Google+
Eatinerary: Culinary Backstreets, Made Personal
Recent News & Reviews
Istanbul
Farooj al Zaeem: Slow Fast Food

Farooj al Zaeem is, pretty much, the best kind of restaurant made to resemble the worst kind of restaurant. If the neighborhood – one of Beyoğlu’s most unkempt snatches – doesn’t send you running, then the look of this place, like a knockoff polo shirt with misspellings, will signal that something here is not right. Continue »

Istanbul
Hail Caesar’s: Mushroom Hunting in Istanbul's Forests

Editor’s note: We’re celebrating Mushroom Week at Culinary Backstreets, and today’s installment takes us to Istanbul’s Belgrade Forest, where Turkey’s leading wild mushroom expert has found some remarkable fungus specimens. Continue »

Istanbul
Meşhur Tarihi Kalkanoğlu Pilavcısı: Smell Business Owners

The brothers Altu and Erol Aslan, who operate the Yeni Melek corner store on Ayhan Işık Sokak in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu neighborhood, have a legitimate complaint against their next-door neighbor, Tarihi Kalkanoğlu Pilavcısı. Continue »

Istanbul
Şehzade Erzurum Cağ Kebabı: Gaucho Kebab Rides Again

Istanbul has plenty of kebab joints, but places serving cağ are sadly hard to find. Originating in the eastern Anatolian province of Erzurum, the kebab looks like a horizontal döner, but tastes otherworldly. Continue »

Istanbul
Farming on the Edge: Istanbul's Threatened Urban Agriculture

“We grow everything here – kale, dill, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, arugula, eggplant, lettuce, cauliflower… everything,” the elderly woman says proudly, waving her hand in the direction of her small field as she digs her worn plastic sandals into the dirt. Continue »

Istanbul
Pot Dealer: Reviving a Turkish Coppersmithing Tradition

When we pick up a hefty, shiny copper pan in his workshop, Emir Ali Enç unhesitatingly claims, “You are now holding the best saucepan in the world.” Continue »

Istanbul
Mantık Mantı: Diaspora Dumplings, Part 2

Editor’s note: We’ve written previously about the strong connection between exiles and their dumplings; in this review, guest contributor İdil Meşe writes of her own family’s ties to this comfort food.

Continue »

Istanbul
Farewell, Pando: Istanbul Loses a Legend, and Part of Its Soul

Last week we had our last meal at the iconic Beşiktaş kaymak shop Pando. The framed news clippings were all boxed up; the marble-topped tables that lined the blue and white walls of the tiny place were in the storage space of a friend somewhere in the neighborhood. All that was left was a space heater, soon to be taken away. Continue »

Istanbul
Gastronomika: Home of the (High-Concept) Free Lunch

Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch? In fact, over at Gastronomika, a new Istanbul culinary project, the food is served not only free of charge but also with an intriguing – and ambitious – backstory. Continue »

Istanbul
CB on the Road: Fırtına Valley, a Garden of Eden on the Black Sea

Misty, lush Fırtına Valley is worlds away from Istanbul’s concrete urban hustle. It’s a land of cascading waterfalls, rushing rivers, wild edibles and precipitous hillsides covered with glossy tea bushes. Continue »

Meet our Istanbul team.
Food Walks! Explore with Culinary Backstreets
When it comes to exploring a city's authentic dining scene, while the stomach should ideally serve as the best compass, the truth is that it's hard to find your way without good local advice. That's where Culinary Backstreets' food walks come in.
Istanbul Eats: Exploring The Culinary Backstreets
Join Our Culinary Walks