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Features - Category Archive

Nov 12
Monday

Six Favorite Spots to Eat Hamsi

Filed under Features

The arrival of fall in Istanbul usually means one thing for us: hamsi season is about to begin. Hamsi, of course, are the minuscule fish (Black Sea anchovies) that Istanbulites are mad about, and the coming of fall and the cooling of the waters of the Black Sea mark the beginning of the best time of the year to eat the little suckers. In honor of hamsi season, we offer a list of six of our favorite places to try these tiny fish.

The rest of this previously featured roundup can be found on CulinaryBackstreets.com, here.


All entries filed under Features


In Istanbul, Staying One Meal Ahead of the Wrecking Ball
no responses - Posted 10.19.12
There’s nothing like a debate about “urban renewal” – often touted by municipal governments as a way to repurpose run-down urban areas for gentrification – to work up a good appetite. In a city like Istanbul, a teeming metropolis of 15 million people working to build a modern life among ...continue
The Grand Bazaar: Come for the Shopping, Stay for the Food
no responses - Posted 09.21.12
We like to think of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar – open since 1461 – as the world’s oldest shopping mall. If that’s the case, shouldn’t the Grand Bazaar be home to the world’s oldest food court? That may be taking the analogy too far, but for us, the Grand Bazaar can ...continue
Fish in Istanbul: Natural Selection(s)
2 responses - Posted 07.30.12
In the evolutionary process of the Istanbul fish restaurant, there was a moment in the late 1990’s when the amphibious, shore-hugging boat restaurants crawled out of the Bosphorus and became land dwellers. Overnight, yellow Wellington boots became black loafers as seafaring grill men became restaurateurs and waiters. Some rue the day ...continue
Ramadan’s Iftar: The Break Fast of Champions
5 responses - Posted 07.19.12
Think of Ramadan, which begins this evening in many parts of the world, as a kind of monthlong biathalon that consists of an all-day race to beat back the hunger and thirst of fasting, followed by an all-night marathon of eating and drinking in order to fortify the body for ...continue
The Sultans’ Spread: Brunching in Ottoman Splendor
3 responses - Posted 06.22.12
On a hot summer day, the thought of sitting in a cramped kahvaltı salonu does not whet the appetite, nor does the prospect of paying a hefty hesap to eat breakfast at one of the swanky hotels that line the Bosphorus. It sometimes seems that you have to travel to ...continue
Istanbul Eats on the Road: Rotterdam’s Multiculti “Kapsalon”
3 responses - Posted 05.24.12
In Rotterdam, one of Europe’s most culturally mixed cities, you’d expect a more diverse street food scene. The Rotterdam diet does embrace shwarma, Vietnamese spring rolls and Turkish lahmacun, but then Dutchifies the food by dousing it with liberal squirts of mayo. Due to cultural assimilation or by catering to ...continue
Five Favorite Old-School Meyhanes
1 response - Posted 05.11.12
A recent article in one of Turkey’s English-language newspapers, describing plans by Mey İçki, Turkey’s largest producer of rakı, to introduce the anise-flavored liquor to Europe, left us both steamed and amused. As part of its efforts to promote the consumption of rakı, it appears the company – along with ...continue
Vahap Usta: The Man Who Would Be (Kokoreç) King, Pt. I
1 response - Posted 05.01.12
Vahap Usta pulled a pair of reading glasses from the inside pocket of a snug dinner jacket and sifted through a stack of newspaper clippings. Here was a full spread from a major daily paper proclaiming him the “King of Kokoreç” and another with him in his signature tuxedo and ...continue
Island – and Table – Hopping in Istanbul
1 response - Posted 04.25.12
Istanbul's Princes' Islands, a lovely archipelago just off the city's Asian shore, offer what we believe to be the best travel bargain anywhere in the world. Whenever we're in need of a vacation but can't afford the airfare, a ferry awaits to take us to the islands. For the price ...continue
Best Bites of 2011: Our Take, Pt. 2
2 responses - Posted 12.30.11
Merih Resturant This well-loved meyhane cum esnaf lokantası (Meykanta? Lokhane?), located near Beyoğlu’s Balık Pazarı, presented one of the year’s great culinary mysteries. Namely: how that, despite being a decades-old neighborhood institution that’s located on a street we walk down on a regular basis, it took us until 2011 to actually ...continue

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