Gram Take Away
Going on with my Istanbul series let me tell you about a special bazar that is still kind of an insider and reminds me of the different food festivals or vendors markets that we have in Cologne except that in Istanbul rightfully no entry fee is expected.
Once a month the hip and the stylish gather at the Karaköy quarter in a former industrial building and take part at one of the Souqs that get organized here. Sometimes it is more about clothes and another times about food. The names differ, I am not completely sure why but it usually refers to the theme. When I went the Souq was named Ziyafet (Turkish for feast) and it was all about food.
I really liked the site and its industrial feel though we first got lost on the way there. Some of my family members were with me and got a little annoyed that I took them away from shopping to the harbor in the rain. But that’s Istanbul! The quarters can be really tiny and sometimes there are big breaches because of modern streets or architecture. You will stand lonely in narrow alleys and wonder where the heck you are while on the next corner it could be full of people.
Ok, so there we are walking through a small labyrinth of old warehouses full with graffiti and construction sites as Karaköy is right in the middle of gentrification and experiences a building boom. Right when I thought we were totally wrong and should go back home I see all the cool people drinking coffee and ice tea around the corner!
But before I go on and tell you about all the amazingness we could taste and see, I want to point out something. Actually it is weird to find these hipster things in Istanbul. It is still a city which in many cases doesn’t has to go back to its roots as the roots are still there! Modernization surely takes its toll on this metropolis and things start to disappear but the kind of meticulous artisanal craftsmanship executed with love that the plaid wearing and bearded city dweller of today seeks out is still lived by many Istanbul people and doesn’t need to be rediscovered because it is not lost in the first place. However I appreciate the effort of these young Istanbul people starting early with sustainable thinking and offering a get together for tourists like me. In some cases there is still a long way to go until these hipster ideas will taste as good as their logos look. So the old artisans can teach the new generation how it goes.
Above you see the guys from KAPTA. They were definitely my favorite food vendors on that day. Because first it was a warm but very rainy day and soup therefore very welcome. Second, the Thai style soup was just really tasty. I also did see very delish looking fresh salads which I didn’t try as I already hopped on to the next stand. Which was occupied by Auteur who offered sweet and savory sandwiches. Their toppings and fillings were extremely good while the artisanal breads oriented towards German sourdough or Italian focaccia left room for improvement.
Then I sipped a little black tea at Chado and bought me a selection of the food from Gram Take Away. They had gazpacho, dolmehs with a sour cherry sauce and great sweets like pavlovas. Doesn’t the take away cup design look awesome? I really have a thing with floral patterns and these were so pretty!!!
Taze Direkt had a vast selection of produce. They are some kind of food home delivery service.Outside stood this cute girl (I just love her dress!) from Coco Mambo and offered coconuts. Either you could refresh yourself here with a sip of coconut juice or drink great Italian style coffees and bottled juices at the carts next. Afterwards we strolled through the beyond beautiful quarter. It is packed with nice cafés and restaurants, the choice where to sit down was not easy. We decided for Baltazar as my mother did not snack like the rest of us at the Souq and wanted to have lunch. She ordered a steak meal which came in a big serving and had great quality. There was no seasoning as my mother is allergic to almost any spice but the meat was so good on its own that there was no need anyhow.I was wearing my Rachel Antonoff x Other Stories top and my beloved ZARA ripped pants.
As a souvenir for home I took some gluten-free chocolote cookies from Glutensiz Ürünler Atölyesi. I can eat stuff with gluten, it doesn’t hit me hard but does affect me. So I always am on the look out on ways to cut my intake. These were pretty tasty and I would buy them again. The brand offered various kinds of cookies but also savory crackers. I tried all of them and liked each.
// Here is the link to the Souq Karaköy Facebook site. They always announce on time when the next one will happen. Today the Souq Kislik (winter) is takes place and will go until the evening if you happen to be around.
And here some fun image videos. First of the Souq Ziyafet:
And then of the Souq Külah a year ago: