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Hamsi near the fish markets

Istanbul, Turkey
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Hamsi in the Wintertime Istanbul  Turkey

Hamsi in the Wintertime

Come October, the weather cools and fisherman start overflowing local fish markets with freshly caught hamsi (European anchovies) from the Black Sea. Istanbulites (locals) who have been patiently waiting for months to taste this tiny meaty fish venture out in the cold to satisfy their seafood addiction and buy the fish by the kilo.

Hamsi is either pan-fried, grilled, or added to other dishes such as rice, and it's so good it often brings friends together for hamsi dinner parties (or at least that's what my friends and I do!) If you don't like anchovies, then you've probably never tried European anchovies in Turkey before.

Try hamsi in the wintertime at one of the fish restaurants on or near the Galata Bridge. My only suggestion is, when dining at any fish restaurant, make sure you know the price of your meal before confirming your order, and always check the bill after. Fish restaurants are unfortunately notorious for overcharging tourists.