Istanbul’s Eminönü district is home to many historical landmarks. The Spice Bazaar, Yeni Mosque, Gulhane Park and the Basilica Cistern are among the places frequented by local and foreign tourists.
There is another point of attraction Eminönü hosts; the balik ekmek (fish and bread) boats on the pier.
Balik-ekmek, an Istanbul snack that is fondly loved by people from all walks of life, has been made and sold from these boats since the early years of the Republic.
Balik-ekmek boats used to roam around Galata Bridge earlier in the 20th century. The city council decided there were commercial and legal problems with this setup and gave a few major boat operators license to open stall permanently on the shore, provided they moved from Galata Bridge to Eminönü pier.
Although the location of the boats has changed, the taste they offer and the interest they receive have never changed.
Balik-ekmek sales continue on these custom-made boats, which are completely decorated with wooden and handmade carvings, thus creating a nostalgic atmosphere for their customers.
It is a must-do for those visiting Istanbul to snack Balik-ekmek and of course take selfies at these Balik-ekmek boats.
The Balik-ekmek boats, still attract great attention from visitors at all hours of the day. They open their stalls at 9 am. Sales continue until late in the evening.