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Articles by: Istanbul Eats

Istanbul
CB on the Road: Join Us in Gaziantep!

Ankara may be Turkey’s political center and Istanbul its cultural and economic one, but ask Turks what their country’s culinary capital is and the answer will invariably be the same: Gaziantep. Continue »

Istanbul
Ramadan’s Iftar: The Break Fast of Champions

Think of Ramadan, which began in late June in many parts of the world, as a kind of monthlong biathlon that consists of an all-day race to beat back the hunger and thirst of fasting, followed by an all-night marathon of eating and drinking in order to fortify the body for the next day’s fast. Continue »

Istanbul
Turkistan Uygur Lokantası: Food from the Noodlelands

Anyone who has spent time in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia (or, “the ’Stans”) will have developed a deep and lasting appreciation for the cuisine of the Uighur, a Turkic people spread across the region whose homeland, Uygurstan, lies across the border in western China. Continue »

Istanbul
Çay Times: The Everyday Ritual of Turkish Tea

Tea is to Turkey what fizzy, watery beer is to Milwaukee – consumed in copious amounts, a desired chemical reaction takes place, but its real value lies not in the taste but in the ritual of swilling. Without noticing it, tea has snuck its way into daily life for us. We never really enjoyed the flavor of standard Turkish tea, but it is part and parcel of the rich Turkish experience. Continue »

Istanbul
Özkonak: The Real Pudding Shop

Regulars at Özkonak, a well-loved fixture in Cihangir’s ever-changing restaurant scene, must cluck in disapproval at the sight of a new generation of customers who walk right past the pudding display at the front and head for the steam table and its selection of prepared savory dishes in back. Continue »

Istanbul
Çukur Meyhane: When Liver Met Hamsi

Editor’s note: The departure of Aret, our favorite garson in the city, had us reconsidering our love of this little cubbyhole meyhane where we’ve spent so many nights over the years. Continue »

Istanbul
Kaymak: The Heavenly Cream

In our imagination, kaymak - the delicious Turkish version of clotted cream – is the only food served in heaven, where angels in white robes dish out plate after plate of the cloudlike stuff to the dearly departed, who no longer have to worry about cholesterol counts and visits to the cardiologist. Continue »

Istanbul
CB on the Road: Springtime with Antep's Top (Home) Chef

The cuisine of Antep deserves every bit of the praise it receives. In the southeastern city known as the gastronomic temple of Turkey, the world’s most refined kebab traditions are obsessively guarded by a cadre of traditional ustas in the local grilling institutions. Baklava workshops are steeped in an odd mixture of science and voodoo that would titillate Willy Wonka himself. Continue »

Istanbul
CB on the Road: Getting Souped Up at Gaziantep's Metanet

It is impossible to sleep late in Gaziantep, despite the tranquility of the historic quarter, the calming, hunker-in-and-go-back-to-sleep effect of the hotel room’s thick stone walls and the comforting, dusty smell of antique furniture. Even the promise of a nice breakfast spread served between 7:30 and 10 a.m. could not keep us from hitting this ancient southeastern Turkish city’s streets. Continue »

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

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