SaturdayFiled under Features
Editor’s note: We asked Aslı Aydıntaşbaş, a columnist for Turkish daily Milliyet, where she heads first for food when she returns to Istanbul after a trip abroad. Aydıntaşbaş is also a commentator on CNNTürk’s show “Karşı Gündem” and has written for numerous publications, including the former International Herald Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes and Newsweek.
Funny enough, I don’t really crave Turkish food if I have been spending time out of the country. This is because, for starters, I am a foodie: I crave things. I schlep to the other side of town for a meal. I never hesitate to spend money on good restaurants.
But I guess deep at heart I lack loyalty to Turkish cuisine. Out of sight, out of mind. I never particularly miss food when I travel.
That, of course, is not to say that I don’t have favorite spots across town. One of these is Karaköy Lokantası, where I find myself enjoying the mezes and a dinner with friends several times a month. The food is always fresh, not pricey, and exciting enough.
Read the rest of this feature at Culinary Backstreets.
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no responses - Posted 04.16.14
With all of the anticipation of local elections in March, the scandalous graft-laden tapes leaked via social media, the communication fog brought on by the ban of Twitter and YouTube and the subsequent call for a vote recount in many cities, this city’s stomach had good reason to be distracted. ...continue
no responses - Posted 11.29.13
These days, writing about Istanbul’s old-school restaurants can be heartbreaking work. No sooner do we find out about a classic lunch spot than it turns out the place is about to be closed down to make way for yet another development project. Meanwhile, Istanbul’s relentless drive to modernize and “clean ...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
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 03.28.13
Editor’s note: We eagerly await the coming of spring each year, not just for the nicer weather but also because some of our favorite foods and dishes are at their best – or indeed, are only available – for a short period during this season. Here we take a look ...continue
1 response - Posted 02.04.13
One of the big downsides to Istanbul’s otherwise great food scene is the lack of a credible Mexican option. We’re not asking for anything special, just a place that serves simple, tasty tacos or burritos. But when the craving for Mexican gets strong, we don’t despair; we just head down ...continue
no responses - Posted 12.28.12
After four years of publishing weekly dispatches from Istanbul’s culinary backstreets, we are still regularly surprised by new discoveries, impressed by the staying power of old standards and shocked by how quickly so much can change. For better or for worse, it is that dynamism that Istanbulites line up for, ...continue
no responses - Posted 11.12.12
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 ...continue
7 responses - Posted 02.06.12
We generally wouldn’t recommend pulling yourself up into the back of a broken-down truck with no license plates that’s sitting in an empty lot down by the river, but Osman’s truck offers a rare glimpse of Istanbul if there really were no rules, and, not to mention, great views of ...continue
1 response - Posted 11.14.11
On a narrow alley just beyond the back gate of the Hırdavatçılar Çarşısı in Karaköy, we distinctly heard the bleat of a sheep. Turning the corner, we saw men wearing coveralls and vests with “Makita” stitched over the breast seated at low tables laughing through mouthfuls of flatbread. “Me-e-e-e-eh,” one ...continue