The District of Hoca Paşa in Sirkeci (five minutes walk down the hill from Sultanahmet) is rife with excellent local food joints. But this one gets the shiny gold star for having the freshest meat; in part because the owner is the butcher as well. Not to mention the neighborhood mayor (muhtar.) The smallish restaurant situated, next-door to Hoca Paşa Mosque, represents the best of its kind. Specializing in iskender and döner, you seriously can’t go wrong when selecting from the limited menu. They don’t serve anything they don’t believe in, or anything they didn’t butcher upstairs.
If you were just born, or you lived under a rock at the bottom of the ocean your entire life, döner is a large spit-grill meat kebab (see picture below), which rotates round and round on it’s vertical post either cooking to succulent perfection or drying out into inedible shoe leather. Kasap Osman does it right, the meat is tender and moist, wrap it in lavaş (paper thin bread) or eat it plain with rice. İskender is a dish prepared by spreading döner slices over bread and covering them in tomato sauce then baking the whole thing and finally coating it with melted butter at the table.
Choices here also include tavuk şiş (grilled chicken bits on a stick,) and a variety of other kebaps (meats on sticks.) As well as a wonderful dessert called sütlaç which is a kind of Turkish rice pudding. The ayran machine pumps all day and mixes up the delicious salty yogurt drink to quench your thirst.
- Don’t Miss: Döner porsiyon with sütlaç
- Best Perk: Fast and delicious
- Average Price: 15tl
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