Lowest Calorie, Lowest Carb, Filling Food

Just out of curiosity, I wanted to find the lowest calorie, lowest carb food that could be considered a dish/meal. The goal is to be able to lose weight while feeling full after eating something that is relatively tasty with a flavor that everyone is familiar with. When it comes to filling foods, most people would think of rice or bread. Apparently, there’s something very similar to rice called Konjac.

It has a neutral taste and its shape is very similar to rice. But, it does have a slightly different texture than rice. Nevertheless, one pack (150g) contains only 5 calories and 0 net carbs.

Of course, eating plain rice alone, especially Konjac rice, doesn’t taste good. After considering various ingredients to add to Konjac rice, I decided that chicken broth is one of the best flavorings to add. Everyone knows what chicken tastes like and since it doesn’t contain meat, even vegetarians can eat (drink) it. It’s also not a forbidden food by any of the major religions.

This particular brand of chicken broth is organic, doesn’t contain salt, provides a mere 5 calories for 1 cup, and has 0 carbs.

If we cook one pack of Konjac rice with 1 cup of this chicken broth, we’d only be consuming 10 calories and 0 net carbs! Since 1 pack seems too little to make me feel sufficiently full, I’ll go with 2 packs and 1 cup of chicken broth (15 calories total). That’s nothing! (calorie-wise)

2 packs of Konjac rice + 1 cup of chicken broth.

The broth says “no salt added”. That may be good for people with high blood pressure but for me, the rice just didn’t taste good without salt so I added some. Here’s the finished dish.

I know it looks super boring and tasteless but since I added chicken broth, it actually tasted like chicken soup. On a scale of 1 (yuck) to 10 (yum), I’d give it a 7 (not bad). Of course, the only reason for eating this is to lose weight until you reach your target weight after which time you can adjust your diet so as to just maintain your weight.

Now, don’t go eating this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

  • The Konjac rice has 0 fat, 0 net carbs, and 0 protein = 0 essential nutrients
  • The chicken broth has 0 fat, 0 carbs, and 1g of protein = hardly any nutrients from protein

So, if you eat this and nothing else, your body won’t be getting any of the essential nutrients it needs from fat and protein.

This ridiculously simple dish is good in combination with other food so that your total daily caloric intake is less than your calorie expenditure so that you can actually burn fat and lose weight, especially for people who don’t want to exercise in conjunction with dieting.

According to one calculator, my basal metabolic rate (BMR) or, calories I would burn each day by being sedentary / not active, is 1788. You need to burn 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound of body weight. So, if I was sedentary and could consume a max of 1288 calories per day (which is not easy to do considering how so many foods contain so many calories), then I could have a deficit of 500 calories per day and lose 1 pound of body weight per week or 10 pounds in 2.5 months.

Konjac rice with eggs

If you’d like to eat Konjac rice with something else that is full of nutrients and is healthy, then you may want to try mixing the rice with scrambled eggs. One scrambled egg has 100 calories, 8g of fat, 7g protein, and 1g of net carbs.

Konjac rice with chicken

Since we’re adding chicken broth to the Konjac rice, it would make sense to add real chicken as well. Pictured below I added pregrilled chicken breast from Costco. It tasted good and was super easy to make since everything was precooked.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of chicken breast provides 0 carbs, 165 calories, 31 grams of protein and 3.6 grams of fat.

Konjac rice is relatively expensive. For a cheaper alternative that still has much fewer carbs than rice, you can use riced cauliflower.

Ninja Foodi: Easy, Indoor Grilled Asparagus

If you like grilled asparagus, here’s an easy way to make it without firing up the outside grill.


  • Asparagus, Refrigerated (I get mine at Costco)
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Canola oil spray


  1. With the grill plate inserted, turn on your Ninja Foodi, hit the Grill button until its set to MAX, set the time to 7 minutes, and hit the START button
  2. Snap off the ends (white part) of the asparagus
  3. When the grill is preheated, spray the grill with Canola oil, lay the asparagus flat on the grill, spray Canola oil on the asparagus, and sprinkle on some salt and pepper
  4. Half way through grilling flip the asparagus
  5. When it’s done, just remove it (I use tongs) and eat!

