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Karen Cirillo

Recent stories by Karen Cirillo

November 9, 2023

Çiğköfte Yiyelim: Fast Food With Biblical Roots

Istanbul |
By Karen Cirillo
Istanbul -- On a busy street in Beşiktaş, nestled between a camera shop and a turşu stand, sits an unassuming storefront offering çiğ köfte. Open only after 3 p.m., it’s easy to walk by and not take notice of what seems like an average fast-food joint. But this is Çiğköfte Yiyelim (which translates to “Let’s eat çiğ köfte!”), and is one of our favorite spots for this dish from southeastern Turkey because of the unique variations offered. Read more
January 27, 2023

Kitelimmi Kitel Burger: Southeast Treat

Istanbul |
By Karen Cirillo
Istanbul -- It’s fairly common for a son to claim his mother’s cooking as the best (especially in Turkey), but how often does he open a restaurant for her? Cıhan knew a good thing when he opened Kitelimmi Kitel Burger in the Kıztaşı neighborhood of Fatih. Not only is the food delicious, but his immi (mom) Ümit cooks up fare you can’t get many other places in Istanbul. Read more
September 8, 2022

Asia Lounge: A Community of Biryani

Istanbul |
By Karen Cirillo
Istanbul -- Across South Asia, arguments over which biryani is the best are not uncommon. For those from outside the region, differences in biryani are often reduced to “good versus bad,” but for those from South Asia, those differences can separate a tasty rice dish from the true taste of home. Read more
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