Archives August 2023

10 Amazing Fish and Seafood Restaurants in Istanbul, Turkiye (Turkey)

Turkish food is amazing. It’s one of my favorite cuisines in the world and there’s no better place to enjoy it than in Istanbul (which unsurprisingly is one of my favorite cities in the world).

From kebabs to dürüm to lahmacun and pide, there’s so much delicious food to be had in Istanbul. But being a uniquely located city with shores along the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara, and the Bosphorus Strait, one dish that will probably grace your plate often is fresh fish. The waters around Istanbul are home to over twenty different kinds of fish so you’ll always find several types of fresh fish in season no matter which time of the year you go.

As you can imagine, there’s no shortage of fish restaurants in Istanbul. However, being a hugely popular tourist destination, there’s no shortage of tourist traps either.

If you’d like to steer clear of the touristy restaurants and not pay an arm and a leg for Turkish sea bass, then here are ten excellent fish and seafood restaurants that you can visit in Istanbul.


To help you plan your trip to Istanbul, we’ve put together links to recommended hotels, tours, and other travel-related services here.


Recommended hotels in Beyoglu, one of the best areas to stay for first-time travelers to Istanbul.

  • Luxury: Point Hotel Taksim
  • Midrange: Bonne Sante Hotel
  • Budget: Bella Vista Hostel


  • Sightseeing Tour: Blue Mosque & Hagia Sophia Small-Group Tour
  • Food Tour: Guided Food Tour of Street Food and Markets
  • Cooking Class: Istanbul Cooking Classes


  • Turkiye eVisa
  • Travel Insurance (with COVID cover)
  • Istanbul Airport Transfer
  • Pocket Wifi Device


If you’re planning your first trip to Istanbul, then you may want to check out our comprehensive Istanbul travel guide. It’ll tell you everything you need to know – like where to stay, which attractions to visit, how to get around, etc. – to help you make the most of your time in Istanbul.

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In my experience, one of the best ways to spot a touristy restaurant is its location. If it’s located within a few blocks of a popular tourist attraction like Hagia Sophia, then more often than not, it’s a tourist trap. A quick glance at their menu will usually confirm this.

On our last trip in August 2023 for example, we paid around TRY 200 for levrek or Turkish sea bass. At touristy restaurants near Basilica Cistern, prices for sea bass often exceeded TRY 500. This is grilled sea bass we’re talking about. Aside from freshness and weight (which was usually consistent), how different can it be?

Another telltale sign is a restaurant’s menu offerings. If a restaurant in Istanbul offers everything under the sun – from fried calamari to dürüm to pottery kebab – then chances are, it’s a tourist trap.

This is why we often seek out restaurants that specialize in just a few dishes. There’s a better chance they know what they’re doing and you’ll get to try a better version of that dish.

I find that these methods work well not just in Istanbul, but in any city that sees large hordes of tourists.

This article zeroes in on the best fish and seafood restaurants but be sure to check out our full Istanbul restaurant guide as well. For healthy eaters, we also have a guide to restaurants that serve vegan and vegetarian food in Istanbul.


A quick note on prices – any price listed here is accurate as of August 2023. If you’ve been visiting Turkiye often in the last few years, then you’ll know how quickly prices have been increasing in this country. My wife and I joke that prices in Istanbul go up so often that it almost feels like a running taxi meter.

A few months can mean a difference of a few dozen Turkish lira so you may want to confirm prices before going to any of these restaurants.

1. Ulaş Balıkçılık (Best Seafood Restaurant in Cihangir)

We found this little gem of a seafood restaurant when we stayed in the Cihangir neighborhood of Beyoglu. They offer many different types of freshly caught fish like seabass, sea bream, salmon, anchovies, mackerel, blue fish, and more.

To start, we had this mevsim salata or seasonal salad. They offer a couple of other salads and fish soup as well.

You’ll find a wealth of delicious seafood dishes in Istanbul but one of our favorites is midye dolma. A popular street food in Turkiye, it refers to mussels stuffed with herbed rice, spices, and other ingredients like pine nuts and currants. Definitely a must-try in Istanbul!

I enjoy working my way through a whole grilled fish but sometimes, I prefer fish skewers. They’re easier to eat and when cooked properly, they can be even more satisfying.

What you’re looking at below is a pair of perfectly grilled sea bass skewers. Moist, flakey, and melt-in-your-mouth tender, these were insanely delicious and set us back just TRY 180.

Ulas Balikcilik serves delicious food in a more residential part of Beygolu. In my opinion, it’s definitely one of the best fish restaurants in Istanbul.

You can jump to the location map at the bottom of this article for the restaurant’s exact location.

Ulas Balikcilik

Address: Firuzağa, Türkgücü Cd. No:27/A, 34420 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye
Operating Hours: 11AM-12MN, daily
What They Offer: Fried/grilled fish dishes

2. Şen Balıkçılık

Like Istanbul Old City, the area around Istiklal Cadessi is one of the city’s most popular tourist areas, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find hidden gems amongst its many tourist traps. Sen Balikcilik, a fish restaurant just off the main strip, is one of those gems.

