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.