Bayburt Köftecisi

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1 Palazoğlu Sokak, Istanbul, Turkey
(0212) 231 0455

Bayburt Köftecisi Istanbul Reviews

Fio Fio
19 reviews
Nov 09, 2006
There are literally thousands of small lunch restaurants in Istanbul, all serving various sorts of quick, simple, working-man's (or -woman's) Turkish food, but Bayburt Köftecisi is without a doubt my favorite. The food itself is far from fancy, but delicious nonetheless, and definitely a cut above the often mediocre standard fare served at many similar places. However, the proprietors are really what make it special: Uncle Haji (not his real name, but rather what all my friends know him as, because as a devout muslim he has been on the hajj to Mecca, and because in Turkish, you can call someone amca - uncle - as a sort of informal sign of respect) and his son Mikail are members of that old-school breed of restauranteurs who take a tremendous amount of pride in their food and in making sure you enjoy your meal. It's a tiny place, with just four tables, but his also means there's a personal feel to eating here, helped along in no small part by the attentive, snappy service and Haji's and Mikail's friendly chatter. The only problem is that neither of them speak English, but this shouldn't deter you from going; instead, it just means that if you know someone who speaks some Turkish, you should bring them along, because it will only enhance the experience by enabling you to join in a bit on all the banter. Even without an interpreter, however, you'll be just fine (although a phrase book may help slightly). As soon as you sit down, you'll be brought a basket of fresh bread and can help yourself to one of the bottles of water already on the table. After that, it's up to you: probably starting out with some soup (çorba), either lentil (mercimek) or whatever the soup of the day is (if it happens to be on the daily menu, the yogurt-based soup is really good). For your main course, either wander the few steps to the back of the restaurant to survey your options, or try a bit of everything by asking for the mixed (karışık) plate -- either way, you're not likely to be disappointed with the massive plate of food. If you still have room, there's pudding for dessert (and hey, who doesn't like pudding) and of course the almost-obligatory glass of tea. A full meal (and one that will leave you *stuffed*) - soup, main course, dessert, tea - won't cost more than 10 or 12 YTL.
Uncle Haji & I
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