Sen Balickilik offers different types of seasonal fish and seafood dishes but they also have a good number of meat dishes, hot and cold starters, fish soup, and salads on their menu. Pictured below is the coban salata or shepherd’s salad. You can think of it as the Turkish version of Moroccan salad.

Istanbul is home to an ocean of fresh fish but one of my favorites is grilled sea bass. Known locally as levrek, I enjoy it for a few reasons. One, it’s delicious. Two, it’s good for your health. Three, it typically isn’t priced per kilo (fixed price). And four, it’s one of the cheaper fishes you can find in Istanbul, with a whole grilled fish going for around TRY 200 at a non-touristy restaurant.

This beautiful specimen at Sen Balikcilik set me back just TRY 180.

You’ll find lots of delicious street food in Istanbul but my personal favorite is balik dürüm or fish wrapped in lavash bread with vegetables and spices. Like balik ekmek (fish sandwich), it’s made with one whole fillet of grilled mackerel so it’s one of the healthier street foods you can find as well.

I’m not a fan of balik ekmek because I find it too bready but I absolutely love balik dürüm. It’s a fun and easy dish to eat so I got this one to go.

I forgot to take a picture of the restaurant’s exterior (sorry about that!) but you can jump to our location map to see where it is. It’s literally a minute away from Istiklal Caddesi so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it.

Sen Balikcilik

Address: Hüseyinağa, Sahne Sk. No:5, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye
Operating Hours: 8AM-2AM, daily
What They Offer: Seasonal fish dishes, meat dishes, hot and cold starters

3. Askoroz Balıkçı

Like Sen Balikcilik, Askoroz Balikci is a hidden gem not too far from Istiklal Caddesi. They don’t have as many offerings as Sen Balikcilik but the usual favorites like levrek, blue fish, sea bream, and mackerel are on their menu.

Pictured below is a small plate of salad which you can get in regular or small sizes.

What you’re looking at below is a plate of grilled sea bream which I devoured with mucho gusto.

Like levrek, sea bream is one of the cheaper fishes you can find in Istanbul. At the time, this whole fish cost me just TRY 195.

Askoroz Balikci is located less than a 5-minute walk from Istiklal Caddesi.

Askoroz Balikci

Address: Şehit Muhtar, Süslü Saksı Sk. No:15, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye
Operating Hours: 11AM-12MN, daily
What They Offer: Fish dishes, Turkish desserts

4. Sokak Lezzeti Tarihi Balık Dürümcü Mehmet Usta

This mouthful of a restaurant is one of the more famous fish restaurants in Karakoy. Unlike the previous restaurants on this list, they offer just one thing on their menu – balik dürüm made with one or two fillets of mackerel.

I went with two fillets and this was arguably the best fish wrap I had in Istanbul.

In August 2023, the regular fish wrap went for TRY 100 while the double wrap cost TRY 190. This was seriously delicious and substantial enough for a full meal.

Sokak Lezzeti Tarihi Balık Dürümcü Mehmet Usta is a popular restaurant but balik dürüm is easy to eat so you can get one to go if the place is full.

Sokak Lezzeti Tarihi Balık Durumcu Mehmet Usta

Address: 75 Derb Rahba Lakdima, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
What They Offer: Fish wrap

5. Kiyi Balik

Kiyi Balik is another balik dürüm shop in Karakoy, this time just a short walk from the ferry port. They make fish wraps that are slightly different from the others I’ve tried thus far in Istanbul. Can you tell what that difference is from looking at this picture?

Unlike other fish wraps I’ve had in Istanbul, Kiyi Balik encrusts their lavash with a Turkish spice blend. It does add a good amount of flavor to the wrap though some people may find it a tad on the salty side.

Kiyi Balik is a humble stall located about a 5-minute walk from Karakoy port.

Kiyi Balik

Address: Azapkapı, 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye
Operating Hours: 10AM-5AM, daily
What They Offer: Fish wraps

6. Balıkçı Lokantası (Best Fresh Fish in Kadikoy)

On our last trip to Istanbul, we split a month between Beyoglu and Kadikoy. Ulas Balikcilik (#1) was one of the best seafood restaurants we went to in Beyoglu but in Kadikoy, it was definitely Balikci Lokantasi. This local restaurant on the Asian side of Istanbul serves some of the freshest fish at the best prices in Kadikoy.

To start, they served me a basket of bread and this plate of cold appetizers with ezme (Turkish pepper salad) and baba ghanoush (roasted mashed eggplant).

Can you tell what type of fish this is by now? It’s my favorite Turkish levrek, or grilled marinated sea bass. I rarely met levrek I didn’t like in Istanbul and this was one of the best.

It’s important to point out that Balikci Lokantasi doesn’t have a printed menu. Instead, they’ll direct you to the vitrine to show you what fresh food is available on that day.

At first, I was nervous without having a menu with fixed prices to look at, but I took the plunge anyway. I’m happy I did because that beautiful grilled sea bass with a small side salad and a big bottle of water came out to just TRY 200. Definitely one of the best fish meals I had in Istanbul!

When it comes to restaurants, I prefer the Asian side because you’ll find fewer touristy restaurants here. Frequented mostly by locals, Balikci Lokantasi is the perfect example of that.

