Top 5 Local Dishes in Istanbul
Istanbul, being located on both sides of the Bosphorus, literally meaning half the city is in Europe and the other half is in Asia, and offers the visitor an amazing cornucopia of tastes, sights, sounds, and history. You will not be disappointed trying any of the Istanbul cuisine which is fast becoming a top cuisine in the world. As the 2010 Capital of Culture in Europe, Turkey is continuously growing as an international tourist destination.
If you are a chef and/or love to eat and/or love to try new blended tastes from around the world, then Turkish cuisine is a “must” try. Even the Turkish dishes from the street vendors are great according to the locals.
Here is a list of Top 5 picks for great local dishes in Istanbul
Meze –This is more of an appetizer that is served prior to the main course with the local “Raki” drink. Definitely to be tried however, only snack on it lightly as you don’t want it to get in the way of a main course which will typically consist of large quantities of entrees and side dishes.
Sherbet – you may know this as a dessert iced form of ice ice cream of sorts, In Turkey , it is a great “drink” to quench your thirst on a hot summery day. It is a mixture of different fruits and rose water and a definite “must” try.
Kebabs – A kebabs is the primary favorite of the locals and is the #1 meat dish, typically made using beef, chicken or mutton. It is a Turkish traditional dish and a “must” while in Istanbul. You’ve probably made them at home, but nothing tastes like it when you are sitting in the square with the Blue Mosque on one side and the Hagia Sophia on the other side.
Iskembe – hard for me to try as the ingredients don’t sound too appetizing to my ears. However, this is as legendary a dish to the Turks as a dish of borscht is to the Ukrainians. Extremely popular with international visitors as locals, this is basically a thick soup with a sheep stomach lining base TIP: local wives tale (and you know those can be true), if you’ve had too much to drink the night before, try this for recovery..
Kofte – this great dish (that can be ordered fried, stewed or cooked) is a mixture of minced meat with eggs, herbs, rice and a variety of Turkish spices. Usually the meat is a minced sausage that first is barbecued before mixing with the rest of the great ingredients.