Turkey is filled with amazing food, and during our recent visit one of the most enjoyable things we did was walk around trying new snacks from street vendors. They were quick, extremely in expensive, and casual. Here are three of the favorite things we tried; don’t leave Turkey without trying them:
Simit is sort of a cross between a pretzel and a bagel that’s covered in sesame seeds. When I first tried it, I actually didn’t like it. But for some reason with each bite it grew on me. In the end, I bought several of them during my recent trip, typically for 1 lira. The version above has Nutella in the middle — probably not the most authentic version, and also not my favorite, but still not bad at all.
Plenty of cities have chestnut vendors, but in Istanbul the nuts often retain at least part of their shells. I’m not sure what advantage that offers, but in any case they were delicious. They also seemed lighter and airier — vaguely popcorn-like — which wasn’t exactly the texture I’ve experienced elsewhere.
I saved the best for last. Lokma is a donut-like bread that (in the version I tried) is soaked in a honey syrup. These weren’t nearly as ubiquitous as simit during my time in Istanbul, but they were delicious enough that we returned several times to try them. We found them beside the boats selling fish sandwiches, near the ferry and harbor cruise docks. For 3 lira we got an entire cup full.
— Jim Dalrymple II