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Articles by: Istanbul Eats

Istanbul
Erol Lokantası: The Un-Tourist Trap

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 tradesman’s restaurants. “I guess that makes us unique, doing things the old way,” he says, as if this vintage eatery needed a tagline. Continue »

Istanbul
Spring (Food) Break 2014: Istanbul

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. But one cannot survive on a diet of daily news alone. In case you all forgot, Spring is here.
Continue »

Istanbul
Erzincan Tandır Ekmeği: Village Loaves for City Folks

In the Kurtuluş district of Istanbul, we’ve lately been exploring links to older, nearly lost Istanbul culinary traditions. Spending time in the sweetshops, milk bars and şarküteri of this district, we’ve seen a glimmer, if faded, of the “Old Istanbul” that people remember from the 1950s and ’60s, when the city’s historic minorities – Greeks, Armenians and Jews – played a prominent role in the culinary scene of the city. Continue »

Istanbul
Trileçe: The Balkan Cake of Mystery

It’s hard to imagine Istanbul without its pastane windows stacked high with trays of ivory-colored flaky mille-feuille and coolers lined with row after row of chocolate-topped éclairs. And of course, the sweets scene in Istanbul would not be complete without the much-loved profiterole. Continue »

Istanbul
Karaköy Lokantası: A Dockside Winner

When Karaköy was still “the docks” and filled with shop windows advertising boat tickets to Odessa alongside cubby-sized import and export offices, Karaköy Lokantası felt like a culinary mirage. Continue »

Istanbul
Mourning in Istanbul: The Bread of Political Affliction

Since coming to Istanbul more than a decade ago, we have come to associate a loaf of the city’s iconic crusty white bread with satisfying lunches in an esnaf lokantası, using chunks of the humble loaf to sop up whatever was left on our plate. Since Tuesday, though, a loaf of bread has become something else in Istanbul: a symbol of both mourning and protest. Continue »

Istanbul
Grills and Thrills: Istanbul's Top 5 Kebab Restaurants

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, where lines form out the door for kebab that is just as tasty and expertly cooked. Continue »

Istanbul
Çiya Sofrası: Loquat Kebabs and Mesopotamian Truffles at Istanbul’s Culinary Shrine

For us, one of the highlights of spring in Istanbul is a visit to Çiya Sofrası, the Asian-side eatery that is very likely the best restaurant in Istanbul. It’s certainly not the fanciest or most cutting-edge place in town, but we rarely leave Çiya without having a profoundly new and memorable taste experience. Continue »

Istanbul
The Salepçi of Sütçüler: The Hard Life of a Sweet Trade

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 no milkmen in Sütçüler, at least not in the wintertime. Continue »

Istanbul
Barba: Fun House

Editor’s note: [We're sad to report that Barba closed on March 28, 2014.] We’re going on a Global Bar Crawl this week, and today we’re stopping at a building in Istanbul that has five floors of bars and clubs. Tomorrow we head to Mexico City for some mezcal. Continue »

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