When you’re boasting to your friends about the hotel deals you’ve managed to nab for your next holiday, you don’t want to have to add in the fact that you massively overspent the rest of your budget by dining in the typical tourist trap restaurants that holidaymakers fall for again and again. No, research where’s good to go beforehand and you’ll find yourself dining in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant serving up tasty food to savvy students, weary office workers and holidaymakers like you who are in the know.
Turkey has a reputation for excellent, affordable street food. The iconic doner kebab is now available all over the world, but to enjoy the dish at its best, it’s still worth making the trip to Istanbul. When you’re there, it would be rude not to try sesame-studded simit (similar to bagels), kumpir (giant jacket spuds with a range of toppings) and balik ekmek (grilled fish sandwiches).
The slightly more daring gastronaut may want to sample kokorec. This is a sausage made from offal and cased in lamb’s intestine. It might not sound special, but once tried the dish is never forgotten. Gozleme are popular throughout Turkey and consist of something between a flatbread and a pancake filled with spinach and cheese. This makes them ideal for those seeking a vegetarian option, although if you have something of a sweet tooth you’ll be delighted to know that chocolate versions are available.
For some of the best street food available in Greece, head to the Monastiraki area of Athens, where tourists flock towards the Parthenon and vendors sell souvenirs, T-shirts, replica vases – and a seemingly limitless array of delicious things to eat. Sweet chestnuts are a favourite, as is roast corn on the cob, seasoned with local sea salt. Souvlaki, or kebabs, are perfect to eat on the go, being served on a skewer, so you won’t even get greasy fingers.
A sweet doughnut-like pastry ring filled with apple or chocolate is the perfect way to end your meal. Pair this with a cup of foamy orchid tea. If tea and cakes, makes you hanker for a taste of home, Greece now boasts three McDonalds branches and the burgers taste exactly as they do back home. The only difference is that they are served in pita bread.