When you arrive in the core or heart of the Ottoman Empire a person can finally learn about authentic and delicious Turkish cuisine. Here in Turkey, a person can try and taste before buying.
Luxurious restaurants like Mikla at 15 Mesrutiyet Caddesi, Beyoglu, which was first opened in 2005, offers great view of the entire city as you dine from the restaurant’s terrace. Delicacies like salted Aegean octopus along with beef, dried with pistachio paste and humus paired with warm mulberry soup with crumbs of cinnamon and tahini ice-cream are available on its elegant menu.
Another classic restaurant by the name Cokcok at 51 Mesrutiyet Caddesi, Beyoglu, produces favorites like beef which is stir-fried and curried duck along with other dishes like home-made ice cream, lobster dipped in garlic sauce, and poached pear.
Ciya in the Kadikoy neighbourhood on the Asian side of the river Bosphorus, and Cercis Murat Konagi in Bostanci are some other favorite restaurants in Istanbul. Cuisine from Southeastern Turkey is served by both of these restaurants.
Street food corners:
A wide variety of street foods are available all over the region. Altan Sekerleme, an ancient tiny sweets shop which was established in 1865, is renowned for its rosewater-flavoured lokum (Turkish delight). Balik ekmek (fish sandwich), in which grilled or roasted fish is filled in a roll of bread and then served with salad and evenly garnished with a pinch of lemon juice is another mouth watering dish. Eminonu houses a ferry dock and it is the best suitable place for tasting this Balik ekmek.
The most famous and celebrated street snack is undoubtedly the Doner Kebab, in which a lamb is cooked on medium flame for a pretty long time and then covered with nicely charred vegetables and served, which is available almost everywhere in the whole of Istanbul. Few other popular street dishes include Kokorec, in which the intestines of a lamb are finely roasted and grilled and prepared with spices and local herbs, and Gozleme, in which cheese, potato, spinach or mushrooms are evenly stuffed into a bread crepe and slightly fried is available almost everywhere within Central Anatolia.
Other famous spots for foodies:
A few other destinations where all food lovers should go to are Gaziantep, Hatay, Urfa and Mardin situated in Southeastern Anatolia. Gaziantep is renowned for the delicious Pistachio baklava (filo pastry filled with dry fruits especially nuts and then soaked nicely in sugar syrup). The Urfa Kebab (medium sized pieces of lamb roasted and served by garnishing with sliced onions, peeled tomatoes and pepper) is found in Urfa.
Hatay is famous for another Turkish dish by the name Kunefe (shredded cake of wheat spread over soft cheese, dipped in sugar syrup and baked in oven till crispy and chewy). Mardin is favorite for the Icli kofte (meatballs prepared by dipping and rolling them in bulgar and then deep fried).