Different types of restaurant in Istanbul

Succulent dolma, savoury soups, rich köfte, honeyed baklava… there is one word for Istanbul’s cuisine, and that word is “sumptuous”. There’s various different types of restaurant in Istanbul, ranging from the most humble kebab shop to the finest restaurant and selling cuisine of all imaginable stripes. After reading our guide to the different types of restaurant in Istanbul, there’s only one thing left for it – go forth and eat your way through the list!

Cheap restaurants in Istanbul

Istanbul is an excellent place to try street food. As well as things like chestnuts, corn on the cob and fried mussel sandwiches sold from street vendors, there’s plenty of small outlets from which you can fashion genuine banquets at low-cost prices.

  • Büfe are street kiosks which serve a variety of lip-smacking fast food. You can get various types of toasted sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers and kebabs from these. Wash it all down with a typical ayran, a yoghurt drink similar to lassi.
  • Lokanta are something like a bistrot, and generally have photographs of meal options in the restaurant’s window. A typical dish to try here are the hearty home-made soups and stews.
  • Kebapci are what we would think of as a kebab shop, although in reality the food they serve is much more varied than the simple döner – meatballs and skewers are also often on sale here.
  • Köfteci are dedicated to köfte – minced lamb meatballs – and often also serve various desserts.
  • Pideci sell pide (are you noticing a theme here?). Turkey’s equivalent of pizza, this is made from Turkish pitta bread, and is often served on the same menu as lahmacun – Armenian pizza. Of the two, pide is thicker.
  • Mantici are dedicated to manti – steamed dumplings, filled with minced lamb and served with yoghurt.
  • A Tatlici is a dessert restaurant; something like Istanbul’s equivalent of a pastry shop. Here, you can find prime examples of Turkey’s most famous dessert, such as melt-in-the-mouth morsels of baklava pastries with pistachios and syrup and Turkish delight (lokum).

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More upmarket restaurants in Istanbul

The above are mostly the sort of establishment you’ll finish during the day, but if you fancy pushing the boat out more at night-time, Istanbul also contains plenty of places to do so.

  • RAK13 Meyhane are taverns, where the residents of Istanbul frequently come to drink raki (something like sambuka or ouzo). The drinks are served with seemingly endless rounds of meze – Turkish tapas – and sometimes a main course to finish off. Expect typical Turkish food.
  • Ocakbasi normally have a large stand in the middle, and serve main courses, generally with meat. Raki is also drunk here.
  • There’s also plenty of restaurants in Istanbul which serve food from other cultures. This multicultural city is a great place to try dishes from other parts of the world.

We hope you enjoyed reading our guide to the Istanbul restaurants. One thing’s certain, however – you’ll enjoy the eating more!

All you need to know about tapas in Madrid

The Spanish capital is a great place to go out for tapas. Famous for its “marcha” (that’s a lively nightlife to you and me), Madrid is awash with small (and large) tapas bars where you can eat, drink and make merry to your heart’s content.

Typical tapas dishes from Madrid

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From typical olives, cheese portions, chickpea stews to classic patatas bravas (potatoes with spicy sauce) and fried squid rings, in Madrid tapas is a feature of more or less any day-to-day bar. In particular, squid sandwiches (oddly delicious) and scrambled eggs with potatoes are highlights of Madrid’s tapas scene. Some of the most popular tapas in Madrid also include prawns and garlic mushrooms, Spanish omelette and “soldaditos de pavía” (a sort of sophisticated fish finger).

Where to eat tapas in Madrid

Although tapas in Madrid can be found in bars all over the city, there’s a few areas of Madrid which are more obvious tapas dates than others. Typical areas for going out for tapas in Madrid include La Latina district, the Plaza Mayor, Lavapiés, Chamberí and, of course, the Puerta del Sol.

Particularly popular tapas bars in Madrid include:

  • Txirimiri (Humilladero 6 and others) – a small chain which offers foods from the culinary reputable north of Spain.
  • La Petisa (C/ Lope de Vega 15) – a cute, stylish small tapas bar.
  • El Tigre (Calle de las Infantas, 30) – a busy student bar, guaranteed to be a lot of fun.
  • Casa Lucio (C/ Cava Baja, 35) – a Madrid restaurant famous for attending to royals and top-name stars. Make sure you book in advance!

