Taksim Square, the main square and nerve center of modern Istanbul, is the place to go if you are looking for the one perfect kebab, at any time of day or night.
By perfect we mean artfully cooked, tasty and naturally low cost carriers. Mind you, Istanbul is full of great restaurants serving kebabs of all kinds and for all budgets. Many of these restaurants, however, have a great deal defect: they are small tourist traps, with inflated prices and strange markups compared to the menu. Many tend to stuff tons of onion and very little meat into the kebab, which is by no means Turkish.
If you love kebabs and want to really enjoy one like mom did, then there is no doubt: Taksim Square is the place for you!
At the corner of the street leading to Cihangir, there is a real parade of kebabs: about twenty restaurants with an exquisite and no-frills kebab, served in traditional Turkish bread. They all serve the doner, that is the classic “walking” kebab that is cut into strips from the classic roll.
The meat cooks well in sight and it is possible to choose between twenty or so different kebabs, which generates a healthy competition among the owners to offer the best kebab.
A little tip: eat with your eyes. As I am all really yummy, choose your kebab on sight: go to the one that inspires you the most, better if well cooked. The price is always the same, from 4 to 6 TL (depending on the season) for chicken and from 7 to 9 lire for lamb.