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Reviews (Eats) - Category Archive

Jun 22
Monday

Ramadan’s Iftar: The Break Fast of Champions

Filed under Reviews (Eats)

Two men enjoy iftar in Istanbul's Fatih neighborhood, photo by Fumie Suzuki

Think of Ramadan, which began in late June in many parts of the world, as a kind of monthlong biathlon 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 the next day’s fast. In recent years in Turkey, iftar, the traditional break fast meal that used to mostly consist of some dates and a freshly baked round of Ramadan pide, has started to become an increasingly trendy affair, with ministers, businessmen and regular people trying to make an impression by hosting ever more lavish meals.

Still, even if you’re not fasting, a traditional iftar meal at the right place remains a unique and tasty window onto life during the Ramadan period.

Find our list of favorite places for iftar at Culinary Backstreets.


All entries filed under Reviews (Eats)


Deniz Börek Salonu in Edirne
no responses - Posted 06.17.15
Edirne has more meat to offer beyond the glistening liver that bears its name. Deniz Börek Salonu has crowned the top of Saraçlar Caddesi since 1986. Every morning, lines of salivating citizens hurry to work with crunchy poğaças or sit down to enjoy steaming heaps of stuffed pastry. While there are ...continue
Kokoreç at the Edirne Pazar
no responses - Posted 06.09.15
For the past 24 years, Cemil Tuncay has wheeled his small metal cart to the biweekly produce pazar in Edirne. He sets up shop around noon, lighting coals under what can be described as massive, torpedo-shaped sausages. Kokoreç is a simple fast food made from bits of sheep leftover from butchering, ...continue
Akdeniz Hatay Sofrası
no responses - Posted 06.05.15
The only positive thing about the torturous annual visit we make to Istanbul’s main police station in order to renew our residence permit is the chance to drive through the low-rent Aksaray neighborhood.It's home to dozens of intriguing off-the-beaten-path restaurants, most of them opened by migrants from other parts of ...continue
Van Kahvaltı Evi: The Kurdish Breakfast Club
44 responses - Posted 05.27.15
In Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish eastern provinces, breakfast is not just for breakfast anymore. Particularly in the city of Van, not far from Turkey’s border with Iran, the morning repast has been turned into serious business: the town is filled with dozens of kahvaltı salonları – breakfast salons – that serve ...continue
Kenan Usta Ocakbaşı: Skewers at an Exhibition
no responses - Posted 05.18.15
If Istanbul had a city museum, in the 20th-century exhibition we’d expect to walk into a life-sized recreation of Kenan Usta Ocakbaşı, a seminal grill joint in the Beyoğlu district. As visitors descended a few steps into the exhibition, sensors would trigger the harsh light of fluorescent bulbs overhead, illuminating ...continue
Aynen Dürüm: Feeding at the Kebab Trough
no responses - Posted 05.05.15
As we’ve written here before, if you do a little rooting around, the Grand Bazaar can be as much about the food as it is about the shopping. Case in point: Aynen Dürüm, a microscopic kebab shack at the edge of the sprawling bazaar that serves exceptionally good wraps (or, ...continue
Şeyhmus Kebab: The Rhythm of the Knife
no responses - Posted 04.21.15
We’ve committed a lot of space on this blog to identifying the taste, smell and sight of a seriously good kebab, but it was not until we sat in Şeyhmus Kebap Evi (on a tip from chef Gencay over at Meze) that we came to know what delicious kebab actually ...continue
Öz Kilis: Kebab That Deserves to Be Panned
no responses - Posted 03.17.15
In Turkish popular lore, the residents of Kilis, a town in Southeast Turkey near the Syrian border, are known for two things: kebab-making and smuggling. We haven’t been to Kilis, so we can’t vouch for the smuggling bit (although these days the town is featured regularly in the headlines as a ...continue
Fatih Sarmacısı: A Jelly Roll with an Ottoman Soul
no responses - Posted 03.04.15
Settling into our first cross-country journey in Turkey many years ago, we were pleasantly surprised by the comforts of Turkish bus travel. The young garson wore a proper uniform and dribbled cologne in our hands every hour or so. Tea was served regularly, accompanied by one of our early Turkish ...continue
Istanbul’s Top 5 Beaneries (Updated)
no responses - Posted 01.30.15
Istanbul’s eaters are spoiled by opportunities to eat great beans – and in the Turkish kitchen that means white beans, in particular, and if you’re lucky, the şeker fasulye type grown in Eastern Turkey’s İspir region. We’ve tried countless subtle variations on roughly the same recipe and, wiping mouth on sleeve ...continue

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