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Aug 13
Reviews (Eats)
Nuruosmaniye Köftecisi: Landmark Meatballs

Nuruosmaniye Köftecisi, photo by Ansel Mullins
In Istanbul, if all you have is a street address for a restaurant, you are as good as lost. It’s all about proximity to landmarks, as in “postanedeki kokoreççi” (the kokoreç vendor near the post office) or “Süleymaniye’deki kuru fasulyeciler” (the bean eateries at Süleymaniye Mosque). This is the way we’ve learned to navigate this city and we’ve even found reason to tag some places according to our own associations.

Approaching the Grand Bazaar from the northeast, you encounter the market’s “Nuruosmaniye Gate,” named for the nearby Ottoman Baroque-style Nuruosmaniye Mosque, built in the 18th century. But to us, this will always be the “Köfte Gate” for its proximity to Nuruosmaniye Köftecisi, established in 1974.

Stepping inside this humble shop, sawdust underfoot, we were instantly calmed by a rhythm we recognized from any busy neighborhood eatery at lunchtime. Delivery orders were called out by the cashier, who worked a calculator with one hand and cradled a phone with the other.

The rest of this previously published review can be found on, here.

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