Balıkçı Lokantası

Address: Rasimpaşa, Teyyareci Sami Sk. No:20 D:B, 34716 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Türkiye
Operating Hours: 12NN-9PM, daily
What They Offer: Fish and seafood dishes

7. Balat Balik Evi (Best Fish Restaurant in Balat)

The Balat neighborhood in Fatih is a charming area that’s become one of the most visited in Istanbul. It’s known for its cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and many vintage shops and cafes.

Receiving so many visitors daily, many of the restaurants in Balat look like they cater mostly to tourists but Balat Balik Evi is an exception. This excellent fish restaurant serves seafood favorites like fried calamari, grilled seabass, fried mussels, and lightly fried anchovies at reasonable prices.

For starters, we shared this big bowl of coban salatasi or shepherd’s salad.

When in Istanbul, it’s never a bad idea to go for grilled seabass. This beautiful specimen was priced at TRY 250 at Balat Balik Evi.

If fish sandwiches are your thing, then you may want to go for balik ekmek or balik dürüm instead. This fish wrap from Balat Balik Evi rivals Sokak Lezzeti (#4) as my favorite balik dürüm shop in Istanbul.

A day in Balat is a must for any first-time visitor to Istanbul. If you’re in the mood for fish, then Balat Balik Evi is the place to go in this neighborhood.

Balat Balik Evi

Address: Balat, Vodina Cd. No: 156, 34087 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye
Operating Hours: 10AM-1AM, daily
What They Offer: Fish and seafood dishes

8. Nevizade Kokoreç

These last three entries aren’t fish restaurants but they’re among our favorite places to have midye dolmas in Istanbul. As described, midye dolmas refer to mussels stuffed with herbed rice, pine nuts, currants, and spices.

You’ll find many of these “kokorec” restaurants in Istanbul. Kokorec refers to an interesting dish of grilled lamb or goat intestines wrapped around seasoned offal. Any restaurant that serves kokorec will almost always serve midye dolmas as well.

You can get midye dolmas per piece. At the time of our visit, stuffed mussels cost TRY 5 each at Nevizade Kokorec, which is a fair price.

Nevizade Kokorec is one of many stalls offering midye dolmas in an area just off Istiklal Cadessi. We chose it based on its positive Google reviews. We weren’t disappointed.

Nevizade Kokorec

Address: Hüseyinağa, Mah Balık Pazarı, Sahne Sk. No:12/B, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye
Operating Hours: 12NN-2AM, daily
What They Offer: Midye dolmas, kokorec

9. Kadikoy Midyecisi

Kadikoy Midyecisi is another poular kokorec/midye dolmas restaurant in Istanbul, this time on the Asian side. They’re pricier than Nevizade Kokorec – offering midye dolmas at TRY 7.50 per piece – but still worth it in our opinion.

You can get midye dolmas per piece at Kadikoy Midyecisi but they also offer them in boxes of 30, 60, or 100 as well.

Kadikoy Midyecesi

Address: Caferağa, Sarraf Ali Sk. 22/b, 34710 Kadıköy/İstanbul, Türkiye
Operating Hours: 11AM-4AM, daily
What They Offer: Midye dolmas, kokorec

10. Midyecisi Ahmet

I have mixed feelings about this place. Google “best midye dolmas in istanbul” and Midyeci Ahmet will frequently come up.

While their stuffed mussels are delicious, I’m not sure they’re worth their exorbitant price tag – TRY 10.50 per mussel. I know. Pricey right? That’s over double what most midye restaurants and stalls charge in Istanbul.

But all those locals singing them praises know something we don’t so I suggest trying them for yourself and making your own judgements. It’s a good thing you can buy them per piece.

The self-proclaimed “Lord of Mussels” is a local favorite with many branches throughout Istanbul. This particular branch is located near the Karakoy port.

Midyecisi Ahmet

Address: Multiple branches
Operating Hours: Varies per branch
What They Offer: Midye dolmas, kokorec


To help you navigate to these fish restaurants in Istanbul, I’ve pinned them all on the map below. Click on the link for a live version of the map.


As described at the top of this article, there are many delicious dishes to be had in Istanbul but seafood, especially fish, is something you need to enjoy at least once. The best restaurants always serve them fresh which is what we tried to find and compile in this list.

Being such a popular tourist destination, this city can be a landmine of tourist traps so I hope this guide to some of the best fish restaurants in Istanbul leads you to many memorable seafood meals.

Thanks for reading and have an amazing time eating fish and seafood in Istanbul!


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Hungarian Food: 25 Traditional Dishes to Look For in Budapest

It didn’t take long for Budapest to win us over. Within a day of exploring the Hungarian capital, we were smitten with its classical architecture and edgy vibe. The city is home to an exciting restaurant scene that offers a good mix of traditional Hungarian cuisine and modern takes on global comfort food.

Like any fast-food-starved consumer, Budapest’s myriad pizza and burger restaurants are what excited us the most but traditional Hungarian dishes like goulash, chicken paprikash, and stuffed cabbage are what truly warmed our hearts (and our bellies).

If you’re visiting Budapest or any other city in Hungary, then be sure to look for these 25 traditional Hungarian dishes. Like us, they made just warm your heart, and win you over.