Air Fried Tofu

So, I’m currently trying this Keto diet which calls for low carbs. Since french fries are not low carb, I needed a substitute. Tofu seems to fit the bill thought it’s a lot more expensive that potatoes. Anyway, the one I’m eating is from Costco. It’s rated “Firm” with a rating of 4 out of 6 on the firmness scale. One pack contains 5 servings and each serving contains 70 calories and only 1g of net carbs (fiber doesn’t count). So, one pack contains 350 calories.

Here’s a recipe to make air fried tofu cubes.


  • tofu
  • salt


  1. Cut the tofu into 1 inch cubes and sprinkle on some salt
  2. In Ninja Foodi, hit air fryer button and set time to 20 minutes
  3. After preheating, spray canola oil on air fryer basket and put tofu in
  4. Halfway through cooking, flip or stir tofu, spray canola oil on tofu and sprinkle on more salt
  5. When done, remove and eat

The Best Sweetener for Weight Loss

Everyone by now should now that regular white cane sugar is bad for you and contributes to weight gain, diabetes and other health problems. Following are some alternatives and an explanation as to why they are good or bad.


Many people think that there’s something special about honey that even though it’s high in calories like sugar, it’s better. While it’s true that there are some health benefits to consuming honey, from a weight loss point of view, it’s only slightly better. In order to understand why, we need to realize the fact that digestible non-fiber carbs simply get converted to sugar in the body so the following formula holds true.


* except for carbs from fiber and Erythritol (a sugar alcohol)

If we compare sugar to honey with the same portion size (100 g), we find that honey still has a ton of carbs (82 g) compared to sugar (100 g). Therefore, honey is not a good sweetener for weight loss.

Note: the sweetness of honey is higher than that of white sugar so you don’t need to use as much of it.


Pure Erythritol is a sugar alcohol. It is 70% as sweet as regular sugar. Unlike other sugar alcohols where half gets digested in the body, Erythritol does not get digested. Instead, it gets excreted through urine and feces like carbs from dietary fiber. For that reason, grams of Erythritol can be subtracted from total carbs. This makes Erythritol one of the best sweeteners. The texture is like fine sugar. I personally found the taste to be not bad but of course not as good as real sugar but that’s probably because I’m used to the taste of sugar.

Monk Fruit Extract

Pure Monk fruit extract contains zero sugars, carbs and calories. This makes Monk fruit extract one of the best sweeteners. However, it’s 150-250 times sweeter than table sugar so you have to be careful when adding it to avoid over-sweetening. Monk fruit extract is often mixed with other sweeteners so read the nutrition label to make sure that if it’s mixed, it’s mixed with an acceptable sweetener like Erythritol. The texture is like a very fine powder so it dissolves easily. I personally found the taste to be a bit fruity and not bad. I still prefer the taste of real sugar but that’s probably because I’m used to the taste of sugar.


Pure Stevia, like Monk fruit extract, is a zero sugar, carb and calorie sweetener which makes it a good sugar substitute. It is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar so you need to be extra careful when adding it to food and drinks. And, like Monk fruit extract, it often is found mixed with other sweeteners so make sure to check the ingredient list.

White Rice Alternatives

White rice is eaten by everyone all over the world. It’s probably the cheapest, most filling, readily-available type of food. Many people even have large plates of rice for breakfast. Though white rice may seem like an innocent, healthy food to eat, unlike sweets, it’s actually not healthy because it’s full of carbs which just gets converted into sugar in the body which leads to weight gain and health issues such as diabetes. So, just because white rice doesn’t taste sweet or look sweet, it’s just as bad as sugar. You might as well imagine you’re seeing sugar when you see white rice (or any carb like bread for that matter).

The nutrition profile for white rice shows that 1 cup of it contains 45 grams of carbs. If we subtract the insignificant carbs from dietary fiber (they just pass through the body), then you’re consuming 44.4 grams of carbs in 1 cup of white rice. 1 cup of white rice also gives you a whopping 205 calories.

