Last Updated on March 28, 2021
Being the ultimate dining capital of Turkey, Istanbul offers wide range of Turkish cuisine at the variety of well established, good and luxury Istanbul restaurants and ancient Ottoman places. Istanbul also offers wide range of world cuisine such as Mediterranean, Japanese, Italian, French, Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Portuguese and Thai food. Sea food at the Bosphorus shore fish and meze restaurants is also recommended.
The richness of the Turkish cuisine will let you experience and enjoy new flavors, from exquisite pastry choices to delicious meat, fish and vegetable specialties. The gastronomy of Turkey reflects a remarkable culinary synthesis that comes from its cultural heritage.
The traditional Turkish cuisine is really worth a taste. Travelers may choose from a wide range of Turkish kebabs, mezes (starters) and dishes that are mostly based on meat. Also Turkish sweets such as baklava and Turkish delight are worldwide famous.
Common ingredients in Turkish cuisine include; lamb, olive oil, chickpeas, aubergines, yogurt, cheese, rice, pastry, spinach, potatoes, bread, tomatoes, spices and herbs such as cumin, paprika, mint and thyme.
Famous Turkish mezes include; hummus (a chickpea dip), dolma (vine leaves, peppers, pumpkin or aubergines stuffed with rice and/or meat), borek (thin layers of dough stuffed with meat, cheese and vegetables) and cacik (cucumber with yogurt, dried mint and olive oil).
Famous main dishes of Turkish cuisine include; kuzu guvec (lamb casserole), olive oil-drizzled lamb kebabs, kofte (meatballs made from minced meat, parsley, bread-egg, onion and spices such as cumin, oregano, mint, garlic and pepper. Turkish cuisine ranks with the French and Chinese cuisine in Istanbul.
Turkish coffee is one of the most important cultural heritages of Turkey confirmed by UNESCO. Your Istanbul visit won’t be complete if you leave the city without having a good Turkish coffee in one of the best seaside or historical cafes. You can find more on our best places to drink Turkish coffee in Istanbul page.
Turkish Tea & Breakfast
Turkish tea is very important for locals in Turkey. A great number of the the population in Turkey admires this drink and won’t start the day without. Typical Turkish breakfast include white cheese, old cheese, black and green olives, butter, honey, jam, an omelette or boiled eggs, sliced tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. You can read more on our best places to make Turkish breakfast and drink Turkish tea in Istanbul page.
Best Places to Dine & Wine in Istanbul
Istanbul offers wide range of Turkish cuisine at the variety of well established, good and luxury Istanbul restaurants and ancient Ottoman places. See Best Istanbul Restaurants
Rooftop Restaurants & Bars
There’s nothing better than to enjoy your evening dine & wine in one of the best terrace or rooftop restaurant or bar, in the company of panoramic views of the city. You can both appreciate the excellent cuisine and the great views in these places. See best rooftop restaurants and bars in Istanbul.
Irish Pubs offer lively and very friendly atmosphere and Istanbul also has great ones. You can find them from our Best Istanbul Irish Pubs page.
You can find great wine houses and wine bars in Istanbul where you can enjoy a wonderful night out with wine tasting and wine delight. See Best Istanbul Wine Houses
Istanbul for Vegans and Vegetarians
Being a vegan or vegetarian in Istanbul has become somehow easy in the last decade or so. You may have a challenge by a restricted number of choices when it comes to the Turkish cuisine. The wide range of food in Istanbul has boomed and so Istanbul has necessary options for its vegans and vegetarians. Read more on our A guide to being a Vegan/Vegetarian in Istanbul and Best Vegan & Vegetarian Restaurants pages.
Top Selling Istanbul Food Tours (Recommended)
For both first time visitors and the ones want to experience and enjoy the gastronomy of Istanbul, we highly recommend this unique and tailor made culinary tours, offered by several quality agents.
You’ll experience and enjoy Turkish Food, and get an introduction to authentic Turkish kitchen and tour the city’s gastronomic tastes like a local.
We only suggest the proven ways and top rated ones with travelers’ comments. You can feel free to book one of the below top selling Istanbul culinary and food tours.
Free cancellation up to 24 hours before activity starts