If you’re visiting Hungary and want to learn more about Hungarian cuisine, then you may be interested in joining a food tour.


  • Food Tours: Hungarian Food/Drinking Tours

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Traditional Hungarian food has been described as a blend of Ottoman, Central Asian, and European (eastern, central, and southern) cuisines. It’s considered one of the spiciest cuisines in Europe, due largely to the heavy use of paprika in many Hungarian dishes.

Hungarian cuisine is traditionally a meat-heavy cuisine that incorporates a variety of seasonal vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and bread. Chicken, beef, and pork are the most commonly consumed proteins while lamb, turkey, duck, fish, and game meats are more often reserved for special occasions.

Aside from Hungarian paprika – which is known to be spicier than other types of paprika – other commonly used herbs and spices in Hungarian cuisine include garlic, caraway seeds, marjoram, dill seeds, and celery seeds.

Many Hungarian dishes are typically served with a side dish like dumplings, while bread is a vital staple food that’s eaten at all meals.


This article on traditional Hungarian food has been organized by category to make it easier to digest. Click on a link to jump to any section of the guide.

  1. Soup
  2. Starters / Sides / Snacks
  3. Mains
  4. Desserts


1. Főzelék

Fozelek is a type of thick vegetable stew or soup. It’s a simple dish that can be made with a variety of different ingredients like peas, spinach, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, lentils, squash, or sorrel. The version of fozelek pictured below is called zordborsofozelek, or green pea stew.

Fozelek is commonly eaten as a main course for lunch, either on its own or topped with additional ingredients like fried eggs, sausage, or meatballs.

Photo by Fanfo

Here’s a version called spenotfozelek, or spinach stew.

Photo by Marian Weyo

2. Halászlé

Halaszle refers to a traditional Hungarian fisherman’s soup. It’s typically made from freshwater fish like carp, pike, or bass cooked in a rich and spicy broth flavored with onions, tomatoes, paprika, sweet paprika, and other ingredients. Hungarian paprika, an often-used ingredient in Hungarian food, is what gives the soup its distinctive red color.

Originally from the Szeged region of Hungary, halaszle was traditionally prepared over open fires along the riverbanks. It’s a hearty and warming soup that becomes even more popular in winter, especially at festivals and family gatherings.

Photo by Morana Photo

3. Orjaleves

If you like rich meaty soups, then you may want to try orjaleves. It refers to a slow-cooked Hungarian pork soup made with baby back ribs. Cooked with vegetables and pasta, the ribs are cooked for about two hours until they become fall-off-the-bone tender.

Claus, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons / Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom

4. Jókai Bableves

Jokai bableves is a hearty Hungarian soup made with dried beans – like kidney, pinto, or navy beans – cooked with smoked pork, vegetables, egg noodles, Hungarian paprika, and other spices. It’s often topped with sour cream and commonly eaten during the winter months because of its warming properties.

Interestingly, jókai bean soup gets its name from a famous Hungarian writer named Mór Jókai. He was said to be a regular at a Balatonfüred restaurant where he almost always ordered this soup.

Photo by Fanfo

5. Meggyleves

If you’re accustomed to eating hot savory soups, then your first spoonful of meggyleves may come as a surprise to you. It refers to a Hungarian sour cherry soup made with whole fresh sour cherries, sour cream, sugar, and other ingredients like cloves and cinnamon.

A popular summer delicacy, Hungarian sour cherry soup is traditionally served over dinner, either as an appetizer or for dessert.

Photo by Mike Laptev


6. Körözött

Some people like sampling local beers when they travel. Others go for sausages. If you like trying different types of unfamiliar cheese, then you may want to try korozott. It refers to a spicy cheese spread popular in Hungary and in other countries where it goes by different names like smirkas (Slovakia), liptauer (Austria), liptaver (Slovenia), and liptao (Albania).

Korozott is made with a spreadable white cheese like cottage cheese or quark, along with paprika, onions, butter, caraway seeds, and other spices. It’s typically chilled and served as a spreadable appetizer with bread, crackers, or fresh vegetables.

Photo by pingpongcat

7. Lecsó

Lecso is basically a type of Hungarian vegetable stew or ratatouille. It’s made from Hungarian wax peppers (or bell peppers, banana peppers) and tomatoes sauteed in lard or bacon fat with onions, paprika, and other seasonings.

Lecso is especially popular in the summertime or in early autumn, when the best peppers and tomatoes are in season. It can be enjoyed on its own or served as a side dish, usually with bread.

Photo by zi3000

8. Rántott Sajt

Cheese is irresistible on its own, but even more so when it’s breaded and fried. You’ll find some form of fried cheese dish in many countries but in Hungary, the dish to look for is rantott sajt.

Meaning “fried cheese” in Hungarian, rantott sajt is made with a semi-hard or hard cheese – most commonly Trappista cheese – that’s coated in a breading mixture before being deep-fried to a golden brown. It usually comes in rectangular or triangular shapes and served with tartare sauce and a side of french fries or rice.

Photo by Jim_Filim

9. Libamaj

When thinking of the world’s most decadent food products, many people will probably say the same things – caviar, lobster, Kobe beef, foie gras, etc.

