March 21, 2012

10 of the Best Lokantas in Istanbul

Istanbul's lokantas, or 'tradesmen's restaurants', are where the locals go for fast, fresh home-style cooking and a lively atmosphere. The Istanbul Eats bloggers select 10 of the best...


Karaköy Lokantasi

This place started with the concept of a traditional esnaf lokantasi and added laid-back service and funky design and paying greater attention to the food. The result is a power lunch spot buzzing with bankers out for a bite. Hünkar beğendi, a leftover from the Ottoman imperial kitchen, is the star of the menu. Eggplants are charred on a charcoal grill, then peeled, mashed and thickened with milk and cheese. Over the top, tender morsels of slow-cooked lamb are drizzled with the red gravy they were stewed in. It's the beğendi experience that this place thrives on. At night, it turns into a taverna.

Kemankeş Caddesi 37, Karaköy, +90 212 292 4455
karakoylokantasi.com, mains around £5.
Open Mon-Sat 6am-midnight

Read more on The Guardian: 10 of the Best Lokantas in Istanbul

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