I believe that one can learn about a city’s spirit most by eating its street food. For Istanbul visitors, luckily this city offers a very wide range of on-the-spot snacks and street side delicacies. From breakfast sandwiches and freshly squeezed juices to chickpeas-and-rice, you can find cheap and tasty eats at nearly every corner.
One of these amusing little bites is undoubtedly the midye dolma – stuffed mussels. The mussels are filled with cinnamon and pepper seasoned rice, and served on the go with a squeeze of lemon. The carts topped with stacks of shiny mussels and lemon is a temptation any time of the day- but especially after a night of drinking, Istanbulites seem to enjoy these bite sized treats even more. At night time, you can see midye dolma sellers at the popular spots such as Nevizade and Asmalımescit, where nightcrawlers flock by the carts to indulge in this filling midnight snack.
Gorging on these street foods of ‘dubious’ origin is in my opinion one of the most fun ways to explore a city. I recommend that you stop by a cart to have some, but if you feel like you can’t trust street food, midye dolma is also available in most fish restaurants.