourful broth, then whisking in and roasting eggs in the boiling tomato juice. In addition, cheese or sucuk, a spicy sausage, is sometimes included to enhance the flavour. But, of course, any breakfast-goer would be remiss if they didn't dip and scoop this gooey delight into their toast.

Cag Kebab

You could mistake cag kebab for doner meat, but there's nothing like it, and it's 10 times better. Unfortunately, Cag kebab isn't readily available, so if you come across a place that serves it, give it a try since it's very excellent.

Cag kebab is simply lamb placed onto a revolving skewer; however, instead of vertically stacked doners, cag kebab is horizontally stacked, and it cooks as it spins over a hot flame. The meat is then finely chopped and skewered on metal skewers. If you want to spice things up a little, throw in a couple of onions. Simply remove the meat off the skewer using lavas (wrap) and eat with your hands.

Lahmacun: Turkish Style Pizza

Lahmacun is a flat, crispy bread that may be wrapped, folded in half, or ripped apart to consume with a topping of minced meat, salad, and lemon juice. The Turkish version of pizza is bursting with flavour. The Mediterranean spices and minced lamb are throwing a party in your mouth. It is a popular Turkish street meal that can be found all across the nation. So, on your next vacation to Turkey, you should try this.

Lentil Soup (Mercimek Corbasi)

In Turkish cuisine, mercimek çorbasi, or lentil soup, is a typical meal. Its delectability is only equalled by its simplicity. It's a basic purée of lentils and spices, usually served alongside the soup and topped with cilantro and a freshly cut lemon slice juice. Any type of tursu, or pickled vegetables, including cabbage, carrots, and olives, can be used as an additional garnish. Mercimek çorbasi is an affordable, satisfying, and soul-warming element of practically any menu, from sophisticated eateries to the neighbourhood cafeteria, when served with two sizzling hot pieces of pita bread.

Döner Kebab

Thinly cut meat (lamb, cattle, or chicken) is put into a pita sandwich or lavash wrap and grilled on an upright rotisserie or vertical spit. The bread is stuffed with tomatoes, onions, fried potatoes, and lettuce in addition to the meat. You may use mayonnaise or ketchup for the sauce. It's comparable to Greek gyros or Arab/Iranian shawarma.

Istanbul's streets are dotted with excellent kebab sellers. However, the döner is the city's most famous street food. It can be found on almost every block, making it ideal for a fast bite to eat whenever you become hungry!


Borek, another pastry-type meal, comes in various flavours, the most typical of which are mincemeat, cheese, potato, cheese, and spinach. Locals enjoy it with tea, but if you're looking for a sweet treat, go for the plain version with sweet pudding sugar sprinkled on top! Borek is traditionally served for breakfast. First, however, it may be eaten.

Manti (Turkish Ravioli)

Pasta lovers, get ready. Ravioli has its own variant in Turkey! Ground lamb or beef is stuffed into little handmade dumplings, and then served with a creamy yogurt sauce. Manti takes a long time to make, but you'll find that the effort is well worth it after you try a mouthful.


Simit is one of Turkey's most popular dishes. It's available on Istanbul's streets in these red street food carts.

Simit is the name given to a sesame-seed-encrusted bagel-shaped bread. It's crunchy and chewy, and it's a fantastic low-cost Turkish snack.

Imam Bayildi

Eggplant reigns supreme in Turkish cuisine. However, the name of this dish, which means "the imam fainted," indicates something much more unusual. This flavourful meal of eggplant roasted and cooked in oil and packed with tomatoes and onions gets its name from the extreme reaction to it. Imam Bayildi combines two critical parts of Turkish cuisine: eggplant and olive oil, creating a delectable staple that is quite simple in terms of ingredients. Beef is used in a karniyarik form of this meal, but simply as a compliment. The real meat in this is the infamous purple vegetable in many other Turkish recipes.


Baklava is a rich delicacy comprised of layers of filo dough filled with chopped almonds and steeped in sugar syrup. It began in the kitchens of Ottoman palaces and has since become Turkey's most famous dessert.