Cheap eats in London

fish-chips-rain Various things can spoil a holiday in London. One is the weather, but don’t say you weren’t prepared for that. Another can be the prices. Yes, London is expensive. And fair better to save up all those hard-earned pounds and pence for all those pints you’ll be buying. So here’s our guide to some of our favourite restaurants, markets and other cheap eats in London.

  1. Camden Market in London

cheap-eats-camden The take-away treat of all the students who populate the area. Around the Camden Markets, you’ll find loads of cheap Chinese (and other) food stalls. These will give you a meal that, although it might not be particularly nutritious, is definitely delicious. Whatever you order, you’ll definitely be able to fill your stomach for under a fiver. The food stalls in the Spitalfields market are also definitely worth a look, if you’re in the area.

  1. Try fish and chips for cheap eats

fish-chips Fish and chips, that classic British dish, is one of the cheapest square meals around. In fact, there’s actually theories that good old British fish and chips prevented a revolution during the Great Depression, allowing even the victims of rising unemployment rates access to a decent dinner. We particularly like the Golden Hind, on 73 Marylebone Lane, London.

  1. Have a full English breakfast

english-breakfast Baked beans, buttered toast, sausages, bacon, fried eggs… more or less a heart attack on a plate, the full English is an artery-clogging tray of goodness that will firmly lock up hunger until lunch without costing the earth. Do like the British and reserve it for special occasions and particularly bad hangovers, or you’ll end up in the NHS.

  1. Cheap eats in a London pub

cheap-food-london Pub food can often be much better than you think and much healthier than you might fear. The Mayflower, for example (117 Rotherhithe Street, London), sells roast butternut squash sprinkled with pine nuts for £ 8.50. Ubiquitous chain Wetherspoon’s (or “spoons”, as it’s also known) is not the classiest or most individual joint in London, but does offer cheap eats and prides itself on its selections of local ales, too.

Whether you’ve ended up in the market, the chippy’s, or, as on so many British occasions, in the pub, we hope you’ve found a restaurant, shop or stall whose budget buffets have satisfied both your stomach and you purse. Knowledge is power, and don’t forget to share it with us by writing in and letting us know where your favourite cheap eats in London are.

The best cafes in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires’ cafe tradition is legendary. Meeting places to talk politics, philosophy and religion, or just chat about last night’s TV, the cafes in Buenos Aires, Argentina, are where some of the city’s most important slices of life can be found. If you’re a fan of the old bean juice, then, you might be looking for a guide to the best cafes in Buenos Aires…

Three top Buenos Aires cafes

cafe-tortoni-baires The Café Tortoni is a special guest on this list. Not necessarily because it’s the best cafe in Buenos Aires, but because it’s the most famous and possibly the most historic. The cafe’s been going strong since 1858, and has played host to literary, scientific and political crowds, with visits from everyone from Jorge Luis Borges to Albert Einstein. The basement currently plays home to jazz and tango performances, as well as literary events. The cafe has its own library, and has been rated as one of the most beautiful in the world. Avenida de Mayo 825.

BA-cafe-top The lofty interior of Mama Racha, set in the fashionable Buenos Aires neighbourhood that is Palermo Soho, could be any other (rather stylish) cafe/bar/restaurant. The real selling point of this space, however, is the upstairs open-air terrace, which looks onto the Plaza Armenia. Perfect for lazy days in the sun. If Mama Racha doesn’t take your fancy, there’s plenty of other cafes nearby, as well. Costa Rica 4602, Palermo Soho.

lattente-BA LaTTEnTE is a great cafe for true coffee lovers. Containing an incredibly wide selection of different types of coffee and tasty morsels to enjoy with it, Lattente also holds barista classes in this simple, functional yet stylish space (think wooden floors and red and white walls). The mocca martini (vodka, espresso, dairy cream, chocolate syrup and ice) tasted like the best White Russian you could dream of: try it along with the maracuyá (passionfruit) mousse. Arenales 2019, Recoleta.

…which is your favourite cafe in Buenos Aires?

The best Paris bakery

The boulangeries, or bakeries in Paris are known as being some of the best in the world. If you’re into pastries, baguettes and other oven-based products, a trip to the French capital is worth it just for being able to wake up every day to pain au chocolat. Here, we hunt down le “best bakery” de Paris.

Le Grenier à Pain

baguette Le Grenier à Pain won the Best Baguette in Paris prize 2010, and continues to offer sweets (like chocolate tart… yum) and savouries (fig bread is particularly good). The bakery holds training workshops all year round, and has received numerous prizes and mentions for its work in the baking world.

