Eating balik ekmek (grilled fish sandwich) on a warm, sunny day must be on the top of any Istanbul travel itinerary. Selling balik ekmek by the Bosphorus strait is a half-century old industry. Back when fishing was the main source of living of Istanbulites, fishermen sold grilled fish sandwiches on their boat to augment their livelihood.
You can get your balik ekmek at fish markets or from makeshift food carts on boats by the Galata Bridge or Ataturk Bridge. Traditional balik ekmek consists of grilled whitefish, lettuce, and a drizzle of lemon, but it has evolved to include pickled vegetables and grilled chilies.
Stroll the beautiful city with a balik ekmek in hand – you’d want to be doing it over and over until you leave.
Here are the best places to have balik ekmek in Istanbul: