Fatih, the district
around the Mosque of Mehmet
the Conqueror (Fatih Camii),
is among the most traditional and conservative
parts of Istanbul. Many of the old
ways survive and prosper here, including
in their cuisine and dining.
The so-called Kadınlar Pazarı (Lady's
Market) is a long mall-like stretch
Caddesi just northwest of
the Aqueduct of Valens (Bozdoğan
Traditional foods and ways of preparing
them are paramount here, with Kurdish-
dishes from southeastern Turkey prominent.
Grocery shops dot
both sides of the street, displaying
the culinary riches of the eastern
and southeastern cities of Erzincan,
Siirt, Van and
Diyarbakır: cheeses of
goat, sheep and cow's milk, some braided,
some with herbs in), spices, a
bewildering choice of honeys, and yogurts including
manda yoğurdu (water
Butchers' shops display every part
of sheep and cows: floppy tripe, shiny
livers and hearts, glaring flayed heads,
shiny "rams' eggs" (testicles), trotters.
Animals are kept live nearby and slaughtered
when needed so the meat is always fresh.
Choose an appealing restaurant, sit
down with a group of friends, order büryan
lamb), and you'll be brought a large
tray covered in flat bread, topped
with salads, vegetables, pickles, and
succulent morsels of meat. Everyone
dines from the same tray, scooping
up bits with flaps of fresh-baked flat
bread. The only eating utensil is a
large spoon used for soups and stews.
Another traditional dish is perde pilav, a rice pilav of partridge or chicken, almonds and spices baked slowly in a thin egg-pastry "cloak."
This is Ottoman-style dining.
It's great fun, and the food is delicious
and not expensive.
Among the more popular restaurants
here is Siirt Şeref Büryan Kebap Salonu (Şeref Büryan [sheh-REHF bewr-YAHN] for short), İtfaiye Caddesi 4. Another is Sur Ocakbaşı (SOOR
oh-JAHK-bah-shuh) at İtfaiye Caddesi
19 near the intersection with Tezgahçılar
Sokak, but many of these restaurants are suitable.
Stroll up and down the street until
you find one you like. In fine weather,
most have tables outside, which is
Southeastern Anatolian Cuisine
Interested in southeastern
Anatolian cuisine? The Öz
Kilis Lokantası, Hırka-i
Şerif Caddesi, off the beaten track
at Bedrettin Simavi Sokak No. 5 (map;
tel. (212) 523 4457), specializes
as they are made
in the city of Kilis,
just a few kilometers from the Syrian
border north of Aleppo (Halab, Halep).
The garlic soup is
tart, savory and delicious. Hot pepper
and mint are more in evidence in
their dishes. They stuff dried eggplant/aubergine
for patlıcan dolması,
and prepare a variety of spicy kebabs. The pide (Turkish-style
pizza) and lahmacun (extra-thin
fresh and tasty, made right before
If the ground-floor room is crowded,
climb the stairs to the upper
dining room, which may be more comfortable.
—by Tom Brosnahan
Below, Siirt Şeref
Buryan Kebap Salonu, one
of several suitable restaurants
in Kadınlar Pazarı.
Below left, Büryan