City Profile: Istanbul Food Trip

One of the most exciting aspects of traveling is trying out the local cuisine. Istanbul, for foodtrippers, taste-test junkies, and just plain old food lovers, is a 24-hour gastronomic feast. A fusion of Eastern and Western delights, the delicacies of Istanbul will invade the senses. From traditional Turkish and Mediterranean fare to international dishes, there is something to be found for every kind of palate.

6193137266_10eb4c7f56_z                                                                Photograph by Maisy Mouse via Flickr Commons

The gala of food can be found anywhere and everywhere in Istanbul, such as the Divan Yolu and Akbiyik Caddesi in the Sultanahmet, but for a true ‘taste’ of variety, head to the Beyoglu. Walking along the Istiklal Cadesi, you’ll find an array of restaurants and eateries. Ranging from doner kebap places to international style taverns, there’s little chance of leaving this area on an empty stomach.


                                                                     Photograph by Damien Roue via Flickr Commons

Another prime area for food aficionados is the Kumkapi fish market. With rows and rows of fish restaurants, you’ll feel as though you’ve entered some strange “fish wonderland.” At nights, the area is ablaze with firelamps, fairylights, and glittery tambourines. It’s also a prime shopping location, with stalls and wandering sales people selling everything from rugs to rag dolls. Here you can get your fill of fillet kebaps, tamarind juice, arabic hummus, fish chowder soup, and ayva dolmasi (stuffed melon).

For those wanting to do a cook’s tour of the city, check out the local markets. If you still havent had enough of fish from the Kumkapi, check out the Eminou waterfront where you can literally, buy the ‘catch of the day’ from the fishermen who’ll even cook their catch for you for the all-inclusive price of 1 Euro. Another great area is the Egyptian market on wednesdays, where you’ll find a diverse selection of spices, dried fruit, sweets, and yes, fish.

Istanbul is a city for the senses and food is its most tangible delight. With specialty restaurants, historic markets, and mouth-watering street food, eating is not only a passion and a pleasure in Istanbul–it’s a way of life.

Explorer of the World Q & A Series

Want to be an explorer of the world? Find out how other intrepid travelers have found a way to make their vagabond dreams come true by checking out’s quick and on-the-spot Explorers of the World Q & A series.

First up is Akshay Wagh, a 29-year-old adventurer from Singapore who has been to 49 countries—and counting!


17646111_l_15373945c4462fe09ef4d6b440ab73a6 Shot in Tallinn, Estonia. Photograph courtesy of Akshay Wagh.

What do you love about travel?

“I love the thrill of seeing and experiencing the unknown—whether it’s venturing to a new place, eating food that’s new to me, taking pictures of the area, or talking to the locals!”


What has been your most memorable and rewarding travel experience?

“I love Eastern Europe and Scandinavia (Russia/Iceland/Norway) because of all the  nature and the cold weather. I travel there every December and stay for three weeks. I’ve been this for the past five years now.”


Shot in Russia. Photograph courtesy of Akshay Wagh.

What has been the biggest challenge about traveling?

None. In my opinion, the key to a good trip is keeping an open mind and maintaining an even temperament. Also, I have never travelled to any ‘dangerous’ places or war zones.


Skydiving! Photograph courtesy of Akshay Wagh.


How do you fund your travels?

 I save up for it.


What are your TOP 5 travel essentials?

1.       Books to read during the flight

2.       DSLR

3.       Moisturizer

4.       Jumper

5.       Wikitravel printouts of things-to-do


What’s next on your bucket list?

South America


Any advice for aspiring travelers?

Traveling is easier than you think; it’s not always the big deal that it is often made out to be.


Want to know more about Akshay’s adventures? Check out his travel page And if you’re curious about Singapore, he also has a fantastic Singapore-based travel page at
We’re scouring the globe in search of intrepid travelers to feature on the blog! If you love to travel, have a ton of stories, experiences, and advice to share just send us an email at with “Traveler Q&A” on the subject line.