A Turkish classic that has also become a bit of a national dish in Germany, döner kebap comes in many forms including dürüm (döner wrapped in lavaş bread) and iskender kebap (döner on a bed of pide bread with yogurt, tomato sauce, and butter).
Köfte (meatball) is a standard yet delicious Turkish dish and içli köfte has a delicious crispy shell made from bulgur filled with seasoned minced meat, onions, parsley, and pine nuts.
Often wrongfully referred to as a ‘Turkish pizza’, lahmacun has nothing to do with the Italian classic. A thin and crispy round of dough is topped with minced seasoned meat, which is complimented with a squeeze of lemon and parsley before it’s rolled up and ready to eat.
There are many varieties of kebap including Adana and Urfa (spicy and non-spicy hand kneaded seasoned lamb meat grilled on skewers), Beyti (ground beef or lamb grilled on skewer, wrapped in lavaş bread and topped with yogurt and tomato sauce), and şiş (skewered and grilled seasoned cubes of lamb or chicken meat).
Small handmade dumplings filled with minced meat are boiled and then served with yogurt and a sauce made with oil, paprika, mint, and garlic.
A very common dish at Istanbul’s many esnaf (tradesmen)restaurants, karnıyarık is made from whole baked eggplants filled with seasoned minced meat and parsley, then covered in a tomato sauce. Goes great with rice with tomatoes.
Quite an amazing dish, soft lamb cubes are served on top of eggplant puree, made with butter and melted kaşar cheese.
No visit to Istanbul would be complete without having fresh grilled fish including hamsi (anchovy), levrek (sea bass), çupra (bream), istavrit (saurel), palamut (mackerel), and lüfer (bluefish) depending on the season.
Delicious boat shaped baked dough filled with many different ingredients from minced meat to spinach, eggs and sucuk (spicy Turkish sausage) and kuşbaşı (small cubes of seasoned veal meat).
Börek is made from layers of thin dough with various fillings such as spinach, minced meat, or seasoned potatoes that are all baked to crispy deliciousness. With su böreği the layers of dough are boiled so that the börek is moist after it has been baked.