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Eatinerary: Culinary Backstreets, Made Personal
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Istanbul
Mutfak Dili: Tradesmen's Paradise

Culinary Backstreets lunch hunting tip #1:
Wander into one of Istanbul’s numerous districts of small commerce and find yourself on a small street with a shoe cobbler, a knife sharpener and hardware shops. Continue »

Istanbul
Pamuk Usta’s Nohut Dürüm: Gonzo Garbanzo

In previous posts, we’ve reported on the unusual eating habits in Turkey’s hot and dusty Southeast. In Gaziantep, we noted the “wake and flake” baklava breakfast. Continue »

Istanbul
CB on the Road: A Revived Grape Harvest in Thrace

Zeynep Arca Şallıel had a successful career in advertising in Istanbul, but in 1995 she decided to take on a daunting new challenge: taking part in the revival of small-scale viniculture in the ancient winemaking region of Thrace. Continue »

Istanbul
Altan Şekerleme: More Than Just Eye Candy

Just up the Golden Horn from the Egyptian Spice Bazaar is Küçük Pazarı, a rarely explored warren of market streets and Ottoman-era caravanserais that are home to scissors sharpeners, saddle shops, vendors selling axle grease (by the vat) and purveyors of axes. Continue »

Istanbul
First Stop: Dilara Erbay's Istanbul

Editor’s note: In the latest installment of our recurring feature, First Stop, we asked chef and artist Dilara Erbay where she stops first for food when she heads to Istanbul.  Continue »

Istanbul
Şiraz: From Iran, with Love

Even we sometimes find that our palates have grown weary of rakı and eggplant salad. Lately, when that happens, we’ve been heading over to the Asian side of Istanbul for unique Iranian-Turkish mezes and hearty carafes of Aegean red wine at Şiraz, a tiny meyhane in the Moda neighborhood of Kadıköy. Continue »

Istanbul
Emin Usta: Fish Sandwich Superhero

The first time we approached the stand of the legendary fish sandwich man, we were pleasantly surprised by what we saw: a dark, portly man with a glorious mustache (hence Mario, our nickname for him) turning fish on a portable grill cart next to the Karaköy waterfront. Continue »

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 »

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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
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