Where to eat cheap in Istanbul: tips
For those who prefer to spend their holidays near the shores of the Bosphorus, the food system offered by hotels is far from always practical. Agree, depending on a certain daily routine is not too much fun. Especially during the holidays.
All kinds of “all inclusive” or “full board”, common in the resort cities of Turkey, do not justify themselves in Istanbul. Because most of the time tourists spend outside the hotel conditions, walking along the picturesque streets of the city.
We buy and cook ourselves
The first and most budgetary way to save on food while traveling is to buy groceries and cook for yourself.
This method is suitable for those who travel with small children who need a homemade diet, people with special nutritional needs or preferences, those who simply do not accept catering places, and anyone who travels to distant lands for a long time.
After all, it is one thing to spend a week serenely away from household chores, and another to plunge into the native world for about a month.
So, where to buy groceries in Istanbul?
Firstly, a universal hypermarket is always located on the territory of popular shopping centers:
- Migros in the shopping center “Jevahir” (Shishli district);
- Istinye Bazar on the territory of the shopping center “Istinye Park” (Sariyer district);
- CarrefourSA in the Forum Istanbul shopping center (Bayrampasa district);
- CarrefourSA in the shopping center “Marmara Forum” (Bakirkoy district);
- CarrefourSA in Tepe Nautilus shopping center (Kadikoy district);
- Macrocenter in Kanyon shopping center (Sishli district);
- Macrocenter in the Akmerkez shopping center (Bashiktash district);
- Macrocenter in Akasya shopping center (Uksudar district), etc.
- In such places you can buy not only food, but also kitchen utensils and other accessories for home comfort.
In addition to large trading platforms, there are many local delis in all areas of Istanbul. BIM, KIM, DiaSA, Tansas, SOK, Kiler and, again, Migros – each of these markets has its own network of grocery stores located throughout the city.
Food prices in Istanbul are about the same, and if the assortment differs, then it is within the usual norms: the larger the store, the more diverse the goods on the shelves.
But if you are a real gourmet of home cooking, a supporter of proper nutrition and value not only your money, but also what you spend it on, I recommend going for groceries to one of the Istanbul markets. At least seasonal vegetables and fruits, fresh fish, herbs and spices locals prefer to buy there.
There are several advantages for such purchases: the opportunity to bargain well and decently bring down the price of the goods you like, buy and cook the freshest products and, at the same time, plunge into the original life of the metropolis.
I recommend buying the freshest seafood at one of the largest fish markets: Karaköy Balık Pazarı in the Karakoy area (near the Galata Bridge), Kumkapi Balik Pazari in the Fatih area (near the Kumkapi pier) or the Galatasaray Balik Pazari market, in the Beyoglu area.
The latter, by the way, specializes not only in seafood. There is a good assortment of seasonal vegetables and fruits, you can buy fresh cheese, meat, spices and Turkish sweets.
However, for farm products it is better to go to more appropriate places.
There is a better choice, and prices are more democratic:
– The network of Carsamba outlets is scattered in different parts of the city, but the best of these markets is located on the Asian side, in the Zeytinburnu area. Perhaps the location is not very convenient, but the prices are pleasantly pleasing. Products here are not only cheap, but also of high quality. Another nice bonus is that the market is open around the clock.
Exact address: Çırpıcı, 34021 Zeytinburnu/İstanbul.
– Wednesday Market Bazaar in the Fatih district. Here is a standard assortment of products needed in the house: cereals, seasonal vegetables and fruits, fish and meat, spices, nuts and dried fruits. Below market prices apply from Monday to Thursday.
Exact address: Yayla, Cin Deresi Cd. 15 A, 34377 Şişli/İstanbul.
– Sunday street market Tarlabaşı Pazarı, in the Beyoglu district. Take the time to shop here. Farm-fresh vegetables, fruits, cheeses, seafood, dried fruits and honey, olives and various pickles, as well as household goods are a short assortment of hawkers. Locals prefer to shop in such places. Here the prices are reasonable and the quality of the products is excellent.
Exact address: Kalyoncu Kullugu, Kurdela Sk. No:39, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul.