No human has the capacity to enjoy all the culinary delights that Istanbul has to offer in just one day. However, with a few hacks you can make the most of your day in the city, browsing through the plethora of tastes and smells, and collecting culinary experiences.
Practical tip: to follow our route, start in Beyoğlu, pass by Galata to the Karaköy fish market, and then cross Galata Bridge. Then take the ferry to Kadıköy and explore the market. There are opportunities to taste new things at every step of the way!
Don’t leave the city without tasting these must eats!
Instead of having a full Turkish breakfast, stick to simit and a glass of tea. This iconic combo tastes best onboard a local ferry. If such a trip isn’t on your agenda, pick up simit from street vendors, avoiding the ones sold in chain stores. Read more about simit and tea in Turkey.
In Turkish culture, coffee is what follows breakfast (the Turkish word for breakfast, kahvaltı, means “before coffee”). All around the city plenty of places serve exquisite lattes and cortados, but forget them for a moment and make room for Turkish coffee. No one makes it more authentically than Mustafa Amca (Uncle Mustafa) at Hazzopulo Pasajı in Beyoğlu. Just let him know how sweet he should make it. Learn about Istanbul’s coffee culture and where to find the best cafes in the city.
Maraş ice cream, as you might have seen on YouTube, owes its gummy texture to mastic. If the well-known antics of the vendor are outside make you uncomfortable, order a portion at Mado and don’t hesitate to use a knife and fork while you’re at it.