Turkish Food and Eating Out in Istanbul

The following is a guest post written by Leon Levy
View of Istanbul from Above

Turkey’s largest city – Istanbul lies on the bustling Bosphorus – the river that flows from the Black Sea of the Asian continent to the European waters of the Mediterranean. The city combines the architectural elegance and sophistication of any of the greatest European capitals with the vibrancy and energy of the East.

A short walk from the Western, European shore of the river – where the eye-opening sight of busy car ferries that land from the Eastern side each minute during morning rush hour – lies the popular tourist area of Aya Sophia Square. Here you’ll find the ancient and awe-inspiring forth century domes of the Hagia Sophia – the former Orthodox Christian Cathedral and centre of Christianity in the East until it was converted into a grand mosque when the country became Muslim in 1453.

This wonder sits opposite the no less imposing Sultan Ahmed Mosque – or Blue Mosque as it is known. These two sites – surrounded by the graceful squares and French inspired boulevards and tramways – are the reason why 7.2 million foreign tourists decided to visit Istanbul in 2010.

And one of the best incentives is the availability of good clean and reasonably prices hostels right in the cultural heart of Istanbul.

Tepsi Kebabi Turkish Food

Places to eat in Istanbul have a friendly service and waiting staff that almost always speak a good standard of English are efficient and easy to order from. Not only that but the dishes on offer appeal to everyone. Classic Turkish stews such as Tencere Kebabi (pot kebabs) as well as the amazing range of minced kofte, lean shish and delicious swarma cater for the carnivorous visitor. The incredible array of regional breads and grilled vegetable dishes leave non-meat eaters more than satisfied.

Turkish food is served in portions so generous that groups of locals will often sensibly choose a few dishes between them which they share – and delicious food is still left over.

Despite most Turkish people being born into Islam – the attitude to the religion is relaxed and alcohol is freely available in hotels, restaurants and bars. If you choose to drink alcohol, wash your meal down with a nice bottle of Turkey’s most popular beer, Efes – and enjoy a seriously sweet baklava pastry for desert, rounded off by a muddy Turkish coffee or sweet sharp tea

Visit this site for more information on food in Istanbul.

Leon Levy is a British writer specialising in travel, the environment and current affairs. He has a particular interest in the Middle East and South Asia.
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5 Responses to Turkish Food and Eating Out in Istanbul

  1. Waegook Tom May 3, 2011 at 6:43 am #

    Good article, but you made a bad start – Istanbul isn’t Turkey’s capital city, Ankara is…

    Ayvalik toast was my favourite thing to eat in Turkey! A big sandwich stuffed with sausage, ham, pickle, lettuce, tomatoes, fries (!) and mayonnaise and then toasted…never more than a couple of dollars, either! Mmmmm!

    • victoria May 3, 2011 at 7:53 am #

      Thanks for pointing that out Tom, I am aware that Ankara is…whilst I make efforts to check through guest posts, I somehow overlooked this.

      • Waegook Tom May 5, 2011 at 12:46 am #

        Ahh I didn’t mean to sound douchey, it’s just the geography nerd in me coming out haha! Enjoyed reading the article :)

  2. Connie May 3, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Ayvalik toast was one of my favorite on-the-go snacks while I lived in Istanbul! I will have to say though. I think my favorite Turkish dish is manti, a sort of Turkish ravioli. Yum, I’m drooling already and missing Istanbul food. Was a bit disappointed this post wasn’t actually about the food of Istanbul…

  3. Roy | cruisesurfingz May 3, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Ooooh would love to go to Istanbul!

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