If you’re looking for the best lahmacun in Istanbul, this blog post is just what you need. I’ll share my top 6 favorite restaurants with you and tell you about their food, atmosphere, and location. Who knows? Maybe one of these will become your new favorite too!
Lahmacun is popular street food in Turkey that consists of Turkish pita dough topped with minced meat, tomatoes, onions, and parsley. It usually has a round shape and it is common for tourists to call it Turkish pizza. What makes it different than a pizza is, it is not prepared with cheese and the crust is thinner.
Some people like to squeeze a lot of lemon on lahmacun, and some people prefer more sumac onion and wrap it.
Some locals cannot give up Antep style garlic lahmacun, some of us prefer spicy Urfa style lahmacun that is made with onion. Though all of our favorite lahmacuns are different, I think there are 2 important things that make a lahmacun delicious. The first one is that the dough should be crispy and the second is using a special knife called “zirh” to ground the meat by hand. While it takes a long time to mince the meat by hand, machine minced lahmacun won’t be a good one. The meat is usually lamb but it can be rarely beef too.
Do not eat lahmacun with a knife and fork and use lemon juice and parsley to give it a little sour and refreshing taste. It can be either eaten for any meal, lunch or dinner.
What cuisine does lahmacun belong to?
Lahmacun is an Arabic word and before the food became popular in Turkey, it was eaten in middle eastern Arabic countries and southeastern Turkey. While it is hard to say exactly what cuisine it belongs to, it is cooked in Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian and Arabic cuisines.
List of the places serving the best lahmacun in Istanbul:
1. Öz Kilis Kebap ve Lahmacun Salonu, Fatih
In Öz Kilis Kebab and Lahmacun Salonu, there are two kinds of Antep Lahmacun: one with onions and the other one with garlic for the more adventurous eaters. Before eating one of the best lahmacun in Istanbul in this restaurant, you can also taste the Şiveydiz Soup, one of the specialties of the place. Şiveydiz Soup made with fresh onions, fresh garlic, strained yogurt, chickpeas, and lamb and it is a great local delicacy.
With your delicious lahmacun, I recommend you to drink foamy ayran (salty yogurt drink) served in a copper glass. Located in Fatih, the European side of Istanbul the restaurant is easy to get to and has reasonable prices.
Öz Kilis Kebap ve Lahmacun Salonu will surely help you to love lahmacun.
Location and reviews of Öz Kilis Kebap ve Lahmacun Salonu:
2. Halil Lahmacun, Kadikoy
In addition to its mild lahmacun (actually one of the mildest on this list), Halil is also famous for its homemade ayran and cheese pita. It is one of the oldest lahmacun restaurants in town, with a history of 35 years! Halil lahmacun is a little shop with full of locals and a lively surrounding Kadikoy market.
They serve their lahmacun (you can order spicy or non-spicy) with a slice of lemon and parsley. You can put as much parsley as you want in your lahmacun, squeeze some lemon and simply roll it and eat it as a wrap, just like the other locals!
Many Istanbul locals living on Asian side come to Kadikoy for a quick midday shopping trip and Halil Lahmacun is a haven for those looking to have an easy & delicious lunch before heading back home.
Location and reviews of Halil Lahmacun:
3. Borsam Taşfırın, Kadikoy
Borsam Taşfırın is one of the best places in Istanbul for lahmacun. The restaurant was established by Sinan Borsam, a chef with over 30 years experience, and offers great lahmacun at affordable prices.
What makes this place a special one is that they cook lahmacun in a wood-fire oven! They have 3 branches in Kadikoy now and the main one in the middle of Kadikoy market is usually full of people despite being a 2 story building. Lahmacun at this place has a delicious crispy dough, served again with enough parsley, lemon juice, sumac, and pickled hot peppers.
Borsam Taşfırın is also popular among tourists visiting the lively Kadikoy Market.
Location and reviews of Borsam Taşfırın:
4. Çıtır Pide Lahmacun Salonu, Besiktas
Çıtır Pide Lahmacun Salonu is located in Besiktas, and it is one of the most popular Lahmacun places for locals visiting the area. This restaurant has been around since 1993 and offers great lahmacun with crispy dough at affordable prices.
The owners are from Mardin (south eastern Turkey), where they specialize in making this type of Turkish dish which explains why their lahmacun and pides taste so good! This is also one of the few places that use a brick oven with wood fire!
You may be served knives and forks (for pide) at this place but we only eat lahmacun by hand and do not use cutlery.
If you find yourself around Besiktas and looking for a quick lunch and want to taste one of the best lahmacun in Istanbul, visit Çıtır Pide Lahmacun Salonu for a quick lunch.
Location and reviews of Çıtır Pide Lahmacun Salonu:
5. Buketist Lahmacun, Mecidiyeköy
This is a small restaurant that offers Turkish fast food dishes including one of the best lahmacun in Istanbul.
Istanbul locals know this place well as it has been serving delicious lahmacun for a long time. Located in Mecidiyeköy on the European side of Istanbul, Buketist Lahmacun is where you need to go for Diyarbakir style lahmacuns. They have oval-shaped pide and they’re famous for not including onions or garlic in their recipe!
Buketist’s signature dish is the lahmacun. This delicious, meat-filled so-called Turkish pizza comes with ezme salad and a side of parsley, lettuce, onion and lemon to make it even more flavorful! If you do not want to eat lahmacun, Buketist also serves pides and kebabs.
Location and reviews of Buketist Lahmacun:
6. Gaziantepli Mehmet Usta, Fatih
The smell of fresh dough and spices fill the air as you approach this popular Istanbul lahmacun restaurant. When you combine a shabby-chic atmosphere with excellent lahmacun, then it is no surprise that this place serves one of the 3-4 best lahmacun in Istanbul city.
Location and reviews of Gaziantepli Mehmet Usta:
Now that you know about some of the best lahmacun restaurants in Istanbul, we hope you will enjoy your next visit to Turkey. If you want experience, discover and taste more traditional Turkish food, join one of our award winning food tours!
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