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Posts Tagged ‘ Aksaray ’

May 24

Can Ocakbaşı: Closer to the Hearth

Filed under Reviews (Eats)

Can Ocakbaşı, photo by Ansel Mullins

Istanbul’s Aksaray district is a difficult place to get to know. It’s probably the most diverse district in all of Turkey and with a very high turnover rate. Those Georgian ladies you saw dragging an overstuffed plaid duffel down Buyuk Langa Caddesi yesterday? They might be halfway to Batumi by now. The Syrian family by the bus stop? They may be on their way to meet a man in Izmir about a boat. Who knows?

Aksaray’s unknowableness makes some locals uneasy; there’s got to be mischief in all that motion, with all of those foreigners. Such is the stigma of Aksaray, den of thieves. But after spending some time in the area, we’ve found that if Aksaray is a den of anything, it is one of fresh starts – a landing pad for those arriving from some tough circumstances around the world and the launching point to better ones.

Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets.

All entries filed under this archive

Horhor Dürüm Evi: Family (Kebab) Values
no responses - Posted 04.06.16
We could devote a weekly column to the culinary treasures of Istanbul’s polyglot Aksaray district and probably never have to worry about running out of things to say. The area is jam-packed with places to eat, and while we've written about many of them, Aksaray just keeps on delivering. Having previously ...continue
Salloura, an Epic of Sweets: Chap. 1, Out of Syria
no responses - Posted 03.16.16
Tucked away in an alley in Istanbul’s Aksaray neighborhood, Şirket Alahdab is a small grocery store overflowing with Syrian staples: pickled baby eggplants, dried leafy greens, cans of clotted cream for desserts. When we enter the store, Istanbul temporarily fades away and Damascus or Aleppo take its place. “All real,” ...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
Dürümcü Mehmet’in Yeri: The Sharing Economy
no responses - Posted 10.13.15
Istanbul’s Aksaray neighborhood harbors an unfortunate reputation derived from its seedy nightclubs and the heavy presence of illegal brothels, which turn profits from sex trafficking. But as the city continues to transform at dizzying speeds, Aksaray’s status as an underbelly has begun to be overshadowed by that of a diverse, exciting ...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
Azerbaycan Sofrası: The Baku-Istanbul Culinary Pipeline
no responses - Posted 07.21.14
Looking at a map of the southern Caucasus, you’d expect Azerbaijan to be the next big thing in the world of food, sandwiched as it is between culinary heavyweights Georgia and Iran, connected as it is in so many ways to Anatolian Turkey. Previous trips to that country have not ...continue
Turkistan Uygur Lokantası: Food from the Noodlelands
no responses - Posted 06.13.14
Anyone who has spent time in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia (or, “the ’Stans”) will have developed a deep and lasting appreciation for the cuisine of the Uighur, a Turkic people spread across the region whose homeland, Uygurstan, lies across the border in western China. In Dushanbe, faced with ...continue
Grills and Thrills: Istanbul’s Top 5 Kebab Restaurants
no responses - Posted 03.06.14
If there are an estimated 17 million souls in Istanbul, then there are at least that many opinions on the best kebab house in town. There are stodgy oak-paneled rooms with country-club appeal, where well-dressed businessmen marvel at heaping plates of delicious grilled meat. And there are 24/7 hole-in-the-walls, ...continue
Şam Şerif: Culinary Refuge
1 response - Posted 02.04.14
Turkey as a country does not deal in absolutes, even though some of its more bombastic citizens are known to. So when one hears the numerous bewildered complaints about Istanbul’s dearth of falafel and hummus, the correct response is not “Turkish food is not chickpea-compliant,” but “You are not going ...continue
Babo’nun Yeri: Organ Music
no responses - Posted 01.08.14
Near the Aksaray metro station, set back from a loveless part of Istanbul crossed by wide roads and overpasses, the kebab is flourishing. Over the past few decades, waves of migration have brought a particularly southeast Anatolian flavor to the otherwise drab apartment blocks and government buildings of this part ...continue

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