What are the odds that after you’ve been to an exhibition of finds from a long-ago shipwreck you’ll end up having lunch at a place named Shipwreck of Angels? We’d been to the National Archaeological Museum in downtown Athens to see a roomful of haunting statues wrenched up from the deep off the tiny island of Antikythera. Continue »
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There is something magical about the area where To Mavro Provato is located, near the rather mysterious Proskopon Square in Pagrati. The square itself, hidden behind Vasileos Konstantinou Avenue, is usually dark even in the daytime thanks to the tall shady trees that fill it. Continue »
At 6 p.m. on a Monday evening, the dining room of Adana Ocakbaşı was nearly full and the wide grill in the corner was covered with skewers loaded with meat. While most restaurants, worldwide, were closed or waiting for a slow night to start, this neighborhood kebab house was busting through a bumper rush of early birds in for a quick lamb chop or two on the way home. Continue »
More so than any other district in Istanbul, Perşembe Pazarı – the city’s hardware zone – brings together what we love most about this city: thriving street life, hard-to-grasp commercial enterprises, remnants of history and, of course, excellent hidden spots to eat. A chickpea and pilaf cart is pushed past a classic grilled fish dive into the rutted courtyard of an Ottoman-era han where nothing but springs are sold, hanging like heavy vines from pegboards outside tiny domed shops – that’s a typical Perşembe Pazarı moment. Continue »
The blackboard hanging outside Dexameni’s cramped kitchen reads, “Kindergarten-Bar-Nursing Home,” the title jokingly bestowed upon the café by the eminent novelist and poet Alexandros Papadiamantis. He was among the literati who made Dexameni their regular hangout shortly after it opened in the early 1900s – so regular that the place ended up serving as a home-away-from-home for all stages of life. Continue »
On a night out in Istanbul, we often find ourselves forced to make sacrifices in one or more categories of the overall dining experience. Great food at reasonable prices will surely be laid out in a room decorated in Anatolian kitsch. Bosphorus views and contemporary furnishings are a license to gouge and serve up flaccid renditions from the world kitchen. In the alcohol category, settle for rakı or suffer the consequences. This is an oft-repeated refrain that most people in Istanbul can join in on. Continue »