Location: 38 Rue des Abbesses, 18ème.

Le Boulanger de Monge

cinnamon-rolls Le Boulanger de Monge often has queues outside during the mornings. This is not really a surprise – this organic bakery has the exact right touch to perfectly produce tasty morsels. The Danish pastries – especially chocolate and crumble flavour – are fantastic.

Location: 53 Rue Montorgueil, 2ème.

The Rose Bakery

croissant The Paris Rose Bakery is a surprising entry into this list in that… wait for it… it’s not French! And, if we’re honest, it’s more of a brunch spot than a real bakery. It’s slightly on the pricey side, but this café has become one of the hot-spots of the trendy Marais district, and served excellent food to boot. Try the carrot cake and the scones.

Location: 30 Rue Debelleyme, 3ème.

The three best fish and chips shops in London

Britain is famed for its fish and chips, and London in particular might be the city with the most fish and chips shops in the world. They say that fish and chips even staved off the depression of the 30s turning into full-blown civil war, as more or less everyone could get their hands on a filling meal at a good price. Nowadays, fish and chips remains a classic, if somewhat unhealthy, meal of great importance to the British diet, and going to a fish and chips shop in London is on the to-do list of most visitors to the city.

fish-and-chips-shop-london Fish Bone, close to Regent’s Park, is a great example of how fish and chips are typically sold. The restaurant looks basic from the outside, but it’s no surprise it’s been going strong for coming up to 100 years now – the fish and chips are excellent quality (chips are hand-cut), and its convenient location makes it perfect for taking-away a summer picnic to Regent’s Park. You can BYOB. Find it at 82 Cleveland Street.

haunted-pubs-london The Grenadier, close to Hyde Park, is more of a pub than a traditional fish and chips shop. It’s a slightly more upmarket experience, and there’s various things on the menu apart from fish and chips. You can also order classic British ales, such as London Pride. Be careful though – this pub is said to be haunted! The Grenadier is on 18 Wilton Row.

fish-restaurant-london The Golden Fish bar, in Finsbury, is about as British as you can get. At coming up to 150 years old, it’s one of the oldest fish and chips shops in London, and serves up dishes in classic, unassuming style. Staff are very friendly, although it’s slightly out of the city centre. Tends to fill up quickly. The Golden Fish Bar can be found on 102 Farringdon Road.

 

Have you ever had fish and chips in London? Help future readers decide where to try this British speciality by adding your recommendations to the list using the “comments” box below.

Restaurant Week New York summer 2012

nyc-week-2012-summer The great New York tradition of Restaurant Week is now, in 2012, coming into its 20th year. Held biannually (the next edition is coming up from July 16th to August 10th, making this event more like “Restaurant Three Weeks”), The NYC summer Restaurant Week 2012 will allow you to buy dinner in any participating restaurant for a fixed price – $ 24.07 for lunch, or $ 35 for dinner.

In some restaurants, this is a massive deduction in the price of the final bill, meaning you can head into top-class restaurants without fear of embarrassment at the moment the check comes.

Participating restaurants in the New York Restaurant Week are normally announced around six weeks before the event. As such, a list of participating restaurants in New York Restaurant Week summer 2012 should come out very soon. Rather than changing completely, however, the list of participating restaurants tends to be updated, meaning that we can already begin to speculate (based on Restaurant Week winter 2012’s greatest successes) about which participating restaurants will be.

ny-restaurant-week-summer-2012 – To get your money’s worth, hot contenders for participators in New York Restaurant Week this summer include places like SHO by Shaun Hergatt. Using only the highest-quality seasonal and locally-inspired ingredients, a four-course meal in this restaurant would normally cost € 85. Even though the three-course € 35 dinner during restaurant week has one course less, that’s still a whopping saving of € 50. Although it hasn’t been revealed how much of the normal menu of participating restaurants will be available, this establishment normally offers you the opportunity to experiment with unusual, exotic-sounding textures and recipes such as Warm Morel Espuma and Crispy Skin Branzino.

tocqueville_bar – Another option is Tocqueville, whose $ 55 menu was reduced by an impressive $ 20 during Restaurant Week winter 2012. Another restaurant that experiments with different, unusual combinations of flavours, Tocqueville on a normal night might feature dishes such as Jasmine-Marinated Fluke Tartar and Sashimi, House-Made Tofu and Oven-Roasted Poussin.

