Istanbulites of all generations reminisce about trips to different parts of the city to eat famous dishes. Here are some neighborhoods and their famous foods.
Kanlıca for yogurt
Eating Kanlıca yogurt on the ferry while taking in the Bosphorus view is a nostalgic memory often told by locals. Associated with the Kanlıca neighborhood, the yogurt is served with powdered sugar or jam, making it a refreshing food in the hot weather.
Çengelköy for cucumbers
A celebration of summer with its fresh flavor and smell, the Çengelköy cucumber is a type of cucumber linked to the Çengelköy district. These cucumbers are slightly smaller than regular cucumbers and usually have a flower on top.
Sarıyer for börek
Although there are various places claiming to serve the authentic Sarıyer böreği, the best place to eat this meat or cheese stuffed pastry, washed down with some ayran, is at Tarihi Sarıyer Börekçisi in Sarıyer.
Sultanahmet for köfte
Sultanahmet köftesi is usually made with as few ingredients as possible, often with beef, salt, and onions, served with spicy hot sauce and pickles on the side. These simple, yet delicious meatballs have long caused a controversy about their original maker. After a series of trials, the court ruled that the “real” maker of Sultanahmet köftesi is Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi – Selim Usta.
Vefa for boza
Best consumed in winter, boza is a non-alcoholic fermented wheat drink topped with roasted chickpeas and cinnamon. You can try it at the legendary boza shop Vefa Bozacısı in the Vefa neighborhood, which has welcomed visitors and locals since 1876.
Alibeyköy for tulumba tatlısı
Looking similar to churros, tulumba tatlısı is a dessert found in Ottoman cuisine and which hails from the Balkans. It is deep-fried and made with flour, sugar, eggs, and soaked in syrup. In Alibeyköy center, there are many shops that specialize in this pastry.
Taksim for ıslak hamburger
When you get off the metro at Taksim station, surely Kızılkayalar is the first place that you spot. Known for the ıslak hamburger —a popular staple after a late night—the burger became world famous when the late chef and travel host Anthony Bourdain stopped by for a quick bite while shooting his TV show No Reservations.