MondayFiled under Reviews (Eats)
Istanbul Eats lunch hunting tip #1:
Wander into one of Istanbul’s numerous districts of small commerce and find yourself on a small street with a shoe cobbler, a knife sharpener and hardware shops.
Enter one of these shops, preferably one where two old men are sitting at the counter looking at the horse racing form or working the crossword puzzle.
Ask them where they eat lunch. (Note: They might misinterpret your question and try to send you to the place they think you should eat lunch.) Repeat the question clearly: “Where do you eat lunch?”
Follow their instructions to the nearest esnaf lokantası.
Read the rest of the review at Culinary Backstreets.
All entries filed under this archive
1 response - Posted 04.22.14
Şenol Erol is trying to remain optimistic about running the last esnaf lokantası in Sultanahmet, where the market seems to demand tourist traps over traditional tradesmen’s restaurants. “I guess that makes us unique, doing things the old way,” he says, as if this vintage eatery needed a tagline. Our first meal at his ...continue
no responses - Posted 08.20.13
More so than any other district in Istanbul, Perşembe Pazarı – the city’s hardware zone – brings together what we love most about this city: thriving street life, hard-to-grasp commercial enterprises, remnants of history and, of course, excellent hidden spots to eat. A chickpea and pilaf cart is pushed past ...continue
2 responses - Posted 06.20.13
Editor’s note: This feature is the first piece in a series covering locally owned neighborhood eateries that offer an alternative to the food courts and chain restaurants in Istanbul’s most popular shopping malls. We’ll be digging into the streets around Cevahir and Akmerkez malls next. Please send us your tips, ...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
no responses - Posted 12.17.12
If Lades, which means “wishbone” in Turkish, provided an actual wishbone alongside the usual post-meal wet wipe and toothpick, we’d close our eyes and make a wish that we could eat their tandır, or oven-roasted baby lamb, seven days a week. These large knots of tender, fragrant meat lined with ...continue
12 responses - Posted 07.10.12
Whenever we find ourselves far from Turkey’s shores for any extended period of time, nostalgic hunger pangs soon set in. Sure, we quickly develop a hankering for a juicy Adana kebab or even for the simple taste of a simit washed down with some strong tea. But what we really ...continue
4 responses - Posted 11.07.11
(Editor's Note: Sadly, Tunçlar has closed down due to a redevelopment project in Taksim Square. Our news story about the venue's closing is here.) From the top of Elmadağ Caddesi in Harbiye, an unbroken line of tiny Ottoman-era row houses spills down the steep slope of the street. It is one ...continue
no responses - Posted 09.28.11
A recent first-time visit to Merih Restaurant, a deservedly well-loved meyhane just outside Beyoğlu's Balık Pazarı, left us wondering what took us so long to discover this place. The restaurant’s location is partly to blame – with so many mediocre and touristy meyhanes to be found in the Balık Pazarı, ...continue