White Rice vs Coca Cola

Now this should surprise you. One cup of white rice has more carbs (45 g) than that in a can of Coca Cola (39 g). So, when you eat rice, it’s not much different from drinking a can of soda.

Riced Cauliflower

One healthy, low calorie alternative for white rice is riced cauliflower. Weighing in at just 5 – 2 = 4 digestable carbs per cup, it’s got a fraction of the carbs of white rice. And at only 25 calories per cup, it’s super low calorie compared to the whopping 205 calories per cup of white rice.

Spicy Mexican-Style Riced Cauliflower

If you a simple-to-cook, flavorful riced cauliflower meal, try Trader Joe’s Spicy Mexican-Style Riced Cauliflower. For $3, it’s cheap and personally, I found it to be very tasty. Optionally add some chicken breast for protein. It’s a bit spicy so if you can’t handle the spice, try the next option below.

Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry

Trader Joe’s Riced Cauliflower Stir Fry also costs just $3. It’s not spicy but personally, I didn’t find it as flavorful as the Trader Joe’s Spicy Mexican-Style Riced Cauliflower.

Shirataki Konjac Rice

I haven’t actually tried this yet but Shirataki Konjac Rice is extremely low in calories. At only 5 calories per 140 grams and 3 – 3 = 0 digestable carbs, it’s completely carb (sugar) free!

The Ketogenic Diet & Ketosis

I’ve tried a couple of diets and also just tried to count calories. But, it seems that the key to losing weight is more complicated than just a daily calorie deficit. After researching the Ketogenic diet, I have a feeling this particular diet may actually work, even though it calls for consuming more fat when the whole point of the diet is to lose fat. Here’s a summary of the Ketogenic diet.

Carbs vs Protein vs Fat

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats supply 90% of the dry weight of a diet and 100% of its energy. All three provide energy (measured in calories), but the amount of energy in 1 gram (1/28 ounce) differs. There are

  • 4 calories in a gram of carbohydrate or protein
  • 9 calories in a gram of fat

Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are digested in the intestine, where they are broken down into their basic units:

  • Carbohydrates into sugars
  • Proteins into amino acids
  • Fats into fatty acids and glycerol

These nutrients also differ in how quickly they supply energy. Carbohydrates are the quickest, and fats are the slowest.


According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the body does not need any added sugar to function healthily. Therefore, the body doesn’t really need carbs since carbs just get converted into sugar.


Proteins consist of units called amino acids. There are 20 amino acids. The body synthesizes some of them from components within the body, but it cannot synthesize 9 of the amino acids—called essential amino acids. They must be consumed in the diet.


Fats are complex molecules composed of fatty acids and glycerol. When the body needs fatty acids, it can make (synthesize) certain ones. Others, called essential fatty acids, cannot be synthesized and must be consumed in the diet.

Energy source priorities

Your body gets energy first from sugar (carbohydrates are converted into sugar in the body) and only when the sugar energy has depleted will your body turn to getting energy from fat.

In order to lose weight (fat), your body needs to enter a metabolic state called “Ketosis”. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It’s like it becomes a fat-burning machine. If you consume too many carbs (bread, pasta, rice, sugar, etc), your body will never enter Ketosis mode because your body will always get more than enough energy from carbs (sugar). It’s no wonder why sugar is the real health enemy and one of the main causes of health issues like diabetes.

Once energy from carbs is depleted, your body enters a state of ketosis and burns fat to get energy.

The Keto diet

The keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet. As such, your body will have very little energy from carbs (sugar) and quickly resort to getting energy by burning fat. Specifically, you should consume macronutrients with the following proportions:

  • 70% fat
  • 20% protein
  • 10% carbs

Now, if you are bodybuilding and want to build muscle, you need more protein. So, a slight variation of the standard keto diet calls for the following proportions:

  • 60% fat
  • 35% protein
  • 5% carbs

Protein should be moderate, as a very high intake can spike insulin levels and lower ketones. Around 35% of the total calorie intake of protein is probably the upper limit.

