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10 Turkish Street Foods Every Visitor Must Try

Turkey’s culinary landscape is rich and diverse in flavor and influences and its street food is no exception. Kebab and doner might be the most well-known street food from Turkey, but there is plenty of other options that go beyond the globally-recognized grilled meat. From bite-sized pasteries to small meals, there is something for every appetite. Easy on the wallet and filling, the following dishes are a great example of the variety that Turkish street eats provide.

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Simit

The Turkish equivalent of an American bagel, this freshly baked, sesame-encrusted breakfast staple is commonly embraced as a morning meal-to-go. There are several different variations, including a hard outer crust and its softer counterpart. For a more substantial start to your day, ask for beyaz peynir (white cheese) as a hearty addition.

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Durum

A close cousin of the doner and kebab, this versatile wrap is delicious as a midday meal or a late night snack after an evening out. Chicken and beef are common options for the savory filling, along with some grilled peppers and tomatoes. To find nearby vendors, just follow the scent of spiced meat on an open grill. Be sure to specify the level of spiciness if you do not want to be in for an unpleasant surprise.

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Midye Dolma

These ubiquitous mussels served on a half-shell and a bed of spicy rice with a squeeze of lemon are not to be missed. Look for midye dolma stands that have a high turnover rate to avoid food-born illnesses that can result from perishable seafood like these mussels. Make sure to pace yourself, as the rice is surprisingly filling.

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Kokorec

A popular late-night eat, these grilled, spiced lamb intestines are served in sandwich form on either a half or quarter loaf of bread. This greasy delicacy is understandably not for everyone, but if you are feeling adventurous this is the dish is not to be missed.

Kumpir

Kumpir

This super-charged baked potato is a masterpiece all in its own right and with all the toppings offered, there are endless ways to construct it depending on personal preference. With choices like pickled beets, black and green olives, yogurt, you are bound to find something that will suit your taste buds.

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Tavuk pilav

This dish of chicken and rice may be simple in its ingredients, but does not disappoint in flavor. For a cheap and filling meal that many Turks embrace as their midday meal, make sure not pass up an opportunity to try this national favorite.

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Borek

This savory pastry filled with cheese, spinach and/or meat makes the perfect snack with a cup of steaming hot Turkish tea. There are many variations to this snack and it’s highly suggested that you try them all.

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Lahmacun

A dish often referred to as “Turkish pizza,” lahmacun is comprised out of a thin dough with minced meat, onions and red peppers on top. Make sure to squeeze some lemon on it and then wrap it up and eat it with your hands. Served with cold ayran (salty yogurt drink) it makes for a perfect in-between meals pick-me-up.

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Sutlu Misir

Often seen being sold from street carts in the warmer months, freshly boiled corn sprinkled with spices is a Turkish treat that is not to be missed. There are also grilled versions of corn on the cob that are equally as delicious.

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Balik ekmek

The translation of this sandwich is “fish bread,” which is a perfect, if literal translation of this tasty treat. Stuffed between a fresh baguette is a grilled fish, which provides a healthy, filling snack or light meal. Make sure to get a balik ekmek off of a docked boat, since they are known to have the freshest catch.

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