A popular but controversial ingredient, foie gras in Hungary is known as libamaj. I didn’t realize this until our visit but Hungary is known to be the third-largest producer of foie gras in the world, behind France and Bulgaria.

In Hungary, libamaj is traditionally fried in goose fat. It can also be roasted or smoked or made into a paté or mousse. Pictured below are some less expensive tins of libamaj commonly sold at Budapest’s markets.

10. Lángos

If you were to have just one street food dish in Budapest, then it should probably be langos (or maybe chimney cake). It refers to a type of Hungarian deep-fried flat bread that’s commonly sold at markets, street food stalls, and festivals.

Langos can be eaten on its own, brushed simply with garlic, or it can be topped with a variety of ingredients like grated cheese, korozott, sour cream, sausage, ham, or mushroom. It can even be topped with sweet ingredients like Nutella, jam, or powdered sugar.

Photo by [email protected]

Here’s a pair of less conventional langos dishes we tried at restaurants in Budapest. The one in the foreground was topped with arugula and sheep cheese while the one behind it is a langos burger.

11. Nokedli

You probably won’t order this next dish directly but you’ll have it often anyway in Hungary. A staple in Hungarian cuisine, nokedli refers to a type of soft dumpling or egg noodle dish similar to German spaetzle.

To prepare, a sticky batter made with flour, eggs, and water is spooned or pressed through a noodle grater into boiling water. The dumplings are boiled briefly before floating to the surface when cooked.

Nokedli can be enjoyed on their own with butter or served as a side dish, similar to rice or pasta. They’re commonly served with chicken paprikash or added to soups and stews like Hungarian goulash.

Photo by Ildi Papp


12. Túrós Csusza

Turos csusza refers to a rustic cottage cheese pasta dish made with fried szalonna as its key ingredient. Similar to Italian lardo or Slavic salo, szalonna is a type of Hungarian smoked bacon or pork fatback commonly used in Hungarian cuisine.

Turos csusza is made with flat and wide egg noodles (csusza) mixed with cottage cheese (turo), szalonna, and sour cream. It’s a beloved comfort food in Hungary that’s often enjoyed as a main course at family gatherings.

Photo by Angelika Heine

13. Töltött Kaposzta (Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

Stuffed cabbage rolls are a common dish in many European countries like Croatia, Poland, Romania, Armenia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In Hungary, it’s called toltott kaposzta. A variety of ingredients like ground beef, smoked pork, rice, onions, and spices are rolled in fresh cabbage leaves before being cooked in a tomato-based sauce.

If you like stuffed peppers (dolma), then you’re probably going to enjoy toltott kaposzta. It’s a comforting dish that’s commonly served on a bed of sauerkraut with a generous dollop of sour cream.

Photo by Morana Photo

14. Paprikás Csirke (Chicken Paprikash)

Like gulyas, paprikas csirke or chicken paprikash is one of the most well-known dishes in Hungary. It refers to a rustic chicken stew made with pieces of bone-in chicken – like thigh or drumsticks – cooked in a rich paprika-flavored sauce.

Chicken paprikas was one of the dishes I was most excited to try in Hungary. It’s a soulful comforting dish that’s commonly served with nokedli (or rice) and dollop of sour cream.

15. Pacal Pörkölt

If you’re a fan of tripe like I am, then you’ll definitely want to try this Hungarian tripe stew called pacal porkolt. It’s a traditional Hungarian dish made with strips of tripe stewed in a rich sauce flavored with onions, garlic, paprika, and other spices.

Be sure to eat this hearty dish with some freshly baked crusty bread for the most satisfying experience. Just looking at this picture is making me hungary! (sorry)

Photo by Pozhar_S

16. Hortobagyi Palacsinta

Hortobagyi palascinta refers to savory Hungarian crepes filled with a stew-like preparation of ground meat, usually veal or beef.

To prepare, the meat is stewed with onions, tomatoes, peppers, paprika, and garlic before being drained of sauce and stuffed into thin crepes (palascinta). The sauce is then generously poured over the filled crepes and finished off with a dollop of sour cream.

I, Themightyquill, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons / Processed in Photoshop and Lightroom

17. Gulyás (Goulash)

There are many tasty meat dishes in Hungary but none are more well-known than gulyas or goulash, a hearty meat stew cooked with vegetables and seasoned with paprika. It’s widely considered to be a Hungarian national dish, something many people think of when they think of Hungary.

The origins of this emblematic Hungarian dish can be traced all the way back to the 10th century. It was consumed by shepherds who’d dry the cooked meat under the sun and store it in bags made from sheep’s stomachs. Interestingly, these early versions of gulyas weren’t made with paprika since the spice wasn’t introduced to Europe until the 16th century.

Gulyas stems from the Hungarian word gulya, meaning “herd of cattle”. Gulyas literally means “herdsman” or “cowboy” in Hungarian, but it’s also used to refer to this hearty meat stew.


18. Somlói Galuska

Somloi galuska is a type of Hungarian trifle made with layers of sponge cake interspersed with pastry cream, ground walnuts, and raisins. It’s traditionally served by “scooping” three balls of the trifle cake onto a plate or bowl, and then topping it with a generous amount of whipped cream and dark chocolate sauce.

