I'll be going to Istanbul in a few days. This is a travel I do because of my job (and no - I'm not involved in any of the jobs listed here). As in this case, I often get ready at the last minute and when I'm there I remember that I want also to enjoy the place, and especially the cuisine.

Well, this time I'm going to istanbul. I know that Turkish food is known to be meat-based, a bit spicy and that the well known Kebab or Doner are sort of best-known and "cutting edge" dishes I should try there... but... but..

But does really the Turkish cusine end with Kebab?

Which is a very typical- "must taste" Turkish food I can geti in Istanbul?


İmam bayıldı (stuffed eggplant) and Bamya (lady’s fingers) should not be missed.

"Okra is a very traditional food that is both healthy and very tasty at the same time: exactly what the discerning traveller is looking for! In Turkey they are a common crop and as is key in all Turkish cooking, the produce is fresh – in stark contrast to tinned okra which often turns up in Western Europe." (ibid.)

For dessert there is of course Baclava and Börek as well as other pastry/nut/honey concoctions that complement Turkish coffee. Also Rahat Lokum:

Turkish Delight Photo courtesy of Elena Elisseeva and Dreamstime.

But to pay at least lip service to Travel, and regarding courses which may be your main interest, the fish from the Marmara is all excellent. In that case though, expect to dine late, to give the restauranteurs time to fetch the fish from the docks (it should be that fresh!)

Obviously most dishes are lamb, mutton, kid or goat (all cut and cooked in every conceivable way) but not far from the city is a town (Kuchuk Chekmeje) of little other than restaurants serving exceptional beef, in addition to the standards. Accompaniments there may be quite modest, just bread and peppers with maybe a simple salad.

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  • I thought Börek were not usually served as a dessert. – Relaxed Aug 22 '14 at 18:41

Well I would like to add MANTI to the previous list which is served with yogurt, tomato sauce and garlic. It is kind of little meat pieces within the pastry (not exactly pastry, something like it)

Secondly KARNIYARIK which is baked eggplant fulled with minced meat. It is one of my favourites.

MANTI MANTI Courtesy ekke vasli

KARNIYARIK KARNIYARIK Courtesy russianistanbul

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  • Do you have any pictures of the dishes? It'll help identify them. :) – JoErNanO Sep 20 '15 at 8:23
  • Yes of course. But I do not know how to share pictures here. Hope the links are also OK :) MANTI: bit.ly/1MzA8W3 KARNIYARIK: bit.ly/1OIh7jM – lycians Sep 20 '15 at 12:50
  • Add them to your answer. – JoErNanO Sep 20 '15 at 13:29

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