Izmir, Turkey: top 5 foodie tips for eating like a local

Isn’t street food the best way to experience a country’s cuisine?

Izmir is not only famous for being the most modern and colorful city of Turkey, it’s also famous for its delicious street food. The coastal city of Izmir is perfect for wandering around as most of the attractions are relatively close to each other, centered around the coast and easy to get around because of the flat landscape. Here are five street food tips not to be missed in Izmir, Turkey!

Start your trip in Alsancak; the cultural center of the city, just a short distance from Park Inn by Radisson Izmir. The small, historic streets of Alsancak are filled with cozy little bars, plus you’ll find plenty of local restaurants and street food! Make sure to taste our top 5 street foods on your way:

Gevrek and boyoz 

While walking around, you will see many street  “gevrek” or “boyoz” sellers in their food-carts.  Boyoz is a delicious pastry served with baked eggs and brewed tea, it’s a gift of Jews to Izmir and comes from the Sephardic cuisine. In the bakeries in Alsancak you can find different variations of boyoz, such as boyoz with artichoke, spinach, cheese, and tahini.  Although “gevrek” looks like the other types of bagels found in other cities, it’s is a pastry unique to Izmir. It is soaked in molasses before baking. This method comes from the Caucasian Turks tradition. A hot, crispy and fragrant gevrek with plenty of sesame makes a great breakfast when served with a slice of goat cheese, fresh tomatoes, green pepper and a glass of well-brewed tea. You can find gevreks at all hours of the day in special glass-fronted cabinets found all over the city as well as in bakeries in Alsancak.

Gevrek food cart Izmir

© Instagram / @ayto__ 

Turkish coffee 

Then head to Kemeralti Bazaar which is located only 1 km away from Park Inn by Radisson Izmir. Find a little local cafe and order a Turkish coffee. We have a saying in Turkish, “A cup of Turkish coffee is remembered for 40 years.”

Turkish coffee with a view in Izmir

© Instagram / @orayadageliriz


Kamaralti Bazar is great for shopping. Don’t forget to check antique shops, old churches as you enjoy unique architecture. You’ll probably get hungry sooner or later from wandering around, so head to a “kumpir” place and find yourself a seat. Kumpir are baked potatoes or jacket potatoes with cheese and butter whipped with rich toppings.

Kumpir baked potato with topping in Izmir

Mussels & beer

Your next stop is Kordon – the coastal edge of the city. Time for a cold beer with a view of the sunset! While looking for a pub to enjoy the beautiful gulf view, it will be difficult to walk past the stuffed mussels sellers along the way with huge baskets filled with the shiny, black shells and wedges of fresh juicy lemon. Stuffed mussels are called “midye dolma” and locals usually eat them with beer.

Stuffed mussels in Kordon, Izmir

Fresh seafood in Kordon

If you still have an appetite, find a waterfront seafood restaurant in Kordon where you can sit, order some sea bass, fried calamari and drink raki; an unsweetened, anise-flavored Turkish alcoholic drink. Sit back, relax and enjoy beautiful Izmir.

Kordon waterfront Izmir

Park Inn by Radisson Izmir

Add some color to your stay with Park Inn by Radisson Izmir. Wake up right in the heart of the city, next to the Kordon, the city’s famous seafront promenade that offers a vibrant view of the Aegean Sea. Guests have easy access to the city center, Adnan Menderes International Airport and various shops and entertainment attractions. Come and visit!