Curiously, the word galuska literally means “dumpling”, perhaps in reference to the way this popular Hungarian cake is traditionally served.

Photo by Krisztian Tefner

19. Kürtöskalács

I usually prefer savory dishes over sweets but Hungarian food may be an exception, and it’s all because of this incredibly delicious spit cake known as kurtoskalacs.

Kurtoskalacs literally means “chimney cake” and refers to these chimney-shaped cakes made with yeasted dough. The dough is coated in sugar before being roasted over charcoal around a cylindrical rod and basted with melted butter.

Thanks to its sugary coating, Hungarian chimney cake is known for having a crisp, caramelized exterior and a soft, buttery interior. When it’s done baking, it can be topped with additional ingredients like ground walnuts or cinnamon powder.

Kurtoskalacs is delicious on its own but it’s even better when stuffed with a serving of vanilla ice cream. My god was this good!

20. Dobos Torte

Dobos torte is another Hungarian dessert that you need to try in Budapest. It refers to a sponge cake layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with a crackingly crisp layer of caramel glaze.

Dobos torte is named after its inventor – Hungarian confectioner Jozesf Dobos. He devised the recipe sometime in the late 1800s (in an era before refrigeration) when he wanted to create a cake that would keep longer than other pastries.

Dobos coated the sides of his cake with ground hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, or chestnuts – which together with the caramel glaze on top – succeeded in keeping it from drying out, thereby preserving its shelf life.

21. Mádartej

As a kid, I used to look up at the sky and think: “Hmmm, I wonder what that cloud tastes like?” These fluffy egg white clouds floating on a creamy vanilla custard remind me of those innocent times.

Called madartej in Hungary, this dreamy dessert of French origin (oeufs a la neige) consists of meringue floating in a smooth and silky pool of creme anglaise. Light and easy to prepare, it can be made with just five ingredients – eggs, milk, cornstarch, vanilla, and sugar.

Photo by Ildi Papp

22. Mákos Guba

If you like bread pudding and visit Hungary over the Christmas season, then you should keep your eye out for makos guba. It refers to a festive Hungarian dessert made with layers of sweetened stale bread and ground poppy seeds soaked in vanilla-flavored milk.

A favorite holiday dessert, makos guba is commonly served for dessert after Christmas Eve lunch in Hungary.

Photo by acceptphoto

23. Túrógombóc

I’m drawn to spherical desserts like profiteroles, cake balls, boba, and Chinese jiandui. The Asian-ness in me finds their auspiciously round and bite-sized shapes to be especially appealing.

In Hungary, one ball-shaped dessert you can try is turogomboc. These Hungarian cottage cheese dumplings are made from a dough of turo (cottage cheese), eggs, and semolina. The dough is shaped into bite-sized balls before being boiled and then rolled in sweetened toasted breadcrumbs.

Crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, these tasty cottage cheese dumplings are sprinkled with powdered sugar before serving. They can also be enjoyed with a side of fruit jam or sour cream.

Photo by Krisztian Tefner

24. Krémes

We ate many delicious things in Budapest but this creamy pastry may have taken the cake (pun intended).

Meaning “cream cake” in Hungarian, kremes torta refers to this heavenly dessert made with a generous amount of pastry cream sandwiched between two layers of puff pastry. It’s dusted with powdered sugar before serving and best enjoyed with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Delicious!

Kremes is a popular dessert that goes by different names throughout Europe like cremeschnitte (Germany), kremna rezina (Slovenia), napoleonka (Poland), and kremsnita (Croatia).

25. Szilvas Gomboc

Last on this list of must-try Hungarian food is szilvas gomboc. Like turogomboc, it’s another delicious dumpling dessert, but this time, it’s stuffed with sweet plums.

To prepare, a potato and flour dough is stuffed with plums and shaped into rounds before being boiled in water. When cooked, the dumplings float to the surface. They’re then rolled in toasted or fried breadcrumbs before being served with a dusting of powdered sugar.

These tasty Hungarian plum dumplings are especially popular in the summer when plums are in season.

Photo by pfongabe33


There are many fun things to do in Budapest but trying as much Hungarian food as you can should be on your list of priorities. Typical Hungarian dishes like goulash, chicken paprikash, and langos are no-brainers but you should definitely seek out more unconventional dishes like meggyleves sweet soup and pacal porklot as well.

In any case, I hope this list of Hungarian food favorites gets you even more excited to visit Budapest or any other city in Hungary. Thanks for reading and happy traveleating!


This Hungarian food guide contains affiliate links, meaning we’ll earn a small commission if you make a booking at no additional cost to you. As always, we only recommend products and services that we use ourselves and firmly believe in. We really appreciate your support as this helps us make more of these free food and travel guides. Thank you!

Cover photo by Morana Photo. Stock images via Shutterstock.

Turkish Snacks: Get a Box of the Tastiest Treats From Turkish Munchies!

Who doesn’t enjoy a good snack?

We certainly do, which is why sampling a new destination’s local snacks is one of our low-key favorite things to do when we travel. Visiting the neighborhood convenience store or supermarket, to check out what goodies they have for us to try (along with the local beer), never fails to excite us.

