ThursdayFiled under News
Turkey’s European Union membership bid may be stuck in the mud, but a different dynamic is at work on the food front. To wit: the European Commission has granted Gaziantep baklava a spot on its list of protected designations of origin and geographical indications. It’s the first Turkish product and the 16th non-EU food to make it on the list. In honor of this much-deserved recognition, we’ve put together our own list of favorite places to get baklava in Istanbul and Gaziantep.
Located a stone’s throw from the Bosphorus, this shop has been catering to Istanbul sweet tooths since 1949. Done up in borderline tacky décor that looks like it is meant to evoke late Ottoman splendor, the place serves more than a dozen different kinds of phyllo-based sweets, including pistachio or walnut baklava, none of them resembling the cardboard-like, past-their-prime versions that are often dished out outside the Middle East.
2. İmam Çağdaş
Founded in 1887, this kebab and baklava emporium in Gaziantep is run by Burhan Çağdaş, the grandson of İmam Dede. To best enjoy the shop’s exceptional pastry, he recommends forgoing knife and fork, taking it between two fingers and placing it upside-down before taking a bite.
Read the rest of our list at Culinary Backstreets.
All entries filed under News
no responses - Posted 11.04.13
As a chill sets in and heavy clouds roll over Istanbul, turning the Bosphorus battleship gray, we say goodbye to the luscious strawberries and blood-red tomatoes in the market. Fall marks the start of hamsi season, a time when small anchovies fill the nets of fishing boats on the Black ...continue
1 response - Posted 10.11.13
Situated on a geographically blessed spot where the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara meet, Istanbul has long been associated with fishing and, especially, the eating of fish. In culinary terms, after all, is there anything more iconic in Istanbul than eating a freshly grilled fish ...continue
no responses - Posted 07.31.13
We are very proud to have been included in a New York Times article about small group culinary tours that appears on the front page of today’s Dining section. Looking at food walks in Istanbul, Paris, Rome and a few other culinary capitals, the article hails the arrival of a ...continue
no responses - Posted 06.03.13
We generally prefer to keep our nose in a bowl of soup and out of the political arena, but over the weekend, Istanbul’s politics seeped through the cracks in our windows, in the form of teargas and general mayhem. As longtime foreign residents of Istanbul, we’ve found it relatively easy ...continue
no responses - Posted 05.23.13
Istanbul Eats, together with Caravansarai Art Space, is hosting a monthlong celebration of Perşembe Pazarı’s esnaf lokantaları (tradesmen’s restaurants) by launching a competition. And you are invited! The month of June is dedicated to revealing and enjoying the hidden (or sometimes very visible) treasures of Perşembe Pazarı, a hardware-selling neighborhood in ...continue
1 response - Posted 04.26.13
In the realm of Turkey’s small businesses, the esnaf lokantası (tradesmen’s restaurant) hovers above everything like a uniting holy spirit. A good one certainly is divine in nature. Take just about any old esnaf lokantası, and you’re sure to encounter a community that only exists at that particular spot on ...continue
1 response - Posted 02.18.13
As we've previously chronicled, the Tünel end of Istanbul’s famed İstiklal Caddesi was some two years ago the site of a heated burger war. It all started when a former Turkish basketball-player-turned-restaurateur who had spent time studying in California opened up Mano Burger, a mostly successful recreation of the kind ...continue
3 responses - Posted 01.30.13
Being big fans of simit – the sesame-encrusted bread ring that’s one of Turkey’s most popular street foods – we’ve looked on with delight over the last few years as the humble snack has made its way from Istanbul to the other metropolis with a 212 area code: Manhattan. First, ...continue
1 response - Posted 01.14.13
We are unabashedly fanatical in our love of hamsi, or anchovies, a late fall/wintertime specialty whose arrival we eagerly await each year in Istanbul, where the tiny fish are most commonly served pan-fried, grilled or in pilaf. But as any hamsi aficionado knows, for the best anchovy-eating in Turkey one ...continue
no responses - Posted 01.08.13
We are proud to announce that Saveur has included the Culinary Backstreets: Istanbul iPhone app in its “Saveur 100: Travel Edition” list, published in the magazine’s January/February 2013 issue. Saveur praised the app’s “smart search functions, integrated maps, and vivid photos,” calling it “the ideal portable portal to one of ...continue