One of the most enjoyable ways of tasting the best Istanbul has to offer is to work your way around the city snacking on the incredible street food, sold from carts and trays at street corners and other likely spots. This can be as simple as raw almonds on ice, but there are far more elaborate and substantial dishes available. From the new Rough Guide to Istanbul, here are five – some more adventurous than others – that you should try.

Simit

This typical Turkish breakfast food is sold on practically every street corner. Similar to a bagel, but covered in sesame seeds, it’s particularly good with white cheese.

Simit, Istanbul, Turkey© Lydia Evans/Rough Guides

Çiğ Köfte

These patties of kneaded bulgur wheat, stained orange by the hot pepper paste that is one of their chief constituents, are served wrapped in a flat bread with salad, pomegranate concentrate and spicy sauce.

5 street foods you need to try in Istanbul: Cig kofte / Turkish Food.© gorkem demir/Shutterstock

Midye Dolması

These mussels that have been cooked and stuffed with an aromatic spiced rice mixture are a favourite of many on their way home after too many drinks. they cost around ̈1 each and the vendor will continue to serve them to you until you say stop, before counting the shells to tot up the bill (note that midye are best avoided during the hot summer months).

Midye Dolması, Istanbul, Turkey© Lydia Evans/Rough Guides

Tavuklu Pilavı

Served from glass containers on wheelable carts, this delicious buttery rice, studded with chickpeas, comes with or without shredded chicken and usually served with a sprinkling of black pepper and a glass of ayran.

5 street foods you need to try in Istanbul: Turkish traditional chicken (tavuklu pilav) on a rice at home in the kitchen.© Alp Aksoy/Shutterstock

Kokoreç

Not for the squeamish, this carnivorous treat is actually sheep’s intestines wrapped around other bits of offal, before being grilled over charcoals that are wheeled around the backstreets of Taksim. it is then finely chopped, and mixed with spices and salad before being served in bread.

5 street foods you need to try in Istanbul: Turkish Street Food Kokorec made with sheep bowel.© Alp Aksoy/Shutterstock

Top image © Getty Images

Explore more of Istanbul with the Rough Guide to Istanbul. Compare flightsbook hostels and hotels for your trip, and don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before you go. 

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