Generally, achieving Ketosis involves limiting carb consumption to around 20 to 50 grams per day and filling up on fats, such as those from meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and healthy oils.

Foods to avoid

Any food that’s high in carbs should be limited.

  • sugary foods: soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cake, ice cream, candy, etc.
  • grains or starches: wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.
  • fruit: all fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries
  • beans or legumes: peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
  • root vegetables and tubers: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.
  • low fat or diet products: low fat mayonnaise, salad dressings, and condiments
  • some condiments or sauces: barbecue sauce, honey mustard, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, etc.
  • unhealthy fats: processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
  • alcohol: beer, wine, liquor, mixed drinks
  • sugar-free diet foods: sugar-free candies, syrups, puddings, sweeteners, desserts, etc.

Foods to eat

  • meat: red meat, steak, ham, sausage, bacon, chicken, and turkey
  • fatty fish: salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel
  • butter and cream: grass-fed butter and heavy cream
  • cheese: unprocessed cheeses like cheddar, goat, cream, blue, or mozzarella
  • nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, etc.
  • healthy oils: extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil
  • avocados: whole avocados or freshly made guacamole
  • low carb veggies: green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers, etc.
  • condiments: salt, pepper, herbs, and spices

43 Healthy Low-Carb Foods That Taste Incredible

Carbs from fiber

On Nutrition Facts food labels, the grams of dietary fiber are already included in the total carbohydrate count. But because fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest, it does not affect your blood sugar levels. You should subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbohydrate.

In the example nutrition label above, we see that the total carbohydrate count is 10 grams and the dietary fiber is 5 grams. Therefore, the net carbohydrate amount is 5 grams.

Carbs from Erythritol

If you see a nutrition label that shows Erythritol under the Total Carbs section, you can subtract it from the total carbs. Unlike other sugar alcohols where half gets digested in the body, Erythritol does not get digested. Instead, it gets excreted through urine and feces like carbs from dietary fiber. There are 3 types of sugar substitutes that contain zero carbs and are safe to eat: Erythritol, Monk Fruit, Stevia.

Learn more about sugar substitutes

Example calorie calculation

Looking at the nutrition label above, we see the number of fat, carbs and protein in grams. One serving of the food item contains 10 grams of carbs. But, 5 grams of those 10 grams can be ignored since they are dietary fiber which the body can’t digest and so it gets passed.

The nutrition label shows grams and % daily value, but it doesn’t show percentage for each of the 3 macronutrients. To determine that, we can perform these calculations.

MacronutrientGrams (A)Calories per gram (B)AxB (C)C / (C1 + C2 + C3) x 100%
1fat392727 / (27 + 20 + 8) x 100% = 49%
2carbs5 (don’t include fiber carbs)42020 / (27 + 20 + 8) x 100% = 36%
3protein2488 / (27 + 20 + 8) x 100% = 15%

So, the food for the nutrition label above has the following macronutrient proportions:

  • fat: 49%
  • carbs: 36%
  • protein: 15%

If that food was the only thing you ate all day, then it would not satisfy the goal of the ketogenic diet.

If you are targeting 1500 calories per day for weight loss and a maximum of 5% from carbs, then 5% of 1500 is 75 calories. And since 1 gram of carbs is 4 calories, you can consume a maximum of 75/4 = 18.75 grams of non-fiber carbs. Hmm…. that’s very low. If your target is 10% of carbs per day, then you can consume a max of about 40 grams of non-fiber carbs per day. According to Healthline, consuming less than 50 grams of non-fiber carbs per day will get you into Ketosis.

Ketosis Test

If you want to know whether your body is in a state of Ketosis (burning fat), there are tests available. This is great because you can actually measure and know whether your body is currently burning fat or not. Technically, you could test yourself before you go to sleep at night. If you test positive for being in a state of Ketosis, then you would literally be burning fat while you sleep!

