Istanbul Street Food – Black & White Series

Well isn’t this a coincidence? Today’s post is a series of black and white photos from Istanbul. It’s not the first time we’ve done this. And there’s the coincidence. On going back to our first Istanbul in Black and White post, it’s become apparent that we published it exactly this time last year, on July 31st. Hmm, maybe we start to get a case of Istanbul pangs at this time of year, each year…

Last year’s post came about because we were aware of the lack of ‘historic Istanbul’ posts on the blog. Well, that was rectified with those photos and we’ve since done articles on Aya Sofya, Süleymaniye Camii and Kariye Museum. Enough with the history for now, then, and let’s get back onto another of our favourite topics: Turkish street food…in black and white!

Çay - Turkish Tea

Çay – a symbol of Turkey

Okay, we know Turkish çay isn’t food but this little tulip-shaped glass of goodness looks quite cool in black and white, don’t you think? This photo was taken when we were in Beyazıt last October. We’d been to Süleymaniye Camii and then slipped away from the crowds to enjoy a few glasses of çay and a nargile at the Çorlulu Alipaşa Medresesi. Let’s call it a Turkish street food of the hot liquid variety.

Chestnuts, Kestane, Istanbul

Kestane in winter – yum

Especially during the winter months, you’re not going to be able to walk too far in Istanbul without coming across hot, roasted chestnuts for sale (kestane). There’s something very wintery and comforting about the sight of these street sellers wrapped up in woolly hats, tempting us with aromas of chestnut in a huge city. It just doesn’t look the same in the warmer seasons – although we’re sure the street sellers don’t prefer winter in Istanbul!

Tantuni, Istanbul

Tantuni – almost, but not quite as good as hamsi – or just different

And what a discovery this was. Remember our Turkish street food discovery of 2011? Our tastebuds had the pleasure of partying with our first ever taste of tantuni kebab. It was a cold night, the windows of this place were steaming up but when we saw the words we’d been keeping an eye out for – ‘tantuni kebab’ – we marched straight on in there. This photo, I think, captures that wintery, early evening, cold and dark outside feel. We love tantuni!

Kadıköy Fish Market, Istanbul

Karaköy balık pazar – mill about by the Golden Horn

And is this our favourite place in Istanbul? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder because this is usually our first stop (we didn’t get here on our fleeting trip in April) when we come to Istanbul. Such a welcome – and therefore beautiful, for us – sight. A glance to the left bombards the senses with Istanbul ferries sounding their horns as they criss-cross the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus and, on the opposite shore, the minarets of world famous mosques stretch into the sky…

Turkish Street Food - Hamsi or Fried Anchovies

Would we travel the world just to eat some Black Sea hamsi…?

…And that’s all well and good (actually, it’s a fabulous view) but we’re here for one thing only. Our eyes are locked firmly to the right. We stroll through the small but bursting-with-life Karaköy fish market and only stop when we get to these guys. These are the guys that are going to serve up our fresh, winter anchovies in the form of hamsi ekmek. Mmmm, we can almost taste winter, now.

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  1. Lovely post! It made me remeber that I still feel very nostalgic about all those smells rolling around the streets of Istanbul! 🙂

  2. Great post for a homesick Turkophile.

  3. @ Migle: Thank you and it is all those smells isn’t it that make you feel nostalgic. we want to be there now, too. 🙂

    @ BacktoBodrum: Aww, when are you back in Turkey / Bodrum? Are you coming via Istanbul? 🙂

  4. . . wonderful how the most ordinary scene is colour is given so much ‘Omph!’ in B&W, always assuming there’s enough contrast. Nice pics!

  5. I am loving this series – stunning photos! Street food is always the bet way to rally know a country!

  6. The food photos look fabulous in B&W. It seems to create an atmosphere that makes you feel as though you are there.

  7. @ Alan: True and I will admit to playing about with some of these shots to give them more contrast. Modern technology, eh? 🙂

  8. @ Belinda: The Istanbul street food is amazing! 🙂

    @ Jenny: They do look more 3-D don’t they. Istanbul lends itself really well to black and white. 🙂

  9. You know, I wouldn’t have thought of shooting photos of street food in B&W, but they’re awesome! The hot roasted chestnuts reminded me of NYC. I’m always tempted to have some, but never have! Now on my way to check out the post on Migrationology.

  10. @ Cathy Sweeney: Thanks. I like to play around with black and white and thought the street food scenes might be an interesting theme. Quite a few didn’t work, though so they were left off the post. 🙂 You must try the hot roasted chestnuts. They’re lovely.

  11. Great pictures! This kind of reminds me that I don’t play enough in black and white. Love the coffee shot!

  12. Sabrina Keurtz says

    If you are still in Istanbul, or to whoever plans to visit soon:

    I found this really helpful guide that locates the best of both modern and historical Istanbul!! Definitely look at it if you’re planning to visit:

  13. @ Sabrina Keurtz: Hi and thanks for your comment. We really like The Guide Istanbul and use them all the time when we’re visiting the city. We link to them on our links page. 🙂

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