Wet Hamburger – Istanbul’s Fast Food

If you happen to be in Istanbul, and you should help the fortune, try wet hamburgers – Istanbul’s fast food specialty. And please don’t judge a book by its cover. The wet hamburgers or ıslak hamburger in Turkish look as the name may suggest: quite nasty. There are no veggies inside, just lots of some special tomato sauce. They are soft, soaked… wet! But even though you have most probably already lost your appetite, consider that both the sauce and the meat are something what you will never get by McDonald’s. They are not industrially prepared and you can enjoy both the original taste of meat and tomatoes. It is not tastiness ‘made in biotech companies’. In the Old World artificial flavoring is still relatively unwelcomed. Not that impedes me to visit McDonald’s from time to time, but I can immediately notice the difference as soon as I get something more natural. As to the wet hamburgers, they seem to be popular in Istanbul among the locals and I had them more than once with my Turkish friends. It is not sophisticated food, but still good, convenient and somehow exotic.

I’ve found out that there is already a nice post about this specialty on the Lonely Planet website. One piece of information over there is however mistaken: you can find the wet hamburgers not only at the Taksim square. Among many places around Istanbul, good ones are also the burgers on the Bağdat Avenue/Caddesi, which is a very lively and posh street on the Asian side but astonishingly there are still no tourists over there.


10 thoughts on “Wet Hamburger – Istanbul’s Fast Food

    • No, Turks do not have such pervert ideas 😛 But seriously, every thing is special by itself. A hamburger without meat is not hamburger anymore. Someone who decides not to eat meat must say goodbye to hamburgers. Substitutes are rather nasty, so during my vegetarian period I completely resigned on them.

      • I have to completely disagree with you that substitutes are nasty. You may not consider them hamburgers any more, this is something I will not deny, but veggie burgers are their own legit type of food. As you said, “every thung is special by itself”. I have come across some pretty good ones, and one bar I know makes veggie burgers to die for! I understand it’s not to everyone’s liking, I’m just saying that it is not merely a substitute, but a food type of its own, that can be tasty if the cook invests some effort it his work.

  1. Well, veggie burger is just another product when it’s good and creative. Worse when they make ‘meat’ out of some strange plants 🙂 The only decent product out of soya, for example, is for me soya milk. Personally I find soya meat or tofu really terrible…

    • I actually like tofu. As for veggie ‘meat’ for a burger, it can be made of mushrooms, lentils, onions and other such stuff.

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