The BEST foods to eat in Istanbul

And how much it actually costs

Istanbul, Türkiye is a vibrant city filled with a vast amount of culture, history and yes you guessed it - FOOD! We spent several days visiting this beautiful city and trying out every food we could possibly fit into our stomachs. From the hustle and bustle of the Grand Bazaar to the wealthy neighborhood of Bebek, this is an article that will leave your taste-buds tingling and your wallet smiling after seeing these prices.


We arrived in Istanbul with one thing in mind, to eat some great food. We took a walk into the centre from our hotel, which took around 30 minutes - so we got to see some great local shops on the way into Istanbul. Our first stop off for food was as we crossed the bridge into Istanbul we saw a gold decored boat with massive queues so we had to check it out. This place was caleld Tarihi Eminönü Balık Ekmek. They only serve Türkiye's famous 'fish bread' also known as Balık Ekmek. This sandwich was massive - and only cost us 120 Turkish Lira which is roughly £2.92. The fish is caught fresh from the ocean, then fried on the elegantly designed boat over the water then served on fresh baguette with salad and sauce - delicious. 


Just opposite to where we ate our fish sandwich was a place called Osmanli Lokması, which specialise in making Lokma. This is a dessert which is similar to a donut, its deep fried dough but then it is covered in honey. They make this special dessert fresh to order so when you take a bite of the warm, honey dough ball it sends your tastebuds to heaven. This dessert costs us just 40 Turkish Lira which is approximately 97p.

Ortakoy Kumpir

When someone mentions Türkiye, you instantly think of Turkish Delight. This delightful sweet treat was first created in Türkiye and Iran(Persia) in the late 18th century and has been a staple ever since. There are a huge amount of shops dotted around the whole of Istabul selling freshly made Turkish Delight so we thought it would be rude not to be. The vendors let you 'try before you buy' and choose your favourite flavours. We started by buying a 1kg box of mixed Turkish Delight from a shop called İkizler kuruyemiş Eminönü, then when back to the same shop the following day and bought 4kg for all our family and friends to try. It cost us just 90 Turkish Lira for 1kg of freshly made mixed Turkish Delight, which is around £2.19.


It would be rude when visiting Istanbul not to try a Döner Kebab. This dish is of Turkish origin and is famous because the meat is cooked on a vertical rotisserie. We tried some famous Döner at a restaurant called Keskin Kebap&Döner. This restaurant is located in the heart of Istanbul, its a three floored restaurant with views of the vibrant city centre and the famous Turkish red 'tram.' We ordered a Döner wrap, a Döner half bread, chips (typical tourists) and some drinks which came to around 1150 Turkish Lira or £28. A lot of people complain about the price of the food here - however the quality is great. The staff all speak English which helps and were very friendly, as well as the portion sizes we found to be quite generous. We loved the food here and would definitely return.


Another dish that Türkiye is famous for would be Ortaköy kumpir, which is basically a giant jacket potato with toppings. Who'd have thought travelling almost 2000 miles and finding out that a jacket potato is a local specialty - but trust us when we say this, it's so worth it! We visited 1980 Ortaköy kumpir kafe which was around a 15 minute walk from the centre, but it had the highest reviews so we thought we'd give it a go! We order a meatballs kumpir (which was recommended) and a cheese and olives kumpir. They cost us around 485 Turkish Lira which is around £11.81 which was a great price for the portion size we received. 

Doner Kebab

When visiting Türkiye, how could we not mention the beautifully crafted dessert known as Baklava. This dish was not invented by the Turks, however it was quickly absorbed into their culture when they realised how tasty this dish was. They now have 100's of varieties available in many locations across Istanbul, many of them are Turkish adaptations. We wanted to try authentic pistachio baklava which is widely found in Istanbul. It cost us 80 Turkish Lira for 4 pieces of freshly made Baklava which is roughly around £1.92. We bought this from a street vendor who was making it whilst he sold it, it doesn't get any fresher than that!


Honorable mentions

As well as what we have mentioned in this list, there are a vast amount of foods available in Istanbul. Some of our favourites include:

Turkish Mezee 

Turkish Coffee

Spicy Turkish Sausage


Turkish Lahmacun



There are so many other great foods available in Türkiye, we can guarantee you wont be leaving this beautiful country with an empty stomach!


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