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Posts Tagged ‘ street food ’

May 11

Feriköylu Ömer Usta: Köfte Club

Filed under Reviews (Eats)

Feriköylu Ömer Usta, photo by Paul Osterlund

The triangle of Kurtuluş, Feriköy and Bomonti represents an Istanbul on the verge of fading away. Though still inhabited by significant numbers of Greeks, Jews and Armenians, there are more local churches and synagogues than are used by the remnants of those diminished communities. The numerous schools, houses of worship and cemeteries are relics testifying to the cosmopolitanism that once defined this segment of inner Istanbul.

Another nostalgic quality of the area is its small-business culture, still thriving, yet on the verge of a major shift. Though there are many long-standing cake shops, butchers and meze delis, the gentrification triumvirate of artisanal pizza, craft burgers and third-wave coffee has come a-knocking, particularly in Bomonti, where the old beer factory (the neighborhood’s namesake) was recently revamped into the latest incarnation of the acclaimed concert hall Babylon. The gorgeous, glimmering venue and the numerous skyscrapers that lurk in the background foreshadow the inevitable creeping transformation of Kurtuluş and Feriköy, both home to middle-class quarters and poorer, run-down enclaves.

Read the rest of the story at Culinary Backstreets.

All entries filed under this archive

“I’ve Come and I’m Gone”: A Tribute to Istanbul’s Street Vendors
no responses - Posted 01.21.16
Metin Akdemir is a filmmaker based in Istanbul. In 2011 he made a short film about street vendors in the city. The film, “Ben Geldim Gidiyorum” (“I’ve Come and I’m Gone”), won several awards in Turkish and international film festivals, and we think it’s a very valuable piece of work ...continue
Bus Fare: A Transit Terminal’s Food to Go
no responses - Posted 09.18.15
The Yenibosna bus station sits at the intersection of numerous transit routes, where passengers can embark on journeys to the furthest corners of the city as well as to its beating heart. Close to Istanbul’s main airport, and wedged in beneath several high-rise towers that seem to have ascended from the ...continue
Kelle: Face Off
no responses - Posted 08.06.15
Don’t people just love to fight about food? Punch-ups over which city makes the best pizza, brawls about what’s the right way to barbecue. Louis and Ella nearly called the whole thing off over the pronunciation of the word “tomato.” In this pugilistic spirit, we took our place at a couple ...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
The Salepçi of Sütçüler: The Hard Life of a Sweet Trade
no responses - Posted 02.24.14
By the name of the place, you’d expect the Sütçüler (“Milkmen” in English) district near Isparta in southern Turkey to be a dairyland paradise, thick on the ground with men carrying buckets sloshing fresh milk, cheese wheels stacked in cool dark sheds, verdant hills freckled with cows. But there are ...continue
Salep: Pure and Uncut
2 responses - Posted 12.03.13
When we last visited Cemal Bey, he was sitting behind a desk in a small, bare office on the second floor of a decrepit building near the Egyptian Bazaar in the city’s old quarter (he has since moved). Three large burlap sacks filled with what look like jumbo-sized yellow raisins ...continue
Top Istanbul Street Foods
no responses - Posted 05.24.13
As rapidly as Istanbul marches toward its modern destiny, street food in this city is still served the old-fashioned way, by boisterous ustas with a good pitch and, sometimes, a really good product. When the bars close, hungry Istanbulites cruise the streets looking for the gas lamp of a rice ...continue
Beşaltı Kirvem Tantuni: Turkish for “Taquería”?
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
Ali Usta Kokoreç: Gut Master
no responses - Posted 08.21.12
Recently, while continuing our research into how kokoreç (grilled lamb intestines) became a fast-food staple in Istanbul, we were told by our favorite kelleci (vendor of cooked sheep’s head), Muammer Usta, about one of the oldest kokoreç masters around. Ali Usta’s shop is in Dolapdere, down the hill from the Tarlabaşı Sunday market and just ...continue
Hacı Beşir Usta: The Raw and the Hooked
1 response - Posted 08.07.12
(Editor’s note: This post was written by “Meliz,” an intrepid explorer of Istanbul’s culinary backstreets and frequent Istanbul Eats guest contributor who would like to keep her anonymity.) At Istanbul Eats HQ, the conversation comes up every once in a while about how çiğ köfte has emerged as a sort of fast-food franchising ...continue

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