fishmktWhether you're staying in İstanbul or on the coast you will be able to eat excellent fresh fish, simply served in a wide variety of restaurants ranging from the simple to the most luxurious. 

Levrek (sea bass) is a mainstay of the fish markets, as are çıpura  (gilthead bream), lüfer (bluefish) and çinekop, its smaller cousin.

Kalkan ­(turbot) is one of the most expensive fish served in restaurants and often only available in spring.

Kalamar (calamari) is a common meze and can be served either fried (tava) or grilled (ızgara).

Midye (mussels) are caught everywhere and make a popular street snack stuffed with rice and tiny raisins).

Uskumru ­(mackerel) provides the filling for the literally thousands of fish sandwiches sold daily. They'e especially strongly associated with the boats moored near the Galata Bridge in İstanbul.

The hamsi (anchovy) is probably Turkey’s most famous fish. Swarms of hamsi arrive in the Black Sea towards December, and in the cuisine of the Trabzon area these tiny fish play a vital role, turning up in everything from omelettes to sweet dishes (there’s even reputedly a hamsi cologne). So beloved is the hamsi that there is even a Black Sea dance that immortalizes it - - it’s danced by men with a great deal of body shimmering. Hamsi

During hamsi season in particular you will often bump into street hawkers trailing barrows of fresh fish around.

Other fish that you’ll see on sale include: 

  • Alabalık – Trout
  • Barbunya – Red mullet
  • Dilbalığı - Sole
  • Gümüş – Sand smelt
  • Karagöz
  • Kefal – Grey mullet
  • İstakoz - Lobster
  • İstavrit – Horse mackerel
  • Kılıçbalık - Swordfish
  • Lagoş - Grouper
  • Mercan – Sea bream
  • Mezgit – Whiting
  • Palamut – Tuna
  • Sardalye – Sardine
  • Torik – Large bonito
  • Yengeç - Crab
  • Zargana - Needlefish


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