  • Urine test using urine test strip
  • Blood test using blood test strips
  • Breath test using a breath analyzer

Healthy Drinks Besides Water

I like original Coke. But the calories and amount of sugar added to it are just outrageous. A single 12 fl oz (355 ml) can of coke contains 140 calories and 39 grams of added sugar. Following are some healthier alternatives.

Costco Kirkland Organic Coconut Water

With only 2 grams of added sugar compared to 39 for Coca-cola, this is definitely a good alternative. At 45 calories for 240 ml (68 calories for 355 ml), it is 72 calories less than the same serving of a can of coke. However, if you are on the Keto diet, this is not a good choice where you need to limit carbs, this is not a good choice.

Unsweetened Almond Milk

At 30 calories per cup (240 ml), this is not a great alternative to soda, although the sweetened version (60 cal per cup with 7 grams of added sugar) does taste much better.

Unsweeted Iced Tea

At 0 calories, unsweetened iced tea is probably the best substitute for plain water.

If you feel you need to make it sweet, you can try adding

Truvia is actually Erythritol, a sugar alcohol. Unlike other sugar alcohols, Erythritol is the only sugar alcohol which does not get digested by the body. Instead, it gets excreted in urine and feces. I consider it the ideal sweetener for drinks. It’s also ideal if you are on the Keto diet since it contains 0 carbs.

You can also cold brew green tea like pictured below.

Iced Water With Lemon Slices

Lemon-infused water actually makes plain, boring water taste pretty good.

Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice

At 70 calories per cup (240 ml), this has the same calories has Costco Kirkland coconut juice but with 0 added sugar.

Costco Kirkland Vitarain Zero

This has zero calories. The sweet taste comes from zero-calorie sucralose.

Glaceau VitaminWater Zero

Sweetened with erithrytol

Healthy Snack Options

Many people will snack on something like potato chips. Personally, I prefer Ruffles Original. But, 160 calories from just 12 chips is unacceptable.

Here are some healthier and/or low calorie alternatives.

Celery Sticks with Garlic Hummus

The hummus comes in at 60 calories per 2 tbsp. That seems like a lot but at least they are healthy calories rather than empty ones. Celery sticks are only 7 calories per stick and they mostly contains water.


This is an interesting type of food. It has the same amount of protein as meat. It often comes precooked so you just need to heat it up. Eating it involves removing the pod and eating the peas. The fact that you have to remove the pod can limit your consumption since it takes time. The taste is pretty neutral. Half a cup is only 94 calories.

Low Calorie & Zero Carb Pasta Does Exist (Sort of)

Pasta can be a very filling and tasty meal to have. But, the pasta itself is high in carbs and calories. For example, angle hair pasta (my favorite) has 200 calories per serving.

Fortunately, there are substitutes for pasta that taste almost exactly like pasta. For example, Costco sells Healthy Noodles. On the box, there’s a recipe for Italian Marinara using these healthy noodles. The noodles are precooked and each box contains 6 packs.

Nutrition-wise, they only contain 30 calories per serving. Plus, it’s got zero carbs because all of the carbs are from fiber which doesn’t get digested by the body and simply passes through. This is ideal if you are on the Keto diet.

Preparation is very easy. Just rinse the noodles and use them since they’re precooked. I tried this out with Rao’s marinara sauce and surprisingly, it tasted about 90% the same as regular pasta. I still prefer the taste of regular pasta, but for the calories saved by using Healthy Noodles, it’s worth the small difference in taste.

You can also try Shirataki Noodles by Miracle Noodle. They sell an angel hair style noodle containing only 5 calories per serving. No wonder it’s called Miracle Noodle!

UPDATE: I actually tried making pasta with Miracle Noodle Angel Hair style noodles. The shape wasn’t like angle hair pasta at all but more like spaghetti. More importantly, the texture wasn’t particularly good. It was too sticky. I think the Healthy Noodle option above tastes better.

You can also Nasoya Pasta Zero spaghetti but like the Miracle Noodle Angel Hair style noodles, I didn’t care for the texture which tasted like rubber.

