After decades of following Western trends, Istanbul is finally looking east for its snacks. Originating from China, a soft steamed bun known as bao has quickly become one of Istanbul’s foodie favorites. Suitable for both vegetarians and meat lovers, bao presents endless creative filling possibilities, with its moist texture both light and nourishing. A tasty alternative to common street food, bao easily accommodates your favorite local ingredients and can easily be made at home.
Where to try them:
-One of the bun trend pioneers in the city, Hudson in Arnavutkoy, ensures the cocktail you enjoy alongside this snack compliment one another.
-MSA’s Restaurant: Islak hamburger might not be an everyday choice, but the restaurant’s stuffed bun alternative is a must try. Other varieties on the menu include spicy pulled beef rib with muhammara and hot dog.
-BunCo’s falafel bun does not really fit in the Turkish cuisine category, but regionally-inspired fillings have quickly become this restaurant’s hit. Choose the classic bun instead of whole wheat option for a more authentic taste.
-For those who prefer to avoid surprises, Bao’n Bun’s offer is the safest, featuring chicken, beef and veggie-based options.
We'd like to see more chef’s creative takes on Istanbul staple foods. Bun balık ekmek, anyone?