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Istanbul is the biggest city in Turkey.

If you are on Istiklal, the main street, you will find that it is very easy to table dive in the fast-foods if you are interested - you can really feed yourself in such a way.

There are street food markets in every neighborhood usually once a week. Find out when it is in your neighborhood and you can pick up whatever's left behind in the evening. There is always lots of fruits and vegetables and people will even hand you stuff they keep as trash.

There are a lot of Lokantas, bakeries and supermarkets where you can ask for old food. You can find a list of useful phrases for asking.


You can find a list of the street markets, sorted by weekday, here.


Tarlabaşı Pazarı(Tarlabaşı Market): Every Sunday, open 10am - ~6pm. After 7pm would be easier to collect leftover: fresh, raw foods. Location: It starts from the begining of Kurdela Sokak to the end of Serdar Ömer Paşa Caddesi

Kasımpaşa Pazarı (Kasımpaşa Market): Every Friday, open 10 - ~6pm. This market is a bit more expensive than Tarlabaşı but better in a way. This market has for example King Oyster Mushrooms which is really tasty. Location: Hakim Sokak + Tahtakadı Sokak + Yeni Yol Ara Sokak streets.

Personal experiences

  • "We always found great amounts of food on our way home, from Taksim square to Besikstas. You can check the big trash bins, the ones in front of markets are very promising, and there is a huge open market in Besiktas (can't tell exactly where, but close to a very big Migros) where you can find plenty of vegetables at the end... Check the Simit boxes in Taksim square, there are very often big quantities of abandoned and acceptable simits at night, it makes perfect breakfast. Check also the mini markets, they might have a box of old but acceptable vegetables next to the door that are not covered as the fresh ones are, I guess you can take them. Basically, you'll find what you need. We spent like 2 weeks with several friends doing it and we never laked food... Hope this helps! Enjoy your meal... oh, and the "Starbucks" can release nice surprises, on the table or in the trash..." - Unknown users, Jan. 2011.
  • "Hey, I accidentally found some fresh vegetables right next to the entrance to a local market somewhere near Taksim so it really seems to be easy there." - Unknown user, Jan. 2011.
  • We found great stuff at the local street market, huge bags of onions and oranges in addition to heaps of random veggies and fruits. That was in Rumelihisarüstü (Saturdays) but I'm sure it's the same at the end of every street market. --Banuthewitch 00:15, 4 May 2012 (CEST)

Even outside of little corner markets you can sometimes find boxes of discarded vegetables and things. In tourist areas table diving is quite easy and I rarely got any dirty looks from passers by nor folks eating around, just be casual about it. The Kadikoy Market is on daily and if you roll through when vendors are packing up and leaving and BEFORE the trucks come through to collect "trash" you can usually score a lot of good stuff. Turkey is amazing...enjoy.

  • We did it for a month in Istanbul and other places in Turkey and we never lacked food. Mostly we got discarded vegetables and fruits from supermarkets. Mostly they were kept outside in boxes, but often we asked inside for the people in charge of the fruit/vegetable section and got food that was sorted out, a common answer is that you come back by the closing time. We also went to many restaurants and lokantas. Most of the time, we offered to work for an hour, but since they didn't have any work, they gave us food. With some restaurants we were able to come regularly (one lokanta, one börek place and bakeries) and they gave us the food they didn´t sell during the day. One of the benefits when we managed to have a regular place to go to, is that the more we stopped by, the bigger the bounty was. We even got chocolate pudding :) Besides that we built relations with the people and got to know them. Also the people can rely on you coming - the less food is gonna be wasted. Also we went walking through the streets in the evening and found many things like clothes, backpacks, juice... and we even made friends with other dumpster divers :) --Max and Nina (talk) 23:57, 17 March 2015 (GMT)