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10 Most Popular Street Foods of Turkey That You Would Regret Not to Taste

Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has recently listed the 10 best Turkish street foods. As you all know well enough, the country has quite a rich gastronomy culture. Yet, when it comes to delicious, mouth-watering street foods, there are even more.

The list offers a lot. Even though you are already familiar with some of those flavors, there are also some that you have probably never heard of. Simit (Turkish bagel), balık ekmek (fish and bread), midye dolmas (stuffed mussels) are only some of them. No need to mention that, we have a Best Turkish Foods list for you. Before diving into the post, you may want to take a look at it! You will be shocked to see how delicious and mouth-watering Turkish street flavors are!

So, if your mouth has started watering already, we would advise you to hold on to your taste buds. And so, you had better get something from the fridge as our list will undoubtedly make you feel starving! So come with us as we intend to take you on a delicious journey. The journey, which you are about to set off, will pass through the whole of Turkey. Nevertheless, Istanbul is both a start and finish point as always!

10- Şalgam Suyu (Şalgam Juice)

Salty Turnip Drink or red carrot based Turkish traditional juice
Salty Turnip Drink or red carrot based Turkish traditional juice

Şalgam Suyu (Şalgam Juice) is a traditional and healthy Turkish beverage. Şalgam juice is a popular vegetable-based beverage from Turkey’s southeastern region. Mostly, the beverage comes from the cities of Mersin and Adana. Moreover, it is an excellent example of Turkish regional cuisine. In Turkish, the word “şalgam” means turnip. However, this traditional drink is actually made from purple carrots, bulgur wheat, salt, and yeast.

Street food vendors always sell a cup of delicious şalgam suyu. Once you come across a street vendor that sells it, don’t miss the chance to taste şalgam suyu!

9- Buzlu Badem (Almonds on Ice)

Almond on Ice
Almond on Ice

These iced-white almonds, or buzlu badem, are popular street food in Turkey. In Turkey, it’s acceptable for vendors to walk through restaurants —or at least outdoor dining areas. Served on ice, the almond skins peel off easily. They’re, what’s more, addictively delicious when especially you are drinking raki! (It is traditional Turkish alcohol). Meanwhile, one (pretty large) serving goes for 10 TL (1 £/ 1.5 $).

8- Çiğ Köfte (Raw Meatballs)

Raw meatballs (Çiğ köfte) is a very common street foods in Turkey
Raw meatballs (Çiğ köfte) is a very common street foods in Turkey

Çiğ Köfte, “Raw Meatballs” in English, is an indispensable food feast in Turkey’s streets! If you like, you can eat it plain, or roll it into a lavas puff bread. And with lemon, fresh parsley and fennel, and pomegranate syrup, it goes very well. Not to forget to mention, another traditional Turkish beverage ayran is the best accompany with çiğ köfte!

7- Tavuklu Pilav (Chicken with Rice)

An indispensable flavor of Turkish street foods
An indispensable flavor of Turkish street foods

If you are hungry, a plate of chicken and rice can be a great option. A companion of classical Turkish cuisine, Tavuklu pilav (known as chicken with rice) can be found on every corner of the streets in Turkey. It is white rice with boiled chickpeas and chicken.

Give this unique flavor a chance… You will see that you will not regret it!

6- Kumpir (Stuffed Baked Potatoes)

Kumpir (Baked Potato) is a perfect combination of butter, potato, and cheese
Kumpir (Baked Potato) is a perfect combination of butter, potato, and cheese

Kumpir is one of the most famous street foods in Turkey. It is also famous as the baked potato. This super baked potato is just like a masterpiece. You can prefer filling from a mind-boggling range of ingredients. They include corn, pickled red cabbage, pickles, Russ salad, yogurt, sausage, olives, and even more opportunity.

Kumpir is undoubtedly a unique harmony of potato, butter, and Turkish kaşar cheese. (Kaşar Cheese, by the way, is one of the most valuable kinds of Turkish cheeses.) As for where to eat the best Kumpir, the answer is always Istanbul’s Ortaköy neighborhood! It will be an unforgettable experience to enjoy your kumpir with the view of Bosporus and the Bosphorus Bridge, which interconnects the two continents, Asia and Europe. Get yourself ready for this iconic Istanbul activity!

5- Midye Dolma (Stuffed Mussels)

Stuffed mussels (midye dolma) is one of the most popular street delicacies of Turkey
Stuffed mussels (midye dolma) is one of the most popular street delicacies of Turkey

Midye (known as stuffed mussels) is one of the most popular street delicacies of Turkey.  You can find this delicious street food on almost every corner in the big cities and coastal holiday towns of Turkey. The mussels are stuffed with white rice and herbs, and with a few drops of lemon juice. Hence, it is just ready for you to eat.

We believe that putting it this way would not be unfair: stuffed mussels are an irresistible flavor. At one time, eating 40-50 of them is not an exaggeration. So, keep in mind that once you start eating, you may not stop yourself!

4- Tantuni

Tantuni It is made from a unique combination of minced meat with parsley, tomatoes, green peppers, and onions
Tantuni It is made from a unique combination of minced meat with parsley, tomatoes, green peppers, and onions

This delicious rolled meat is the specialty of Turkey’s Mersin city. However, almost every part of Turkey’s possible to taste this super snack. It is made from a unique combination of minced meat with parsley, tomatoes, green peppers, and onions. You can always order yourself ayran or a cup of şalgam suyu (which we mentioned above).

3- Kestane (Chestnut)

Eating piping hot chestnuts with your beloved ones is a great event
Eating piping hot chestnuts with your beloved ones is a great event

Chestnut (Kestane, in Turkish) is a classic in Turkish culture, especially during the winter colds. In addition to its amazing taste, Kestane is also a cultural way to have fun at homes in Turkey. While cuddling in front of a heater or stove, in more traditional homes, eating piping hot chestnuts with your beloved ones is a great event! Therefore, it is probably why kestane is one of the most special street foods in Turkey!

2- Balık Ekmek (Fish and Bread)

Balık ekmek (or fresh fish sandwich) has to be your must while in Turkey
Balık ekmek (or fresh fish sandwich) has to be your must while in Turkey

Fish and bread, fish sandwich, or balık ekmek… You can name it however you wish. Yet, it doesn’t change its dominating position among Turkish street foods. Moreover, you will not ignore the long fresh fish sandwich queues in Istanbul’s Eminönü district. The place, in the meantime, is both a historical and modern center for experiencing this amazing delicacy.

1- Simit (Turkish Bagel)

You can find a simit vendor randomly at any corner of Turkey
You can find a simit vendor randomly at any corner of Turkey

Until the end of 2019, simit was known as a Turkish bagel in the world. But, not anymore! As of November 2019, simit entered the Oxford English Dictionary as an original name.  Why simit is at the top of our list, which consists of some of the most extremely delicious delicacies? There can be given many answers with regard to this question. But, apart from it, this many numbers of our article on simit can also prove how simit important in Turkey!

Simit is an indispensable part of Turkish cuisine. A very delicious and healthy way for a quick meal. You can consume it at any time of the day. With a slice of cheese and a cup of Turkish tea, you have a super easy and super tasty way to ease your hunger! Do you need more explanation? Then, maybe you should enlighten us with your experience…

How about the list? Did you like to most popular Turkish street foods? Did it make you happy? Convince you? What is your favorite Turkish street delicacy? Please feel free to share your comments. We always appreciate your support and opinion!

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