Istanbul Food Experience

In October 2021, I visited Istanbul, Turkey to indulge in Turkish food. Below are some of the places I visited with my personal rating of how good each food tasted on a scale of 1 to 10. Some of the restaurants we visited were highly rated by others but we found them to be not as good as some unknown, hole-in-the-wall places. You can find the same type of food all over Istanbul as there are restaurants and street vendors everywhere. But, the pictures on display can be deceiving as the taste can vary greatly from one place to another.

Cağ Kebap

Şehzade Cağ Kebap
Hoca Paşa, Hoca Paşa Sk. No:6 D:4, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Google Map

Rating: 9

This place specializes in Cağ Kebap. The cost for 2 skewers and lavash bread is TL 34 (US$ 3.83). The meat was especially good. Unlike traditional doner kabab on a vertical spit, this one is on a horizontal spit.


Tatlıcı Safa
Hobyar, Hamidiye Cd. 2/A, 34112 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Open everyday, 8:30AM–12:30AM
Google Map

Rating: 7

This place specializes in Baklava. I found their to be just okay. Definitely not as good as Karaköy Güllüoğlu. The triangular baklava costs 17 TL ($1.85) and the square baklavas costs 14 TL ($1.53).

Karaköy Güllüoğlu
Kemankeş Cad. Katlı Otopark Altı No: 3-4, 34425 Beyoğlu, Turkey
Open everyday 7AM–1AM
Google Map

Rating: 10

This place is well known as one of the best, if not the best, baklava restaurant in Istanbul. They only have one location in Istanbul, unlike Hafiz Mustafa, which is everywhere. Karaköy Güllüoğlu does have really good Baklava BUT their ordering process is chaotic.

For to-go orders, you can order first and they charge by weight. The problem is they are so busy that it’s hard to tell them which type of baklava you want because there’s so many people in your way. For to-go orders, they will shrink wrap the boxes or aluminum containers with plastic so nothing leaks.

For dine-in orders, you have to pay first. The problem is they will charge you for whatever items you ask for regardless of whether any of the items are still available. I ordered a few different types of baklava and paid for them but when I gave my receipt to the workers behind the counter, they said that they ran out of a few things I paid for and had to substitute them with other things.

For one of the best baklava shops in Istanbul, they really need to do a better job with their ordering process. Maybe have a numbering system where you take a number and just wait to be called rather than have people walking all over the place looking confused. The ordering process was so lame that I didn’t even want to eat there so we just ordered to go and ate at the hotel. The baklava is really good though so we had to buy a bunch to bring back home.

Kofte (Turkish Meatballs)

Tarihi Sultanahmet Köftecisi Selim Usta
Alemdar, Divan Yolu Cd. No:12, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Open every day, 10:30AM–11PM
Google Map

One food guide recommended this place which is located across the street from Sultanahmet Square. It’s supposed to specialize in Kofte (Turkish meatballs) as the name of the restaurant has the word “Kofte” in it. Ironically, the Kofte was just okay. Instead, the shish kabab was actually pretty good and tender.

Kofte Rating: 5
Shish Kabab Rating: 8

Left: grilled Kofte. Right: Shish kabab

Shisha and Sahlab

There’s this cafe directly in front of the hotel we stayed at (The Mercure Istanbul Sirkeci). Among other things, they offer shisha (hookah) and sahlab / sahlep. Both were exceptional.

Shisha Rating: 10
Sahlab Rating: 10

Pide (Turkish Pizza)

Guvenc Konyali
Ankara Cad, Hocapaşa Hamamı Sk. No: 4, 34110 Fatih, Turkey
Open everyday, 8:30AM–9PM
Google Map

Pide Rating: 7

One food guide recommended this place for its pide. Unfortunately, I found it to be just okay.

Mavi Halic Pidecisi
Sarıdemir, Kutucular Cd. No:28, 34134 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Open everyday: 8 AM to 6:30 PM
Google Map

Pide Rating: 10

This place is located in a small alleyway full of shops in what looks like an ancient marketplace. This time I ordered the pide (Turkish pizza) with eggs on top. The eggs were cooked just how I like them – somewhat runny. The entire pide including the eggs was very good.

