Mouthwatering Street Food

Mouthwatering Street Food You Must Try in Turkey

Turkey is a food lover’s paradise, with rich culinary traditions influenced by its unique geographic position between Asia and Europe. From bustling cities like Istanbul to coastal towns along the Mediterranean, Turkish cuisine offers abundant flavors that delight all the senses. However, some of the most authentic and delicious dishes can be found on the streets, sold by roving vendors or from small shops and carts. Turkish street food represents the country’s soul, with affordable and accessible snacks highlighting regional specialties. 

Gözleme – Turkey’s Savory Hand Pies

A staple of Turkish breakfast and snack culture, gözleme are hearty hand pies found country-wide. Thin dough is filled with various ingredients before being cooked on a saj, or domed griddle, to create a portable and filling snack. Typical fillings include cheese, potatoes, ground meat, and sweet options like banana or pumpkin. Sold for 3-5 TL each by street vendors and shops, gözleme is highly affordable and satisfying.

Their crispy, flaky exterior gives way to a warm, comforting feeling within. A favorite in eastern Turkey is Malatya’s spinach and feta variety, though regional specialties abound. Be sure to sample different types of gözleme throughout your Turkish travels for a tasty taste of local flavors.

Borek – Turkey’s Flakey Phyllo Pastries

Borek pastries come in many forms across Turkey but are universally delicious. Thin phyllo dough is layered with fillings like cheese, ground meat, potatoes, or even pumpkin before being baked to a golden-brown crispness. Sold by the piece, vendors offer an array of options for around 3 TL each. In Istanbul, cheese borek is especially beloved, while the eastern city of Gaziantep is renowned for its sumptuous spinach and meat versions.

Their light, flaky layers encase a warm, comforting filling for an irresistible snack. Be sure to sample borek straight from bakeries or shops early in the morning while still hot and fresh from the oven. Their buttery, flaky textures are simply divine.

Manti – Turkey’s Delicate Meat Dumplings

Originating from Central Asian cultures, manti dumplings are a beloved specialty found across eastern Turkey. Thin dough is wrapped around a savory ground meat and herb filling before being boiled or fried to a light golden color. Traditionally served with a garlic yogurt sauce, manti vendors sell portions for around 10 TL each, providing a hearty snack. The dumplings’ delicate wrappers envelop a warm, comforting, divine filling.

Best sampled in the eastern cities of Erzurum or Kars, where they are considered a specialty, Manti introduces Turkey’s culinary crossroads between Europe and Asia. Their flavors represent the region’s influences beautifully.

Tavuk Döner – Turkey’s Chicken Skewer Delight

Poultry lovers also have plenty to enjoy on Turkish streets, with the ubiquitous tavuk döner or chicken skewer. Marinated in a blend of herbs and spices before being roasted on its vertical spit, succulent white meat is shaved off and served in fresh bread or wraps. A lighter alternative to lamb döner, chicken skewers can be found throughout Turkey, selling for 6-8 TL each.

It is best enjoyed in coastal towns along the Mediterranean, where fresh sea breezes accentuate the smoky, savory flavors of the meat. Be sure to sample regional varieties like Adana’s spicy version enhanced with chili peppers or the subtle herb marinade of Antalya. Tavuk döner truly hits the spot as a quick, protein-packed snack.

Pide – Turkey’s Unique Bread

Pide - Turkey's Unique Bread

Originating in central Anatolia, pide bread is a staple snack sold at shops and street stalls across Turkey. Its thick, soft dough is topped with minced meat, cheese, parsley, or even egg before being baked to a crisp exterior. Prices range from 5-10 TL depending on toppings, with specialty varieties showcasing regional flavors.

In Trabzon, seafood toppings like anchovies are popular, while Malatya kaşar cheese takes center stage. Best enjoyed straight from the oven, pide’s warm, chewy interior soaks up any accompanying sauces beautifully. Their sizes range from small personal pies to extra-large versions meant for sharing. Be sure to sample different regional varieties throughout your Turkish travels.

Simit & Kaymak – Turkey’s Sweet-Savory Treat

A beloved Turkish breakfast treat, simit is taken to the next level when topped with creamy kaymak. This decadent combination pairs the sesame-coated bread rings with a rich clotted cream from water buffalo milk. Found throughout bakeries and cafes nationwide, simit sellers will happily top each round for an extra 2 TL or so. Best enjoyed warm, the toasted sesame exterior contrasts beautifully with the excellent, luscious kaymak filling within.

Their sweet and savory flavors awaken the senses first thing in the morning. Be sure to seek out specialty kaymak producers, like those in Kars province, for the highest quality cream that takes this beloved snack to new heights.

Poğaça – Turkey’s Flaky Cheese Buns

Found in bakeries nationwide, poğaça are featherlight buns filled with deliciousness. Popular varieties include cheese, spinach, ground meat, or even sweet versions with chocolate. Priced at 1-2 TL each, they make for an inexpensive treat, whether on their own or with a coffee. Best enjoyed while still warm, their soft interiors melt in the mouth while a light crispness remains outside.

A favorite way to start the day, poğaça vendors can be spotted setting up carts at early hours in bustling markets. Be sure to sample different fillings throughout your Turkish travels to taste regional specialties. Their flavors and textures will have you coming back for more.

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Revani – Turkey’s Syrup-Soaked Semolina Cake

Originating from Kahramanmaraş in southern Turkey, revenge is a specialty semolina cake soaked in a sweet syrup that cools the soul on a hot summer day. Thin layers of semolina-based batter are baked before being doused in a simple water and sugar syrup. Sold by the generous slice for 5-8 TL, relevant vendors can be found in parks and busy areas during warmer months.

Their moist, tender layers soak up the sweet syrup ideally. Best enjoyed on its own or with a cup of tea to complement its flavors, revani is a unique specialty well worth seeking out. Be sure to sample this specialty in its hometown for the most authentic experience. Every moist, syrupy bite transports you to a more relaxed place.


Whether you’re seeking hearty snacks to fuel your Turkish adventures or sweet treats to satisfy your cravings, the country’s incredible street food scene has something for every palate. From familiar favorites like döner kebabs to more unique specialties, exploring Turkey’s culinary crossroads one bite at a time will create unforgettable memories. Bon appétit and safe travels!

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