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Sample the flavours of Istanbul
More than anything else, Istanbullus love to eat. Here food is much more than mere fuel. It is a celebration of community. Meals unfurl with great ceremony - they are joyful, boisterous and almost inevitably communal.

The national cuisine has been refined over centuries and is treated more reverently than any museum collection in the country. That is not to say it is fussy, because what differentiates Turkish food from other national noshes is its rustic and honest base. The meze (hors d'oeuvres) you will eat will be simple, the kebaps austere, the salads unstructured and the seafood unsauced. Flavours will explode in your mouth because ingredients are used in season.

The country's best chefs come to Istanbul to perfect their art, and you will be able to order a better executed Italian pasta or fiery Thai curry from here. There is a mind-boggling array of options so the possibilities are endless. As the Turks say, Afiyet olsun! (Good appetite!)


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© Lonely Planet. All rights reserved. The article ‘Unmissable experiences in Istanbul’ was published in partnership with Lonely Planet.





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