Menemen (Turkish Egg Scramble)

Lades Menemen
Katip Mustafa Çelebi, Mahallesi, Sadri Alışık Sk. 11/12 11/12 11 D:12, 34435 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Open everyday 7AM–11PM
Google Map

Menemen Rating: 10

This place is located just off of the famous Istiklal Cadessi (Independence St). They specialize in Menemen (Turkish eggs scramble) as the word Menemen is in its name. I ordered the kind with Turkish sausage. It was exceptionally good. I would have ordered it twice but was afraid I’d get too full to try other food on the schedule for the day. If you visit Istanbul, definitely visit this place as you will most likely visit Istiklal Cadessi. It cost 25 Turkish Lira (US$3).

Kokorec (Intestines)

We weren’t planning on eating grilled intestines but since the place we intended to eat at was closed, we gave this place a try. The grilled intestines looked good but I didn’t really care for the taste.

Kokorec Rating: 6

Turkish Coffee

Asmalı Mescit, Olivya Gç. 1/A, 34430 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Turkey
Open everyday 9AM–12AM
Google Map

Turkish Coffee Rating: 10

This coffee shop is located in a small alleyway just off of the famous Istiklal Cadessi (Independence St). A visit to this place was totally worth it as the coffee was exceptional.

In Istanbul, you can find many street vendors selling Turkish Coffee in ancient looking stands.

Iskendar Kebab

Kasap Osman
Hoca Paşa, Hoca Paşa Sk. No:22, 34110, 34110 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
Google Map

Iskendar Kebab Rating: 8.5

This place doubles as a butcher shop as the name means Butcher Osman. I ordered the Iskendar Kebab which was pretty good.

Sütiş Kebap Dünyası
Katip Mustafa Çelebi, İstiklal Cd. No:13, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
Google Map

Iskendar Kebab Rating: 10

We stopped by this place to try their meat. I’m glad we did because it was some of the best meat we’ve had in Istanbul! It cost 53 Turkish Lira (US$6).

Adana Kabab

Birben Restaurant
Hoybar Mahallesi, Eminönü, Arpacılar Cd. No:13, 34112 Fatih, Turkey
Open everyday 8AM to 12 AM
Google Map

Grilled Meat Plate: 8

This place is a little pricey for Istanbul standards – probably because it’s in the tourist area. The food there is okay.

Tantuni (Turkish Meat Sandwich)

Rüstem Paşa, Yeni Cami Cd. No:39, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul

Beef Tantuni Rating: 8.5

This place specializes in Tantuni (Turkish sandwich). They offer both chicken and beef sandwiches. I ordered the beef. It was pretty good.

Kunafe (Turkish Sweet)

We found a Kunafe shop near Misr Carsisi (Egyptian Spice Market). We ordered Kunafe with cream. It was pretty good.

Kunafe Rating: 9

Sahlep (Hot Turkish Milk Drink)

We found this waterfront cafe in the Karakoy area of Istanbul facing the Bosphorus Straight. Whenever you see these golden dispensers, you’ll normally find sahlab. Unfortunately, this one didn’t take very good at all.

Sahlep Rating: 5

Tomato & Beef Kabab

Sütiş Kebap Dünyası
Katip Mustafa Çelebi, İstiklal Cd. No:13, 34433 Beyoğlu/İstanbul
Google Map

Domatesli kebap Rating: 10

This place has some of the best kababs in Istanbul. We tried their Domatesli kebap which means “Kebab with Tomato” and it was especially good! It cost 55 Turkish Lira (US$6).

Real Fruit Juice

We came across this fruit juice seller near one of the entrances of the Egyptian Spice Market. We ordered the mixed juice and it was really good.

Mixed Fruit Juice Rating: 10


If you’re going to visit Istanbul, I highly recommend you visit the places.

  • Lades Menemen (order mixed Menemen)
  • Sütiş Kebap Dünyası (order Iskendar kebab, Domatesli kebap, and pretty much any other meat item)
  • Mavi Halic Pidecisi (order Pide)
  • Karaköy Güllüoğlu (order Baklava)