In my opinion, Turkish food is one of the greatest cuisines in the world so it’s only reasonable to assume that Turkish snacks would be among our favorites as well. Just a quarter into our snack box from Turkish Munchies and it’s already shaping up to be that way!

Turkiye is famous for its kebabs and mezes but if you have a curiosity for Turkish snacks, then a snack box from Turkish Munchies may be for you.

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This Turkish Munchies review will cover the following points. Click on a link to jump to any section of the review.

  1. What is Turkish Munchies?
  2. How to get Turkish Munchies boxes?
  3. What’s inside a Turkish Munchies box?
  4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  5. Final Thoughts on the Turkish Munchies box


Turkish Munchies is a snack box company that sends Turkish snacks once a month to its subscribers. No matter where you are in the world, you’ll get a carefully curated box filled with classic, new, and limited-edition Turkish treats.

Turkish Munchies is similar to Japanese subscription box companies like Tokyo Treat and Sakuraco, but what sets them apart is that they’ve devised their own snacking card game – called Yummy Battle Game – which you can get every month together with your box of treats.

More on Turkish Munchies’ subscription box options and their Yummy Battle Game in the next section.


There are basically three ways you can get your hands (and mouths) on a Turkish Munchies snack box. Please note that listed pricing plans are accurate as of August 2023.

1. Yummy Battle Game Subscription Boxes

If you’d like to have even more fun while raiding your Turkish snack box, then this subscription plan with the Yummy Battle Game is for you. Your first box will come with an initial deck of cards while each subsequent box will come with new additional cards to supplement the deck.

  • 1-game plan – USD 42.95 per box
  • 3-game plan – USD 38.95 per box
  • 6-game plan – USD 36.95 per box
  • 12-game plan – USD 34.95 per box

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Yummy Battle Game and to subscribe.

2. Snacks-Only Subscription Boxes

If you’re interested only in snacks, then this subscription plan is for you. Boxes come in regular sizes with 10 snacks, or x-large sizes with 20 snacks.

  • 1 month – USD 19.95 (regular) / USD 34.95 (x-large)
  • 3 months – USD 53.85 (regular) / USD 94.35 (x-large)
  • 6 months – USD 95.76 (regular) / USD 167.76 (x-large)
  • 12 months – USD 167.52 (regular) / USD 293.52 (x-large)

CLICK HERE to subscribe.

3. Ala Carte Boxes

If you’re unsure about getting a monthly subscription but would like to get one snack box, just to try it out, then you can order one ala carte. At the time of this writing, Turkish Munchies offers 12 different snack boxes curated around varying themes.

CLICK HERE to view the boxes and to order.

Ready to order? Get your Turkish Munchies snack box today!


Depending on which subscription plan or ala carte box you order, expect to receive a fun illustrated box filled to the brim with Turkish snacks. We got the Celebration Edition which included 20 twenty different tea biscuits, chocolates, chips, caramel treats, and Turkish candy.


Isn’t the box cute? Each ala carte box features a unique design that’s every bit as irresistible as the tasty goodies instead.

To be honest, I thought the box was a little small at first but looks can be deceiving. This box was neatly organized and very well-packed. I was surprised by how many snacks they were able to fit in here!

Kat Kat Tat

If you like croissants, then this Kat Kat Tat may be the first thing you reach for in this snack box. That’s what we did!

Kat Kat Tat is a croissant-like Turkish pastry flavored with different ingredients like chocolate, strawberry, hazelnuts, and sesame seeds. In Turkish, kat kat tat translates to something like “layers of flavor” – an appropriate name for a tasty snack that’s been enjoyed in Turkiye for decades!

Poti Cakes

If cakes are your thing, then you’ll definitely want to try these Poti Cakes. It’s a puffy cakey snack made in delicious carrot, coconut, fruit, and chocolate flavors.

Badem Crackers

People who grew up in 1990s Turkey are no strangers to these iconic crackers. A nostalgic treat, snacking on these tasty almond-shaped biscuits (badem means “almond” in Turkish) will surely bring back your fondest memories of childhood.


If you enjoy a lot of crunch in your snacks, then these Krispi stick-shaped treats are just for you. Crispy-liciously fun and addictive, they come in chili, cheese, and herb (coated in ten different herbs) flavors.

Krispi Tirtikli

Krispi Tirtikli is an equally delicious variation of our favorite Krispi sticks. They’re made in round flat shapes with a slightly ridged texture for even more texture with every bite.


I love wafer biscuits so this tantalizing pack of Hosbes was one of the first treats that caught my eye. Made by Eti, one of the biggest and most respected snack makers in Turkiye, these delicious Eti biscuits are made in a variety of flavors like chocolate cream, hazelnut cream, banana cream, and my personal favorite – strawberry cream.

Fittingly, hosbes in Turkish means “to have a warm and friendly talk with loved ones”. An ideal name for this tasty treat that’s best enjoyed with a cup of coffee or milk with your favorite people.


These yummy pizza-flavored Eti biscuits are another fan favorite. After all, who doesn’t like pizza?

As it turns out, Turkish people didn’t when pizza was first introduced to the market in the early 1990s. The general public didn’t like Italian pizza – perhaps because of similar Turkish delicacies like lahmacun and pide? – so almost all pizzerias in Turkey closed within a few years.