If you're seeking some of the most delicious baklavas on the planet, Turkey is the place to go. Lady's lips, nightingale's nest, and palace baklava are some of the numerous variations, all delicious but varied flavours according to the nuts and filling used.

Kestane Kebab (Roasted Chestnuts)

It doesn't get any easier than this for a street snack; it's just chestnuts grilled on a grill with their skins on! Despite the lack of meat, a chestnut kebab is a popular street snack in Turkey.

It is a type of healthful street cuisine that may be found any day. The streets of Istanbul are bustling with authorized peddlers selling roasted hot chestnuts, especially in the fall and winter. Chestnuts will be fresher and more delicious in the winter.
Some may find their flavour unappealing, yet it is a traditional Turkish snack prepared in homes using wood-fired ovens. In addition, Turkey has many chestnut trees, making chestnuts an abundant food source.


Meze (appetisers) (dip with red pepper paste, walnuts, lemon juice, and pomegranate molasses) and köpolu (fried eggplant cubes with a tomato sauce) are just a few of our favourites.).

Nohutlu Pilav

Another mainstay of Turkish street cuisine is Nohutlu Pilav, or "rice with chickpeas," which is exquisite in its simplicity and well-rounded in flavour and nutrients. Layers of rice and chickpeas are heaped high with roasted chicken layered on top, so their juices penetrate through for a delightful taste. Nohutlu pilav is prepared in enormous glass boxes on wheels insulated to keep heat. Diners can choose rice and chickpeas as a satisfying alternative to a sit-down supper. For a few additional lire, customers may improve the quality of their dinner by adding chicken pieces. Who knew that street food could be so healthy?

Şiş Kebab

In Turkey, kebab is one of the most popular varieties of cuisine. It's often made with marinated lamb, chicken, or beef cubes roasted on a metal rod over charcoal. They are served with grilled tomatoes, green peppers, and rice pilaf or bulgur pilaf on a dish.


Turkish pastries are more about complexity than chocolate and jam, which sums up katmer. This unexpectedly light and tasty dessert is a must-try.

Crushed pistachio nuts are sandwiched between buttery, flaky pastry layers, with a bit of milk and butter within.

It can be eaten plain or with ice cream. Because pistachios are plentiful in the Gaziantep area of Turkey, katmer is frequently offered as part of breakfast. In addition, pistachios are believed to boost energy levels in the mid-morning.

Turkish Apple Tea

Turkish Apple Tea

Apple Tea is arguably the most delectable tea you'll ever taste. Fortunately for you, this warm, delicious nectar of the Gods is plentiful. It may be found in almost every café, restaurant, and home you visit. Turkish hospitality is heavily reliant on tea (or çay). Even store proprietors are known to sit down with their clients for a cup of tea. That is an excellent sales tactic. The key is to aim for the narrow line that circles the vessel's body three-quarters up.


Güllaç is a Ramadan dessert that is traditionally offered in Turkey. It's popular since it's light and simple to make and a refreshing treat after a long day of fasting. It is now available outside of Ramadan at many restaurants and bakeries. Güllaç is created by pouring warm milk and rose water over Güllaç sheets and sandwiching walnuts between them. 6-10 sheets are usually utilised. Güllaç sheets are produced in a pan using water, flour, and starch. After they've been cooked, they're dried.


A word of caution: don't take kunefe as a dessert if you're even somewhat complete after your dinner! It is, nevertheless, ideal as a mid-afternoon snack. What is the explanation behind this? Because it's a big dish that's still delectable.

Kunefe is a hot delicacy packed with cheese — and we mean FILLED. When you cut it open, the cheese threads are visible. The outside layer is shredded wheat, with pistachios and a touch of cream within to make it very delicious.

It may seem like a disaster, but it's oddly wonderful, though a little messy to eat.

Kebab testi

Pottery made in Avanos with red clay from the famous Kizilirmak River is a Nevsehir speciality.

In a clay jug, combine the steak, tomatoes, bell pepper, garlic, and a knob of butter. The jug's opening is sealed with a peeled potato slice wrapped in a foil before being put in a wood-burning oven.

