One the main attractions in Turkey - country's cuisine. Every corner here hosts an abundance of small shops, cafes, stalls and restaurants selling a mouthwatering variety of foods from grilled kebabs to freshly baked bread and sweets. So if you are looking for an authentic Turkish experience - make sure to fully explore country's culinary scene.
- Turkish breads. Hamur işi (translated as “dough work”) is an important element of Turkish cuisine. The variations are many – among the most popular choices are Gözleme (made of lavash with fillings such as spinach, cheese or minced meat) and Lahmacun (pita like bread covered in a tomato, pepper, and lamb sauce).
- Kebabs. The variety of kebabs is countless. The most common – traditional döner, aubergine kebab or iskender kebab (layers of tender shaved meat served over pita with tomato sauce with a side of yogurt). For a more exotic experience – try testi kebab. Meat and vegetables are sealed in a clay pot that is then cooked over fire. Once ready, the pot is broken over your plate.
- Simit. Even for locals it is difficult to resist the divine aroma of this freshly baked sesame-crusted dough. Easily found around in push-cart trollies it is a common choice for breakfast.
- Turkish köfte. Meatballs that come in abundance of variations, flavours, size and shapes, with or without vegetables, with bread or standalone. Vegetarians should opt for a divine mercimek köftesi made from lentils and tomato paste.
- Kumpir. Gigantic baked potato that comes with a variety of fillings.
- Roasted chestnuts – a favourite in local food stalls. They are sold hot by the bagful on almost every street corner – and make a perfect afternoon snack.
- Fish. Being next to Bosphorus means that trying local fish and seafood is a must.
- Turkish cotton candy. Yes – baklava is the most popular of all Turkish sweets: tender dough filled with chopped walnuts or pistachios and covered in honey syrup is a must-try in Turkey. But if you are looking for some more interesting choices – try the hand-pulled pismaniye, a variation of cotton candy made by blending flour roasted in butter into pulled sugar. Fluffy and light, it is a heavenly desert.
- No meal is complete without Turkish coffee. Strong, dark and flavourful it reminds of espresso but with extra coffee grounds. If you are not a coffee person – opt for a traditional sweet Turkish tea.
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