With hundreds of participants, Restaurant Week has inspired copycats all over the world. You can keep an eye on the mouth-watering developments of Restaurant Week NYC summer 2012 here. With so much choice available, however, whatever the confirmed list of participants turns out to be there’s bound to be something that appeals.

Top three vegetarian restaurants in Seville

Forget the clichés! It is possible to find good vegetarian food in Spain, and even in Andalusian heartland, Seville. If, for whatever reason, you don’t eat meat and /or fish and are looking for more vegetable-based tapas options, here are some suggestions of vegetarian restaurants in Seville.

Almanara restaurant (Alameda de Hércules, 85) has a prime location and a terrace from which to watch the Sevillian world go by. Decorated (as vegetarian restaurants so often are) in minimal style, it serves tapas and interesting dishes such as vegetable tempura with romesco (Spanish tomato-and-hazelnut) sauce, goat’s cheese with guacamole and roast tomato chutney and Marrocan couscous with vegetables.

Gaia restaurant (C/Luis de Vargas, 4) is a cosy restaurant which serves vegetarian and vegan food. All dishes are made with organic products, and if you don’t fancy eating in the restaurant, you can also order to take away. Some of the highlights include cream of tomato and beetroot soup, and hummus.

Habanita restaurant (C/ Golfo, 3) provides vegetarian, Caribbean and Mediterranean food. An interesting combination, which attracts a highly varied type of client. Here, you can try all kinds of dish, including corn cakes with refried beans, ratatouille, cheese and courgette, spinachballs and Roquefort croquettes. They also have food available for celiacs.

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In any tapas restaurant, some classic dishes that are ‘safe’ to order normally include patatas bravas (potato wedges with spicy tomato sauce), tortilla de patata (Spanish omelette) and olivas (olives).

The world’s top ten restaurants

A list of the fifty best restaurants was recently compiled by the San Pellegrino experts. Concerns might be raised as to the fairness of the judging of the world’s fifty best restaurants – of the fifty top restaurants in the world, only four are from Asia and none are from Africa. Moreover, the top three are all European. Although this might be the case, one thing’s fairly certain – in any of the restaurants listed, you’re bound to enjoy a pretty spectacular meal. Here, we look in greater detail at the top ten restaurants in the world.

The world’s top ten restaurants

Top ten restaurants – Spain

celler-can-roca Of the top ten restaurants in the world, you may be surprised to learn that three are from Spain, and furthermore that two are from San Sebastián. Enjoying a culinary highlight, world-famous chefs such as Juan Mari Arzak have made their name here (indeed, Arzak comes in at a respectable number eight on the list). Sophisticated haute cuisine, the typical San Sebastián ‘pinxos’ (something like canapés) often look more like something you’d want to put on your mantelpiece than real food. The Celler de Can Roca in Girona, at number two, provides weird and wonderful takes on local Catalan specialities. One of the desserts from the Celler even inspired the Calvin Klein perfume Eternity.

Top ten restaurants – USA

As such a large and varied country, it’s no surprise that three more of the top ten restaurants are in the USA. New York’s Per Se, coming in the highest of these at number six. Utter perfection is the name of the game, and in keeping with typical New York attitude that the customer always comes first, standards are incredibly high.

Top ten restaurants – Denmark

noma-restaurant As the country is relatively unknown for its cuisine, it may come as some of a surprise that the top restaurant in the world 2012, Noma, is in Denmark. Creative, thoughtful, carefully made and above all delicious food will let this straight-A student of a restaurant alter any preconceptions you may have had of Nordic cuisine.

Top ten restaurants – Brazil

Given that Brazil is a strong contender for the greatest diversity of flora and fauna worldwide, any restaurant – like DOM – that supports local ingredients is sure to bring some interesting new flavours to the table. Listed at number four, this is a restaurant to take you out of your comfort zone with panache.

Top ten restaurants – Italy

The Osteria Francescana, at number five, serves up sophisticated, traditional Italian cuisine with a modern garnish and a large helping of relaxed informality. The Oops! Broken Fruit Pie will literally make your mouth water.

Top ten restaurants – The UK

dinner-london-restaurant-uk Despite the UK’s (perhaps undeserved) gastronomic reputation, Dinner, a new entry at number nine, will get your tastebuds tingling. Featuring a quirky take on traditional British cuisine, the set lunch costs only 32GBP for three courses (and includes delicious-sounding creations like “prune and tamarind tart”), making this excellent London find a place to please paupers as well as princes.