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culinary walks

The Old Bicycle: Funky Ride

It was a frosty dark night just before the solstice and as we walked the 10 or so minutes from the Keramikos Metro to our destination, we passed familiar favorites like A Little Taste of Home and places as yet unvisited that seemed alluring. But when we ventured further into the unknown, the street was empty both of pedestrians and lit storefronts. Where was this restaurant?

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Keramikos Calling: Market Day in the Backstreets

Quick bite: On this walk through Keramikos, on the day of the vibrant weekly street market, we’ll get a taste of the creativity and tradition that reside here, visiting neighborhood institutions, both old and new. From Cretan homecooking to classic Northern-style pastry, spankingly fresh seafood to souvlaki al fresco, it’s a miracle that Keramikos remains a neighborhood under the radar.

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A Day in Sants: Feasting Off the Grid

Quick bite: Spend the day eating your way through Sants, a lesser-explored neighborhood with a booming local food scene and a fascinating history. We’ll dig into markets and old vermuterias, pastry shops and down home restaurants, but we’ll also find the pulse of Sants in some contemporary culinary projects.

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Spring Trees: Sichuan for Everyone

In Beijing, it’s not uncommon for a waiter to ask “有忌口吗?” before you start ordering. It translates as “Anything you don’t eat?” With a large Hui Muslim minority population, Beijing is more accustomed to diners with dietary restrictions than southern cities like Shanghai.

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Toros: Tantuni (the Kreuzberg Remix)

(Editor’s Note: In honor of the immigrants and refugees who have made their new home a better place for us all, this week we are running some of our favorite archived stories about those who have left a culinary mark on their adopted land.)

In Berlin, there is no shortage of meatless options, and vegetarians can even rejoice in a seitan-based döner kebab that is given the proper spit roast. What did surprise us is that the ubiquity of vegetarian diets in the city has greatly impacted one version of a meat-centric Turkish street food classic.

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Culinary Secrets of Gaziantep

Culinary Secrets of Gaziantep

$1100/person USD (single $100 supplement)
Book now
  • Group Size: 10
  • Start/End: TBD 
  • Customized daytime walks by special request

Ankara may be Turkey’s political center and Istanbul its cultural and economic one, but ask Turks what their country’s culinary capital is and the answer will invariably be the same: Gaziantep.

An ancient city not far from Turkey’s southern border, a meeting point between the Arab Middle East and Turkish Anatolia, Gaziantep over the centuries has developed a culinary culture that is deeply rooted in the rhythm of the agricultural lands surrounding it and that is maintained with great pride and honor by the city’s cooks and food makers. Gaziantep is also the source for many of Turkish cuisine’s iconic dishes – the city’s famous baklava is without compare and its kebabs are truly works of art, the standard by which all others are measured.

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Goa in Lisbon: History

Vasco de Gama’s voyage to India in the late 15th century laid the groundwork for the Portuguese empire, in which Goa, a small region on the southwestern coast of the Indian subcontinent with ample natural harbors and wide rivers, would come to play an important role.

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Patisserie Avyel: The Kosher Connection

Around this time of year, the smell of dough frying fills the air on a side street off Marseille’s busy Rue de Rome. The source of the enticing scent is Patisserie Avyel, a small kosher bakery and salon de thé in the midst of preparing for Hanukkah, which began on the evening of December 22.

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DocSicil Oplontis: Hidden Treasure

The excavations at Oplontis, located in the modern city of Torre Annunziata, are often overlooked in favor of its much larger, much grander neighbor: Pompeii. Yet like all little-known things, this archeological site is full of incredible surprises, like the magnificent villa said to have belonged to Poppaea Sabina, the second wife of the Emperor Nero.

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Caldo de Piedra: Stone Hot Soup

In Oaxaca, a state where gastronomy is almost a religion, there are some extraordinary dishes that are prepared only for special occasions because of the complexity of preparation. Mole chichilo, for example, uses more than 30 ingredients, and its preparation can take up to 3 days.

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Best Bites 2019: Queens

Location, location, location is a familiar mantra of New York real estate; invariably it comes to bear on restaurants and other food businesses, too. When e-commerce giant Amazon decided not to build a second headquarters in Long Island City, many food vendors were disappointed, sometimes bitterly, at the loss of a possible 25,000 new customers.

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Titú: Octopus’s Garden

When we first entered Titú, a new spot in the trendy Botafogo neighborhood, our mind immediately went to SpongeBob SquarePants, oddly enough, or more specifically, the Krusty Krab, the diner where SpongeBob works as a fry cook.

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Shanghai Night Eats

Quick bite: As the the sun sets, on this food tour we’ll explore the best local and regional cuisines Shanghai has to offer, in one of the few authentic working-class neighborhoods in the city to escape the wrecking ball.

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Going Deep: Neighborhoods to Visit in 2019

As the calendar year turns over, we’ve grown accustomed to the barrage of lists telling us where to travel during the next 12 months. Oftentimes these places are a country or even a whole region – you could spend an entire year exploring just one of the locations listed and still barely make a dent.

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Liquid Assets: Lagidze Water, Georgian Nectar

It was our first Tbilisi summer stroll down the city’s main drag, Rustaveli Avenue; two sweaty, newly arrived pie-eyed tourists tripping on the 2001 reality. There were billboards advertising the recent kidnapping of a Lebanese businessman, policemen in crumpled gray uniforms extorting money from random motorists with a wag of their batons, and at the top of the street, a former luxury hotel looking like a vertical shanty was full of displaced Georgians from Abkhazia.

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Everyone Is Welcome Here

The ill anti-immigrant and -refugee wind blowing out of the White House in Washington, DC, does not represent the America we know, nor does it speak to our experience exploring the world’s culinary backstreets. The cities and countries where we work – the United States included – have always been havens for those looking for a better, safer place. All have come with their food, making their new home a truly better place for us all and becoming an indispensible part of its fabric in the process.

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Building Blocks: Tofu, Japan’s White Gold

On the forested Mt. Oyama, only one and a half hours away from Tokyo, the sleepy atmosphere is broken by a cheering crowd. It’s mid-March and women are sitting in a row on a stage, shoveling cups of tofu into their mouths as fast as they can. It is messy, distinctly inelegant and a whole lot of mad fun.

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