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Five Treats in Istanbul Bazaar for the Foodie Traveler

Updated on November 4, 2017
JM Salgado profile image

Travel, food, and nature are some of the most interesting means to learn and be inspired. JM tries to experience the beauty of these ways.

The beautiful architecture of Istanbul's structures.
The beautiful architecture of Istanbul's structures. | Source
Old Bazaar in Istanbul can bring scrumptious surprises
Old Bazaar in Istanbul can bring scrumptious surprises | Source
There's more that meets the eye - spices and other treats from Istanbul are a welcome sight for locals and tourists alike.
There's more that meets the eye - spices and other treats from Istanbul are a welcome sight for locals and tourists alike. | Source

Turkey is filled with magnificent buildings with breathtaking architecture. Thousands of tourists from all over the world seek to have their own share of a unique Turkey experience. With the many different cities to visit, there lies the beautiful Istanbul that showcases the heart of the country's culture and economy. Moreover, if you are a foodie, you are sure to enjoy a lot of treats across the city.

Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia, many travelers are enchanted with its natural beauty as well as its wide variety of activities and food choices. Many locals, tourists, and travelers graze the Old City bazaars to find cheap eats in Istanbul without getting cheap on taste.

Shoppers can go over various goods as well as mingle with merchants, artisans, and porters to have a memorable cultural exchange. The Istanbul bazaar is a treat for foodie travelers because of the wide range of affordable delicacies.

Traditional Turkish Cuisine

Turkish cuisine offers a wide variety of ingredients, flavors, textures, and aroma. It has a rich heritage of Ottoman cuisine with its multiple delicious treats. With its great influence from Central Asian, Balkan, and Middle Eastern cuisines, there are many dishes that are worth trying when visiting the country.

An example of a doner kebap
An example of a doner kebap | Source

• Döner kebap

Cheap eats yet tasty and filling at its best.

When people talk about cheap food finds in Istanbul, it does not mean that visitors would find cheap tasting dishes. The colorful Old City bazaar which started as a small warehouse in 1461 has now grown to house multiple shops and stores that offer the best of Turkish cuisine and products.

With dozens of stores, there are ones that are more popular than others. First is the best döner kebap in the area. The most popular one is found in Dönerci Şahin Usta. It serves bread that is generously stuffed with tender lamb meat that is perfectly placed with onion and tomato topped with sumac. A surely satisfying meal for any foodie.

Döner kebap is a surprising treat for meat lovers. It is a meat sandwich which could be made with beef, chicken, or lamb. It is mixed with vegetables, spices, and the most popular garlic yogurt. This slow cooked dish brings different kinds of tastes.

Turkish delights in the Spice Market
Turkish delights in the Spice Market | Source

• Turkish delight

Turkish delight is next to the most popular treats many tourists look for when visiting Istanbul. As a known sweet treat, locals and tourists prefer to roam through the bazaar to find the perfect one for their taste. The entire area is overflowing with different stores that sell Turkish delight. Some of these merchants, however, will not offer affordable prices in Istanbul for these treats. These products are also popular gift items so many would take advantage to earn more. Travelers should be wary of these usual traps, so instead, you may go to the little bazaars and find equally delicious treats but in more affordable prices.

• Offal

Another foodie favorite to check in Istanbul is the highly addicting offal.

Offal is a variety of meat organs that are sold in the market. A more known meat dish that uses offal is the kokoreç. A dish that has the Balkan and Anatolia touch. These seasoned lamb intestines are famous because of its stuffing of mix sweetbread, red pepper and oregano. These are wrapped around a skewer and grilled over charcoal. Kokoreç is one of the best cheap eats in Istanbul, however, it has a pungent smell and strong taste. People who wish to try this should be prepared to open up to a new level of flavor.

A tasty treat for any traveler, the Baklava.
A tasty treat for any traveler, the Baklava. | Source

• Baklava

Turkey’s locals love to have their hands on this dessert. The bazaars have a lot of pastry shops that offer baklava. This dish is made from four basic ingredients of nuts, sugar, butter, and filo pastry. Shoppers can bunch on these by simply getting one from the pastry stores. Others can also bring home some to eat on a later time.

No one wants to miss a chance to have a sip of this drink. Turkish coffee is usually served with Turkish delight.
No one wants to miss a chance to have a sip of this drink. Turkish coffee is usually served with Turkish delight. | Source

• Turkish Coffee

Turkish coffee is a common drink of locals. This is also a wonderful surprise and remarkable drink to try in the city. It has a strong taste and thick texture. There are many stores in the old bazaar where locals and tourists gather to chat. Coffee drinking is an important part of this country's heritage. It wouldn't be difficult to find a good spot to have your own cup.

A slice of mozaik cake, baklava, or Turkish delight is commonly served together with this coffee. These sweets balance the strong taste from the coffee.

Aside from the ones mentioned, there is a fair share of other delicious treats for everyone in this historical place in Istanbul. The entire space can be covered for half a day or longer, but it is best to go there earlier because it is better to take the time in indulging the cheap eats in Istanbul comfortably. Then later visit other stores that have various traditional products which can be bought as souvenirs or gifts for friends and loved ones.


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