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Incredible Places for Street Food in Istanbul

Istanbul is known for its market culture and local foods. The street food scene in this city is immense, and foodies come from all over the world to sample the cuisine. If you’re visiting Istanbul, you won’t want to leave without taking some time to journey through the markets and enjoy the local snacks. So, here are the most incredible places for street food in Istanbul to get you started.

Spice Bazaar

The name of this bazaar is fitting as the stalls are lined with spices and tasty snacks. This is one of the top places for visitors to roam and it has a reputation for being a gastronomic destination. It’s open every day and is the place to buy dried fruit, nuts, Turkish Delight, olives, oil, fish, dates, and coffee. Make sure to try the Fruit Doner, which looks like a huge hunk of fruit leather on a rotisserie covered in nuts. The vendor will cut off a chunk of it for you to enjoy.

The Grand Bazaar

This market is one of the largest of its kind in the world. You can get lost in this foodie paradise for hours. It’s colorful, noisy, and full of delicious scents and flavors. The market is best known for its colorful textiles, antiques, jewelry, and pottery. However, the food is a popular draw for tourists. Try the Havuzlu Restaurant for traditional Turkish and Ottoman food. There’s also the Gül Ebru Kantin which is said to serve the best Doner Kebab in the market. Also, make sure to try a kebap at Gaziantep Burç Kebap, it’s said to be one of the best spots.

Tarlabaşi

The reputation for this neighborhood isn’t that great, and tourists don’t venture here too often. However, the Sunday food market draws quite the crowd, even adventurous tourists and local students who are trying to save money on delicious eats. Get there as early as possible if you want to beat the crowds and get the best deals. You’ll find pickled vegetables, figs, local honey, fresh berries, jams, and apricots. It’s a great place to taste the local produce and take home some cheap, edible souvenirs.

Bakirköy

Open on Saturday, this market is filled with a mix of locals and tourists looking for fresh food and great deals. Women vendors roll dough and set it on a sizzling pan to produce traditional Gözleme, a goat cheese laden snack that you’ll love to try. The rest of the market is filled with organic produce, costume jewelry, and other street snacks like Simit, a sesame-crusted dough dipped in molasses, and Lahmacun, a thin dough topped with meat and vegetables.

Inebolu

This Sunday market is a hotspot for foodies. You’ll find a hearty lineup of organic produce, bushels of fresh herbs, and loaves of freshly baked cornbread. Visitors will find plump olives, bins of hazelnuts, and crates filled with fresh eggs. Get there as early as 6am as this is when the stalls are most vibrant and full.

Istanbul is bursting with markets and street food. It won’t be difficult to find something to snack on during any time of day. Start with these markets but make sure to do some wandering as you never know what you’ll find. Don’t forget to order your taxi from Istanbul Ataturk airport in advance.