It wasn’t until the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became a hit did pizza see a revival in Turkey. Kids started pestering their mothers for pizza, and the rest is history! Cowabunga dude!


Bidolu is another tasty wafer treat brought to you by the Eti company. Meaning “filled to the fullest” in Turkish, it’s a crispy and creamy parcel of deliciousness flavored with mouthwatering ingredients like cacao cream, hazelnut cream, peanuts, and pistachios.

Browni Cake

Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

This popular brownie cake with the delectably moist texture and intensely chocolate-y flavor is a certified hit in Turkiye, so much so that Turkish people like to use it as a birthday cake! You can try it plain or infused with a scrumptious sour cherry sauce. Now if they only topped it with chocolate sprinkles…

Ozmo Tube

Chocolate is delicious, but liquid chocolate is even better. Squeeze Ozmo cream onto some bread or biscuits for an instant chocolate rush – anytime, anywhere.

Biscolota Mood

Think of Biscolota Mood as Turkish fortune cookies, but filled with chocolate. Each of these fun little cookies has a small picture on it with a corresponding description/fortune on the back of the box. They’re in Turkish but you can send us a picture on Instagram to ask what they mean!


If you love olives like we do, then you’re going to enjoy these Greta crackers. They’re olive-flavored crackers enhanced with the unique flavors of Aegean seeds and herbs.


Like Badem Crackers, Harby is one of the most beloved and iconic Turkish snacks. It’s a light chocolate treat that’s equally as delicious on its own or dipped in a cup of Turkish tea.

Eksi Yuz

If I tell you what this candy’s name means in Turkish, then it’ll spoil the surprise. Just pop it in your mouth and get ready to pucker up!


Turkish pop rocks. Need I say more?

Bebeto Jelly Gum

If you’re a gummy fiend like I am, then you’re definitely going to enjoy this pack of Bebeto Jelly Gum shaped like pizza and cola.

Turkish Delight

One of the best souvenir snack foods you can buy in Turkiye is lokum or Turkish delight. It’s an irresistible selection of gelatinous confections made with a wide variety of ingredients like rosewater, mastic, nuts, orange jelly, dried apricots, and powdered sugar.

A Turkish favorite since the late 1700s, it’s something people need to try when they visit Istanbul, especially with Turkish coffee. Luckily for you, Turkish Munchies will deliver some straight to your home!

Nutzz Party

I love snacking on seeds and nuts when watching big sporting matches on tv. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are my personal favorites but boiled peanuts are a close second. If you enjoy binging on nuts like I do, then this packet of Nutzz Party is definitely for you.

It’s a crunchilicious bag of peanuts, unpopped corn kernels, and other crispy treats flavored with cheddar and onion, honey and mustard, or hot pepper. Now if they can only add sunflower seeds to the mix…


Chewy candies make me happy so this pack of Tofita chews had me smiling from ear to ear. They come in delectable fruit flavors like cherry, strawberry, orange, and blackberry.

Caramel Waffle

Stroop or caramel waffles are to die for. They’re a beloved Dutch treat but thanks to Turkish Munchies, you can have your own Turkish version delivered right to your doorstep! Be sure to enjoy it with a cup of hot coffee or tea for maximum yumminess.

Mystery Snack

If the snack gods are smiling down upon you, then your box of Turkish Munchies may include a mystery treat. I guess it was our lucky day!

We opened up our box and found one more biscuit to tantalize our taste buds with. This Probis cookie sandwich will go great with milk, coffee, or a warm cup of tea. Teşekkür ederim!


Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Turkish Munchies snack box. Check out their website’s FAQs page for more information.

How much is shipping?

Free shipping applies to US/Canada orders exceeding USD 50 and for Yummy Battle Game subscriptions. Otherwise, shipping rates will be calculated based on your shipping address upon checkout.

Can I cancel my subscription at any time?

Yes, you can cancel your subscription at any time and get a refund for any unclaimed boxes (minus discounts). You can refer to their refund policy for more information.

Can I skip a box?

Yes, you can. If for any reason you’d prefer not to receive a box on any particular month, then you can skip it via your Turkish Munchies admin panel. You can do this as often as you like.

Is it worth getting the Yummy Battle Game?

I haven’t played it so I can’t answer that question. But I am a fan of games and collectibles and the Yummy Battle Game is definitely something I’d get. It’s all up to you.


If you’re a fan of those Japanese or Korean snack boxes, then you may want to give Turkish Munchies a try as well. As previously described, we haven’t gone through the entire box yet but we’ve enjoyed everything we’ve eaten so far.

Food takes you places and this box of Turkish Munchies will give you a small but tasty glimpse into Turkish snacking culture. Thanks for reading and happy snacking!

Ready to order? Get your Turkish Munchies snack box today! 


Turkish Munchies sent us the Celebration Edition box in exchange for an honest review. As always, all thoughts, words, and opinions expressed in this article are mine and mine alone.

Some of the links in this Turkish Munchies review are affiliate links, meaning we’ll make a small commission if you purchase a box or make a snack subscription at no extra cost to you. We only recommend products and services that we use ourselves and firmly believe in. We really appreciate your support as it helps us make more of these free travel and food guides.

Çok teşekkür ederim!!