Until recently, Greek, Armenian and Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) were the languages spoken in most kitchens of Istanbul’s historic district of Beyoğlu. Though the old cosmopolitans who populated the belle époque apartment buildings of Istanbul’s “European Quarter” have largely been replaced by a vibrant blend of rural Anatolians and global bohemians, traces of these unique cultures remain, creating a very unique dining culture – at once rough and refined. With Beyoğlu’s cosmopolitan history as a backdrop, on this walk we eat our way through the well-known and unknown eateries of the neighborhood, the old and the new, tasting specialties from all over the country. Beginning with a fresh simit and tea and a crash course in Anatolian cheeses, we’ll have a bracing shot of pickle juice and maybe a chicken breast pudding for starters. Winding our way through the side streets, there will be Chechen pastries, sublime Turkish delight, fish markets, street vendors, a full lunch and, finally, the best Turkish coffee in the city. Depending on the day and what the walk comes across, there will be several other culinary surprises along the way.
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