For Turks, tantuni is highly coveted street food. However, for international visitors, it is one of the most underappreciated and unknown dishes in Istanbul and Turkey.
While it is not as popular as the world-famous döner kebab, tantuni is equally delicious, addictive, and scrumptious to eat. However, this street food is scarce outside of Turkey. Don’t worry; after trying tantuni in Istanbul, you’ll start petitioning to bring it to your hometown!
Tantuni restaurants are easy to find in Istanbul, but which tantuni joints should you be visiting? I’ll tell you about the 6 best tantuni places in Istanbul!
What is tantuni?
Tantuni is a dürüm (wrap) made with beef, tomatoes, onion, and parsley. It is a specialty of the Mediterranean city of Mersin.
It is made with julienned beef, or lamb stir-fried on a traditional Turkish sac (a thin metal pan used for cooking food at high temperatures) with sunflower oil. After the meat is cooked, it’s wrapped in lavash with chopped onions, skinless tomatoes, and parsley. It is typically served with a squeeze of lemon.
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List of best tantuni places in Istanbul:
1. Suat Usta Mersin Tantuni
When one mentions tantuni in Istanbul, it is probably Suat Usta Mersin Tantuni that comes to mind first. It’s a popular stop after partying the night away on Istiklal and Nevizade street of Taksim.
The most popular dish (and the only dish) on the menu is tantuni, which they wrap up in one or two lavash bread (depending on how hungry you are) and serve with homemade pickled peppers and arugula. They also offer tantuni served in half a bread instead of lavash.
Related content: 18 Best Restaurants in Taksim & Beyoğlu That You Must Try
Location of Suat Usta Mersin Tantuni:
2. Kadıköy Tantuni
For over 10 years, Kadıköy Tantuni has been serving up one of the best tantuni in Istanbul. This hidden gem is located in a beautiful Kadıköy backstreet, and outdoor seating is available.
The tantuni is reasonably priced, and they offer complimentary arugula and lemon with pickled peppers. Do not forget to try their homemade salty yogurt drink ayran.
Related content: 10 Best Kadıköy Restaurants: A Complete Guide w/ Maps
Location of Kadıköy Tantuni:
3. Beşaltı Kirvem Tantuni
Karaköy has changed drastically over the past ten years. In this area, you can now find 3rd wave coffee shops, expensive restaurants, and steak houses in addition to Beşaltı Kirvem Tantuni’s stand against change.
Still offering one of the best in Istanbul, their tantuni is made from beef, wrapped in lavash bread with tomatoes, parsley and onions. Watch out for their hot peppers that can set your mouth on fire!
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Location of Beşaltı Kirvem Tantuni:
4. Emine Ana Tantuni
In addition to delicious tantuni, Emine Ana also serves Turkish breakfast, paninis, köfte (meatballs), salads, and burgers. They are famous for their handmade dumplings called mantı as well.
A special tantuni called “Yoğurtlu Tantuni” is the specialty of Emine Ana. This tantuni is sliced into pieces and covered in yogurt. It is also available in most tantuni shops in Istanbul.
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Location of Emine Ana:
5. Baazen Tantuni
A unique take on the classic Turkish street food, Baazen Tantuni looks as chic and trendy as it gets but serves the tantuni as traditional as other places we have listed above.
They serve dürüm tantuni, ekmek arasi tantuni (bread roll), and three to four different desserts.
When you dine on delicious tantuni and delectable desserts in a spacious dining room with beautiful decor, it’s impossible not to include this restaurant on our list of best places for tantuni.
Related content: Best Bosphorus Restaurants in Istanbul: Top 9 Right Now
Location of Baazen Tantuni:
6. Memoş Tantuni
Memoş Tantuni in Mersin city, which is said to be one of the best tantunis in Turkey by locals, has an Istanbul branch that you have to try for yourself.
Lavash bread is made in-house, and the beef meat used for their tantuni comes from high-quality cattle. The result: one of the best tantunis ever.
Why not call them and ask them tantuni opportunities in your hometown? They are the biggest franchising company in Turkey, after all.
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Location of Memoş Tantuni:
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best tantuni places in Istanbul. There are so many delicious flavors to try in Istanbul, and we can’t wait to show you what this city has in store for your taste buds.
If you are looking for a new food adventure, come and explore this amazing country with us on our award-winning food tours! There is so much more than just the typical Turkish kebab that everyone talks about.
We will take you on an incredible journey through Istanbul’s different neighborhoods, where we’ll introduce you to all of the delicious dishes that make up Turkish cuisine. Do you want to miss out on some of these flavors? I don’t think so!
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