Markets in Istanbul; Kadikoy Food Market and Galata Bridge Fish Market

by formerchef on August 15, 2012

Post image for Markets in Istanbul; Kadikoy Food Market and Galata Bridge Fish Market

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you’ll know that besides food, my biggest passion is travel. When the two intersect, I’m in heaven. So it’s natural that when I travel, I search out recommendations for the best food I can find, be it street food, restaurants, or markets. Likewise, I thought I’d share some of my favorite experiences here in case any of you should find yourselves traveling to some of the same places. Even if you have no plans for a visit, it’s always interesting to see how people eat in other cultures.

In April, my husband and I went to Turkey for 8 days, spending the bulk of our time in Istanbul and also visiting the Roman ruins of Ephesus.  There are fantastic fresh markets all over Istanbul; these are photos from but two of them. If you are interested in markets other than those for food, you might want to check out the post on my travel blog about Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, and market streets (tip; shop where the locals do for the best souvenirs).

Kadikoy Market

First up is the Kadikoy Market which is on the Asian side of the city. No, that’s not an ethnic enclave, Istanbul is the only city in the world which straddles two continents. That’s right, in a short half an hour ferry ride you can go from Europe to Asia, for about a dollar, and without having to take out your passport. Once there, exit the ferry building and head to your right up Sogutlu Cesme Caddesi a few blocks and turn right, into an area of pedestrian only streets filled with food shops, produce and fish stalls and restaurants.

Olives! Need I say more? Any culture with that many different olive choices you know has to have good food, right? And look closely at the giant blocks of cheese in the back.

Kadikoy Market

Kadikoy Market Olive Shop

Kadikoy Market

Conveniently trimmed artichoke hearts in Kadikoy Market

Kadikoy Market

Fruit in the Kadikoy Market

I’m not sure what this guy had in his basket, but he was a character.

Kadikoy Market

Kadikoy Market

The photo below shows dried eggplant skins and dried peppers. Both are rehydrated and then stuffed with a vegetable, rice and sometimes meat mixture.

Kadikoy Market

Kadikoy Market

Kadikoy Market

Roasted goat heads for sales in the Kadikoy Market

The photo below is of a shop which sell herbs, spices and organic goods. We saw lots of shops like this in Istanbul. This is the place we bought 2 kilos of handmade soap (see the baskets below right). The soap is great and came in three “flavors”; olive oil, laurel and pistachio. The shop, Timsahli, is on Yasa Cadessi, opposite a Greek Orthodox church.

Kadikoy Market

Kadikoy Market

In a later post I’ll share the wonderful place we ate lunch, Ciya Sofrasi, while walking around the area and more on Turkish food in general.

Galeta Bridge Fish Market

The other market we’ll visit virtually today is the one at the base of the Galeta Bridge on the Beyoglu side. As you walk away from Sultanhamet and across the bridge toward the Galeta tower, on the far side of the bridge, below and to the left sits this fish market.

Galeta Bridge Fish Market

Galeta Bridge Fish Market

Galeta Bridge Fish Market

Galeta Bridge Fish Market

Galeta Bridge Fish Market

Galeta Bridge Fish Market

Galeta Bridge Fish Market

Galeta Bridge Fish Market

Galeta Bridge Fish Market

Galeta Bridge Fish Market

Galeta Bridge Fish Market

Galeta Bridge Fish Market

Of course there are plenty of places to eat here, from sit down restaurants, to fried fish sellers, to guys who have set up simple grills to make tasty fish sandwiches.

Fish Sandwich near Galeta Bridge market

We bought a sandwich from this guy (above), though the more “famous” fish sandwich vendors are across the bridge selling sandwiches from rocking boats. Our sandwich was fantastic and came with this view:

Where we sat to eat our fish sandwich.

More to come on where and what we ate in Turkey in a later post. In the meantime, if you want to see more on Istanbul, check out my travel blog, wired2theworld or specifically the page on Turkey.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sharon Miro August 15, 2012 at 7:40 am

I want to go back now.

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2 Anise August 15, 2012 at 8:37 am

I loved the Galata Bridge fish sandwiches, as I think I have mentioned. Greasy but oh so tasty.

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3 formerchef August 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

Anise- Our sandwiches really weren’t that greasy. I also liked that they were cooked to order where we were. Across the bridge, where the sandwiches are sold off boats, it looked like they were cooking pieces of fish by the hundreds and I really wondered about the quality there.

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4 angela@spinachtiger August 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Really fabulous pics and I wish I could see a goats head up close. Not really. :)
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5 formerchef August 19, 2012 at 10:52 am

Angela-The goat heads really weren’t that bad. At least they were already cooked!

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6 Cathy Mayhue August 15, 2012 at 11:58 pm

Wow! Great pictures.. When I see pictures like these I really regret becoming a vegetarian! I mean loved the variety of some of my favorite vegetables available there like artichoke hearts. But the place where I stop staring at are the fantastic fish’s!
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7 formerchef August 19, 2012 at 10:53 am

Yes, the fish there are really beautiful. They should be, many of them come right out of the Bosphorus or nearby Black Sea!

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8 Simply Tia August 16, 2012 at 4:16 am

These photos are absolutely fantastic!!!!! I’d love to visit that market and spend an entire day buying goods!
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9 formerchef August 19, 2012 at 10:53 am

Me too! Next time we go I’m going to make sure we rent a place with a good kitchen so I can cook!

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10 Myra August 22, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Thank you for explaining those were dehydrated eggplant skins. You never know what they’ll sell at a market – my mind was wandering. :-) Gorgeous photos – markets are my favorite places to visit when I travel. I always end up buying something to immediately munch on, as well as treasures to bring back home.
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11 formerchef August 22, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Myra, it took me a while to figure them out too, but then I ate them and they were really good. I think I have some pictures of them stuffed which I’ll show in a later post.

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12 Jenn @LeftoverQueen August 23, 2012 at 10:54 am

Great post! One of my closest friends from HS lives in Istanbul and I really need to go visit her!
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13 formerchef August 23, 2012 at 11:56 am

Jenn- You really should go vor a visit! Istanbul is amazing and I really want to go back. For me, it’s up there with Paris and Rome as a city I think I could return to again and again.

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14 tim June 16, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Ah yes, I remember the fish market by the Galata Bridge. It was very wet and a bit cold when I visited it in February. The fish were fresh and there were little eateries nearby that deepfried the fish and you just ate them with a bit of salt and lemon juice and crusty French baguettes. That was fantastic.

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