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Features - Category Archive

Dec 15
Tuesday

Best Bites of 2015

Filed under Features, Reviews (Eats)

Salloura, photo by Ansel Mullins

Editor’s note: To give 2015 a proper send-off, we’re taking a look back at all our favorite eating experiences this year.

Hamo’nun Yeri
The nohut dürüm, a simple wrap of mashed chickpeas, peppers, parsley and spices, may be a popular breakfast choice in certain districts of the southeastern province of Gaziantep, but we’ll eat it anytime and are prepared to travel far and wide to do so, as this treat is by no means common in Istanbul. Hamo’nun Yeri is located in Güngören, a densely packed working-class district located well outside the radar of tourists and more affluent Istanbulites. Made with bread hot out of the oven from the family’s bakery down the block, the dürüm – and a chat with the friendly Gül brothers – is more than worth the trip.

Meşhur Öz Suruç
Grillhouses serving scrumptious skewers of kebab are found everywhere in Istanbul, but a cluster of restaurants in the Yenibosna quarter all serving the specialties of the southeastern province of Urfa offer perhaps the best bang for one’s buck in the city. At Meşhur Öz Suruç, the oldest and best of these establishments, two people can order an assortment of these skewers, served alongside numerous freebies, including yogurt soup, salad and smoked eggplant puree, and can still walk out the door paying less than TL 35. Get any combination you like, but do not leave without trying the liver. Using only the freshest lamb’s liver purchased that day, the grill masters at Öz Suruç fire up a sublime rendition of an Urfa staple that makes it worth braving the legendarily hectic Metrobüs.

Read the rest of our top picks of the year at Culinary Backstreets.


All entries filed under Features


The Lambassador from the East
no responses - Posted 11.24.15
Şehzade Erzurum Cağ Kebabı is one of our favorite places in Istanbul for a satisfying, lamby meal. You could easily walk past its handful of outdoor tables, tucked into a bustling pedestrian-only shopping street in the Sirkeci neighborhood. But if you stay, proprietor and head grill master Özcan Yıldırım will make ...continue
First Stop: Stavriani Zervakakou’s Istanbul
no responses - Posted 11.13.15
Editor's note: In the latest installment of our ongoing series First Stop, we asked Stavriani Zervakakou, chef of the restaurant Karaköy Gümrük in Istanbul, where she stops first for food when she returns to Istanbul. (We've written previously about her First Stop in Athens.) Lamb liver skewers in the Aksaray district’s Horhor ...continue
The Salepçi of Sütçüler: The Hard Life of a Sweet Trade
no responses - Posted 11.11.15
By the name of the place, you’d expect the Sütçüler (“Milkmen” in English) district near Isparta in southern Turkey to be a dairyland paradise, thick on the ground with men carrying buckets sloshing fresh milk, cheese wheels stacked in cool dark sheds, verdant hills freckled with cows. But there are ...continue
Farewell, Yorgo: A Beyoğlu Legend Passes On
no responses - Posted 10.29.15
On any given night, bustling, narrow Nevizade Street in the heart of Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district buzzes with thick crowds of evening revelers searching for the best table while clean-shaven waiters in their customary uniform of pressed white shirts and V-neck sweaters attempt to lure the crowds into their establishments. Hyperactive as ...continue
Uğur Manav: Cream of the Crop
no responses - Posted 09.07.15
Stretching 25 feet alongside a pharmacy in the heart of Istanbul's Şişli district, just a three-minute stroll from Osmanbey metro station (Pangaltı exit), lies Uğur’s fruit and vegetable stand. Day in and day out, come rain or shine, Uğur sits and smiles, utterly engulfed by the fruits and vegetables he sells. ...continue
CB Book Club: Aylin Öney Tan’s A Taste of Sun & Fire
no responses - Posted 08.31.15
For many (us here at Culinary Backstreets included), the city of Gaziantep is without a doubt the culinary mecca of Turkey. Located not far from Turkey’s southern border, a meeting point between the Arab Middle East and Turkish Anatolia, Gaziantep over the centuries has developed a culinary culture that is ...continue
Organ Harvest in Turkey’s Liver Capital
no responses - Posted 04.06.15
The city of Edirne sits on the borders of Bulgaria and Greece in the far northwestern and European portion of Turkey. Once the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Edirne has been occupied for thousands of years, dating back to the Romans and Thracians before them. While no longer the seat ...continue
CB on the Road: The Young and Funky in Turkey’s Edremit
no responses - Posted 02.17.15
Turkey has a rich dairying tradition, beginning thousands of years ago with nomadic tribes herding goats through the Anatolian steppes. Although Turkey is full of good cheeses that breakfast staples, these cheeses do not have the range of flavors and textures that, say, the French have with their cheese cornucopia. Three ...continue
Lakerda: Istanbul’s Salty, Fishy Soul
no responses - Posted 02.10.15
The fatty torik – the Turkish name for a large, mature Atlantic bonito, similar to the little tunny – courses the straits of the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles for just a short period each year in November and December. Yet the people of Istanbul eat it year-round by preserving the ...continue
First Stop: Charles King’s Istanbul
no responses - Posted 01.10.15
Editor’s note: In the latest installment of our recurring feature, First Stop, we asked Charles King where he stops first for food when he heads to Istanbul. King is a professor of international affairs and government at Georgetown University and the author of Midnight at the Pera Palace: The Birth ...continue

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