The cook must break open the meal by holding the alfoil-covered top in one hand and a small hammer in the other once the contents are ready.

Sucuk yumurta

Sucuk yumurta is a breakfast dish commonly served as part of a Turkish breakfast. Suuk can also be eaten on its own or in bread (sucuk ekmek). Sucuk is a dry, fermented sausage that is immensely popular and well-known in Turkey. You'll have a hard time finding a house that isn't full of sucuk!

Sucuk is chopped into small, thin pieces and fried in this cuisine. Then, over the top, fried eggs are cracked and heated. The eggs might be kept whole or mashed together in a scrambled version. It's excellent served with fresh bread and eaten with your hands in either case!


Gözleme is a fantastic snack to consume on the run and is maybe one of the simplest quick dishes to obtain in Turkey. This savoury Turkish flatbread, similar to a crepe, is created from the hand-rolled dough and filled with various toppings such as cheese, meat, veggies, or potatoes. After that, it's sealed and baked on a griddle. You won't be sorry if you try one of the cheese and spinach varieties. Definitely, one of the dishes to try in Turkey.


Pide is a favourite dish among Turks, with the Black Sea area producing some of the tastiest. In this cuisine, dough balls are stretched out onto an extended base and filled with various fillings. The most renowned is sucuk yumurta, a spicy Turkish sausage and egg combination with kasar (yellow sheep cheese). Ispanakli kasar, spinach with cheese, on the other hand, is wonderful. What makes pide so delicious is the crust. When baked in a wood-fired oven, the high temperature creates a crisp, crunchy base suitable for a wide range of foods.

Final words

In conclusion, experiencing the diverse and flavorful cuisine of Turkey is an essential part of any visit to this fascinating country. From traditional dishes to street food delights, there is something to tantalize every palate. By using the e-Visa to explore Turkey, travellers can embark on a culinary journey like no other, sampling iconic dishes such as Menemen, Lahmacun, Döner Kebab, Baklava, and many more.

Whether you're strolling through the streets of Istanbul or venturing into local eateries, the rich tapestry of Turkish flavours promises to leave a lasting impression. So, don't miss the opportunity to savour the best foods that Turkey has to offer, and let your taste buds guide you on the gastronomic adventure of a lifetime.

FAQs Regarding the Culinary Delights of Turkey:

Is it safe to eat street food in Turkey?

Absolutely! Eating street food in Turkey is not only safe but highly encouraged. Street food vendors are licensed and regularly monitored by municipal authorities to ensure hygiene standards are met.

What are the typical prices for street food in Istanbul?

Street food prices in Istanbul vary depending on the item, location, and whether you're in a touristy area. On average, most street snacks cost between 1-3 US dollars, making them affordable options for a quick bite.

Are there any dietary considerations to keep in mind when trying Turkish cuisine?

While Turkish cuisine offers a wide variety of options, those with sensitive stomachs may want to avoid street food made with tap-water-washed vegetables or tap-water ice cubes. Additionally, it's advisable to inquire about ingredients if you have specific dietary restrictions or allergies.

How can I find certified street food vendors in Istanbul?

Certified street food vendors in Istanbul display certification numbers on their carts or booths, indicating that they meet municipal standards for hygiene and quality. Look for these numbers to identify trustworthy vendors.

What are some must-try dishes in Turkey for first-time visitors?

For first-time visitors to Turkey, some must-try dishes include Menemen (scrambled eggs with vegetables), Lahmacun (Turkish-style pizza), Döner Kebab, Baklava (a rich pastry dessert), and Turkish Apple Tea. These dishes offer a delicious introduction to the diverse flavours of Turkish cuisine.


The turquoise blue waters, breathtaking landscapes, vibrant bazaars, and rich historic sites make Turkey the ideal romantic destination for couples of all ages. The perfect blend of natural beauty and culture makes it a honeymooner’s paradise.. Learn more at& Turkey Visa for the Perfect Honeymoon Destination

Check your eligibility for Turkey e-Visa and apply for Turkey e-Visa 3 days in advance of your flight. Chinese citizens, Omani citizens and Emirati citizens can apply for Turkey e-Visa.