Turkish Food 101: Cold Street Food

After providing an overview of the breakfast served in Turkey and typical drinks in Turkey, now an overview of the cold street food in the city. The probably most well known of them is the sesame ring called Simit, which can literally be found on every corner of the city in the red push-cars on the street. For a mere 1 TL one gets a decent snack, sometimes even with chocolate cream or cream cheese, the latest is highly recommended to try.

Turkish Cold Street Food

  • Simit - crispy round savory roll covered with sesame, kind of a Turkish bagel. The street version, the sokak simit (cold) is very crispy. Some street vendors also offer to prepare it with cream cheese or chocolate cream. Simi are dipped in water which is sweetened with molasses and are dipped into sesame seeds before baking. This process keeps them moist and tasty. Besides the only contain half of the calories as a boiled bagel. Prices are between 0.75 and 1.40 TL for the plain Simit, cream cheese or Nutella is normally 1 TL extra.
  • Midye Dolma - another classic on the streets of Istanbul, stuffed mussels. Normally filled with a rice paste and handed with lemon. One can eat as much as one likes, as they are normally paid by piece, one around 0.5 TL. 
  • Cig Köfte - originally made with raw ground meat, wheat and red peeper. Nowadays it only consists of bulgur, onions, tomatos, pepper and various herbs and spices all mixed together to a paste, due to hygiene reasons. Nevertheless a very tasty experience. In the dürüm version it comes along with green salad, mint and parsley and costs between 2 and 4 TL. It is also nice and easy to get a full portion - porsyon - which last for two to three people and eat it piknik-wise at one of the beautiful spots Istanbul, or any other Turkish city, provides. It goes along best with the salted Turkish yoghurt drink Ayran.
  • Acma - Turkish-style donut, a round savory slightly oily bun. Not as tasty as a simit, but nevertheless does the job to fill an empty stomach while walking around. Prices are similar to Simit, 0.75 to 1.40 TL.


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